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Medicare Plans for the Future:

Health Care for Seniors Gets Plenty of Media

May 2011

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The Wall Street Journal is calling it "the defining issue of next year's elections."

The fabled "Gang of Six" in the Senate nearly dissolved over a shouting match about it.

And House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan has been roundly criticized for aiming to take it apart.

America has Medicare on the mind.

Specifically, how will Medicare plans fare in coming elections will be the focus of tremendous speculation for the next two years. Health care for seniors has become the hottest political point since the passage of the health care bill.

On the one hand, long term liability attached to Medicare plans look to be around $38 trillion dollars. It's the second largest federal program, and it's set to grow even larger as millions of baby boomers get ready for retirement.

There is some concern, and rightly so, that it won't be able to sustain itself much longer.

At the same time, millions of seniors in America rely on Medicare plans. They've paid into the system, and their health care needs can't be met without it. Gutting Medicare, or forcing seniors to pay large amounts (the criticism aimed at Ryan's plan) would lead many of them to forgo critical care or medications.

Facts on:

Health Care for Seniors

Did you know...
The Medicare Fraud Task Force has saved American taxpayers almost a billion dollars in the past year?

But what about the middle road?

LIttle press has been given to the attempts to simplify Medicare plans for seniors and eliminate fraud. In 2010 the Medicare Fraud Task Force saved American tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars.

And many seniors can contest that Medicare plans are complicated and difficult to understand. Slimming and simplifying Medicare would make it easier for seniors to choose their health care, while saving money in processing fees.

Unfortunately, focusing less on whether or not to keep Medicare, and more on how to make it better for everyone involved, may just be the middle road that few politicians feel comfortable taking.

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