Health Care

The Medicare Trustees Report

While we have already broken down the Social Security Trustees report, the Trustees have also produced a report for Medicare. Considering that health care spending is central to our fiscal challenges and Medicare is the largest program in that category, understanding the report's findings is critical.

Any Minute Now....

The Social Security and Medicare Trustees have signed off on their respective reports on the financial projections for the two programs, though we continue to wait for the Social Security report to be posted reports online.

Trust Funds and the Budget

Charles Blahous's paper on the Affordable Care Act has sparked a lot of buzz, leading to some discussion about "double-counting" the Medicare savings and how to view the federal budget with regards to trust funds.

Economics of the Fiscal Cliff

Our recent paper on the fiscal cliff details the short-term or longer-term economic problems that the country will face if lawmakers either allow everything in the fiscal cliff to occur as scheduled or if they decide to extend it all. This blog will look farther into the potential short-term impacts, attempting to quantify what the cliff's 2013 effects would do to the economy.

The Affordable Care Act and the HI Trust Fund

Update: Charles Blahous has posted a response to his critics here.

MY VIEW: Eugene Steuerle

In the latest post in his ongoing "The Government We Deserve" series, CRFB board member Eugene Steuerle stated that regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, we would still have a problem with health care costs and a "math-less debate" on the issue.

Below is an excerpt from the post:

Making Better Use of Health Care Dollars

Via Wonkblog, Sarah Kliff reports on an initiative by nine medical specialty groups to identify procedures that they find to be either unnecessary or unlikely to improve patient outcomes. The initiative, called "Choosing Wisely" tasked these nine groups to come up with five procedures each, for a total of 45 (the list is here). 

An Addendum to the Fiscal Cliff

Via Twitter, Tax Policy Center director Donald Marron (@dmarron) makes a good point after reading our analysis last week of the "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year: that various revenue measures from health care reform will also take effect in 2013.

Line Items: Bloom and Gloom Edition

Bloom and Gloom – Washington’s famous Cherry Blossoms bloomed just ahead of the festival in their honor, and most promptly disappeared due to stormy weather in DC. Now, we can look forward to five weeks of celebrations with the namesakes mostly absent. A similar situation is playing out with the federal budget. There have been weeks of hearings, which will culminate this week as the House votes on the FY 2013 budget resolution. Yet, it is clear that there will be no budget coming out of Congress, again.

The Affordable Care Act At 2 Years Old

On this day two years ago, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the first of two pieces of legislation that would make up the full health care law. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act would follow a week later, making some changes to PPACA while also containing changes related to student loans.

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