Monday, September 21, 2009

Medicare Isn't the Model

UPDATE: A comprehensive, must-read is MaxedOutMama's "Democrats ARE Stupid (on Healthcare)" and her related follow-up.

Grace-Marie Turner and Joseph Antos list the top 10 reasons why Medicare is no model for healthcare reform:
1) Medicare is going bankrupt. The Medicare Trustees estimate that the program will run short of money starting in 2017. Medicare will drown in a sea of red ink, with spending over the next 75 years outpacing dedicated revenues by nearly $38 trillion. . .

4) Low administrative costs are a mirage. The claim that Medicare's administrative costs are only 3% is fantasy. If all Medicare costs--such as revenue collection, personnel and enforcement--were accounted for, its administrative expenses would be at least twice as high. And it still wouldn't be providing services private insurers do, such as nurse hotlines, decision-support tools and fraud detection, or paying the income, property and provider taxes that private plans must pay. . .

8) Payments are too low. Washington decides how much doctors, hospitals and other providers will be paid down to the smallest detail, with mountains of regulation and paperwork to track the politically driven process. Medical professionals are in a perpetual battle with Congress over their payment rates, and many physicians refuse to accept new Medicare patients because payment rates are so low. With few exceptions, Medicare's solution to cost containment is the club of price-controls, not innovation and efficiency.
Agreed--so why expect Obamacare to be any different?

(via Critical Condition)

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