The former co-chairmen of the president's bipartisan fiscal commission have introduced a deficit-reduction proposal that calls for an additional $2.4 trillion in savings over 10 years, with roughly a quarter of those savings—or about $600 billion—coming from Medicare and Medicaid.
Erskine Bowles, former White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration, and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) unveiled the framework as a way to show lawmakers that a so-called grand bargain to lower the nation's ballooning deficit is still within reach. Bowles and Simpson indicated that a more detailed plan is expected in the coming weeks to give others both on and off Capitol Hill a chance to comment on the proposal.
To reduce spending in the nation's healthcare entitlement programs, the plan calls for reducing provider payments, changing cost-sharing rules, increasing premiums for higher earners, and “savings from lower drug costs and adjustments to account for an aging population,” according to additional information provided by the Moment of Truth project, for which the former leaders of the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform serve as co-chairmen. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget—composed of former chairmen and directors of congressional budget committees and federal budget offices such as the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office—oversees the project, which takes its name from the fiscal commission's late 2010 report.