Medicare, the government’s allegedly self-funded health care entitlement program, teeters on the brink of insolvency, or so we have been repeatedly told. In light of this, you might think that the opportunity to save themselves billions of dollars would be seen as sweet relief. Instead, it is the cause of a Federal court suit seeking to force seniors onto the program with the the threat that those who opt out of Medicare benefits be denied Social Security benefits as well.
From the Boone/Martin editorial…
“In late March, the Medicare trustees told us just how sick this program is. In 2007, the total bill for Medicare was $432 billion. Next year’s expenditures are expected to exceed $500 billion – one-sixth of the entire federal budget, excluding the recently passed financial bailout package. These costs will spike in coming years as the 77 million baby boomers retire and start drawing benefits.
The system, in short, is a catastrophe. That’s why Washington continues to crack down on expenses by limiting reimbursements to providers, and why providers have been abandoning the program. If honesty were the coin of the realm we’d call this rationing, but Washington rarely calls anything by its real name.
To meet its obligations, Medicare will have limited options: It can cut costs by limiting the services available to enrollees (rationing); it can cut costs by reducing payments to providers; it can increase premiums, or it can dip into tax revenues…”
I’m guessing, by dint of the lawsuit, they’re going for the third option, trying for coerce Americans into collecting their benefits, despite Medicare being a voluntary program, at least on the benefits side.
Read it all…