Mar 23, 2004
AP (printed everywhere, you’ll see this somewhere soon):
Medicare will go broke by 2019 without changes in a program that is swelling in cost because of a new prescription drug benefit, trustees were to report Tuesday.
My first take on this story was to just shoot it up here, and not make a partisan issue out of it. But then I read this:
Republicans pressed for the overhaul of Medicare last year to give private insurers a much larger role in the program as a way, Bush and others said, to control long-term costs.
But the government’s own projections are that private managed care plans will cost taxpayers more than traditional Medicare for the foreseeable future.
A big reason for an earlier insolvency date “will be a direct result of increased payments to private health plans,” said Terri Shaw, an analyst with the liberal Center for American Progress.
Richard Foster, the chief actuary of Medicare, provided Congress with documents Friday showing that federal payments to private health insurance plans under a new Medicare law could far exceed what Congress assumed when it passed the measure last fall.
Kind of makes you sick.
What would it take to put an end to this corruption and get a decent Medicare bill on the books? A Democratic Congress, simple as that. Give us a hand.