The Future of Medicare

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<p>In <a href="/blog/2012/future-medicare">invited testimony</a> today before the House of Representatives Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis discussed two approaches to sustaining Medicare, the vital public insurance program for seniors and disabled Americans. </p><p>Because of its administrative efficiencies and leverage as the largest purchaser of health care in the U.S., Medicare is able to achieve lower medical and administrative costs than private insurance while providing beneficiaries with a defined set of covered benefits. In today's "Forum on Saving Medicare for Seniors Today and in the Future," Davis testified that Governor Romney's plan to pay beneficiaries a fixed sum of money instead, with a cap tied to growth in the economy—and without cost controls for overall health spending—would shift costs to beneficiaries already struggling with out-of-pocket medical expenses and limited incomes. </p>
<p>The other strategy, Davis said, is to retain and build upon the innovations in the Affordable Care Act. "Continuing guaranteed benefits and rewarding hospitals and physicians for providing high-quality care in an efficient manner has the potential to achieve needed budgetary savings while reducing, not increasing, financial risk to beneficiaries," she said. </p>
<p>Read the testimony on <a href="/blog/2012/future-medicare">The Commonwealth Fund Blog.</a> </p>