Council Endorses Deficit Reduction Proposals
The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) earlier this week endorsed four deficit reduction proposals estimated to save $410 billion over 10 years. The council is urging Congress' Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to create a Medicare Exchange in which private plans would compete on cost, quality, and value; gradually increase the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67; reform Medicare's cost-sharing structure; and implement medical liability reforms, including a cap on non-economic damages. HLC President Mary Grealy says the recommendations would "contribute to deficit reduction without placing an unfair or disproportionate burden on patients, health care consumers or our most vulnerable citizens." The Budget Control Act created the Joint Select Committee to recommend additional deficit reductions of $1.2-1.5 trillion. If the committee reaches an agreement by November, 23, Congress must vote on the panel's recommendations by December 23. However, should Congress fail to act on the committee's proposal or send a balanced budget amendment to the states before the end of the year, the BCA would automatically trigger cuts totaling $1.2 trillion in mandatory and discretionary spending. The cuts would take effect in 2013. To read more about the recommendations, click here:>