Presidents, Members of Congress, and policy analysts across the political spectrum agree Medicare, like Social Security and Medicaid, is massively unsustainable in its current form. The funding shortfalls under current law will, over time, overwhelm federal finances.
Moving past general agreement over the problem toward sensible solutions requires two important steps. The first step is agreement on the quantification of the problem and the magnitude of the solution. Washington cannot make the necessary hard choices if it lacks a firm, agreed upon target.
The second step is a workable, politically viable approach that can approach, if not reach the target. This panel presents an approach to determining a target and to hitting the target.
JD Foster is the Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy at The Heritage Foundation.
His primary focus is studying long-term changes in tax policy to ensure a strong economy. He also examines changes in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security so they are both affordable and more effective.
Foster came to Heritage in 2007 after serving many years at the White House, the Executive Branch, Capitol Hill and private policy institutions. His last job before joining Heritage was at the White House's Office of Management and Budget, where he was Associate Director for Economic Policy.
Bill Gale, the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy in the Economic Studies Program at Brookings, is an expert on tax policy, fiscal issues, pensions, and saving behavior.
He is also co-director of the Tax Policy Center and director of the Retirement Security Project.
Donald B. Marron Jr.
In 2007, Dr. Donald B. Marron Jr. was nominated as a Member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). In 2008, he was approved by the Senate. In that capacity, he analyzed a broad range of macroeconomic, fiscal, regulatory, and international policy issues.
Dr. Marron was previously Deputy Director of the Congressional Budget Office(CBO), including more than a year as its Acting Director. In that capacity, he led a team of approximately 230 economists, policy analysts, and other professionals who provide the Congress with budget estimates and economic analyses. During his tenure, Dr. Marron testified frequently before Congressional Committees on budget and economic policy issues.
Before joining CBO, Dr. Marron served as Chief Economist on the CEA staff. Earlier, he served as Executive Director and Chief Economist of the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee.
Currently, Dr. Marron is a visiting professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute in Washington DC, where he teaches microeconomics and public finance. He is also President of Marron Economics, LLC, through which he does consulting and public speaking on economic, budget, and financial issues.