Americans on Solving the Medicare Shortfall


Given current policy crosscurrents, it is little wonder that even raising the subject of Medicare policy seems to open the door to anxiety among the public and among Medicare recipients. This consultation seeks to provide a framework that lets the public consider multiple possible changes that experts have evaluated and scored, without being locked into an “either/or” choice of keeping everything the same versus changing the nature of Medicare. DEVELOPMENT OF THE POLICYMAKING SIMULATION The present policymaking simulation includes eleven different options estimated to aid Medicare’s fiscal condition over the next 25 years, as the babyboomer generation passes through the program. These options selected were previously scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), except for one scored by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission or MEDPAC, another independent agency that advises Congress. They considered sixteen reform options which fell under four categories:  Reducing Medicare’s Net Payments for Benefits  Reducing Payments to Providers  Increasing Revenues  Controlling Costs in Other Ways


A policymaking simulation is an online process that puts citizens in the shoes of elected officials by simulating the process they go through in making policy decisions. Each simulation introduces a broader policy topic and then presents a series of modules that address a specific policy option that is currently under consideration in the current discourse.

For each module, respondents:

  1. receive a short briefing on a policy issue and the option or options for addressing it;
  2. evaluate arguments for and against the policy options; and
  3. finally, make their recommendation for what their elected officials should do.