Letter writer Chris Keenan writes, “Medicare for all U.S. residents will make our nation function better” (Feb. 28).
Medicare is going bankrupt, it’s riddled with fraud, waste, and abuse, it underpays providers, and it denies claims at a higher rate than private insurance. Do Americans really want to expand the Medicare nightmare?
The Medicare Board of Trustees 2009 Report states that Medicare began spending more than it collects in taxes last year and it will completely exhaust the trust fund by 2017 (see http://tinyurl.com/4sdfbl ).
Medicare fraud exceeds $60 billion/year, which is $1,339 per recipient per year. $60 billion is far more than the profits of all private health insurance companies combined. Medicaid adds another $33 billion in fraud per year, which is $562 per recipient per year (see http://tinyurl.com/ydv3ny5 ).
The effects of Medicare low payments were seen locally when Boulder Community Internal Medicine closed — in part because of the “low reimbursement rates of its Medicare patients.” Thousands of Boulder area Medicare patients were left without access to
their doctor of choice (see http://tinyurl.com/ygw4897 ).
Medicare denies claims at a higher rate than do private health insurers. 21 percent of all Medicare denials are because Medicare alleges that claims are for non-covered services it deemed not to be a “medical necessity” (see http://tinyurl.com/ylnzo9d ).
Expand Medicare? Libertarians say, “That’s not what Americans want! Americans don’t want a massively expanded government entitlement program. Americans want a health care system that works, which only the free market can deliver.”