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Basic Fixes to Start Saving Medicare

Senior Policy Analyst at Paragon Health Institute
Joe Albanese is a Senior Policy Analyst with Paragon Health Institute. He comes to Paragon with over six years of federal and nonprofit public policy experience.

President Joe Biden and congressional Republicans’ State of the Union outburst last month signaled Medicare reforms would be off the table in congressional debt ceiling negotiations, but the looming fiscal crisis driven by federal health programs remains. These programs’ financial burden grows every year as the population ages and the number of workers to support recipients declines. Years of “grannies going over cliffs” scaremongering suggest that any well-meaning attempts to reform Medicare will be portrayed negatively.

Yet both parties have proposed Medicare savings – while too often condemning the other side for doing so. Histrionics aside, lawmakers have no problem funneling Medicare dollars to their own pet causes. Wouldn’t it be better to instead keep health spending fiscally sustainable for future generations?

A simple approach would be to reduce excessive payments rather than cutting benefits. After all, high hospital spending is the biggest reason why U.S. health costs exceed other countries. Medicare’s convoluted “provider entitlement system” currently rewards volume over value and prioritizes the political clout of those delivering care over those receiving it.

The full article can be found in Washington Examiner.

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