At a recent meeting Senate sources confirmed that President Obama plans to undertake a major Medicare reform. The White House hopes that a large part of the changes will be centered on MedPAC, the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee. MedPAC is an independent congressional agency formed to help Congress deal with Medicare issues. Every year the agency releases a report to Congress that analyzes the payment policy of Medicare and gives recommendations and every year the report is ignored.
There are currently two plans to reform Medicare under consideration that involve MedPAC. Under Jay Rockefeller’s MedPAC Reform Act, MedPAC would move into the executive branch and be given control over things like Medicare payment rates. The other plan consists of taking MedPAC’s yearly recommendations and putting them through a yes-or-no vote in Congress. This plan would call for fast track, episodic reform. However, healthcare reform is a continual process and as such should consist of continual reform.
Despite obvious reasons that the second plan would do more harm than good, all the healthcare reforms being discussed by government need a reality check. Before trying to even promote universal healthcare or make more people Medicare-eligible, Obama should eliminate all of the fraud and abuse that already exist in programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
The largest problem of all surrounding healthcare reform is that America does not have the money for it. Obama wants to spend money that we do not have in order to fix something that government shouldn’t be involved in. The government should really just stop spending money on programs like Medicare because it doesn’t have the money to do it. Out government is already trillions of dollars in debt. The sad truth is that Obama will not be able to control Medicare costs with any plan that is under consideration. You can’t spend money you don’t have and expect to get away with it. If we follow Obama’s plans we may be the first country in the world to universalize healthcare while already being bankrupt.