Group Offers Budget Plan With $560 Billion In Health Care Savings

The Bipartisan Policy Center released a new fiscal blueprint on Thursday that includes -- among its 40 recommendations -- significant trims to Medicare and changes that would scrap the current Medicare physician payment formula while also improving the program's coordination of care. Another approach is being advanced by former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, who headed President Barack Obama's fiscal commission.

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Bipartisan Center Offers Plan To Reduce Health Spending
Medicare beneficiaries would have access to better coordinated medical care and the current Medicare physician payment formula would be scrapped as part of a health care cost containment plan the Bipartisan Policy Center unveiled Thursday. The plan offers more than 50 recommendations that would cut the federal deficit by about $560 billion over the next decade. About $300 billion of those savings would come from Medicare (Carey, 4/19).

The Fiscal Times: New Plan Targets $560 Billion Of Health Care Savings
Just in time for Washington's latest debate over spending, taxes and entitlement reform, the Bipartisan Policy Center on Thursday unveiled a series of proposals aimed at lowering the government's health care costs and improving the quality and value of medical services (Pianin, 4/19).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Fiscal Commission Leaders Alan Simpson And Erskine Bowles Introduce Modified Budget Plan
The plan released Thursday by and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles would lop more than $5 trillion from deficits over the upcoming decade when combined with the deficit-cutting steps enacted in fits and starts since his 2010 proposal. … The revised Simpson-Bowles plan proposes about $600 billion in increased taxes over the coming 10 years on top of the $600 billion-plus signed by Obama in January, another $600 billion or so in cuts to Medicare, and deeper cuts to domestic agencies and the Pentagon than proposed by the president (4/19).

Also in the news, a new poll gauges public opinion about changes to Medicare -

The Associated Press/Washington Post: AP-GfK Poll: Public Lacks Faith In Government, Opposes Changes To Medicare, Social Security
Most adults disapprove of Obama's handling of the federal deficit, a festering national problem. But they also dislike key proposals to reduce deficit spending, including a slower growth in Social Security benefits and changes to Medicare (4/18).

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