Recommendations for the Super Committee

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction — the Super Committee — is operating in a cloud of silence during its bipartisan negotiations on a proposal to cut at least $1.2 trillion from federal spending over the next 10 years. Numerous members, committees, and organizations have offered advice on the best way to achieve spending reductions, and many more have weighed in with warnings on the dire consequences if their industry were to be targeted. A new paper released today by the Galen Institute offers a concise list of do’s and don’ts that the committee might consider to advance good policy in changes for Medicare and Medicaid.

POLICY IDEAS WORTH CONSIDERING

Gradually increase the eligibility age for Medicare
Mind the Medigap
Improve care for dual-eligibles
Provide incentives for choosing generics in Medicaid
Block grant Medicaid
Shore up the Medicare Advantage program
Protect Medicare Part D
Reduce hospital regulations
Modify the Part B deductible
Introduce home health co-payments for new beneficiaries
Introduce a Part B premium surcharge for new beneficiaries who purchase Medigap
Apply a single blended matching rate to Medicaid and CHIP
Reduce the Medicaid provider tax threshold

HARMFUL IDEAS TO AVOID

Don’t extend prescription drug rebates to dual-eligibles
Don’t reduce the protection period for biologic innovators
Don’t extend price controls to the FEHBP
Don’t give even more powers to the IPAB
Don’t expand the (misnamed) Competitive Bidding Program to Medicaid

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