Thursday, November 29, 2012

The GOP’s Medicare confusion

The GOP’s Medicare confusion

"Scour the various outlets for Democratic policy ideas and you’ll find plenty of proposed Medicare cuts. President Obama’s 2013 budget, for instance, includes hundreds of billions in Medicare cuts (see pages 33-37), and caps the program’s long-term growth at GDP+0.5 percent. More recently, the Center for American Progress released a 46-page proposal for cutting Medicare by almost $400 billion."

"That’s left Republicans in a peculiar negotiating position: They know they want “Medicare reform” — indeed, they frequently identify Medicare reform as the key to their support for a deal — but aside from premium support, they don’t quite know what they mean by it, and they’re afraid to find out."

"The likely deal here — which some smart Republicans are talking about — will be a Medicare “down payment” that gets us past the fiscal cliff and then a target for the Medicare savings that negotiators need to reach over the next six months. But there’s no guarantee that the state of the politics or the policy thinking on Medicare will be very different six months from now than it is today. Republican policy types need to start thinking about what they want to do to Medicare, and quick."

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