Stark Choices: The Health Care Budget Proposals

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<p>In their proposals to address the federal budget deficit, the President and the House of Representatives have advanced fundamentally different paths for the nation. Rising health care costs are at the heart of this debate.  </p>
<p>In a new <a href="/blog/2011/stark-choices-health-care-budget-proposals-president-and-house-representatives">blog post</a>, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis analyzes the proposals, showing that while both approaches constrain federal spending under Medicare and Medicaid, they differ sharply in how steep those cuts would be, how they would be achieved, and what effect they would have. Davis outlines the health care provisions in each proposal and considers their impact on the availability of affordable care and comprehensive coverage, and on the drivers of health care costs.</p>
<p>"In short, the large reductions in federal health expenditures in the House budget resolution would shift costs onto consumers and other payers, forcing future Medicare beneficiaries to pay more of their own expenses directly out of pocket, requiring states to absorb rising Medicaid costs, and leading to dramatic increases in the number of uninsured," Davis says. "By contrast, the President's proposal would maintain a federal commitment to affordable coverage for all and attempt to keep spending increases reasonable by creating incentives for physicians and hospitals to be accountable for both patient outcomes and the use of health care resources." <br /></p>