Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) October 25, 2011
The Super Committee can meet its immediate goal of $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction while putting in place policy changes that will improve the Medicare and Medicaid programs over time, according to a new Galen Institute study.
“Entitlement spending, particularly Medicare and Medicaid, clearly is the driver of exploding federal budget deficits, and it continues to present the biggest political dilemma,” said Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute. “Yet if legislators fail to address entitlement spending, it will be a guarantee of failure.”
Turner’s paper, entitled “Build on successes and take the long view of reform as a process,” offers a concise list of do’s and don’ts for the Super Committee. Many of the policy ideas have bi-partisan support, such as gradually increasing the eligibility age for Medicare, improving the care delivery system for patients with chronic illnesses, reducing outmoded hospital regulations, and modifying the deductible for Part B of Medicare.
Turner also offered a list of proposals before the Super Committee that should be avoided because they would exacerbate rather than help resolve problems. Turner recommends Super Committee members reject proposals that would target drug spending for lower-income seniors enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, proposals to expand the power of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and expanding the mis-named “competitive bidding program” that would lead to supply disruptions and higher prices with durable medical equipment for Medicare patients.
“The real solutions to entitlement spending will come when we turn away from Washington’s fatally flawed, micromanagement of federal health programs and turn toward competitive markets that give consumers more power to make efficient, economical choices,” Turner concludes.
The Galen Institute is a non-profit research organization that specializes in health policy. Turner is also a co-author of Why ObamaCare Is Wrong for America (Broadside/HarperCollins, 2011)
The Galen Institute is a non-profit public policy research organization devoted exclusively to advancing free-market ideas in health policy. Founded in 1995, the organization promotes a more informed public debate over ideas that support innovation, individual freedom, consumer choice, and competition in the health sector. For more information, visit http://www.galen.org.