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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 63255  
Subject: Re: medicare starting at 67? =8~0 Date: 7/12/2011 1:49 AM
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SeattlePioneer analyzes,

Medicare is grossly underfunded. It's going to collapse, and pretty soon unless there are large cuts or large tax increases. My priority is not to hit gen X, Y and Z with tax increases. If the boomer generation takes a hit (including myself), tough.

Democrats really can't afford to ignore the problem as they have been doing for decades.

</snip>


I agree. But let's cut some of the corporate welfare out of Medicare before we start cutting benefits.

1) Get rid of the Frist Amendment that prohibits Medicare from using its considerable market power to negotiate lower presciption drug prices. Medicare pays 40% more than the Veterans Administration for the same drug on average.

2) End the prohibition on Medicare considering cost when approving a new medical device or procedure for coverage. If a $3,000 drug-coated stent for cardiac catherization isn't any more effective than the plain vanilla stent (which is already outrageously overpriced at $1,000), Medicare shouldn't cover it.

3)Let's have competitive bidding for this Medicare $hit we see advertised on TV. If the reimbursement is large enough so that the company can hire Wilfred Brimley as a spokesman, it's probably too high.

4)Keep insurance companies out of Medicare. No one has been able to explain to me how adding an insurance company's 20% overhead and profit to a doctor's bill is supposed to make health care cheaper. And the Republicans' efforts to date to save money by handing some part of Medicare to the insurance industry has always resulted in higher costs.

Once the Republicans do the above, then maybe we can talk about raising premiums or copays if we're still in the hole.

intercst
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