Skip to comments.We Can't Abide With Medicare As We Know It
Posted on 06/03/2011 6:18:52 PM PDT by Kaslin
Almost everyone agrees that America's health care system has the incentives all wrong. Under the fee-for-service system, doctors and hospitals get paid for doing more, even if added tests, operations and procedures have little chance of improving patients' health.
So what happens when someone proposes we alter the incentives to reward better care, not more care? Well, Rep. Paul Ryan and Republicans found out. No surprise: Democrats slammed them for "ending Medicare as we know it."
This predictably partisan reaction preying upon the anxieties of retirees must depress anyone who cares about the country's future. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that unless we end Medicare "as we know it," America "as we know it" will end.
Soaring health spending is the crux of our federal budget problem. In 1965 the year Medicare and Medicaid were created health spending was 2.6% of the budget. In 2010, it was 26.5%. The Obama administration estimates it will be 30.3% in 2016. By contrast, defense spending is about 20%; scientific research and development is 4%.
Uncontrolled health spending isn't simply crowding out other programs; it's also dampening living standards. Economists Michael Chernew, Richard Hirth and David Cutler recently reported that higher health costs consumed 35.7% of the increase in per capita income from 1999 to 2007. They also project, that under reasonable assumptions, it could absorb half or more of the gain between now and 2083.
Ryan proposes to change that. Beginning in 2022, new (not existing) beneficiaries would receive a voucher, initially $8,000. The theory is simple. Suddenly empowered, Medicare beneficiaries would shop for lowest-cost, highest-quality insurance plans providing a required package of benefits.
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well we sure can’t abide obama care.
“Under the fee-for-service system, doctors and hospitals get paid for doing more, even if added tests, operations and procedures have little chance of improving patients’ health”
Two words: TORT REFORM
If doc’s don’t do these unneeded tests and something happens, they could lose their license. It is lawyers in the system, not the system that is the problem
As a senior who has Medicare I can say that I do not like it and it needs to change.
I am also a senior who has medicare and I agree with you
The problem is not as much with Medicare as it is Medicaid. However, Seniors will soon face rationing and denial of care. The Independent Medicare Advisory Board appointed and reporting to Obama, are all big fans of the British Healthcare System, which routinely kills very ill patients of all ages if they have no societal worth. Dr. Donal Berwick has also mentioned this in some of his writings. Seniors with serious chronic diseases will be denied care, which will then be given to younger illegal aliens or others. This will also be true of physically handicapped individuals. In other words, the very young or old, are of little worth to society, so medical care will be rationed to these individuals. Obama is taking out 564 billion from Medicare and spending elsewhere, then wants to take out another 250 billion more. This will result in sharply rationing care. This unelected unconfirmed board will determine or denying care for millions of people.