In response, many members of Congress have fallen back on such traditional remedies as increasing the payroll tax, raising Medicare premiums, pushing the elderly into managed care, and restricting reimbursements to providers. There is little evidence that any of those proposals will succeed in restraining the growth of Medicare spending. However, there is evidence that many of those approaches will be harmful to the economy, the health care industry, and the elderly.
Congress should seize this opportunity to fundamentally reform the Medicare system, transforming it from a first‐dollar insurance plan to a back‐up catastrophic program. Only through such a transformation of the Medicare system can we ensure that the elderly will continue to have access to the health care they need.