Of all the programs delivered by our government, Medicare is one of the most important, as it provides the elders in our society health care they otherwise might not be able to afford.
Despite this, an alarmingly large number of politicians are targeting this program for cuts in the name of deficit reduction.
This is concerning to James P DeVellis, a doctor in Massachusetts. Having gotten to know many of his patients on a first name basis, he worries what will become of them if cuts render some unable to afford treatments he recommends.
Many of our elders live on a fixed income. If costs were to rise dramatically due to them needing to pay astronomically high health insurance premiums, their way of life would suffer tremendously, or they would have to live the twilight years of their life without coverage.
The population of older Americans continues to grow. If we want to make things better on the health care front, we must protect and expand Medicare, not cut it.
In this article, we’ll explain why we need to mount a spirited defense of the most vital program administered by our federal government.
They keep older friends, family, and fellow Americans healthy and stable
No one should ever have to face the hardship of paying for an expensive illness or injury after spending a lifetime providing value in the workplace.
Inevitable health conditions wrought by aging make the issuing private insurance to older adults an unprofitable practice for health insurance companies.
Recognizing this, government stepped in more than a generation ago to protect seniors during their golden years.
As a result, no one presently over the age of 65 worries that their diminishing sight, a worsening heart, or developing Parkinson’s disease will burden their finances or those of their children.
Medicare is an indirect source of funding for health care infrastructure
Medicare didn’t just improve the lives of the elderly years ago, the influx of cash it unleashed played a role in helping make American hospitals some of the most advanced in the modern world.
Before then, hospitals didn’t have the number of voluntary admissions they have these days (on a per capita basis).
With the government bankrolling them, though, the number of patients over 65 increased drastically after the implementation of Medicare.
The injection of all this capital had a massive effect, as medical centers suddenly had the cash they needed to boost their services to the next level.
Cutting edge machines, medical professionals, and research scientists were just some of the things this money attracted.
Cuts to Medicare threaten this flow of capital – if they happen, America’s standing in health care will decline in short order.
It is a good blueprint for the institution of a single-payer system
While Medicare isn’t the panacea for all our health care problems, it has shown itself to be the superior delivery method for those 65 and older.
When you think about it, shouldn’t a program that has worked so well for our elderly be able to work for everyone else?
Progressives and common sense conservatives have aligned on this issue, as both want a health care system that doesn’t loot our pockets to give us substandard care.
While this effort will take more than just removing the age restrictions and calling it a day, more than a generation of success makes Medicare a great place to start when creating a single payer system capable of providing world-class health care to any American who needs it.