About 10,000 Americans enter the Medicare program every day, and with the current budget deficits that our country faces, the Congressional Budget Office and the federal Medicare trustee estimate that the program will be insolvent by 2024. Medicare needs to be reformed so that those under the age of 55 can also get health care benefits when they reach retirement age.
Two plans have been presented to deal with that issue: President Obama implemented reform through the 2010 Affordable Care Act and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has put two plans in writing.
Under President Obama’s health care reform law, reforms mainly affect insurance companies and hospitals, but not Medicare beneficiaries. His plan includes reducing the Medicare fees that hospitals and physicians receive for providing health care services. According to Medicare actuaries, doctors and hospitals could stop accepting Medicare and about 40 percent of providers could face bankruptcy.
Under Paul Ryan’s current plan, Medicare beneficiaries would receive voucher-like credits that could be used to help pay premiums of private health insurance plans or to help with a government-type program similar to original Medicare. He calls this proposed reform “premium support.”
Medicare now covers recommended preventive health care with no cost to beneficiaries. For other types of doctor services, instead of Medicare paying 80 percent of a pre-determined amount, Ryan’s plan encompasses a fixed government payment that would limit the amount of money going toward the Medicare program. He says that this will encourage patients and even health care providers to be more mindful of the costs.
Whose plan do you think will save Medicare? You can cast your vote this coming November in the presidential election