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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Heritage Foundation: Nina Owcharenko & Robert E. Moffit: Securing a Down Payment on Medicare Reform

Securing a Downpayment on Medicare Reform

As a Liberal Democrat there's not many times I find agreement with the Heritage Foundation, just like there aren't. Many times that a Conservative would agree with the Brookings Institution a Liberal think tank thats my favorite think tank in Washington. I tend to like and agree more often with the Libertarian Cato Institute , doesn't mean Heritage doesn't do a good job. But they just tend to be way to the right for me on social issues and foreign policy and I see them more as Neoconservative then Conservative. But on entitlements and fiscal policy overall, as well as poverty related issues, Heritage and the Progressive think tank. Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, they both do an excellent job, they both take these issues seriously and. See them as the huge problems that they are, if they aren't addressed and Medicare being a perfect example of that, which is what you see with their new piece about Medicare.

Medicare looks like a huge problem and it is if you look at the problems that relate to it as far as its future financing. But the good and bad news about these issues, is that they relate to our overall problems with our healthcare system. And whether you support single payer Medicare for all or doing something short of that, that would bring down our healthcare costs. And make health insurance affordable for every American, you know the current system that we have is not affordable. And not sustainable, Heritage understands this and even though they clearly are not in favor of the Affordable Care Act. They know the status quo is not acceptable, the good news about our Medicare challenges, is that they relate to our. Overall healthcare system, which presents both a challenge and opportunity for us in how we reform Medicare. Because we could go a long way in bringing down our Medicare costs, by simply bringing down our overall healthcare costs.

Simple things like preventive care, eliminating overpayments to Medicare and Medicaid, the 2010 ACA already. Made a lot of progress in those areas, so our seniors would be healthier by the time they are on Medicare and stop subsidizing. Hospitals and doctors based on how much healthcare they deliver and instead subsidize those institutions based. On how healthy their patients would be, another words start subsidizing quality healthcare, rather then quantity of healthcare. And another thing we could do which is what Liberal Democrats attempted to in 2009-10, is to turn Medicare into a public option. Not single payer but allow non seniors to use Medicare at their cost, as their main provider for health insurance. So we would have younger, healthier as well as wealthier people use Medicare, instead of just having. Medicare for older people who now have to consume more healthcare as they get older.

Turning Medicare into a voucher system, where seniors in the future would be forced off of Medicare and. Into the private health insurance market, is not the way to reform Medicare because we would be cutting back in choice. In health insurance rather then expanding it but allowing more people into Medicare at their costs, especially. Younger, healthier and wealthier people, would bring down our Medicare costs, especially as we eliminate overpayments. And bring preventive care into our healthcare system.