MCNTalk regularly addresses inequities and the strange world of medical pricing. To our surprise, this article would suggest that health care inflation with regards to Medicare is waning. And the numbers are considerable, with a reduction of about 11% per beneficiary since 2010. Those of us who pay into the private system have seen anything but a decrease in 4 years. This is a 95 BILLION dollar difference!
It would appear that a good portion of the decrease is behaviorally based, where consumption of costly items have declined in favor of less costly, lower utilization and other measures.
As always, the comments by readers are illuminating. Among the most amusing are those who decry Medicare and claim that surgeons under Medicare are paid “poverty wages.” Clearly the writer has never experienced poverty.
MCNTalk remains baffled by the inability for US citizens to focus on the facts that drive our system and the associated costs. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” A confusion between opinions and facts seems to drive the healthcare and cost debate.
There is nothing magic about the age of 65 or so as a trigger for Medicare. Fee schedules exist for all services and in fact many younger people with disabilities are covered by Medicare. Perhaps one day employers will be able to focus on their business and not selecting insurance for their staff, and relinquish health care to the public, like they do education and other universal goods.
The other side of the coin includes the challenge of containing costs when the consumer has no skin in the game, which insurance, whether private or public, does nothing to address.
We will continue to post on this topic.