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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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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…

Medicaid and the Budget Control Act: What Options Will Be Considered?

On August 2, 2011, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 into law. The Act was designed to reduce federal spending and raise the debt ceiling. It established the Joint Select Committee, also known as the “Super Committee,” tasked with decreasing projected deficits by $1.5 trillion between FY2012…

Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board

This brief describes how the new board created under the 2010 health reform law is expected to limit the growth in Medicare spending over time. Starting in 2014, if projected per capita Medicare spending exceeds targets set in the law, the board must recommend ways to reduce Medicare spending, while…

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This data spotlight examines the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in Medicare stand-alone drug plans available in 2010. While in the gap in coverage, Part D enrollees (other than those receiving low-income subsidies) are required to pay 100 percent of total drug costs until they reach the catastrophic coverage level.…

Explaining Health Reform: Key Changes in the Medicare Advantage Program

This brief examines the changes in the 2010 health reform law affecting the Medicare Advantage program, which gives beneficiaries the option of enrolling in private insurance plans for their Medicare benefits, instead of the traditional fee-for-service program. The reform law will gradually reduce Medicare payments to these plans to bring…

The Public’s Health Care Agenda for the New President and Congress

The Public’s Health Care Agenda for the New President and CongressThis survey captures the public’s attitudes regarding the health care agenda for President Obama and the new Congress in 2009. It assesses the relative priority placed on health care by the American public as part of addressing the economic recession…

Coverage of Top Brand-Name and Specialty Drugs

This Part D Data Spotlight documents the wide variations across the private stand-alone drug plans with respect to coverage of drugs, what enrollees pay for those drugs, and restrictions and limitations placed on their use. These variations have potentially significant implications for beneficiaries’ access to medications and out-of-pocket costs. The…

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…

The Nuts and Bolts of Medicare Premium Support Proposals

In April 2011, as part of its 2012 budget resolution, the U.S. House included a proposal to reduce Medicare spending by transforming the program into a system sometimes called “premium support” or vouchers. Such an approach also has been a central element of other proposals by national leaders seeking to…