Austin Frakt is an optimist about the healthcare bill's capacity to achieve savings:
Much has been made lately about the extent to which the planned reforms will “bend the cost curve.” Some say not at all (e.g. Tyler Cowen) and others are more optimistic (Matt Yglesias and Kevin Drum cite a CBPP report to that effect; see also Ezra Klein’s interview with one of its authors). But that optimism is based on an historical analysis of congressional will to pass and uphold cost cutting reforms.
For a subset of potential reforms there is reason to be even more hopeful.
That’s what we learned from Randall Brown. Empirical results from recent demonstrations and studies have shown that some types of efforts to cut costs in Medicare have actually worked. These may not be as sexy or receiving as much attention as electronic medical records, accountable care organizations, etc. (all of which hold some as of yet unproven promise for savings in the future), but they can be implemented far more quickly and have already demonstrated efficacy.
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