The ‘rationing problem’ in Medicaid, Medicare

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy says he is "looking forward to working with Barack Obama on health care." Kennedy, is reportedly preparing to take the lead role in the health care debate on Capitol Hill, once Obama takes office. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has already introduced a universal health care plan that would tax employer-provided health benefits.

Dr. John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, says there is a common pattern among all the health care proposals coming from the left: they envision expanding Medicaid and lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare.

According to Goodman:

  • What that means is putting millions of people into health plans that pay below market rates.
  • And if you have millions of people paying below market rates, then it's going to be hard for them to get health care.
  • These are going to be the patients the doctors want to see last at the end of the day.
  • We already have a rationing problem in Medicaid; now we're beginning to see one in Medicare.

    Goodman backs what he says are two good ideas that do not cost the federal government any additional money:
  • John McCain's idea of taking the $250 billion in tax subsidies that are currently in the system, dividing them up, and giving everyone the same deal from the federal government.
  • Mitt Romney's plan that takes all the money the government is spending on free care and uses it to subsidise private insurance.

    Source: Jim Brown, Expert predicts 'rationing problem' in Medicaid, Medicare,, November 25, 2008.

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    For more on Health Issues:

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 02 December 2008
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