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Capitol Health Call
October 9, 2013

Some House Republicans Open Discussion on Modernizing Medicare

JAMA. 2013;310(14):1437. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280188

Republican leadership of 2 House committees issued on August 29 the first in a series of papers intended to initiate discussion of ways to modernize Medicare to protect seniors and place the program on sound financial footing.

The first paper (http://tinyurl.com/moyuefe) examines the traditional Medicare cost-sharing framework. It looks at the effects of current thresholds, which often leave beneficiaries unprotected against catastrophic costs, and of supplemental coverage with low cost-sharing requirements, which reduce incentives to seek cost-effective care. It also considers how changes to cost-sharing features could better align beneficiary incentives, ensuring greater predictability of out-of-pocket costs and reducing overall Medicare costs.