Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Medicare Proposal Could Stress Strapped Seniors : Shots - Health Blog : NPR

Medicare Proposal Could Stress Strapped Seniors : Shots - Health Blog : NPR

Can seniors afford to pay more for Medicare?

Medicare patients would pay more — in some cases much more — under a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate today. But can they really afford it?

Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) Joe Lieberman (I-CT) say the savings to be realized from their bill would both help reduce the nation's debt and shore up Medicare's shaking financial situation.

Among other things their bill would combine the current separate deductibles for Medicare's Part A (hospital and inpatient care) and Part B (physician and outpatient care) into one single deductible. Because so few Medicare patients actually use hospital care each year, that would have the effect of raising out-of pocket spending for the majority of people on the program.

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