I got a glimpse of what Medicare will be like after Mark McClellan leaves. There will be an emphasis on prevention, with a focus on using the drug benefit or rather tailoring it to the individual to keep people health and prevent chronic illness. Plans have responded to the desire to not only keep premiums low or avoid the coverage gap with new approaches. They are also developing — in cooperation with Medicare and thousands of volunteers and countless agencies — ways to coordinating the drug benefit so that it becomes a tool for preventing disease. McClellan and others discussed — at a My Health, My Medicare briefing at HHS — the importance of giving seniors the ability to obtain the best health value from the Medicare program. Ultimately, giving consumers control over health care dollars with the best clinical and cost information will make that possible. Medicare will drive this point home by making sure seniors get a checkup, flu and pneumoccal shots, colonoscopies and other preventive screens that are now part and parcel of the Medicare benefit. And all of this will be rolled out as seniors choose new plans during the month of October.
I can’t wait to see Democrats and the sourpusses at Families USSR try and scare seniors out of making these important decisions. Medicare has become a third rail of American politics again — but this time it’s because people feel a sense of ownership not entitlement as in the past. Watch when the D’s try to replace what Mark has helped create with a one size fits all price control system….