Director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Writes Op-Ed in New York Times

Medicare Set-Aside Blog on April 1, 2008
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Jim Nussle,Director of the OMB, wrote a letter to the editor this week addressing the New York Times story last week “Medicare’s Financial Woes.”

In the piece, Mr. Nussle suggests reducing Medicare’s growth from the current 7.2% to a healthier 5% would begin to remedy the problem and give the Medicare program the time it needs to make small adjustments in an effort to suspend insolvency. He argues President Bush’s proposal would “shave off nearly 30 percent of the $36 trillion unfunded obligation in Medicare over the next 75 years” which would be good for all.

Although political rhetoric often focuses on “runaway entitlement programs,” it is important to recognize that Medicare’s financial woes are not intrinsic to Medicare. The relentless rise in health care costs are driving up premiums for private health insurance and employer-based coverage as well. Medicare will not truly be “fixed” until those costs are brought under control. 

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