Fixing Medicare

Soaring Medicare costs will soon make the recent economic troubles look like a drop in the bucket.

Maggie Mahar tries her best to address this in a recent paper, summarizing many themes from her blog. Suggestions include instituting a comparative effectiveness agency and increasing funding for primary care, as well as left-leaning suggestions like eliminating the bonus payments to Medicare Advantage and negotiation of drug prices with pharmaceuticals.

I would have liked to see her use some conservative ideas as part of the solution, such as whether health savings accounts can play a role, or addressing defensive medicine – which liberal wonks tend to ignore or discount – responsible for $210 billion of wasteful medical spending annually.

The bottom line is that a solution will have to blend ideas from both sides in order to have a chance of realistically passing.


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