News of the Day ... in Perspective11/05/2003
Medicare cost limits, or unlimited entitlement?
The White House and House Republicans are pushing for cutbacks in Medicare if costs, including the cost of a new drug entitlement, exceed estimates. This would limit enhancements to drug benefits, expansion of out-patient coverage, or increases in physician payments.
House Republican negotiators also propose declaring Medicare to be “programmatically insolvent” if general tax revenues account for more than 45% of expenditures at any point in the next 7 years.
Democrats say that if any drug benefit is enacted, they will immediately campaign to expand it.
The General Accounting Office calls Medicare’s growing reliance on general revenue a “mortgage on future generations.”