The rising health costs of Medicare and Medicaid are mainly caused by patients receiving health care at little cost directly to them, known as the health-care-wedge. Currently, there is no motivation for patients to economize on their health care. There is a high percentage of fraud because a lack of oversight.
Revising Medicare and Medicaid is a simple, less costly alternative to the national health care program proposed by President Obama and Congress. The savings from this revision will support a safety net system for the uninsured.
Medicare’s 2009 estimated budget is $ 413 billion. Establish an annual cap on health care expenditures for everyone in the program by dividing this figure by the number of individuals enrolled in Medicare; roughly estimated at $ 15,000. Each year, individuals will be able to deduct the amount of unspent money, under their cap, from their income tax, which will motivate them to economize. The budget for Medicare and the health care cap will have an annual cost of living adjustment, COLA. Medicaid can be revised accordingly.
These huge health programs, that cost $ 600 billion in 2008, are so poorly managed that fraud is rampant. According to Whistleblowers Against Fraud, relators received $ 347.5 million for three cases against Tenet Health Care, Amerigroup, and the largest health care provider in New Jersey. It is only possible to estimate how much fraud costs because the government has no system to track the millions of transactions. Estimates on the losses from fraud range from $ 70 to $ 120 billion. The revision of the Medicare and Medicaid programs will dramatically reduce fraud because people in these programs, restricted by the cap, won’t be tempted to be complicit in fraud.
These changes to Medicare and Medicaid will provide the government with a fixed dollar amount for health care ending runaway costs. The states, too, will benefit having an exact cost of their 50% Medicaid obligation. A disadvantage of this revision is that people will have limits on the dollar amount of care health they can get annually. Though, the cap should be sufficient for the average individual’s medical needs. Additionally, there are inexpensive deductible and catastrophe insurance plans available to cover the costs beyond the dollar cap. The benefits of the proposed changes to the existing federal health programs will outweigh the cap on annual expenditures by:
· Removing bureaucratic control.
· Giving patients their choice of physicians, treatments, medications, and tests.
· Re-establishing the important doctor patient relationship.
Do you want a mandatory, onerous, expensive, national health program that will indebt future generations of American? Send this blog to your Congressmen/women demanding that they modify Medicare and Medicaid so that it puts health choices in the hands of patients where it rightfully belongs.