The Growth in Medicare & Medicaid Spending
Medicare spending is growing faster than overall health care spending. Per Capita costs doubled between 1991 and 2003 and are a faster track today.
Because of the population bulge from the baby boomers, spending will grow even faster as the first wave of boomers turns 65.
A major part of the Health Care Reform bill was to decrease spending in Medicare and Medicaid. If the bill is repealed or projected savings don’t actually happen, Medicare is projected to go bankrupt in 6 years.
Seven different proposals for deficit reduction address this issue. I recommend following the link to these proposals. Fixes include:
- Increase the Medicare payroll tax.
- Increase premiums.
- Increase deductible.
- Limit maximum payouts.
- Increase cost sharing percentage to 20%.
- Raise Medicare eligibility age to 67 or 69.
- Substitute vouchers for payments to encourage shopping for best prices.
- Eliminate Medicare Advantage subsidies. (In current act.)
- Eliminate 1st dollar coverage in Medigap plans to decrease unwarranted use of services.
- Replace Medicaid with Medicare. This might result in premiums and cost-sharing.
- Set up exchanges to allow market forces to control costs.
It appears that none of the proposals include “death panels”.