Cash for Care?
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Can Medicare vouchers, such as the proposal authored by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) that has passed the House of Representatives, restrain Medicare spending without harming the health of enrollees? Health economist Lorens Helmchen suggests that cash payments to patients, either through a lump sum or negative co‐payments, could allow Medicare to “spend less by paying more.” Health care experts will discuss the benefits and difficulties of such payments, particularly how they affect Medicare spending, patient choice, incentives for cost‐effective treatment, and medical innovation.