Ideas About the Medicare of the Future – The New York Times

Source: The New York Times 

To the Editor:

Re "Republicans and Medicare," by Paul Krugman (column, Feb. 12):

John Goodman and I did say that cutting $500 billion from Medicare is wrong, which Mr. Krugman castigates. His argument would crumble if he had included the full quote: "There is no question that Medicare is on an unsustainable course; the government has promised far more than it can deliver. But this problem will not be solved by cutting Medicare in order to create new unfunded liabilities for young people."

I am 100 percent committed to fundamentally improving Medicare with health information technology, paying doctors for delivering quality care, and eliminating waste and fraud. These will undoubtedly lead to savings and make Medicare solvent.

I am 100 percent opposed to robbing the elderly through draconian cuts to enhanced benefits, doctors, hospitals and nursing facilities, which will be merely redistributed to younger Americans for a new health care entitlement.

Newt Gingrich
Washington, Feb. 14, 2010
The writer, a former speaker of the House, is founder of the Center for Health Transformation.


To the Editor:

In the study "A Framework for Medicare Reform," I outlined a way to convert Medicare into a private, prefinanced system that by midcentury will require no higher payroll tax than the one we have today. (The simulations were by Thomas Saving, a former Medicare trustee, and his colleagues.)

There are no benefit cuts in this proposal. There are demand-side and supply-side reforms that slow the rate of growth of costs, however.

In the meantime, we should not make our entitlement spending crisis even worse by creating new unfinanced liabilities for young people – which is what Obama Care would do. Taking the proposed Medicare cuts off the table, I believe, would completely end that threat.

John C. Goodman
President and Chief Executive
National Center for Policy Analysis
Dallas, Feb. 15, 2010


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