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The Medicare Crisis

This posting offers help about the medicare crisis and answers the following questions:

Is Medicare in a state of crisis?

Are radical measures necessary to preserve the program?

How is Medicare funded now?

Why do the elderly feel that Medicare is an insurance program, not a welfare program?Is this perception accurate?

Should there be a Medicare program at all? Does Medicare have detrimental effects on the market for health care, or the market for health insurance?

Why should the government be involved in providing insurance to the elderly?

Are these economic effects, offset by the positive effects of the Medicare program for the elderly?

Solution Preview

Let's begin!

Is Medicare in a state of crisis?

Are you aware of the various policies that are being enacted from each state to state regarding the qualification of Medicare? Medicare is funded by the federal government and each state is responsible for operating the Medicare program as well as the local Medicaid programs. However, premiums have increased for Medicare and also, the coverage has changed in the past few years requiring people to purchase additional supplemental Medicare policies - this is difficult for elderly that have fixed incomes. If the elderly are unable to purchase Medicare, they will go uninsured. The Medicare system is double-funded. It is funded by the taxpayer (federal dollar) as well as the premiums being collected. But, in being double-funded, the coverage is still not as high as most private insurance companies making them appear with less quality.

Are radical measures necessary to preserve the program?

This is a very interesting question and you will have to take a more subjective approach to answering it. I don't believe there are radical measures that must be taken to preserve the program because it is funded through two divisions - the federal government (taxpayer) and the premiums being collected. However, the cost of providing the medical services is much higher than the cost being collected. Perhaps a more responsible approach would be to evaluate the cost of the medical services being provided and standardize a cost table among all insurance companies including Medicare. For example, a client may be seen by a physician for a regular check-up and that provider is only allowed to charge Medicare $65. If a client came to that same physician with a private insurance policy, that physician is allowed to charge the private insurance $120. What happens then is that the service under the Medicare payment is not provided in the most quality manner (although, physicians will argue this) because they are getting paid much less by Medicare rates. The physician may spend more time, energy, and commitment to a private paying client because they are getting almost twice the amount of money from the private insurance. It is a matter of motivational service-delivery. The radical measures that need to take place are increasing Medicare rates of reimbursement or mandating lower rates of private insurance to neutralize the risk of ...

Solution Summary

This post offers explanation regarding questions relating to the medicare crisis.

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