As most people know, the Romney/Ryan ticket is proposing a Medicare “voucher” program. I use the word voucher lightly, because they have never actually used that word. The supporters of the program prefer premium assistance. If you have been watching certain news channels or negative advertisements, you may have heard this program defined a taking Medicare benefits away from the elderly.
I do not think anyone knows exactly what a voucher program would do to Medicare. The truth of the matter is that until one is put in place, we just will not know. However, it seems like a pretty decent idea to me. One thing is for sure, what we are doing currently is not working on multiple levels. It is not sustainable long term for its patients, and its rules and payment rates are not sustainable for the providers.
I like the ability to choose my insurance coverage. I do so yearly through a plan that allows me to buy up and down on certain coverage categories. The best insurance policies are not one size fits all. The voucher plan, or premium assistance as the Republicans like to call it, will likely not cover the entire cost. I understand that this is a concern.
There just is not enough money. From what I understand, the Obama/Biden ticket will get the money from continuing to cut the rates paid to providers, and from increased fraud actions. This may seem more sustainable for patients, but the Hospitals can not continue under these continued cuts and take backs. I do not necessarily want to pay anything for my Medicare, but I do want there to be high quality healthcare available for me when I need it most, during Medicare eligible years.
I do not know if the premium assistance, a.k.a. voucher, plan is the best idea or not, but let’s actually debate it’s merits instead of getting stuck on the campaign zingers of it taking Medicare away from seniors. In the end, you might find it makes sense.