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Concord Coalition Report Shows Eagerness for Reform, Readiness to Make Tough Choices on Fiscal Priorities
Date:12/7/2009

n Social Security
  • Deep concern for future generations
  • The need to better educate the public
  • Commitments to future action
  • "Advisory council members across the country are disappointed that Washington has failed to exercise greater responsibility in handling the nation's finances," the project overview says. "They decried a long and continuing pattern of elected and appointed federal officials failing to set meaningful budget priorities, borrowing more than was necessary, and refusing to pursue obviously needed reforms in both the public and private sectors."

    The advisory councils generally believe that the fiscal and economic threats facing the country now call for big, systemic changes. And while the deep recession may have required extraordinary short-term spending, council members do not think this should preclude work on reforms to address long-term structural problems. Further procrastination, they say, will only deepen the problems and make the necessary changes more painful and controversial.

    Even before this year's debate over health care legislation began making headlines, some of the advisory councils had identified health care reform as critical to reining in federal deficits and strengthening the American economy. The overview says council members "noted that spiraling costs combined with an aging population and growing demand for services have put the United States economy at a competitive disadvantage."

    Health care recommendations from different advisory councils included: Moving away from the fee-for-service payment system, requiring wealthier Medicare beneficiaries to pay more of their own expenses, limiting Medicare coverage of treatments that lack scientific evidence of effectiveness, using "lean techniques" that have cut costs and increased efficiency in other industries, expanding preventive and primary care, publicly reporting more data on provider performance, expanding in
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    SOURCE The Concord Coalition
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