Members of both parties told the [Congressional Supercommittee] that Medicare should offer a fixed amount of money to each beneficiary to buy coverage from competing private plans, whose costs and benefits would be tightly regulated by the government.
I believe you’d have to be an expert or a reader of this blog to see all the key distinctions among the various notions of “premium support” described by Pear. I recommend reading Pear’s piece and, as you do, keep your eye on the following questions. Not all of them are answered.
- Would traditional Medicare (the public option) be among the options?
- How would the level of support be set and how would it grow over time?
- How would the level of support vary by income?
- How would the level of support vary by health (i.e., be risk adjusted)? Follow-up for researchers: would risk adjustment be sufficient to prevent problematic selection?
- What constraints would exist for what private plans could or must offer?
- How would traditional Medicare be governed and how would that governance constrain or enhance its ability to innovate?
- Somewhat vaguely, how “level” would the playing field be? To what extent would it favor private plans or the public option?