Industry to supercommittee: Back exchange program
As healthcare groups lobby the deficit-reduction supercommittee on what it shouldn’t do, the CEOs of nearly 50 healthcare organizations are telling the lawmakers what they should do to sustain the Medicare program over the long haul.
The Healthcare Leadership Council released its plan one day after the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction held its first hearing, which centered on the drivers of America’s debt and its threats. Representing a broad range of the healthcare industry— including hospitals, drug and device manufacturers, health plans, nurses and the post-acute companies—the council mapped out four recommendations that it says will lead to Medicare’s long-term viability and $410 billion in savings to the program over the next 10 years.
The council agreed unanimously to the four recommendations, including a new Medicare exchange in which private health plans would compete on the basis of cost, quality and value. The plan also suggests gradually increasing the Medicare eligibility age to 67 from 65, capping non-economic damages in malpractice lawsuits and reforming Medicare’s cost structure.
Under the proposal, beneficiaries would
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), co-chairs of the supercommittee, convene the panel’s first hearing on Sept. 13.