Capping Medicaid Spending, Raising Age for Medicare Among Options Explored in CBO Report

Capping federal Medicaid spending, raising the eligibility age for Medicare, and bundling Medicare payments to healthcare providers are some of the federal spending reduction possibilities included in a report by the Congressional Budget Office released Wednesday.

Capping federal Medicaid spending, raising the eligibility age for Medicare, and bundling Medicare payments to healthcare providers are some of the federal spending reduction possibilities included in a report by the Congressional Budget Office (PDF) released Wednesday.

The release of the 316-page document came the same day the joint House and Senate budget conference committee resumed deliberations on fiscal issues with the goal of reaching a broader agreement on spending and taxes to avoid another government shutdown and threat of debt default. The report was unsolicited by Congress and is meant to inform lawmakers about the budgetary implications of various ways to reduce spending or increase revenues, the budgeting agency said. Non-healthcare related proposals included reducing social security benefits for new beneficiaries by 15%, increasing federal insurance premiums for private pension plans, and reducing or eliminating subsidized loans for undergraduate students.

The government is currently operating under legislation that provides funding until Jan. 15 and suspends the borrowing limit until Feb. 7. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified at the panel and said the report could help lawmakers during their budget deliberations.

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Source: Modern Healthcare