On December 1, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released its long-awaited report to reduce the deficit – a proposal in which healthcare spending reductions were prominent. The bipartisan commission’s plan would cut the deficit by nearly $3.9 trillion over the next 10 years, and put forth a variety of health spending proposals in order to help achieve such a reduction.
Such healthcare proposals include: Developing a long-term doc fix that is fully offset; overhauling the medical malpractice liability system; increasing cost sharing for Medicare beneficiaries; combating waste and fraud more aggressively; reducing hospitals’ medical education payments; and requiring states to take on more Medicaid administrative costs.
The commission’s plan was largely greeted with criticism and did not win many endorsements throughout the week, leading up to Friday’s commission vote. Though the proposal failed the garner the 14 votes necessary of the 18 member commission in order to mandate a vote by Congress, it is hoped that the ideas put forth in the report will serve as an impetus in the new Congress to discuss ways to move forward on the difficult choices the government will need to make to bring the budget into balance.