If Congress unveils legislation to reform the health care system that reflects the policies outlined by President Obama, then this would "centralize control over the health care system in Washington." Owcharenko writes that "the chief danger of this approach is that it would directly interfere in the personal health care decisions of Americans." Instead, the author argues, "there is a much...
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson and the 89th Congress came together to extend the scope of Social Security coverage by amending into the original legislation a program of social medical insurance called Medicare.
Their new health care system was separated into two distinct, yet integral parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance) covered inpatient hospital stays, food, tests, and doctor's fees, while Part B (Medical Insurance) helped pay for outpatient costs, medical equipment, and prescriptions administered by doctors' offices. The goal of the combined parts was to cover the majority of health-related costs for those who might not have otherwise been able to afford such health care services.
In theory, the purpose of this system was to provide a cost-efficient, universally acceptable package of health care services for the maximum amount of American people. In reality, however, the system has been nothing short of a jumbled mess of expensive (and unsustainable) bureaucracy.
President Johnson, in his 1965 address and again in his 1971 memoirs, originally promised that Medicare would only cost the American people $500 million a year. The cost today? Upwards of $440 billion a year, with a composite cost ('65-present) of over $74 trillion.
Since its inception, this inefficiency has been a major Congressional stumbling block--not to mention a major factor for the utter lack of presidential success in formulating feasible reforms.
Within this page you'll discover the history of Medicare by looking at the original legislation, view the cutting edge financial projections of the program's health, and read expert commentaries and analyses on how to best reform Medicare for the future.
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