At a briefing last Friday on Capitol Hill, health policy experts said that the Medicare conference agreement is not perfect, but it provides a first step toward positive change. ?This is the best bill that could get through Congress at this time,? said Gail Wilensky, Ph.D., senior fellow at Project Hope and a former Medicare administrator.
During today?s briefing, health policy scholar Joseph Antos, Ph.D., of the American Enterprise Institute agreed. ?Future Congresses will have fewer resources and less will to advance real reform of the program. Hopes were raised about what could have been possible in this bill, but this is the reality, I say let?s take what we can get now.?
Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute said, ?Changes to major
programs and systems evolve over time. We must start somewhere. While the compromise agreement falls short of overall modernization, it contains important features to set consumer-friendly initiatives in motion. This is a starting place for reform.?
Robert M. Goldberg, Ph.D., senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute concluded by saying that, ?The Medicare bill is the healthcare equivalent of welfare reform. It begins to give seniors the tools, resources, and choices to improve the quality of their healthcare and their lives. But turning around one-seventh of the economy can?t be done overnight. We need to make this work and not give up.?
The Galen Institute, Inc., is a not-for-profit, free-market research organization devoted exclusively to health policy. It was founded in 1995 to promote a more informed public debate over individual freedom, consumer choice, competition, and diversity in the health sector.