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  • A Blueprint for Medicare Reform

    Heritage Policy Analyst Kathryn Nix recently released a paper explaining why the premium support, or defined contribution, model for Medicare reform found in Heritage’s Saving the American Dream is the best way to get out of our health care spending and debt crises. Several elements of this approach to reform have already been applied to the program under Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage. Writes Nix, “Applying their successes to the rest of Medicare can restore permanent solvency to the program, preserve robust access to high-quality care, encourage continued physician participation, and strengthen Medicare as real insurance for tomorrow’s seniors.”

    The Heritage plan would replace the current “defined benefit” structure of Medicare with a defined contribution for seniors to offset their costs, whether they choose to enroll in traditional Medicare’s fee-for-service program, keep their existing private health insurance and bring it with them into retirement, or purchase another private plan that better suits their personal needs.

    Nix notes that even though such a plan has come under fire from the left, similar elements in existing Medicare programs have already proven successful. Medicare Advantage, which allows beneficiaries to receive traditional Medicare’s benefits from a menu of private options, “gives seniors access to richer benefits packages, lower and simpler premiums, and high quality care.” And Medicare Part D, the hugely popular prescription drug program created in 2003, is expected to spend $261 billion less over a 10-year period than initially projected, thanks largely to consumer choice and competition among insurers. Both Medicare Advantage and Part D offer seniors health benefits through defined-contribution approaches.

    Congress should apply a similar premium-support solution to the rest of the Medicare program to address its insolvencies and maintain patient satisfaction. As Nix points out, President Obama’s solution is far worse for patients and will not preserve the quality of our health care system: “The Obama Administration’s plan thus far is to allow an unelected board to tinker with the program, most likely by reducing payments to providers, which would guarantee reduced access to care.”

    We do not have time to entrust unaccountable government bureaucracy with saving the Medicare program—the Medicare Part A Trust Fund is projected to run dry in 2024. If we want to preserve Medicare—without burdening our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt they cannot pay—Congress should embrace the Heritage Plan for a premium-support model of reform for Medicare.

    To read more, click here.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to A Blueprint for Medicare Reform

    1. West Texan says:

      Better yet, how about the federal government getting out of the people's healthcare business altogether and returning this domestic concern back to the individual states where it rightfully belongs. Let the states decide for themselves or through compacts what's best for their respective residents.

    2. Mike Boring says:

      The dems plan for medicare is this; the dems want you to die quickly, thats right, die quickly! If you will die quickly that will save medicare trillions and make it solvent again.

    3. Jazzie says:

      What I cannot understand is why the republicans want to blame President Obama to the state this country is in when in fact he inherited this mess from George W Bush & his cronies. This government is so prejudice that they are doing everything they can to make this adminIstration fail & blame Pres. Obama for all the problems that the greedy republicans have done. Pres. Obama did not put us in a war, he did not drain the coffers…. If I had there would be a limit on how long you can serve in an elective position…"WE THE PEOPLE" need to put a stop to the"Good Ole Boys"Policy in Washington… Se what is going on President Obama has been fighting an uphill battle ever since he took office. To have news media putting all the blame on him is wrong. It shows even after all the progress this country has made our government is still the most prejudice part of this country.
      and it needs to stop. Why do white politicians think they know everything & cannot stand it that there are people out there a lot smarter & wiser then they are. Work together & get the job done… This is about the people not just the rich.. If I had my way all you European decendents would be back on the boat & this country would be returned to the true AMERICANS.. What right does anyone has to say what who can have health insurence & who can't we ALL have the RIGHT to have what we need & want just like the next person as long as we are working for it. & EVERYONE should pay their fare share in taxes including the RICH… Tax reform should benefit the working class middle & poor why do we have to pay bulk of the taxes while the rich get all the breaks & pay less….. Wake up AMERICA put the Blame where it should be President Obama didn't put us here. We could have been well on our why to recovery if he wasn't being blocked by the GOOD OLE BOYS & bad mouthed by the media and blamed for everything that's gone wrong since 2000….. Think about and makes some noise

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