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View Diary: What are some Progressive Solutions to the "Medicare Problem"? (70 comments)

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  •  Look for the excess profits not at the costs (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Brown Thrasher, ladywithafan, Chi

    If you just look at costs, the easy answer is to deny care.

    I'd focus on who is making too much money.  Healthcare should not be unduly profitable.  Yeah, we need some incentive for research and for producing providers but when the incentives are wrong (and you'll find the wrong incentives when you find the excess profits) then the wrong kind of care is provided.  We need more incentives for primary care providers who are trained to treat the elderly and fewer incentives for procedure mills.

    •  certainly agree there, greenbell (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, Chi


      Profiteering off of illness and ailments,

      -- that's what Vultures do.


      Give us a Public Option!

      A choice not based on insurance industry profit models.


      Here's how the game is really Rigged.

      by jamess on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:10:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is that treating Medicare patients (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, Gooserock, VClib, nextstep

      is far LESS profitable to providers than is treating privately-insured patients.  The Medicare reimbursements are low enough that some doctors limit the number of Medicare patients they will see.

      The Sustainable Growth Rate was supposed to limit what Medicare paid doctors for their services to Medicare patients.  But Congress does the doc fix every year (it was part of the "fiscal cliff" legislation this year) because if they didn't, almost nobody would talk Medicare patients because of the low Medicare reimbursements.  

      •  so what the "progressive solution" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gooserock

        to the "doc fix" problem?


        Here's how the game is really Rigged.

        by jamess on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:08:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have no idea. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jamess, VClib

          Krugman does not appear to have  solution, either:  

          The reason we keep needing doc fixes is that back in 1997 Congress established a formula for Medicare reimbursements that was, in fact, unworkable. Applying that formula would set reimbursements so low that doctors would drop out, leaving seniors without care.
        •  Medicare For Everyone (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jamess, WheninRome, Chi

          because then all the younger people who are profitable to insure go into the program.

          Also making providers like clinics and hospitals not-for-profit again so there's no point in profit seeking.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:18:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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