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These Foundation resources shed light on how the ongoing national debate about deficit reduction may affect Medicare, Medicaid and other health-care programs.  These resources include analysis of specific savings proposals, polling on the public’s views of deficit-reduction options, summaries and comparisons of relevant elements of major deficit-reduction plans, and explanatory briefs and backgrounders describing key issues related to the debate. This page highlights some key resources examining deficit reduction and provides you with the standard search result page for a site-wide search on the deficit reduction tag.

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Proposed Changes to Medicare in the “Path to Prosperity”: Overview and Key Questions

This brief examines key Medicare provisions included in “The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise,” a long-term budget proposal released by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan on April 5, 2011, which outlines a strategy for reducing federal spending and reducing the national debt over time. The Medicare provisions are among…

The Independent Payment Advisory Board: A New Approach to Controlling Medicare Spending

In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act authorized the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to help control the growth in Medicare costs. Beginning in 2014, IPAB will issue recommendations to lower Medicare costs in the event that spending exceeds targets established in the health care…

Implications Of A Federal Block Grant Program For Medicaid

This issue brief examines the broad implications of converting Medicaid to block grant financing, one of several ideas that have been put forth to help reduce the federal deficit. The paper, which does not analyze any specific proposal, notes that switching to block grant financing would fundamentally alter the Medicaid…

How Popular Is The Idea Of Changing Medicare To A Defined Contribution Plan?

In March 2011, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan released his “Path to Prosperity” budget plan, which included a proposal to change Medicare from a defined benefit program into one in which the government pays a specific amount towards the cost of private health insurance for each enrollee. Surveys conducted…

Reaching for the Stars: Quality Ratings of Medicare Advantage Plans, 2011

New: Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings and Bonus Payments in 2012 In 2012, Medicare Advantage plans will be awarded additional payments based on their quality ratings as a result of the 2010 health reform law. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a demonstration that would modify the…

A Primer on Medicare Financing

As Congress and the Administration increasingly focus on the nation’s budget deficit, many policy experts and several bipartisan deficit reduction panels have proposed significant changes to Medicare to reduce federal spending and address rising health care costs. This primer provides an overview of Medicare spending trends, how the program is…

Pulling it Together: The People Behind The Entitlement Debate

Well before we have any clarity on the impact of the election on health reform, the pundits are handicapping the prospects of efforts to make a serious dent in the national debt and deficit.  Three national commissions are hammering out recommendations for reducing the debt and reining in entitlement spending,…