Critical Condition

‘Extending the Life of Medicare’? Good Luck with That

White House adviser David Axelrod told ABC News that the president wants to focus on “extending the life of Medicare” through cutting payments to providers.

Good luck with that. As I’ve written before in NRO’s Critical Condition, and described in excruciating detail in a recently published study, elderly Americans are approaching uncharted territory. There are compelling signals that physicians are abandoning the dysfunctional Medicare monopoly in droves. Sunday’s Arizona Republic ran a story that is becoming increasingly common in local mainstream media: Canadian-style lack of access to care for our Medicare beneficiaries, especially when trying to get primary-care appointments.

I believe that the majority faction realizes that this crisis is imminent, and that is why it is so committed to health “reform” right now. Currently, most Americans have private health insurance while they work, and are dependent on the government for medical services when they turn 65. The gap in access to care is yawning ever wider. Pretty soon it will be the talk of every coffee shop and bowling alley.

Then it will be too late to convince the people that government control of access to medical services is a social good.

John R. Graham is director of Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute.

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