The other area crying out for reform is among the dual eligible, those who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid. One key is providing more incentives for home care, including day care for patients that enables families to work and keep their loved ones at home. A bipartisan commitment to do so would save money and improve lives.
Of course, we will not have a full-blown debt reduction plan by the end of the year. But if we can get the rudiments in place, we will have a real opportunity for major bipartisan policy reform in key areas. Given the continuing dysfunction, that is no sure thing. But it is at least a tantalizing possibility.
Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.