Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fix Medicare

A majority of Americans believe Medicare is broken and needs to be fixed. A recent survey revealed 83% of Americans felt this way and 51% said major changes were needed.

A Harris Interactive Poll had this to say about Medicare.
"There's a clear majority who think there is a problem that needs to be addressed, but (people also believe) if the changes are going to cost me money in terms of higher co-pays, higher deductibles or higher taxes, no thank you," said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll.
When people were presented with nine proposals for slowing the rate of Medicare spending, the poll revealed strong approval (72 percent) for cutting the price Medicare pays for prescription drugs to pharmaceutical companies, and modest support for trimming fees to hospitals (47 percent favor, 28 percent oppose) and doctors (41 percent to 35 percent).
Translation - fix Medicare by making health care companies, hospitals and doctors agree to work for less money.

Sounds like a DC "fix".
Few favor higher taxes and out-of-pocket contributions, such as increased co-pays and deductibles. Fifty-three percent and 60 percent, respectively, oppose those options. But a majority said people with higher incomes should pay more for Medicare benefits than lower-income individuals (57 percent favor, 21 percent oppose).
Tax the rich, make the rich pay more for Medicare, but don't ask me to make sacrifices.

Isn't this the way everything in America is these days? Make someone else responsible. Make them pay. Don't expect me to sacrifice. They created this problem, not me.

With 49 million on Medicare now those numbers will grow to 80 million in the next few years as baby boomer's turn 65 and join the ranks of government health care paid for by working taxpayers.

Wonder how our children and grandchildren will feel about that?
A majority of adults (54 percent to 18 percent) polled agree that doctors and hospitals should be paid based on quality and results, rather than the volume of care provided. Even in Washington, D.C., Taylor noted, "there is an acceptance . . . that the traditional fee-for-service way of paying for things is a kind of toxic incentive and needs to be changed."
OK, but who determines the standard of care and how do they gauge quality?

Something tells me this Medicare problem won't be solved any time soon, and some folks will not be happy with the solutions.

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