who foots the rising costs: 1) providers who accept lower payments and eat costs, 2) supplemental insurance companies (who will charge higher premiums, 3) patients, or 4) some combination of the above.Raising the Medicare tax rate should be step 1. It has been way too low for way too long, as I've said repeatedly.Driving out waste, fraud, and abuse is a good start, but means to keep health care costs within guidelines is the real need.I had an argument on this point, among others, in my ophthalmologist's waiting room a couple of days ago. The woman I was chatting with loathes Obama with the white-hot fury often seen in serious Fox watchers. The main reason appeared to be that she's convinced Obamacare will prevent old people from getting certain procedures due to age--and she has already had 6 (6!) hip replacements (and she looks younger than me) and is afriad she;d be denied additional surgeries.She also hates Obama because "everything he says is a lie" and "he stole money from Medicare to pay for Obamacare!" I tried explaining to her that Obamacare has a provision to study which procedures are the most effective and to pay for those--much as private insurance companies already do (mine does), that it has nothing to do with denying care due to age (she shook her head No vehemently-). I then said that he didn;t take money from Medicare to pay for Obamacare (by stealing Medicare taxes!) but reduced payments to the experiment in privatizing Medicare known as MedicareAdvantage, which takes more tax money than regular Medicare does (she became nearly apoplectic at that "lie"!). And I pointed out that all politicians spin the truth and even lie. Well, HER candidate didn't! No, she isn't a local--she retired to SC from NY--I recognized the accent. sigh.
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