October 22, 2014

Iowans Hear Case for Comprehensive Reform

As Washington wrapped up this year’s spending plans last week, The Concord Coalition’s Fiscal Solutions Tour encouraged Iowa residents to focus on larger challenges facing the country: an aging population, rising health costs, and structural problems in the federal budget.

Tour speakers, in programs Wednesday in the Iowa City area, emphasized the need to embrace a wide range of options to hold down federal debt and prepare the country to effectively provide for an aging population.

“Not only is there no easy solution, there’s no single solution,” said Alice M. Rivlin, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of two bipartisan fiscal commissions.

Much of the day’s discussion centered on the need for fundamental change in the health care system. James C. Capretta, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, noted that many Americans directly pay little for their own care and consequently have little incentive to economize.

Robert L. Bixby, Concord’s executive director, drew attention to the ethical aspects of budget reform: “It is not just a numbers issue, it really is a moral issue about leaving behind a better future for our country.”