• House Conservatives Eye Medicare Reform
  • August 14, 2015
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • Republicans have long dreamed of reforming Medicare in a way that relies more on the private sector and less on the federal government. While the theory is popular among conservatives - particularly in think tank land - the dream has always been that - just a dream - as the political realities of a divided Capitol Hill and the dangers of taking on Medicare have kept Republicans from acting.

    Conservatives on the Hill are looking to make this dream a reality. Next year, House Republicans will start drafting a Medicare "premium-support" bill according to Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

    The ambitious undertaking will aim to draft the legislative text next year for consideration in 2017, once a new Congress and a new president have been sworn into office.

    Premium support generally means that Medicare would provide seniors with a set amount of money to purchase private healthcare plans. Under some versions of premium support, traditional Medicare would remain as an option. However, under other versions premium support would fully replace traditional Medicare.

    Brady and his allies face long odds. A July poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that only 26 percent of the American public favors a premium support style system and Democrats have successfully used support for such an approach in political attacks against Republicans.