For Some Ages 55 to 64, Medicare Will Cost Too Much

by Janet Adamy
Wall Street Journal
December 10, 2009

Millions more Americans could get access to Medicare under the latest health proposal by Senate Democrats. But the program may not be cheap enough to entice some of them to sign up.

The proposal is part of a compromise unveiled Tuesday night that jettisons a broader public health-insurance plan from the Senate’s overhaul. Democrats also agreed to create a national nonprofit plan run by the same entity that administers benefits to federal employees.

Under the Medicare plan, consumers ages 55 to 64 would for the first time be allowed to buy into the federal program for the elderly, starting as soon as 2011. Congressional aides estimate that two million to three million people would participate…

…”We have a lot of concern,” said Jeffrey Korsmo, executive director for the health policy center at the Mayo Clinic, which said it lost $840 million treating Medicare patients last year. He said the change would “push the best providers, hospitals and physicians closer to the brink of financial ruin.”…

…Another issue is whether participants will have access to the same doctors as they do on private insurance. Some doctors have stopped taking Medicare patients because of the lower payment rates…

The entire article is at WSJ.

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