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View Diary: IL-Sen: Dick Durbin (D) Rules Out Raising The Age For Medicare (27 comments)

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  •  What 'waste' is Medicare threatened by? (5+ / 0-)

    Medicare is not only extremely highly regarded by patients, it's much more efficient than private insurance companies, which waste quite a bit of money on marketing, sales, CEO salaries, etc., while Medicare is focused on providing services to patients. There's some debate about exactly what the numbers are (good summary at but Medicare's 1.3% overhead is well below the private industry average of 11.1%.

    Medicare's finances are covered through 2024. After that, revenue covers 87% of expenditures, so benefits would be cut by 13% automatically.

    Given that Medicare is already much more efficient than private insurance, making it "more efficient" won't generate any meaningful revenue. Reducing the number of people covered (e.g. by raising the age to qualify) is a false savings - the estimates are that each $1 saved by Medicare would cost patients $5, due to their losing Medicare's superior efficiency and ability to negotiate aggressive pricing, or going to the emergency room instead of using more efficient preventative treatments, etc.

    I'd suggest that the best way to strengthen Medicare would be to allow everyone to buy into it. In total this would save Americans a fortune, since Medicare is so much more efficient than private insurers.

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