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Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:43 PM

White House might use Medicare reform momentum to push further health care reform

White House might use Medicare reform momentum to push further health care reform

by Joan McCarter

It's possible, according to some health care experts and policy advisers, that President Obama will use momentum for Medicare reform for a broader push for further health care reform.

Healthcare experts, including former Obama advisers, say the White House appears to be considering ideas for Medicare, the popular health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, that could become models for the overall health landscape.
And in some good news for Obama, whose 2010 Affordable Care Act has been a lightning rod for Republican opposition, experts also see the political climate brightening for efforts to control the rise in healthcare costs generally.
"My expectation is that the president will offer a mix of ideas on the Medicare program that will not be about middle-income beneficiary cuts," said Neera Tanden, a former Obama healthcare adviser who heads the Center for American Progress, a think tank with strong Democratic Party ties.

If true, huzzah, though it will be difficult to achieve in the ongoing political climate where the austerity fetish demands punishment for people who would dare to get old or sick or lose their jobs without a trust fund as a backup. If it's true, though, we could perhaps start having a conversation once again about what will actually work to drive down costs for Medicare and for the health care system overall.

That would include, has to include, forcing cost reductions on the provider side and on the health care industry, which has for the most part escaped major reforms. For example, allowing Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices could save as much as $200 billion over the next decade. It should also include real consideration of expanding eligibility to Medicare, bringing the age down to 55 or even 50 to enroll a younger, healthier population injecting premium payments into the system.

If the White House truly does try to expand this conversation beyond Medicare reforms to the larger health care system and the critical reforms that still need to be done, then more progressive, and practical, proposals have to be on the table along with benefit cuts. And President Obama needs to be the one to put these options on the table. He's publicly argued for them before, but now it's time to make that rhetoric real in policy proposals.


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Reply White House might use Medicare reform momentum to push further health care reform (Original post)
ProSense Jan 2013 OP
freshwest Jan 2013 #1

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:47 PM

1. Best savings would be nationalizing, but a lot of people don't want it, believe private is better.

Nationalization will eventually come because health care providers will see Medicare as it once was, a good way to take care of patients for themselves as well as it was good for a long time. Until the GOP cut so much out of it to force people into their privatized plans that nearly broke the bank during the Bush years.

I see Obama working toward universal coverage with a lot of public opposition that needs to be overcome. Most people that I know with private insurance who can afford it, and some can, do not want the standard, cheaper Medicare, they really don't.

This is a group who vote regularly, and who the ACA will need to offer something very attractive to get them to give it up and trust their health to a streamlined Medicare for all.

The resistance isn't all in the health care for profit industry and the GOP. I know many who feel they deserve a wide range of health care options that standard Medicare has not covered since the GOP took the knives to it in the 1990s in their closed sessions.

They must be shown that they will get what they feel they deserve. For those who have suffered without even Medicaid, the ACA's expansion into that program is a lifesaver and removing a great deal of stress where it's being implemented.

Just my two cents. Oh, and for you wingnuts:

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