Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Source of Medicare Cuts

Below is a letter I sent to the Press Gazette yesterday.

In his 9/26 letter, Jim Gayhart writes that, "[t]he health care bill Kagen supported carves out $500 billion over 10 years, mostly through the elimination of waste, fraud and abuse."

Unfortunately, that's simply not true.

The non-partisan Tax Foundation broke down the $500 billion number and much of it comes from changes to the fee for service rates in Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

The ultimate effect of this law still remains to be seen. But it is certainly possible that the Medicare Advantage plans used by many seniors here in NE Wisconsin could change as a result of the health reform law that Steve Kagen voted for.


Jack Lohman said...

Medicare Advantage, the private side of Medicare, costs taxpayers 17% more than does traditional Medicare. So much for 'private' being more efficient than 'public.'

Jeremy R. Shown said...

Good point Jack, but two observations.

1-That doesn't change the fact that we are not going to put our fiscal house in order just by eliminating "waste, fraud, and abuse".

2-The additional costs in Medicare Advantage are no proof that the private sector won't deliver when it comes to health care. Private businesses profiting through government sponsored programs is nothing new. It's more evidence that the government may not be great at getting a good value when it spends money (see also, stimulus).