September 22, 2014

Blogs

No Profiles in Courage: The Fight Against Medicare Advantage Cuts

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2015 government payment levels for the Medicare Advantage private insurance plans that are offered to seniors as an alternative to traditional Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicare. In a bit of a surprise, CMS projects that total payments will increase by about 0.4 percent despite earlier CMS guidance suggesting payments would be cut by 1.9 percent.

‘Principles and Priorities’ Exercise in Colorado Highlights Need for Compromise

About a hundred people in Colorado’s 1st Congressional District tried their hands Saturday at federal deficit reduction through The Concord Coalition’s

Health Reforms in Massachusetts and Maryland May Hold Lessons for Rest of U.S.

The growth in health care spending has slowed in recent years but could speed up again as the economy strengthens and the population ages. Even with slower growth rates, however, federal and state governments need to pursue reforms and innovations to keep public health programs sustainable.

Three Areas of Bipartisan Agreement on Budget Process Reform

Last Thursday, Congressman Reid Ribble invited The Concord Coalition to host a panel of experts on Capitol Hill to talk with congressional staffers gearing up for the annual budget process.

A Bad Bipartisan Idea: Funding Highways From Short-Term Corporate Tax Revenue

House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.) remarked recently that there are some similar ideas in the tax reform proposals that he and President Obama have suggested. Normally overlap between Republican and Democrat ideas is a welcome occurrence.

Camp’s Tax Plan Is a Good Start, But Other Policymakers Must Join the Conversation

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) released a detailed discussion draft on comprehensive tax reform Wednesday that eliminates inefficiencies in the tax code and makes it simpler. The Concord Coalition commends Chairman Camp for his efforts.

The President's Budget: Political Expediency Threatens Fiscal Reforms

As we await the full release of the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, some important specifics have been slowly made public. It looks like this budget, as is usually the case, will contain a mixture of sensible reforms and politically expedient omissions.

The first bit of news is that this year’s budget will not contain a proposal -- included last year -- to switch the government-wide formula for measuring inflation to a more accurate index called the “Chained CPI.” 

House Budget Panel Approves Switch to Biennial Budgeting

The House Budget Committee last week approved a bill on a bipartisan 22-10 vote that would switch the annual congressional budget process to a biennial (two-year) cycle.

States Should Use Surpluses to Improve Their Long-Term Fiscal Health

State lawmakers across the country are debating how to spend large surpluses after the economic recovery helped produce higher-than-expected tax collections for the second year in a row.

Fixing The Debt Limit Frankenstein

Like Frankenstein’s monster, the statutory debt limit will soon come back to life. It has been in a state of suspended animation since the October 2013 budget deal that ended the government shutdown.

The terms of that deal allowed the government to borrow without limit through this Friday, when the suspension period ends and the current debt level of about $17.3 trillion instantly becomes the new limit.