Policy Documents

Using the Breaux-Frist Medicare Proposals to Craft Solid Medicare Reform

Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. –
March 1, 2001

In this Backgrounder, the author notes that Senators John Breaux (D-LA) and Bill Frist (RTN) have introduced two Medicare reform bills that are refreshing examples of bipartisanship on an important issue. Both bills are modified versions of legislation they introduced in the 106th Congress and promote reforms in the current system based on the work of the 1999 National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare and the popular Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) that covers federal employees and retirees. President George W Bush has endorsed these efforts, recently remarking that “The framework for reform has been developed by Senators Frist and Breaux and Congressman [William] Thomas, now is the time to act.“ 

Moffit concludes that any bill should advance patient choice and market competition; respect the professional independence and integrity of doctors; and protect the dignity, personal liberty, and privacy of Medicare patients. Only legislative proposals that embody these values are worth debating.