Friday, March 11, 2011

CBO Outlines Health Benefit Cuts Worth Hundreds of Billions - The Hill's Healthwatch

By Julian Pecquet

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.

Other options include: More

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