Tag: ‘Medicare’

Five Ways the Chasm Between Democratic and Republican Budget Plans is Growing

By :: January 24th, 2013

If their leaders’ public statements are to be believed, the fiscal chasm between the political parties is widening. And it is hard to see how it can be bridged.    Congressional Democrats and Republicans have agreed to put off the next budget crisis for a month or so. This is a good thing, especially considering […]

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How Obama’s Inaugural Address Frames the Policy Debate for the Next Decade

By :: January 22nd, 2013

 “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.  But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.” With those words in his 2nd inaugural address, […]

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2013 May Be the Year of Perpetual Fiscal Crisis

By :: December 27th, 2012

If 2012 was the year of modest economic recovery and surprising Democratic election success, 2013 may be the year of perpetual fiscal policy crisis. After watching the still-unresolved partisan battle over the fiscal cliff, it is increasingly hard to imagine Congress and President Obama reaching anything like a big budget deal next year. Instead, it […]

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How to Control Entitlements: A Challenge Ike Did Not Face

By :: December 18th, 2012

Yesterday, I described President Eisenhower’s remarkable success in turning  a large deficit in fiscal 1959 into a balanced budget in 1960.  It was one of the biggest fiscal consolidations since World War II.  Although it was a very different time, there are lessons relevant to today’s fiscal challenges.  One is that a president need not […]

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Congress Can’t Avoid Tax Rate Hikes By Closing “Loopholes”

By :: November 13th, 2012

You can tell when Congress and the President have tough choices to make. That’s when they trot out the euphemisms—all aimed at making what they are about to do sound as benign as possible.  Case in point: the impending fiscal cliff. If you listened to President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner’s radio addresses last Saturday, […]

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Social Security & Medicare Lifetime Benefits

By :: November 5th, 2012

How much will you pay in Social Security and Medicare taxes over your lifetime? And how much can you expect to get back in benefits? It depends on whether you’re married, when you retire, and how much you’ve earned over a lifetime. I recently published with Caleb Quakenbush “Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Benefits […]

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Payroll Taxes Cover About a Third of Medicare Costs

By :: June 15th, 2012

I get the impression that many Americans believe Medicare is financed like Social Security. They know that a portion of payroll taxes goes to Social Security and a portion goes to Medicare. So they conclude workers are paying for Medicare benefits the same way they are paying for Social Security benefits. That isn’t remotely true, […]

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Fixing Medicare's Double-Counting Problem

By :: May 18th, 2012

Last week I argued that budgeting for Medicare’s hospital insurance program is flawed. Today, I offer two ways to fix it (and reject a third). Medicare Part A is one of several federal programs that control spending through a “belt and suspenders” combination of regular program rules (the belt) and an overall limit (the suspenders). But […]

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The Fight Over Medicare Double Counting

By :: May 9th, 2012

The recent double-counting dispute isn’t just about politics; it also reveals a flaw in budgeting for Medicare Part A. Budget experts are waging a spirited battle over the Medicare changes that helped pay for 2010’s health reform. In April, Chuck Blahous, one of two public trustees of the program, released a study arguing that the […]

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Will the 2010 Health Law Cut the Deficit or Add to It?

By :: April 10th, 2012

In a new study, Chuck Blahous, who is a public trustee for Medicare and Social Security, concludes that the 2010 health law will add at least $340 billion to the federal deficit from 2012-2021. This is contrary to the official estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, which initially figured the Affordable Care Act would reduce the […]

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