The Medicare Raid in Baucus Bill

J.D. Foster /

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus’ (D-MT) health care reform proposal includes a number of reforms to reduce Medicare outlays. Medicare, as is now well established, is unsustainable in its current form. Projections of promised benefits far outstrip projections of program receipts, leaving the nation with an unfunded obligation of tens of trillions of dollars. While some of the specific Medicare reforms may be ill-advised, the willingness of the Chairman to propose such changes at this time is encouraging for the future of Medicare.

The Ensign Amendment. Sen. Ensign (R-NV) succeeded in adding a very important amendment to the Baucus proposal during the Finance Committee’s deliberations. The Ensign amendment stated simply that Medicare savings must be used to reduce Medicare’s unfunded obligation. Inclusion of this amendment is an important step toward making Medicare a sustainable, viable program for future generations of seniors. (more…)