With all the deductibles, copayments and coverage exclusions, Medicare pays for only about half of the medical costs of Ameri...Read more
Bush Set to Propose Sweeping Changes in Medicare
- January 3rd, 2003
President Bush will propose sweeping, long-term changes in the Medicare program later this month as part of his proposal for providing a prescription drug benefit for the elderly, according to an article in the New York Times.
The changes he wants are intended to promote competition in Medicare and could eventually make Medicare look more like private insurance. The idea is to make Medicare beneficiaries more conscious of costs. Under one idea favored by many of the president''s advisers, the government would give Medicare beneficiaries incentives to enroll in more efficient, less costly private health plans rather than stay in traditional fee-for-service Medicare.
Under another proposal, Medicare would offer enhanced benefits, including a cap on out-of-pocket costs, perhaps in return for higher premiums.
The elevation of Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) to Senate majority leader is seen as enhancing the prospect that the proposals would be taken seriously on Capitol Hill. Still, persuading Congress to enact major changes in the structure of Medicare, beyond the addition of drug benefits, will be an uphill struggle for Bush. Elderly voters want drug benefits as soon as possible, but are not clamoring for "Medicare reform."
'If the price of a prescription drug benefit is the end of Medicare as we know it, that''s not a price worth paying," said Debbie Curtis, chief of staff to Representative Pete Stark (D-CA).
Vicki Gottlich, a lawyer at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, said that one favored proposal 'could shift costs to individual beneficiaries so that people with the greatest medical needs pay the most for their health care."
About 85 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are in the fee-for-service program. Many private health plans have dropped out, saying Medicare pays too little to cover their costs.
To read the entire article in the New York Times, click on www.nytimes.com/2003/01/03/politics/03MEDI.html (Free registration required and article may be only temporarily available.)
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Hammond and Associates, LLC, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate
For Jeffrey Hammond, the practice of Elder Law is personal. Jeff’s many years of experience in law and in business did not prepare him for the crisis he faced in 2005 and 2006 when his father suffered a stroke and both of his parents suffered from dementia and other medical problems. At that time, Jeff began an i...
Ron M. Landsman, P.A.
Ron M. Landsman has been practicing elder law since 1983, before it was known as elder law, originally with Landsman and Laster, Washington, D.C., then Landsman, Eakes and Laster, also in Arlington, VA, and since 1990 in his own practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has been among the most active members of the...