Adding to the conversation around reforming federal health spending, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has released a short report on why the Medicare age should be raised.
Today, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) spoke on the floor of the Senate about the need for health entitlement reforms to be part of a deficit reduction package. Senator Hatch joins a handful of other lawmakers in recent weeks who have proposed a range of entitlement reform policies that could help reduce our long-term debt.
Last Congress, H.R. 452 was introduced in the House to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15 member board of Senate-confirmed experts created by the Affordable Care Act with the purpose of containing Medicare costs.
Earlier this week, we discussed the recent slowdown of National Health Expenditures (NHE) and how, while promising, it may not last. That means more must be done to control health care spending in the future.
With health care spending a central topic in budget discussions, the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have released a timely report on the growth of National Health Expenditures (NHE). In the report, published in Health Affairs, CMS finds that total health care spending (both private and public spending) in the U.S. in 2011 reached $2.7 trillion, or about 17.9 percent of GDP. This comes out to roughly $8,700 per person.
The recent offers from the White House and Republican House leadership have shown that both parties appear to be committed to finding a compromise. But lawmakers still have a long ways to go. Not only must Congress and the President find a way to replace the fiscal cliff, but they should do so with a plan that adequately addresseses our unsustainable debt problem. To do this, all ideas must be on the table.
Reducing federal health spending will play an important role in any long term deficit reduction plan debated over the next year. As lawmakers look to reform and put federal health programs on a more sustainable path for future generations, we've highlighted before that there is no shortage of options.
Yesterday, the Fix the Debt Campaign had a event with two roundtables bringing together many health policy and tax experts from across the political spectrum to discuss two of the central issues involved in the current budget negotiations.
Just as President Obama and the Republican leadership are trading offers, three think tanks--the Heritage Foundation, the Center for American Progress, and the Bipartisan Policy Center-- each offered ideas that could be used in the negotiations.
Tomorrow, the Campaign to Fix the Debt will be hosting a half-day event that will bring together tax, health, and budget experts for a series of discussions on pressing budget issues. The event will start at 8:30 AM and will feature remarks from former OMB director and current Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Senate Finance Committee chair Max Baucus (D-MT), and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling.