#11. WHY MEDICARE ISN’T THE PROBEM; IT’S THE SOLUTION
Again and again the upcoming election you’ll hear conservatives
claim that Medicare – the health insurance program for America’s seniors – is
running out of money and must be pared back.
Baloney. Medicare isn’t the problem. In fact, Medicare is more
efficient than private health insurance.The real problem is that the costs of health care are expected
to rise steeply.
Medicare could be the solution – the logical next step after
the Affordable Care Act toward a single-payer system.
Please see the accompanying video – #11 in our series on ideas to make the economy work for the many rather than for the few. And please share.
Some background: Medicare faces financial problems in future
years because of two underlying trends that will affect all health care
in coming years, regardless of what happens to Medicare:
The first is that healthcare costs are rising overall – not as
fast as they were rising before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, but
still rising too quickly.
The second is that the giant postwar baby boom is heading
toward retirement and older age. Which means more elderly people will need more
health care, adding to the rising costs.
So how should we deal with these two costly trends? By making
Medicare available to all Americans, not just the elderly.
Remember, Medicare is more efficient than private health
insurers whose administrative costs and advertising and marketing expenses
are eating up billions of dollars each year.
If more Americans were allowed to join Medicare, it could become
more efficient by using its growing bargaining power to get lower drug prices,
lower hospital bills, and healthier people.
Allowing all Americans to join Medicare is the best way to
control future healthcare costs while also meeting the needs of the baby boomer
and other Americans.
Originally appeared at: http://robertreich.org/post/122118187155