Health reform legislation should include provisions to lower costs and reduce long-term deficits, says a letter to President Obama from a group of the nation’s leading health economists, including four Center on Longevity faculty affiliates.
“ … we write as economists to stress the potential benefits of health reform for our nation’s fiscal health, and the importance of those features of the bill that can help keep health care costs under control,” the economists wrote.
Faculty affiliates Victor Fuchs, PhD, Alan Garber, MD, PhD, and John Shoven, PhD, joined with 20 other economists from across the nation signing the letter.
One feature they endorse is a creation of an independent Medicare commission to develop and recommend plans to extend the program’s solvency and improve quality of care. “Rising Medicare expenditures pose one of the most difficult fiscal challenges facing the federal government,” the letter states. “Medicare is technically complex and the benefits it underwrites are of critical importance to tens of millions of seniors and Americans with disabilities.”