List of References
Congressional Budget Office, 1997, Long-Term Budgetary Pressures and Policy Options; A Report to the Senate and House Committees on the Budget, (March).
General Accounting Office, 1999, “Medicare: Early Evidence of Compliance Program Effectiveness Is Inconclusive” GAO/HEHS-99–59 (April).
National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, 1999, “Building a Better Medicare For Today and Tomorrow” (The Breaux-Thomas Plan) (March 16).
Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, 1998, Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs, Washington D.C., (April).
Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, 1999, Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs, Washington D.C., (April).
Prepared by Brenda Gonzalez-Hermosillo and Michael Leidy.
The monthly premium in 1999 is $45.50 per enrollee, a 3.9 percent increase over 1998.
Roughly, a 75-year actuarial balance is achieved when the expected present value of payroll taxes equals that of outlays, and the Trust Fund balance at the end of the 75-year horizon equals a year’s worth of outlays.
In part owing to measures taken in the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, estimates suggest that “improper payments” fell from $10.6 billion (5.6 percent of total Medicare outlays) in 1997 to $7.7 billion (4 percent of total Medicare outlays) in 1998 (General Accounting Office, 1999).
A detailed review of these reforms appears in the 1998 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund (Section II.A).
In addition, the Administration proposes to extend Medicare coverage to workers 55 to 61 who lose their health insurance due to job loss, and people ages 62 to 64 without private insurance. These people would be allowed to buy into the program at “actuarially” fair rates. The CBO (1999) estimates that the proposed expansion would add only $1.4 billion to net Medicare outlays over the period FY 2000–09.
Full premium support would be paid for most plans for eligible individuals up to 135 percent of the poverty level.
Details on the underlying cost estimates for the Breaux-Thomas proposal were published in a memo to the Medicare Commission (available on the Commission web page) entitled “Cost Estimate of the Breaux-Thomas proposal,” dated March 14, 1999.