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Inside Deficit Reduction: What Now?

The Budget Control Act of 2011 tasked members of a “Super Committee” to find at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. Members did not reach an agreement by the November 23 deadline and as a result automatic spending cuts to defense and entitlement programs are set…

Inside Deficit Reduction: What It Means for Medicare

Proposals to generate Medicare savings abound, from the various commissions recommending change, members of Congress and others. Which proposals will, or should receive serious considerations by the Congressional super committee in its quest to find $1.2 trillion or more in savings by its November 23 deadline? What impact would these…

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…

Enhanced Medicaid Match Rates Expire in June 2011

This fact sheet discusses the role played by the enhanced federal Medicaid matching funds available to states through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), and the implications for state Medicaid programs as that extra assistance expires June 30, 2011. States used the ARRA enhanced Medicaid funding to…

CBO’s Estimate of Repealing Exchange Grants: The Importance of Being Effective

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released an analysis of a bill that would repeal grants to states under the health reform law to help them establish health insurance purchasing exchanges. Not surprisingly, CBO finds that the bill would reduce federal spending due to the fact that expected grants won’t…

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…