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Walking the Tightrope on Medicare Reform

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  • Cutler, David
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    Abstract

    A central controversy in the debate about Medicare is whether the program spends too much money or whether instead it should be expanded to cover more. I consider the value of increased Medicare spending. I argue that on average Medicare spending is worth it: the health gains brought by medicare have been greater than their cost. At the margin, however, services are overused and have low value. Medicare reforms need to promote the high average value of care while eliminating care of low value. Many of the proposed reforms fall short of this goal.

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    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/2640587/cutler_tightrope.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 2640587.

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    Date of creation: 2000
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    Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Perspectives
    Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2640587

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    Cited by:
    1. Jonathan Skinner & Elliott Fisher & John E. Wennberg, 2001. "The Efficiency of Medicare," NBER Working Papers 8395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Jonathan S. Skinner & Elliott S. Fisher & John Wennberg, 2005. "The Efficiency of Medicare," NBER Chapters, in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 129-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 2000. "Generational aspects of Medicare," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Khwaja, Ahmed, 2010. "Estimating willingness to pay for medicare using a dynamic life-cycle model of demand for health insurance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 130-147, May.

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