Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 22, 2014

Medicare Could Play Key Role in Budget Talks

The government shutdown and debt ceiling deal also created a conference committee to reach consensus on a budget by December 13. Kaiser Health News notes that Medicare reform will probably be a significant part of those talks and looks at a number of proposed changes to the program.

“Wealthier Beneficiaries Pay More for Medicare: Many Republicans — including Ryan — and Democrats support this… Medigap Changes: Both sides may also agree to discourage the use of ‘first-dollar’ Medicare supplemental policies. The thought is that more generous Medigap plans encourage overuse of services, but seniors rely on these plans to shield them from unanticipated costs.”

“Premium Support/Higher Eligibility Age: No bipartisan consensus here. Ryan’s fiscal 2014 budget plan includes both a gradual increase of the Medicare eligibility age (from 65 to 67) as well as a “premium support” plan that would give beneficiaries a set amount of money to select coverage… Provider Cuts: When Congress needs to reduce Medicare spending, it often lowers reimbursements to the hospitals and other providers that care for Medicare beneficiaries. “

  • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

    I assume there will be revenue increases to balance these benefit cuts.

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