Medicare auction gets failing grade at Congressional hearing

After working over two years to reform the Medicare auctions for home medical equipment (supplies like oxygen and diabetes test strips), I was finally given the opportunity to testify before Congress on the matter. Below are links to my testimony, transcript, video, and further comments:

“Medicare Auction Reform,” Testimony of Peter Cramton before the United States House Committee on Small Business, 11 September 2012. [Oral TestimonyTranscript of HearingVideo of Hearing (jump to: my oralQ&A),  Comments of Peter Cramton]

Comments of Peter Cramton ends with the following postscript:

“Immediately following the Medicare auction hearing, I left for Washington Dulles Airport to fly to London, where I spent the rest of the week advising the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change on the design of the UK electricity market and the Office of Communications on the UK’s upcoming 4G spectrum auction for mobile communications.

“The contrast with my CMS experience over the last two-years was so dramatic that I thought I had been transported to an alternate universe where truth was truth and rational thought was not only valued but essential to government decision making. My three days in London were filled with tireless informed debate of the difficult issues of designing auctions in complex economic settings—electricity and telecommunications. As discussed in my testimony, I am well aware that the US government also is capable of such innovative expert decision making—my testimony gave the FCC’s spectrum auctions and FERC’s electricity markets as clear examples.

“One thing I do know: Congress and the White House must act to reform the Medicare auction. If we do not effectively apply market methods to health care, Medicare is unsustainable.”

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