Medicare Trust Fund

Are Medicare ACOs Working? Experts Disagree

Oct 21, 2015

One of the missions of the 2010 federal health law is to slow the soaring cost of health care. A key strategy for Medicare is encouraging doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to form accountable care organizations (ACOs) to coordinate beneficiaries’ care and provide services more efficiently.

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Looking at the big picture, the financial health of Social Security and Medicare doesn't appear to have worsened.

Wednesday's annual check-up found that Social Security's retirement trust fund has enough money to pay full benefits until 2035, a year later than previously projected. Medicare's giant trust fund for inpatient care won't be exhausted until 2030, the same date as last year's report.

In this week's column at  at Our Health Policy Matters,  health policy consultant Paul Gionfriddo of Lake Worth says that a modest reduction in Medicare benefits of  about $10 a month and a tiny tax increase of one half of 1 percent on employers and workers could make Medicare fully solvent for generations.

But what are the chances that this Congress would be willing to discuss such a thing? The current members can't even stand up to the medical-device lobby.

Health-care consultant Paul Gionfriddo of Lake Worth says the latest estimates on the Medicare Trust Fund makes clear that the funding "crisis" Republicans and anti-government activists have relentlessly cited in recent years is a fictitious hobgoblin, invented to serve political purposes.

Read his blog at Our Health Policy Matters.