The Case Against Premium Support

Highlights

The Case Against Premium Support

Abstract

Proposals to replace traditional Medicare with "premium support"-or vouchers for the purchase of private insurance or, in some cases, Medicare-have once again emerged on the political agenda. This critical commentary on the Rivlin/Domenici proposal (markedly similar to the Ryan/Wyden proposal) finds much wanting in premium supportin particular, that Medicare already provides benefits more equitably and at lower cost than private insurance; that without "regulatory teeth", premium support would actually create coverage inequities and increase costs; and that implementation of the Affordable Care Act's payment and other Medicare reforms, not Medicare replacement, ought to be the nation's top priority in controlling overall health costs. These remarks were presented at a Brookings Institution forum on December 16, 2011.

Research Area: 

Centers

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