Saturday, March 2, 2013

Medicare--when will the free lunch end?

At some point, at some time, it will become obvious that we can't afford a health care system that rips off consumers, is opaque, subsidizes pharmaceutical companies, rewards inefficiencies, promotes bad medical practices incentivized to do unnecessary (and sometimes harmful) medical procedures (justified often as "defensive medicine")--we need standards, peer review, and limitations on coverage (90+ year old men and women don't need extraordinary medical treatments at taxpayer expense), as well as deductibles--

Jenkins: None Dare Call It Default - "Here's what you weren't told about Medicare during the presidential debates. Under the Paul Ryan plan, the affluent would pay more. Under the Obama plan, the affluent would flee Medicare to escape the waiting lists, shortages and deteriorating quality as Washington economizes by ratcheting down reimbursements to doctors and hospitals. Don't call either default. You don't have a legally enforceable right to the free care you imagined you were promised. "Don't worry" was President Obama's implicit message during the campaign: If cutting subsidies for Big Bird is unthinkable, a joke, how much more so cutting benefits for middle-class voters? Don't go running to a judge when this doesn't pan out. The courts do not overrule changes in government policy just because citizens find their promised free lunch isn't forthcoming. Nor will it be fruitful to appeal to politicians' sense of "fairness.""


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