December 20, 2014

BPC Suggests Key Changes in Health Care

  • The American health care system is a patchwork of public and private programs that serve citizens in different ways, depending on their age, military...

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Health Care Cost Containment Initiative released a comprehensive plan last week to increase efficiency, reduce costs and reorient the nation’s health care system to make it more patient-centered.

As Concord Coalition Policy Director Joshua Gordon explains in a new blog post, the plan targets the largest health care levers that federal policymakers have: Medicare and the tax code -- specifically the exclusion of employer-provided health care from taxation. The plan, as scored by health policy experts, would reduce budget deficits over the next 10 years and then continue to lower the trajectory of the federal debt.

The BPC’s health care leaders reached bipartisan agreement after a year of discussion, painstaking research and stakeholder outreach -- an accomplishment that suggests their conclusions might be more than just a legislative pipe dream. In fact, Gordon says, the BPC plan might make a good “grand bargain” if a more comprehensive one can’t be reached.

While the budgetary “score” would be lower than for a grand bargain such as Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles have suggested, this smaller deal would still reflect the core values and essence of their plan: Limiting tax expenditures and reforming Medicare.