Democrats Look To Medicare To Help Finance Reform

The Associated Press: "Medicare is looking like a big fat piggy bank for health care overhaul. President Barack Obama and the Democrats want to pay for much of their plan to cover the uninsured by cutting hundreds of billions from the Medicare budget over the next 10 years. From its inception, the health plan for seniors has been kept afloat by taxes out of workers' paychecks. Now, Medicare savings would count toward helping uninsured working-age children and grandchildren afford their own coverage."

While many seniors worry that cuts may lead to lower quality care, the AP notes: "The proposed cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and other providers are bigger than any Congress has imposed since the late 1990s. However, in percentage terms, they're far from the largest ever. And Democrats are also proposing to spend tens of billions to improve Medicare prescription coverage and preventive care." The AP also answers several questions about how reform efforts would affect Medicare beneficiaries (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/29).

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