Class Fourteen -- January 22, 2016 | Howell E. Jackson | August 19, 2015

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Class Fourteen -- January 22, 2016

Original Creator: Howell E. Jackson Current Version: Howell E. Jackson Show/Hide

Today, we will discuss reform of federal health programs, focusing on Medicare.

For an overview of federal health programs, please read Part 2 of the CBO's 2015 Long-Term Outlook, “The Long-Term Outlook for Major Federal Health Care Programs.”

Then, please read the briefing paper on “bending the health care cost curve” and prepare to discuss the pros and cons of various reform ideas.

Finally, please review the press clippings about the 2015 legislation that ended the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), a mechanism to control Medicare payments to doctors that had been in place since 1997 (but waived on an annual basis via a “Doc Fix” bill). Notice that the CRFB and Wall Street Journal editorial page, both typically hawkish on budgeting issues, come out on opposite sides of the issue.

For reference, the 2015 Medicare Trustees Report and a briefing paper on entitlement reform in foreign countries are included.

Third Individual Response Paper: Drawing on course readings and class discussions over the past three weeks, please write a short (3-5) page memorandum summarizing your views on the appropriate goals for and reasonable expectations with respect to federal budget policy in the United States. How should our public budgeting decisions be structured to serve the public interest? To the extent that you believe certain aspects of the current system should be reformed, please explain how and why? Please submit your response to Carole Mason by email by 8:00 am on the morning of January 22nd. Good luck.

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January 14, 2016

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Howell E. Jackson

James S. Reid, Jr. Professor of Law

Harvard University

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