Opting Out of Medicare

This is from the New York Times:

In a June 2008 report, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an independent federal panel that advises Congress on Medicare, said that 29 percent of the Medicare beneficiaries it surveyed who were looking for a primary care doctor had a problem finding one to treat them, up from 24 percent the year before.

Those looking for a primary care doctor had more difficulty. A 2008 survey by the Texas Medical Association found that while 58 percent of the state’s doctors took new Medicare patients only 38 percent of primary care doctors did.

Comments (4)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    Sounds just like Britain. Or Canada.

  2. Ken says:

    This is why seniors need an alternative to Medicare.

  3. Stephen C. says:

    How much worse is it going to be if Obama’s health plan causes 100 million new people to join a Medicare look-a-like plan? See new report out by Lewin.

  4. HD Carroll says:

    Small wonder. All studies point to how much Medicare underpays all providers, not just physicians. In fact, this effective price-setting by the government which is actually taxation without representation, authorization, or responsibility, is the single primary cause of the mess the health care financing system is in today, and the most important thing to correct if we have any chance of reforming the other aspects that need reforming. Why doesn’t everyone see that this is the case? Instead, so called health care “expert” after expert refers to the government’s deep discounts that can be forced on providers as if it is OK, to be accepted for some reason. It is NOT. There should be NO variation in bottom line effective charges by a provider based upon third party payer relationship of the patient (including private payers, there is no economic or moral justification for favored nation pricing in health care once it is determined to be a “social utility” by the society). Fix this, and many other reforms have a chance at some success.