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On Medicare reform: Time for benign neglect

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Idle Woman,”  by Daniel Hernández Morillo

Sherry A. Glied, writing in the Commonwealth Fund’s Web site, argues that no action on changing Medicare is the best action because there won’t be adequate data needed for revising the program for quite some time to come.

“Surprisingly, the most responsible thing to do right now about the forecasted insolvency of the Medicare Trust Fund is . . . nothing. Why? Because such projections are highly uncertain and we can make any necessary changes as we learn more over time.”

She notes: “Predicting the future of health care cost growth is notoriously difficult and small variations in assumptions about growth rates can lead to very large differences in long-term forecasts.

“There are really only three ways to control Medicare spending: cut expenditures, raise revenues, or shift a share of risks to beneficiaries by moving to a voucher or premium-support system. Our recent experience indicates it would be unwise to take any of these dramatic steps right now.”




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