By Austin Curry
Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Letters, July 17, 2014
Medicare, the most successful health care program ever to come out of Congress, will begin its 50th year of service to millions of older Americans this month, with an overhead rate of only 1.4 percent. Yet some are calling for a voucher system. Why?
Private insurers have overhead rates of 25 to 30 percent, which continue to push health care costs higher.
Certainly, issues require attention, such as providers blatant “upcoding,” which leads to even higher prices. Also, fraudulent practices that siphon off much-needed dollars. But with a few tweaks, Medicare can be sustainable well into the future. We should all recognize Medicare for the great value it represents to our aging society.
We could even go a step further and save over $400 billion a year by implementing Medicare for All. Such a program, in the form of a single-payer plan, would be efficient and beneficial to all parties. It would provide quality health care with cost-effective methodology.
Do not cut Medicare. Protect it. Expand it. Improve it. Cover all Americans with it. Eliminate the political bickering and implement the Medicare for All program.
Austin Curry is a member of the Florida chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. He resides in Tampa.