The Burr-Coburn Medicare Reform Proposal

  • Converts Medicare into true catastrophic insurance with an across-the-board deductible and maximum out-of-pocket limits.
  • Out-of-pocket limit is means tested and millionaires must pay the full cost of their coverage.
  • Higher Medicare premiums phase in (earlier and faster than Lieberman-Coburn) increasing the beneficiaries share of total cost from 25% to 35%.
  • Limits the ability of Medigap policies to supplement Medicare.
  • Premium support and competitive bidding similar to Wyden-Ryan, but beginning in 2016 rather than 2022.
  • Increases the eligibility age from 65 to 67, like Lieberman-Coburn.

Complete plan summary. Avik Roy analysis and comparison with other proposals. Plan links are also to Roy’s summaries.

Comments (7)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    At first glance it looks like a significant improvement over the current system. Traditional Medicare is based on an inflexible, outdated plan design that has changed little over the past 35 years.

  2. Dr. Steve says:

    Like someone said, “We are all socialists now”. A progressive tax and in inversely progressive benefit. Price control ,freezing fees, and “voluntary” care coordination( yea, sure, and I have a bridge to sell you).

    Medicare was a dumb idea when it was started, like all other government intrusion into the market, medicine or otherwise.

    Duct tape, bubblegum, and bailing wire. But we are stuck with it until the nation fails, sooner rather than later. We have ten of trillions of dollars of debt obligations. There is no political will to change the course we are traveling.

  3. Dayana Osuna says:

    Ultimately, Obama’s budget proposals will cut Medicare by over $200 billions in the upcoming years if approved. This will drive several health care providers out of Medicare, causing even more retired individuals to find it extremely challenging to get the care they need.
    Most Democrats argue: why increase the retirement age when you can instead decrease it and provide more benefits to more people, not just seniors?
    Well what they don’t understand is that with the ACA there will be NO benefits for no one, not even the elderly.

  4. Brian says:

    Even with this plan, I wouldn’t be surprised if they raised the eligibility age again, to 69.

  5. Joe S. says:

    Looks good to me.

  6. dennis byron says:

    With everyone from Coburn to Obama in favor of changing Medigap, consider the irony? While PPACA forces people to buy insurance they don’t want, this latest proposal forbids people to buy insurance they do want.

  7. Mari says:

    One thing I have in cmmoon with wingnuts and baggers (it’s okay, they oppose having to be PC) is that I believe our society is in serious decline. We blame different people and political movements, but sometimes it’s hard not to remember that great Molly Invins and say, Just stick a fork in us, because we’re done. I am a simple man so I tend to look at things that are readily apparent, like our priorities, for example. I am not a Christian, but I seem to remember something to the effect that we should honor our father and mother . I also seem to be entertaining an unusual definition of the word civilized . So it is altogether understandable that I have a notion that part of the role of government, the aim of society and the requirement of civilization is the care of the elderly and the less fortunate. If I were to take the socialist view as exemplified by an historical figure who once remarked, From whom much is given, much is reguired . (I am sure the quote is imperfect, but you get the reference.) I would certainly oppose the tack that certain elements of our society have chosen.As a purely practical matter, it makes perfect sense to look at the alternatives. I have the real life experience of having cared for my elderly mother for just over four years. She was a Reagan Republican, who never thought to consider the contributions of FDR and LBJ until it was obvious at then end that they had saved her bacon. And they saved mine as well. It would have been a severe financial hardship to keep my mother out of a nursing home without SSI and Medicare. It may be a moot point because she probably would have died bankrupt a decade or two before the end of her long life. As it was, she had a pretty good run. I freely admit that the support that she got from SSI and Medicare also helped me, because I didn’t have to choose between bankruptcy and seeing my mother suffer. So what kind of beacon on a hill do some of us imagine? 45,000 Americans die each year because of lack of medical care. Are there those who would double or triple that figure? Should we lower the life expectancy? Should we double the poverty rate? What use is literacy for the servant class anyway? We need to find out who we are again.