Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Medicare

Sometimes we in the U.S. don't think about, or don't remember, that we already have the beginnings of a national health care program here. Perhaps - and this is just a thought - we should consider taking what we have now and expanding it gradually until it either serves all of us or it at least serves all of those who no have no health insurance (or no eligibility for free health insurance.)

I'm speaking of Medicare, of course. Right now, Medicare is pretty restricted as to whom it covers and what it covers, but the bureaucracy is already in place and it seems to me perhaps we might consider expanding this government medical insurance to cover more and more people and more and more situations rather than starting completely from scratch.

What is Medicare? From the government website:

"The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers Medicare, the nation's largest health insurance program, which covers nearly 40 million Americans. Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for people age 65 or older, some disabled people under age 65, and people of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant)."

From this we can glean that Medicare is already the nation's largest health insurance program.

This is a complicated subject, and I want to only present it in little chunks, so I am going to stop here for now. But consider that Medicare is

1. Already in place, with its own self-contained bureaucracy of paper-pushers

2. Already serving many people

3. Paying more or less promptly

4. Keeping records in a uniform manner

5. Using uniform forms.

3 comments:

Stephanie B said...

I do not have a problem with expanding medicare (though I admit to being surprised that you're OK with it). I favor a single payer system, but I could see considerable advantages to opening up medicare to anyone who chose to sign up (but paying premiums as one does with regular healthcare and some medicare now - so the processes are already in place).

In fact, I think that's a fine idea. I wonder if agreeing with you will change your mind...

Relax Max said...

Hmmm. Mighty suspicious. Obviously you are up to no good. :)

Angelika said...

Medicare is "health care" that barely covers anything unless you get a horribly overpriced Medigap policy that still doesn't cover dental or vision.

That's why older and disabled people have to choose between medicine & food. Because we can't afford both.

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