Any restructuring or reform of Medicare should first and foremost preserve the integrity of the program. Contrary to current rhetoric, Medicare offers mainstream medical care for the most difficult-to-insure Americans, and over the past ten years its record of holding down costs has been better than that of the private insurance sector. For the very long term, when demographic changes place even greater pressures on Medicare, all dimensions of the program need to be considered in the search for a long-range solution, including asking beneficiaries and/or taxpayers to contribute more to the program. Expansion of managed care choices should certainly be part of any restructuring, but careful attention to improving the basic fee-for-service Medicare program--which will continue to serve a majority of beneficiaries for many years to come--also is needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy