They Call It Health Reform
They call this health reform, but under the new law, some Medicare beneficiaries and suppliers will cover more than the costs. So is really a cost reform or the reallocation of costs? Well, maybe it’s a little of both.Medicare has been around since 1965, some 46 years ago, providing access to health care for people over 65 and older. If you thought the program took longer, it didn’t take long. It is a very modern response to one of society’s great challenges: how to provide quality healthcare for all in the USA. It comes a little late to the table when it comes to establishing broad health benefits for its citizens.
Today Medicare covers about 47 million Americans, making it the largest health insurance program in the country. Therefore, the way health insurance quotes system operates has a significant impact on the nation’s healthcare and in our pockets. In fact, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, one in five dollars spent on health care in 2008 was spent through Medicare.Since its enactment, Medicare spending has become a growing part of the US federal budget and gross domestic product (GDP), and a higher proportion of consumer spending. The trend is expected to continue as prices for health services increase, the number and complexity of services increases, and membership as the population ages.
This is why there is a big push to continue retirement health care reform. The Patient Protection and Low Price Healthcare Act (ACA) implemented in 2010 is expected to reduce overall Medicare spending. But where will these savings come from and who will pay? Under the new law, Medicare savings are expected to come from reduced annual payments to service providers, changes in Medicare Advantage payments, reduced payments for avoidable hospital readmissions, and home health care.
Starting from 2015, there was a 15-man Independent Payments Advisory Board responsible for recommending Medicare changes if spending growth goes beyond specific limits. In a bid to influence this group, Congress will require a majority vote to replace Board recommendations. We know there is a lot of concern about this panel configuration policy without public contributions. But as it stands, this group may well find ways to reduce Medicare spending while continuing to push more costs for members and suppliers. And under the new law, there will be more members adjusting to high income levels that will require them to pay higher premiums for Medicare Part B (medical service).