Top Six Myths About Medicare

August 20, 2012

The elections are approaching. With Romney’s running mate now certain, the veracity of debates and attacks will pick up. Specifically, watch for there to be a new and revitalized focus on the issues of Medicare and the middle class. Especially with the choice of Ryan, who has Medicare at the forefront of what he has in the past cited as one of the major areas for needed reform. This rhetoric is continued as this weekend, Ryan stated that, “Now, you’ve heard the president has been talking about Medicare a bit lately. We want this debate. We need this debate. And we are going to win this debate.” reported Fox News. Further, President Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said twice Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the president and his team are ready for a debate on plans to help the middle class and save Medicare – if Mitt Romney and Ryan provide more details on their plans.

Capitalizing on the fact that the spotlight is being turned onto Medicare, Reuters released this breakdown of what it feels are the six biggest myths about Medicare being circulated by the media. They continue:

MYTH ONE: MEDICARE COSTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL

Facts: Medicare spending will soar in the years ahead as the number of seniors grows, but its per-capita growth is slower than private health insurance - and it is getting better. "We may be reaching the point now where Medicare healthcare expenses are growing no more quickly than growth of the economy overall," said John Rother, chief executive officer of the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC). "That's important, but it might as well be a state secret as far as the public and Congress goes." The average annual per-capita spending growth rate through 2019 is projected at 3.1 percent for Medicare, compared with 4.9 percent for private insurance plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The 3.1 percent projection even includes higher payments to doctors as part of a long-term solution to the long-running problem of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) used under current law to control Medicare spending on physician services.

The 3.1 percent projection also is smaller than the 3.7 percent annual growth in gross domestic product for that period projected by the Congressional Budget Office. Although we hear plenty about fraud and abuse in Medicare - which is a legitimate area of concern - the program is dramatically more efficient than private insurance. Medicare spent just 1.4 percent of every dollar on administrative overhead, even including money spent to fight fraud and abuse, compared with 25 percent overhead in private plans, according to Richard Kaplan, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law who specializes in elder law matters.

  • MYTH TWO: MEDICARE IS GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE
  • MYTH THREE: OBAMACARE SLASHES $700 BLN FROM MEDICARE
  • MYTH FOUR: DOCTORS WILL NOT ACCEPT MEDICARE BECAUSE OF ALL THESE CUTS
  • MYTH FIVE: THE WEALTHY ARE GETTING A FREE RIDE
  • MYTH SIX: RISING LONGEVITY WILL SINK MEDICARE

Click on the link below to see the debunking of the rest of the myths. 

Continue Reading - Top Six Myths About Medicare
Source - Reuters