Unveiled last November, the commission's report sought to achieve nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction through 2020; ensure that the Social Security program remains solvent; and keep growth to gross domestic product plus 1%. It also proposed more than a dozen policies to achieve more than $400 billion in savings in the Medicare and Medicaid programs in order to fully finance the physician reimbursement payment system; pay for a potential repeal of the Community Living Assistance and Services and Support, or CLASS, Act, and provide additional funds to reduce the deficit.
“I think we have to do all of the ones we've recommended,” Bowles said after the hearing, when asked which of the report's proposals should be top priorities for House and Senate lawmakers during the current budgetary process on Capitol Hill. “I think that's a minimum of what we could do. We're taking about 4% out of a cost of federal healthcare over the next eight years—that's not going to get us to the promised land,” he added. “They're going to have to do at least that to in order to hold the rate of increase down to GDP plus 1.”