CBO Deficit-Reduction Options Include Medicare, Medicaid CutsThe Hill: CBO Outlines Health Benefit Cuts Worth Hundreds Of Billions
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a list of deficit-cutting options Thursday that includes hundreds of billions in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. The two programs account for 38 percent of mandatory spending - more than Social Security - and face a visit to the chopping block as Americans across the political spectrum clamor for the government to keep its spending under control. In its report, CBO says giving states a block grant (indexed to annual increases in the employment cost index) to cover long-term care services in Medicaid - something conservative state leaders have been clamoring for - would shave $287.4 billion off the deficit over 10 years. The next biggest saver, increasing the basic Medicare premium for doctor's visits to 35 percent, would save $241.2 billion (Pecquet, 3/10). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.