During the course of negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, proposals to reduce Medicare costs had an on-again, off-again presence at the table. We asked Bruce Vladeck and Gail Wilensky which of these ideas could have a positive or negative impact on the program.
Bruce Vladeck, who oversaw Medicare and Medicaid from 1993 to 1997, writes about “one especially pernicious proposal” to rein in Medicare savings — the prohibition of first-dollar coverage in Medicare supplemental insurance.
Gail Wilensky, who ran Medicare ane Medicaid during the George H.W. Bush administration, writes that, although there has been an expectations that the current fiscal crisis “would produce the ‘right environment’ to finally reform entitlements — particularly Medicare,” it won’t be easy to get lawmaker and public to seriously engage in Medicare reform.