The Senior Protection Plan: $385 Billion in Health Care Savings without Harming Beneficiaries

The Center for American Progress (CAP) is an independent, nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action. Substantive areas of expertise of CAP's Health Policy team include health care cost containment policy, payment and delivery system reform, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Objective: To propose a comprehensive set of policy options designed to reduce overall health care costs, including federal health care spending. The Senior Protection Plan is an alternative to proposals that would lower federal health care spending by shifting costs to individuals, businesses, and states. The Plan includes both systemwide proposals and targeted reforms to the federal health care programs to improve the efficiency of these programs, eliminate waste, and improve the quality of care.

Process: Proposals were developed by the Center for American Progress's Health Policy team through a collaborative, consensus-driven process.

Methodology: Savings estimates for each proposal reflect the level of savings we believe the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) would attribute if scored. These estimates are based on previous estimates by the CBO and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission wherever possible. We presented conservative savings estimates, and, in many cases, we did not attribute any federal savings to a proposal, even if we believed the proposal would produce some scoreable savings.

Total savings: Potential federal scoreable savings of $385 billion from 2013 through 2022. In addition to these savings, we believe the plan's tax policies would generate up to $100 billion in revenues over a decade. The fiscal cliff legislation included four of the proposals listed in the Senior Protection Plan, with savings totaling over $18 billion. The remaining potential savings is about $366 billion.

Other related work:

For additional recommendations from the CAP, please see:

E. Emanuel, N. Tanden, S. Altman, et al. "A System Approach to Containing Health Care Spending," New England Journal of Medicine. 2012; 367:949-954.

For more detailed description of policies in this report, please see:

E. Emanuel, T. Spiro, and M. Calsyn, Reducing the Cost of Defensive Medicine, The Center for American Progress. 11 June 2013.

E. Oshima Lee and E. Emanuel, "Shared Decision Making to Improve Care and Reduce Costs," New England Journal of Medicine. 2013; 368:6-8.

E. Wikler, P. Basch, and D. Cutler, Administrative Costs: Reducing Health Care Administrative Costs, Center for American Progress. 11 June 2012.

The Senior Protection Plan: $385 Billion in Health Care Savings Without Harming Beneficiaries, Center for American Progress, November 2012.