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Medicare won't work for everyone


May 22. 2018 11:19PM




To the Editor: Roger Bleau’s letter indicates that if we remove the payroll cap, a Medicare-for-all system would work. The cap he references is only for Social Security contributions. In fact, there is no cap to the Medicare premium tax. Under the ACA there is also an additional tax for high-income earners. Noting the above, Medicare is still “broke.” Now what?

The funding issue is much more complex than the nightly news tells you. Tax the rich and income equality are all you hear. When these programs were originally designed, life expectancies were much shorter than today. We did not have the medical technology and pharmaceutical solutions we do now.

There was originally approximately a 15:1 ratio of those paying in versus those collecting. With the age wave of boomers aging into the system, there is now approximately a 5:1 ratio. For all of these reasons Bleau’s comment is not accurate.

That doesn’t even begin to breach the reimbursement problems. Most doctor’s offices would go out of business operating on Medicare/Medicaid rates. No country has the perfect solution, but the answer will lie with the cost versus limits on care argument. People will need to decide where that balance will lie. Limits on profit margins will be the starting conversation, when we are finally willing to fix the problem.

KATHY CLEMENT

Auburn


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