Health Care

How the Supreme Court's Decision on Health Care Reform Could Affect the Budget

It is no secret to those following the news that the Supreme Court will soon make a decision on the constitutionality of pieces of the Affordable Care Act. There have been many discussions of the health policy implications of the decision, which are obviously very important. However, given the name of our organization, we'll discuss the budgetary implications of the possible rulings.

MedPAC's Prescriptions for Medicare

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its June 2012 report, detailing ways in which Congress can improve Medicare to better control costs and improve care.

Good News for Health Spending?

Actuaries at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services have published a new report detailing their projections for health care spending growth from 2011 to 2021. The growth rates they project may be good news for the economy and the budget as well if they pan out.

The Drivers: Health Care Cost Growth and Population Aging

In our recent analysis of CBO's Long-Term Budget Outlook, we elaborated on how the overall federal debt is on an unsustainable path. Just twelve years from now, under CBO’s Alternative Fiscal Scenario (AFS), debt will surpass 100 percent of GDP, and by 2038, it will exceed 200 percent. Driving this debt growth are the increasing costs of Social Security and especially Medicare and Medicaid.

Fiscal Fact Checker (Revisited): CBO's Record on Scoring the Affordable Care Act

Critics of CBO scoring like to cite past predictions that widely missed the mark. Sometimes, too, critics compare apples to oranges, and that is the case with the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) again this week. As reported by National Journal, Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN) claims in referring to CBO's report on the fiscal cliff, "Remember that the CBO estimated two years ago that the Affordable Care Act would be $900 billion, and 24 months later it’s $1.7 trillion.

A Lively Debate on the Affordable Care Act

Yesterday, Medicare trustee Charles Blahous and former chief economist for Vice President Biden Jared Bernstein had a debate about the fiscal consequences of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The event, hosted by e21 at the National Press Club, discussed Blahous's recent paper on the ACA that claimed the law would increase the deficit, contrary to CBO projections.

A Progressive Retirement Age?

Yesterday, Zeke Emanuel advanced an interesting proposal for Social Security and Medicare in a blog at The New York Times: varying the retirement ages for lifetime earnings. This policy is a response to a common criticism of raising the retirement ages that increases in life expectancy over time have been uneven across income groups. Emanuel's idea would work as follows:

Fixing Medicare Double-Counting

Donald Marron, who recently wrote a blog post on how budget limits are treated in Congressional rules, wrote a piece today detailing how Medicare Part A rules could be altered so that savings in Part A could not be used to both reduce the deficit and extend the life of the Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund. Here's his take:

Ten Things to Know About Military Compensation

On Friday, Lawrence Korb, Alex Rothman, and Max Hoffman of the Center for American Progress wrote "The Top 10 Things to Know About Military Compensation," which provides context for compensation within the defense budget and how reforms can be done in minimally harmful ways.

The ten things are:

Bipartisan Physician Payment Reform Can Do Without the War Gimmick

Reps. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Joe Heck (R-NV) have introduced a bill to overhaul the Medicare physician payment system. The bill includes a number of laudable reforms, but it does not have a legitimate pay-for, since it uses the war drawdown gimmick to pay for its costs.

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