October 25, 2014

Blogs

President's Budget Follow-Up

Following up on our press release about the President's Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal, here are a few more thoughts:

Annual discretionary spending:

The defense budget should not be off limits

If fiscal responsibility calls for significant changes in the big federal entitlement programs, shouldn’t the defense budget face scrutiny and reductions as well?

That question comes up a lot when The Concord Coalition emphasizes the need for entitlement reform. The answer is, “Yes.”

About a fifth of the federal budget goes to the Pentagon, and it is clear that there are many opportunities to achieve significant savings without jeopardizing national security.

The Risk of Partial Health Care Reform: More Expenses, Fewer Cost Controls

As the White House and congressional leaders rethink health care reform after the Republican upset in the Massachusetts Senate race, there is a growing danger that Congress will jettison comprehensive health care reform altogether. Even worse, they might pass stripped-down measures that eliminate politically difficult cost-containment, while popular but costly provisions are kept.

"It isn't fiscally irresponsible to raise the debt limit..."

"It isn't fiscally irresponsible to raise the debt limit, I think it would be rather irresponsible not to raise the debt limit because we have already incurred the bill."

A fiscal commission: liberal or conservative plot?

It’s a little amusing to see how badly the idea of a bipartisan fiscal commission has frightened some partisans at both ends of the political spectrum. That alone indicates the idea may have merit.

Concord looking to hire Research Assistant

The Concord Coalition is looking to hire a research assistant to help with the Washington Budget Report and other Concord policy work.

For the full position listing and application submission click here.

Death Panels Part II: How Advance Care Planning and Palliative Care Relate to Current Health Reform Efforts

In my previous post, I spent some time clarifying how “advance care planning” is in no way, shape or form the same as a “death panel,” and how palliative care does not equate to any "rationing of care." Rather, both these health care interventions are patient-centered and improve the value of the health care experience for severely, chronically, and terminally ill patients and their families.

Clarifying Misinformation about Death Panels

When discussing health care reform, if we cannot even be clear that “advance care planning” is in no way, shape or form the same as a “death panel,” how will we ever be able to talk about the real (and factual) challenges facing the Medicare program and its long-term sustainability?

Ugh….

Summary Numbers for Health Care Reform Legislation

When we finished our issue brief on the health care reform "endgame" before the holidays, we had a difficult time trying to isolate the key 10-year costs and savings of different components of the legislation. Now that we have had a bit more time with the final House and Senate versions of the legislation and the CBO analyses, we wanted to present the following table:

The "End Game" on Health Care Reform

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With the House having passed its version of health care reform (H.R. 3962) and the Senate on the verge of passing its version (H.R. 3590), the outline of a final bill is beginning to take shape.