Sneak Preview of the Best New Health Care Idea for 2007

  • by: |
  • 12/28/2006
Steve Hofman, my friend, mentor, fellow Yankee fan has come up with the best new health care idea for 2007.

In an article he has written for next week's Busineeweek (Jan 8, 2007) Steve suggests that the way to get Medicare's house in order is not -- as Democrats are demanding -- to impose price controls or restrict access to products or procedures. Rather:

"We need a way to mobilize recipients into an army ready to battle uncontrolled Medicare spending. Remember that modern armies have one thing in common: Members get paid. Every Medicare beneficiary must be paid to be part of the Medicare solution."

Pay seniors to save their own money and control Medicare spending to boot.

How would it work?

"Medicare beneficiaries would receive an annual rebate of 50 cents for each dollars they save the program. If someone saves Medicare $500, she would get $250. For saving Medicare $5000,, a beneficiary would get $2500. It's that simple."

There are right and wrong ways to cut spending. That's the point of Steve's proposal We have been doing all wrong for too long. We never gave seniors incentives to make healthy and economic choices, they same kind we all would make if we were investing our own dollars to pay our own bills.

One gee-whiz number to chew on: "If the 35 million nondisabled Medicare beneficiaries reduced their spending by a mere 5%, then $13.12 billion would be saved annually. And each 1% reduction adds $2.62 billion in further savings..."

That dough would be split 50-50 by seniors and the Treasury.

All the more reason to promote preventive and effective medicine. We haven't even begun to figure out what a combination of diet, exercise, preventive screens and right meds can do for the cost and impact on chronic illness, at least on a personal level. Steve's proposal makes it possible.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

Blog Roll

Alliance for Patient Access Alternative Health Practice
Better Health
Biotech Blog
CA Medicine man
Cafe Pharma
Campaign for Modern Medicines
Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look
Conservative's Forum
Club For Growth
Diabetes Mine
Disruptive Women
Doctors For Patient Care
Dr. Gov
Drug Channels
DTC Perspectives
Envisioning 2.0
FDA Law Blog
Fierce Pharma
Fresh Air Fund
Furious Seasons
Gel Health News
Hands Off My Health
Health Business Blog
Health Care BS
Health Care for All
Healthy Skepticism
Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Hugh Hewitt
In the Pipeline
In Vivo
Internet Drug News
Jaz'd Healthcare
Jaz'd Pharmaceutical Industry
Jim Edwards' NRx
Kaus Files
Laffer Health Care Report
Little Green Footballs
Med Buzz
Media Research Center
More than Medicine
National Review
Neuroethics & Law
Nurses For Reform
Nurses For Reform Blog
Opinion Journal
Orange Book
Peter Rost
Pharm Aid
Pharma Blog Review
Pharma Blogsphere
Pharma Marketing Blog
Pharmacology Corner
Pharmaceutical Business Review
Piper Report
Prescription for a Cure
Public Plan Facts
Real Clear Politics
Shark Report
Shearlings Got Plowed
Taking Back America
Terra Sigillata
The Cycle
The Catalyst
The Lonely Conservative
Town Hall
Washington Monthly
World of DTC Marketing
WSJ Health Blog