Medicare Essay

1581 words - 6 pages

Medicare in the '96 ElectionsGovernment11 / 25 / 96Among the many differences between President Bill Clinton (Democrat) and Presidential Candidate Bob Dole (Republican), lays a common debate topic, Healthcare. The issue is the fact that funding in Medicare's budget will not last but another four years. Both Republicans and Democrats have ideas on how this budget should be reformed, but the two have not yet come to a median resolution. In the beginning of the Presidential campaign Medicare was a hot topic. It will be shown that as Election Day drew nearer Republicans were forced to attack President Clinton's policy because they had no substantial plan of their own.Prior to 1965, payment for a particular medical service was paid for either directly by the recipient of the care or by the recipient's insurance company. Usually to get full coverage or even coverage with a low premium the rates are outrageous. For this reason many poor, elderly and severely disabled Americans were unable to receive proper medical treatment. Then, in 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson proposed one of his Great Society programs, Medicare. Medicare would allow those who were severely disabled, elderly or poor to receive quality medical treatment without worrying about the cost . This government funded program would subsidize the service of physicians, inpatient hospital care and some limited home care. The money would come from that money set aside for Social Security. Medicare, along with its sister program, Medicaid, allow broad access to physician and hospital care to all disabled Social Security recipients, most all elderly and some of the poor.Medicare has two parts, A and B. Part A, which covers all enrollees, covers hospital costs only. Part B, also known as Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI), is an optional plan for which a premium is charged. The SMI plan covers 80 percent of office visits, preventive medicine, surgery and diagnostic specialties (x-rays, etc.). What Medicare does not cover include: hospital stays over 60 days, extended nursing-home care, or the cost of lengthy illnesses. In the cases where Medicare will not cover costs, recipients usually use secondary retirement programs either from pension plans or retirement programs such as AARP (American Association for Retired People). Those who do not have such plans, are forced to drain their assets until they qualify for the sister program Medicaid.Medicaid is a program set up the same as Medicare but primarily for those who fall short of the state-specified income level. Costs covered by Medicaid are close to those covered by Medicare differing only by nursing-home care and treatment in state mental hospitals . In 1965, at the same time the U.S. began bombing Vietnam, those who were involved with planning the budget for Medicare failed to foresee the fact that funding would not last past the year 2000. This error is what led each party to devise its own plan for reforming the program.Richard Feinberg, Ph.D. the...

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