Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lieberman proposes to eliminate distinction between Medicare Parts A & B, require copays for all.

Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut has proposed a plan for Medicare which was published today in the Washington Post, “How Medicare Can Be Saved” (without privatization).  Lieberman wants to increase the age of eligibility by two months a year up to 67, and combine Parts A and B with a copay on every service, up to a limit (rather like a doughnut hole, maybe).  One wonders if more could be done to limit fee-for-service, and pay doctors flat fees for keeping seniors maintained up to a certain level of fee per age.  I guess that brings in “Hippocratic” problems.

Lieberman also notes that when seniors buy supplemental Part B insurance, they tend to use many more services, with the 80% bill going to taxpayers (in a sense). 

Moderately conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote with some most praise for the plan here on the Post site today, link (in her "Right Turn" column).

The interesting thing is that both Lieberman and Ryan think they are reforming Medicare without immediate, draconian shocks to current seniors and pleasing Wall Street. 

I remember working on a failed "Combine A&B Medicare Project" in Dallas from 1979-1981, and Part B seemed to get most of the attention and politicizing among the funding plans. 

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