American Enterprise Institute (AEI) adjunct scholar Roger Feldman is the Blue Cross Professor of Health Insurance and Professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota, where he specializes in applying economic theory to health services research. He is currently a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Health Advisers and consults for various federal and state agencies on health care–related matters.
Previously, he served on the senior staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. From 1988 to 1992, he directed one of the four national research centers sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and has advised CMS on the design of a demonstration of competitive bidding for Medicare health plans. At AEI, Feldman’s research focuses on Medicare reform, competition in health care, and health insurance markets.
Feldman holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester. He obtained an M.S. in economics at the London School of Economics, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Competitive bidding, as a vehicle for determining prices for Medicare health plans, holds the promise of substantial cost savings while protecting the health care needs of beneficiaries, regardless of the political question of determining the size of the entitlement.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked scholars at the American Enterprise Institute to consider various approaches to reforming this "800-pound gorilla of American health care." The resulting series, “Preserving Medicare for future generations: market based approaches to reform,” includes three papers, each of which addresses a key question in Medicare reform.
Our research shows that competitive bidding—a key feature of the Wyden-Ryan plan—could save Medicare $339 billion over ten years while maintaining basic benefits and without raising taxes. Crucially, the elderly would not be exposed to the risk of higher health care costs, as in approaches that would set fixed voucher payments toward the purchase of medical insurance.
There is a way to fix the Medicare program without raising taxes: use market-like arrangements to set prices for both the traditional fee-for-service (FFS) program and for private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. A fully implemented competitive pricing system for Medicare would save $550 billion over 10 years.
Medicare is quickly approaching insolvency, in part because the program pays too much for the services it provides. This volume proposes a groundbreaking solution: Use market-based arrangements to set prices for Medicare plans.