Unlike Social Security, Medicare is in a near-dire financial position. In order to keep the program viable for seniors, Congress must make common-sense solutions to extend the solvency of Medicare.
We need to look at Medicare in the context of the broader healthcare system. The reality is that the United States spends far more on healthcare as a percentage of GDP than any other Western nation. We could be delivering healthcare in a much more efficient manner and with lower costs. Reducing costs throughout the system would in turn lead to reduced costs in the Medicare program. If we can deliver healthcare at the same cost as other Western nations we would save Medicare and hundreds of billions of dollars.
Delivering the same or better quality healthcare at a reduced cost sounds far-fetched at first. However, there are a number of common-sense reforms that can do just that:
Better disinfection practices in hospitals will reduce the costs associated with in-hospital illnesses.
More continuing education for doctors will keep them up-to-date on the most efficient and effective medical practices.
A greater emphasis on preventative medicine would reduce the number of patients that ever even need medical attention.
Social Security and Medicare have been forecasted to become insolvent in the past. Each time Congress has taken the necessary steps to reform the system while still keeping it intact. Congress needs to act now and implement the necessary changes.