Monday, 3 March 2008

NYT sees only three options for increasing Medicare/aid costs


The Democrats do not say, in any detail, how they would slow the growth of Medicare and Medicaid or what they think about the main policy options: rationing care, raising taxes, cutting payments to providers or requiring beneficiaries to pay more.

Robert Pear thinks the only options are: reducing the quality of care, not providing care at all or increasing the cost of care. The question of tackling costs of the actual treatments and drug aren't a policy option. It would be relatively easy to abandon government granted patent monopolies and would drive costs down dramatically. However, I guess this isn't a main policy option due to either the powers of the lobbies or the fallacy that innovation requires patent protection. To be sure, innovation in an inefficent private market requirse patent protection. Innovation in a public enterprise require no patent protection.

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