Moment of Truth Project Highlights Reforms to Health Care Cost-Sharing and Federal Retirement

With the deadline for the Super Committee to come to an agreement nearly here, the Moment of Truth Project, a project of CRFB, has released two new policy papers diving deeper into the Fiscal Commission's recommendations on how to reform federal retirement programs and Medicare cost-sharing rules. These areas of the budget can be a critical element in forging a bipartisan deal that requires shared sacrifice from everyone. In addition, the cost-sharing reforms have the potential to help bend the health care cost curve down over the long-term, which is something that policymakers need to focus on.

The first analysis, A Closer Look at the Fiscal Commission's Cost-Sharing Recommendations, provides the policy and budgetary rationale for reforming Medicare cost-sharing and restricting the amount of cost-sharing that supplemental insurance, or Medigap plans, can cover. The analysis takes a look at ways to increase cost-sharing in the TRICARE for Life program and the Federal Employee's Health Benefits (FEHB) Program based on the recommendations put forward by the Fiscal Commission last year. Together, these proposals would save about $192 billion in federal health care spending over ten years. The analysis also shows how reforming cost-sharing rules and Medigap plans can actually benefit most beneficiaries of these programs in addition to helping reduce deficits and debt.

The second paper, Shared Sacrifice: Reforming Federal Retirement Programs, details the Fiscal Commission's approach to restructuring federal civilian and military retirement benefits so that they are more in line with those offered in the private sector. Currently, the private sector receives less generous pension and retirement benefits than seen in the public sectorThe reforms discussed in this paper would save $70 billion over ten years to help bring retirement benefits within the private and public sectors more in line. Additionally, military retirement needs to be reformed so that more people are eligible for benefits in a way that better targets limited resources, protects our national security, and allows more members of the military to receive retirement benefits.

And don't forget about the analysis the Moment of Truth project released earlier this year, Measuring Up: The Case for the Chained CPI.

Visit the Moment of Truth project's website at