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News of the Day ... in Perspective

11/05/2003

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.”
NY Times, Nov. 4, 2003, www.nytimes.com/2003/11/04/politics/04MEDI.html

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