What will revamping Medicare really take?
Jun 26, 2012, 8:47 a.m.
The problems with Medicare continue. However, Medicare remains a critical component of affordable health care for most senior Americans. Growing Medicare costs have, and will continue to cause Congress troubling decision issues.
Medicare in politics or real life covers around 47 million seniors and disabled citizens. Medicare presently consumes around 15 percent of the federal budget. Achieving revamping Medicare is, therefore, an understandably prominent target of budgetary austerity (cuts).
Problems with senior health care are complicated with Medicare in politics as the senior voting demographic grows to highly powerful levels. Problems with Medicare are dwarfed or increase with the growing power of senior voting influence.
Partisan politics further cloud this important issue. With Republicans trying to restrict and control spending, escalating costs of Medicare generate difficult-to-solve issues.
Lacking future budget modifications, Medicare will suffer the across-the-board two percent budget reduction already in place for 2013. Simply reducing payments to hospitals and medical professionals by two percent is not a productive revamp of important senior health care.
Current legislators favor capping Medicare growth at 0.5 percent above the increase in gross domestic product (GDP). Wouldn't it be fabulous if that which works on paper worked in real life? Additional proposals include increasing the eligibility age to qualify for Medicare from 65 to 67. That may make more sense, in a perverse way, than capping Medicare payments to gross national product (GNP) numbers. Is it difficult for you to equate health care reimbursements to GNP?
Where is the direct relationship?
All seniors await the coming Presidential election to learn how the winner views Medicare modifications. Both leading candidates understand the need for solutions to problems with Medicare. Yet, Medicare in politics creates troubling issues that are difficult to solve. Simple budget issues they are not. American citizen health care is at stake.
Those stakes are high, even if the senior vote was not as powerful and important as it is to the electability of candidates. The problems with Medicare must be solved as all health care reform is necessary. However, revamping Medicare to the detriment of recipients should not be an option.
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