Blog | Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Robbing Peter to pay Paul


John McCain has criticized Barack Obama's health care plan for its expense, and argued that his own proposal will be budget-neutral. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal gives a little insight into how he's going to accomplish that.

According to the article, the McCain plan will cut Medicare and Medicaid spending to the tune of $1.3 trillion over 10 years. The cuts will be achieved by eliminating Medicare fraud (a worthy goal), increasing premiums for wealthier seniors (not an idea that's likely to win Floridian votes), and "reforming payment policies to lower the overall cost of care," to quote the WSJ. That last part sounds most relevant to physicians, and distressingly ambiguous. Is it money for the patient-centered medical home or longer do-not-pay lists? Hard to tell from the platform on McCain's Web site, but it looks like maybe a little bit of both.