Part of the “Grand Bargain” is on the table.

A story in the NYT March 29, 2013 suggest that Obama & the Democratic leadership are talking with Republicans about cuts to Medicare in exchange for “additional revenue.”  It is complicated but may include the following.

  1. Medicare Part A (hospital care $1,184 deductible in 2013), which has a high deductible would be merged with Medicare Part B (doctor care $147 deductible in 2013). This would have the effect of raising the deductible for people who become eligible for Medicare after 2016.
  2. Establish a cap on total expenses that would set an upper limit on hospitalization costs and eliminate the need for Medigap supplementary insurance.

“The goal is to discourage people from seeking unneeded treatments, shrink health spending and offset the costs of a cap on beneficiaries’ total out-of-pocket costs. Such a cap would reduce beneficiaries’ need for extra insurance. About 90 percent of beneficiaries in the traditional Medicare program have supplemental coverage through Medigap policies, employers’ retiree plans or Medicaid for low-income people.”

Talk of Medicare Changes Could Open Way to Budget Pact

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