Senator Burr Co-Sponsors Medicare Reform Proposal

On Thursday, Senator Richard Burr (R, NC) and Senator Tom Coburn, MD, (R, OK) unveiled the Seniors’ Choice Act, a legislative proposal to create a more sustainable Medicare program through immediate and long-term reforms. The Act blends many of the short term Medicare reforms proposed by Senators Coburn and Lieberman (I, CT) with the longer-term reforms based on ideas proposed by Alice Rivlin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, and former Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), as well as the bipartisan Medicare Commission, according to a news release from Senator Burr’s office.

Key elements of the Seniors’ Choice Act include:

  • Maximum out of pocket protection for seniors
  • Increased cost-sharing for wealthier seniors
  • Full premium payments by millionaires
  • Modernized requirements on Medigap coverage to save seniors and taxpayers money
  • Repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)
  • Incremental premium increase to save Medicare
  • Increasing gradually the age of eligibility for participating in Medicare
  • Making SGR a “bridge” to a new, better Medicare premium support model

The bill would implement competitive bidding and premium support in 2016 and create a new agency, the Medicare Consumer’s Protection Agency (MCPA), which would be independent of the Department of Health and Human Services and modeled after how the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program is administered.

You may read more about the Seniors’ Choice Act by following the links below:

The Seniors’ Choice Act: Full Report

Seniors’ Choice Act: Better Benefit for Seniors

Seniors’ Choice Act: Questions & Answers

Seniors’ Choice Act: Illustrative Patient Scenarios

Medicare by the Numbers


How Seniors’ Choice Act Builds on Bipartisan Proposals 

Burr-Coburn: The Best Medicare Reform Proposal Yet, an analysis done by Forbes contributor Avik Roy.

GOP senators unveil new Medicare overhaul plan, 2-16-12, Chicago Post-Tribune/Associated Press, AP writer Ricardo Alonzo-Zaldivar reports on a new Medicare reform plan introduced by Senators Richard Burr (R, NC) and Tom Coburn, MD, (R, OK).


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  • Kerry Willis

    This infuriates me the more I think about it.
    An SGR bridge? Really

    How about I’m paid fairly for the services I provides and Burr and the rest of the politicans who mucked up the current systems with their meddling leave me alone. Getting rid of the SGR and putting a new program in place to ruin my life isn’t exactly what I have in mind. Perhaps they could develop a congressional pay program where they and their staffers are paid based on the growth in the federal budegt and their ability to cut spending and lwoer the deficit……Much better time spent than developing a new better program to control costs that are out of control due to the meddling of politicians….

    More Big Government and little me

    Perhaps our Medical Society can respond that they find this approach as well as the old one to be unacceptable.

    The current extension was funded by a 5% reduction in the bad debt refunds to hospitals. Here’s a great question….Why are they given bad debt refund and Docotrs don’t….

    Here an idea. Elinate bad debt refunds and eliminate the extra reimbursement[30- 150% more] hospitals get for employing Doctors and repeal the SGR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Answer they have better systems for bribing our Senators and congressmen than we do so they will continu to have all the money and all the systems that allow them to have tens of millions in reserve and Pay their CEO’s tens of millions of dollars each year will remain in place.

  • Kerry Willis MD

    What absolute bullcrap!

    Pandering is hardly refrom and it fails to adress the fundamental problems with accees by seniors and imrpoving the quality of primary care services.

    Real reform would look like

    1.Elimination of the annual deductable and institution of a copay system like our Senators have for our Seniors for primary care and speciality services under Medicare part B. This would improve access and make the system more easy to understand and administer for seniors and Doctors.

    2. Consideration of development of a voucher system where patients could directly contract for a fixed fee with their primary care doctor for their care in a medical home setting with quality reporting provided to the goveernment insetad fo claims data……..lower costs and better care with less administrative overhead

    This appears to be more big government displacing more big government rather than fixing the problem