Talking Medicare and Medicaid sustainability at age 50

July 30th, 2015 at 11:27 am

Over at the NYT’s Room for Debate forum. A key point here, as in so many cases, is it matters how you ask the question: “Instead of asking if Medicare and Medicaid are sustainable, we should be asking what we need to do to sustain them.”

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6 comments in reply to "Talking Medicare and Medicaid sustainability at age 50"

  1. urban legend says:

    Speaking of Age 50, but switching subjects completely, shouldn’t Democratic candidates everywhere be proposing an improvement to ACA by allowing those between that age and 65 who do not have employer-based insurance to buy into Medicare?

    Exchange-based insurance is still pretty expensive for middle class people in that age group who do not qualify for tax credit “subsidies.” How could offering a lower-cost option for those who need it from a non-profit provider with no $100 million executive compensation packages possibly not be a slam-dunk political winner?

  2. Robert Salzberg says:

    Jared Bernstein:

    “do we want Medicare and Medicaid to continue to thrive?”

    The fundamental question is: What kind of health care do we want and how do we want to pay for it.

    Medicare, Medicaid, and all the other health insurance plans in America insure that Americans are treated unequally when it comes to health. So no, I don’t want Medicare and Medicaid to thrive. We should all have the same health care and pay for it through progressive taxation of individuals and businesses.

  3. Smith says:

    “The two sources of budget pressure on health programs are aging demographics and growing health care costs.”

    Probably not. One guesses (research anyone?) the real budget pressure on health programs is declining health. Just as public policy had an important influence on smoking in recent years, greater effort needs to be made to find other ways to prevent declining health in America. Obesity induced diabetes, and prescription drug abuse come to mind as recent life style scourges. Also, the government hasn’t adjusted to the modern infrastructure necessary for medical research. NIH funding should be expanded instead of cut. Ways to induce competition with big Pharma, possibly with excess profits tax, without destroying the private industry should be instituted. Subsidies for the sugar industry, probably not a good idea. Really, who cares if medical costs actually double in 50 years, and eat up 25% of GDP? Citizens might willingly pay 10% more in taxes if they lived 10% longer and in good health.