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Why Medicare Is Broken
WASHINGTON - October 26 - It’s well known that the Medicare program is spiraling toward insolvency. The reason why is outlined in a new story by the Center for Public Integrity.
The story by David Nather explains the complex ecosystem that keeps health care costs rising annually. The bottom line: Medicare is paying millions of dollars for procedures and services that, based on available evidence, don’t really make sick people better. Many of the questionable tests and procedures are provided at doctor-owned facilities. That means as long as physicians get paid for each medical service they give their patients, they have little reason to ask whether a test or procedure is really necessary.
The political backdrop only adds to the crisis. Members of Congress from both political parties loathe the idea of cutting Medicare benefits for fear of drawing the wrath of elderly constituents. And so the political paralysis continues – but time is running out.
Medicare is already growing faster than Social Security, and it could become bigger and more expensive than that program in the next 25 years. It is also growing faster than the economy, and if that keeps up, Medicare could cause the national debt to swell up to more than two-thirds of the gross domestic product in just the next decade.
Read and link to the Center story, "Medicare: An Entitlement Out of Control."