4 reforms that could rein in Medicare spending growth

A new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis examines ways to reduce Medicare's excess cost growth, the historical trend in which per-capita healthcare expenditures increase faster than per-capita gross domestic product (GDP).

Excess cost growth stems from patients paying a smaller share of their healthcare, increasing demand for high-dollar care and budget-busting technological advances.

The report outlines four options for slowing the growth in Medicare spending. They are:

  • Raising premiums to cover excess cost growth.
  • Raising deductibles and copayments to limit spending to the baseline forecast.
  • Constraining payments by procedure and service, and making those payments to patients, not providers.
  • Offering premium support payments that increase at the same rate as per-capita GDP.

Each of the proposals can "incorporate retiree premium payments, deductibles, copayments and contributions that vary inversely with lifetime income," according to the report.

To learn more:
- read the report

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