With the failure of the congressional super committee to reach a consensus, the stalemate on addressing the U.S. budget deficit continues. But the problem remains: to close the budget gap, revenues must be increased and spending must be reduced. And there is a growing consensus that the federal deficit cannot be brought under control unless reforms are enacted that slow the growth of Medicare spending.
On December 16, the Budgeting for National Priorities project at Brookings and the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force hosted a discussion of the role of premium support in controlling Medicare costs and in making U.S. health care more efficient and effective. A new paper written by experts on the issue who participate in the ongoing Brookings-Heritage fiscal seminar was released at the event. The paper provides an overview of the basic elements of moving from the current fee-for-service model to a premium support plan, reviews the arguments for and against premium support, and proposes a specific premium support plan. At the event, premium support was explained and its strengths and weaknesses analyzed by major speakers and a panel of experts.
After each session, speakers and panelists took audience questions.