Designed to Fail

The President's Medicare plan contains nothing innovative or new, and does not change the structure of the program. Instead, it focuses on providers, adjusting payments and adding utilization hurdles without changing financial incentives. Most of the ideas were swept up from the CBO budget options book, so they score as savings. The provider cuts are not painless, but also not unexpected. Increasing premiums and cost-sharing is delayed until 2017, which makes no budget or policy sense but plenty of political sense. That adds up to acceptance by the "super" committee. However, if the tax changes are included, the package will fail to be enacted even though Congress could support the Medicare pieces. That gives Obama what he wants: an election-year debating point without having to sign even routine health spending reductions into law.

Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at AEI

 

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
From anarchy to Augustus: Lessons on dealing with disorder, from Rome’s first emperor

We invite you to join us for two panel discussions on how Augustus created order from chaos 2,000 years ago, and what makes for durable domestic and international political systems in the 21st century.

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Multiple choice: Expanding opportunity through innovation in K–12 education

Please join us for a book launch event and panel discussion about how a marketplace of education options can help today's students succeed in tomorrow's economy. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the featured book.

Thursday, September 04, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How conservatives can save the safety net

Please join us for a luncheon event in which our panel will discuss what conservatives can learn from how liberals talk and think about the safety net and where free-market economics, federalism, and social responsibility intersect to lift people out of poverty.

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