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Event Summary

What can we learn from public opinion on Medicare reform? On Friday at AEI, Marge Ginsburg of the Center for Healthcare Decisions (CHCD) opened a discussion on redesigning Medicare by presenting new findings from the CHCD’s MedCHAT study, which engaged diverse participant groups in reviewing current Medicare benefits and addressing the potential for budget reallocation. Ginsburg highlighted participants’ emphasis on the need to reduce coverage of low-value care (such as annual electrocardiograms) and to modify coverage of end-of-life care.

In the subsequent panel discussion led by AEI’s Joe Antos, Robert Moffit of the Heritage Foundation stressed that Medicare redesign should focus on providing optimal access to providers, prescription drug coverage, and quality care, especially in light of payment cuts under the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Kavita Patel homed in on the MedCHAT participants’ willingness to reduce coverage of low-value care, agreeing with them that there are opportunities to eliminate unnecessary services and reorient care to better serve beneficiaries.

The National Coalition on Health Care’s John Rother suggested that the CHCD study perhaps focuses too heavily on benefits.  He emphasized that the future of health care should not begin with the benefits package but rather with financing and realigning health care incentives.
–Kelly Funderburk

Event Description

If you were to redesign Medicare without spending more money, what would you keep and what would you change? A new report on a Center for Healthcare Decisions program provides insight into the public’s willingness to restructure Medicare in the face of tightening budget constraints. Using an interactive, computer-based system, program participants faced the challenge of making Medicare more responsive to the needs of current and future beneficiaries.
Were participants willing to accept limits on their choice of provider or reduced coverage of low-value medical care? Would they accept the need for greater personal responsibility in their use of health services? Would they agree that Medicare should adopt other policies to promote fiscal responsibility?
We welcome you to join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.


9:00 AM

9:15 AM
Opening Remarks:
Joseph Antos, AEI

9:20 AM
Keynote Speaker:
Marge Ginsburg, Center for Healthcare Decisions

10:00 AM
Marge Ginsburg, Center for Healthcare Decisions
Robert Moffit, Heritage Foundation
Kavita Patel, Brookings Institution
John Rother, National Coalition on Health Care

Joseph Antos, AEI

11:00 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Kelly Funderburk at [email protected], 202.862.5920.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at AEI. He recently completed a seven-year term as health adviser to the Congressional Budget Office, and two terms as a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission. In 2013, he was also named adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University. His research focuses on the economics of health policy, including Medicare and broader health system reform, health care financing and the budget, health insurance regulation, and the uninsured.

Marjorie Ginsburg is the founding director of the Center for Healthcare Decisions (CHCD), which is committed to bringing the public voice to complex health care policy issues. Starting with the topic of end-of-life care, over the years Ginsburg has led CHCD in exploring issues such as using cost-effectiveness as a coverage criterion, designing employee health care benefits when options exceed resources, the priorities of Medi-Cal members if California is going to cut the budget, deciding what basic benefits looked like before the Affordable Care Act, prioritizing the components of hospital quality, and identifying the principles for fair cost sharing within Covered California. Ginsburg currently serves on the board of directors of the National Quality Forum, Integrated Healthcare Association, and California Hospital Assessment & Reporting Task Force and on the national Committee for Quality Assurance’s Committee for Performance Measurement. She is also a member of the Medi-Cal Performance Advisory Committee. In 2011, she served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Essential Health Benefits.

Robert E. Moffit is the senior fellow in domestic and economic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation. He directed Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies from 2003 to June 2010. Mr. Moffit was one of only a few conservatives to be featured in Modern Healthcare magazine’s 2010 “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” list. He served as a senior official in the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Personnel Management during the Reagan administration and later as a senior associate at Capitol Resources Group International, where he helped clients on federal health care policy matters. Mr. Moffit has appeared on the major cable news channels as well as the broadcast networks, and he is quoted regularly by USA Today and other leading newspapers. His analysis and commentary have been cited or published by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and the Washington Post, among others. He also has published in many professional journals, including Health Affairs, Health Systems Review, Harvard Health Policy Review, the Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, Postgraduate Medicine, and the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Mr. Moffit was a contributor to Controversial Issues in Social Policy (Allyn & Bacon, 2003), a university textbook on public policy.

Kavita Patel is the managing director for clinical transformation and delivery at the Engelberg Center for Healthcare Reform at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Patel leads research on delivery system reform, health care financing, physician payment reform, and health care workforce development. She is also a practicing primary care physician at Johns Hopkins Medicine and a clinical instructor at University of California, Los Angeles’s Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Patel was previously a director of policy for the White House under President Obama and a senior adviser to the late Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA). Her prior research in health care quality and community approaches to mental illness has earned national recognition, and she has published numerous papers and book chapters on health care reform and health policy. She has testified before Congress several times and is a frequent guest expert on CBS, NBC, and MSNBC and serves on the editorial board of Health Affairs.

John Rother is the president and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care. Before joining the coalition in 2011, Rother served as the long-time executive vice president for policy, strategy, and international affairs at the American Association of Retired Persons. From 1981 to 1984, Rother was staff director and chief counsel at the US Senate Special Committee on Aging under the direction of Chairman John Heinz (R-PA). From 1977 to1981, he served as special counsel for labor and health to Senator Jacob Javits (R-NY). He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, National Academy of Social Insurance, and Gerontological Society of America. Rother serves on several boards, including the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, National Quality Forum, Alliance for Healthcare Reform, Pension Rights Center, and Generations United. He also serves on the MacArthur Foundation’s Aging Society Network and the Institute of Medicine’s National Roundtable on Value and Science Driven Healthcare. In 2010, Rother received the Robert Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance for “lifetime advocacy to strengthen Social Security and Medicare.”

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