I continue to vacillate between laughing and screaming when I listen to the GOP candidates talk about how they are going to fix or change Medicare. Mostly, I find myself wanting to scream.
I was reading Ben Carson’s policy on healthcare. Create health savings accounts for those on Medicare and let them pick their own insurance. This idea is so bad and not thought out, it makes me scream. I had higher hopes for someone who had interfaced with the medical system his entire career. But wait, his job was surgery not who was going to pay for that surgery nor how people make decisions about insurance.
The problem with this idea is a portion of the elderly on Medicare are unable to make decisions for themselves. Either they are ill, have dementia or Alzheimer’s, can’t speak for themselves or dying. Many don’t have family to act as caregiver or advocate. Who is going to control the accounts? Who will decide which insurance is best? My concern is the scammers and con artists will find this concept very profitable. As it is now, many elderly without family or advocates are left to the mercy of long term care administrators and conservators who milk their personal accounts dry in the name of good care. Let’s add another account for them to pilfer.
Medicare offers a safety net. It provides basic services to everyone irregardless of financial standing. Even if a person does not get a supplemental or prescription plan, basic care remains available. If that is taken away, how will a new system guarantee the same safety net? It won’t. Millions of people will be thrown into the insurance hopper and many will not have the resources to make the necessary decisions.
I ask the GOP candidates, why do you wish to put millions at risk? I agree Medicare needs some fixing but this is not a viable solution.