In the midst of the ongoing struggle to resolve a path to the future for the the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”), lawmakers have apparently reached some measure of agreement on one key area critical to seniors: the need for near-term improvements to Medicare’s affordability and long-term sustainability. American Enterprise Institute contributors Lanhee Chen and  James C. Capretta have provided a synopsis of what this agreement might look like and, in a post this week on, outline four specific concepts that both Democrats and Republicans could potentially support. The concepts address:

  • streamlining Medicare’s basic design to achieve “a single, comprehensive deductible for all types of care, sensible cost-sharing for services that are discretionary, and an out-of-pocket maximum that really provides financial protection,”
  • an improved enrollment process that fosters competition between original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, and accountable care organizations,
  • reforms to Medicare Advantage that promote competitive bidding to “instill more transparent and vigorous price competition, and thus lower costs,”
  • further “income testing” for Medicare premiums, including a shift from retirement incomes to lifetime incomes as a base measurement, with an objective of “focus(ing) financial protections on those who need it most.

Read the full report by Chen and Capretta here…


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