September 22, 2014

jgordon's blog

Veterans Health Care Bill Moves in Wrong Direction

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate for the Senate’s expansion of veterans’ health care has been getting a lot of attention from budget groups and members of Congress.

No Profiles in Courage: The Fight Against Medicare Advantage Cuts

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2015 government payment levels for the Medicare Advantage private insurance plans that are offered to seniors as an alternative to traditional Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicare. In a bit of a surprise, CMS projects that total payments will increase by about 0.4 percent despite earlier CMS guidance suggesting payments would be cut by 1.9 percent.

Camp’s Tax Plan Is a Good Start, But Other Policymakers Must Join the Conversation

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) released a detailed discussion draft on comprehensive tax reform Wednesday that eliminates inefficiencies in the tax code and makes it simpler. The Concord Coalition commends Chairman Camp for his efforts.

The President's Budget: Political Expediency Threatens Fiscal Reforms

As we await the full release of the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, some important specifics have been slowly made public. It looks like this budget, as is usually the case, will contain a mixture of sensible reforms and politically expedient omissions.

The first bit of news is that this year’s budget will not contain a proposal -- included last year -- to switch the government-wide formula for measuring inflation to a more accurate index called the “Chained CPI.” 

Seizing the Moment on Health Care Costs

A recent report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) reviewing the recent slowdown in health care costs examined its potential causes, its sustainability and the economic impact going forward.

Health Care Cost Goals: Washington's New Optimism -- Post Three of Three

This is post three of a three-part series on the developing consensus for the next steps on health care reform. Part One is here. Part Two is here.

Health Care Reform Consensus and Increasing "Skin in the Game" -- Post Two of Three

This is post two of a three-part series on the developing consensus for the next steps on health care reform. Part One is here. Part three is here.

There Is Consensus On Health Care Reform Next Steps -- Post One of Three

This is post one of a three-part series on the developing consensus for the next steps on health care reform. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

Might Health Care Reform Be the 'Grand Bargain'?

Last Thursday, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Health Care Cost Containment Initiative released a comprehensive plan to increase efficiency and reduce costs while reorienting the nation’s health care system to become more patient-centered. That combination would ideally lead not only to a more sustainable fiscal future but to better health care as well.

The Federal Budget's "Health Care Problem" Isn't Quite What Everyone Thinks It Is

Among budget wonks who discuss the long-term fiscal challenge, there is something of a consensus -- the projected upward trajectory of our debt is caused primarily by the projected growth in federal health care programs.

For some, this consensus has developed into short-hand: The nation’s fiscal challenge is really “just a health care problem.” This leads to the conclusion that the nation’s unsustainable fiscal future can only be redirected by reforming the entire health care sector of the economy. Or perhaps by simply converting Medicare into a “premium support” program.