While the Republicans and the Democrats are locked in a fierce battle over the new Medicare bill, a lot of confusion has been generated over the future of this program. What has become a matter of great concern is the mounting misinformation about the program, its objectives and primary benefits. The raging debate has brought into focus many disturbing questions. Answers to the questions have been provided below:
Will Medicare Costs Be Beyond the Reach of the Common Man?
The answer is an emphatic no. Irrespective of the increasing number of seniors enrolled in this program, the per-capita growth of Medicare is slower compared to private insurance. A recent study projected that the spending growth rate through 2019 for Medicare would stand at around 3.1 percent (less than the projected annual GDP of 3.7 percent for that period) whereas for private insurance companies the figure would touch 4.9 percent. Another figure goes on to prove that, Medicare is a more efficient program than private insurance. While Medicare’s administrative expenses stood at 1.4 percent, including money spent to fight fraud cases, private plans expended about 25 percent in overhead costs. If statistics are anything to go by, then Medicare will not get costly in the near future.
Is Medicare a Government Healthcare Program?
No. Though the government funds Medicare, the healthcare delivery is entirely private. All pharmacies, doctors, and treatment centers are private. The role of the government is limited to writing the check after the provider sends a bill. A patient covered under the Medicare program is free to go to any hospital.
Will the Proposed Slash of $700 billion affect the common man?
No. The proposed cut of $700 billion in Medicare spending over a 10-year period is adjustments in payments to Medicare providers. These cuts would in no way affect patients. And that’s because the Affordable Care Act actually delivers expanded benefits to seniors would remain intact. It ensures that preventive services includes a lot more, including mammograms, an annual wellness visit, prostate cancer screenings with no out-of-pocket cost.
Will Doctors Not Accept Medicare Because of All the Proposed Cuts?
No. The growing concern about access to primary care physicians, because of the proposed cuts, is misplaced. An Congressional agency on Medicare has found in its annual survey that only 2 percent of beneficiaries had problems in finding a doctor willing to accept Medicare. Even two percent of those enrolled with private insurance programs have reported similar problem.
Will Growing Number of Elders Undo Medicare’s Primary Objective?
Contrary to popular belief Medicare’s costs are not rising. That is because advanced age related diseases are mostly treated in nursing homes, which are not covered under Medicare. A recent study also found out that the cumulative cost borne by the Medicare program plateaus at age 80.
It is because of these reasons that Medicare will remain the cheapest and most effective insurance coverage program to the average American.