Archive for August 23, 2011

Some Reasonable Ways to Save Medicare Dollars

With lots of attention on the upcoming debt-reduction “Super Committee,” many ideas about saving federal dollars are in the air, not the least of which include restructuring Medicare. Some of these ideas are sound, others are not.  For a discussion of some reasonable ideas about Medicare that will not simply shift more costs to beneficiaries, see this New York Times Op-Ed piece written by Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Professor Jeffrey B. Liebman. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/opinion/cut-medicare-help-patients.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

While we disagree that “cutting Medicare” is a foregone conclusion, this article argues for eliminating Medicare coverage for tests, treatments and procedures that don’t work, and states that the Affordable Care Act should be left alone to do its job of producing higher quality, more efficient care.  Across the board cuts aren’t smart, and cost-shifting to beneficiaries – including raising the age of Medicare eligibility –  is not the right approach.  We agree with these points. (IF the necessity for a given procedure and eligibility for coverage is decided based on each individual’s actual circumstances.)

For additional ideas of how to achieve savings in the Medicare program without gouging beneficiaries or backtracking on its promise, see the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s suggested Six Solutions. http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/2011/06/so-what-would-you-do-real-solutions-for-medicare-solvency-and-reducing-the-deficit/

August 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment


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