What are the fiscal risks of health care reform? What can be done to minimize the strain on the federal budget from increasing health care costs? New subsidies for health insurance can only exacerbate the budgetary shortfalls. Hudson Visiting Fellow Hanns Kuttner has prepared a new paper that assesses the long-term fiscal risk from health care reform and the tools available for managing that risk.
Joining Kuttner to discuss his paper -- and other questions on health care reform -- were James C. Capretta, Fellow in the Economics and Ethics Program of the Ethics and Public Policy Center; Alice M. Rivlin, Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Studies, Economic Studies and Greater Washington Research at the Brookings Institution; C. Eugene Steuerle, Vice President of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation; and Paul Van de Water, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
James C. Capretta is a Fellow in the Economics and Ethics Program of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He is also a contributing editor to EPPC's journal The New Atlantis, and the author of the health care policy blog Diagnosis.
From January 2001 to May 2004, Mr. Capretta served as the Bush Administration's top budget official for health care, Social Security and pensions, education, and labor policy. He was the lead official in the Office of Management and Budget for all aspects of Medicare and Medicaid reform policy development and implementation as well as for the development of the President's other important domestic policy initiatives in education and labor.
Hanns Kuttner is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute. His career spans the policy and research world. During the presidency of George H.W. Bush, he was part of the White House domestic policy staff with responsibility for health and social service programs.
Most recently, he was a research associate at the University of Michigan's Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured. He has also worked for the federal agency which runs the Medicare and Medicaid programs and advised the state of Illinois on restructuring its human service programs.
The Honorable Alice M. Rivlin
Alice M. Rivlin is a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at Brookings, a visiting professor at the Public Policy Institute of Georgetown University and the director of the Center for Health Policy at Brookings. She recently served as a member of the President’s Debt Commission, was founding director of CBO, served as OMB director and was Federal Reserve Vice Chair. She is an expert on fiscal and monetary policy and is the recipient of the 2013 Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance, awarded by the National Academy of Social Insurance.
C. Eugene Steuerle is Vice President of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Among his previous positions, Gene has served as Senior Fellow of the Urban Institute, co-director of its Tax Policy Center, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Analysis, President of the National Tax Association, and chair of the 1999 Technical Panel advising Social Security on its methods and assumptions.
From 1984 to 1986, he worked as the original organizer and economic coordinator of the Treasury Department's tax reform effort.
Paul Van de Water
Paul N. Van de Water is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he specializes in Medicare, Social Security, and health coverage issues.
Previously he was Vice President for Health Policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance. From 2001 to 2005 Van de Water served as Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the Social Security Administration, where he managed the agency's policy analysis, research, and statistical activities. From 1999 to 2001, he was Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics at Social Security.
Economist Alice Rivlin explains why raising taxes is not a sufficient solution to fund health care reform. She suggests finding savings through efficiency improvements in Medicare and setting up some type of trust fund system.