John argues that each of these statements is a myth:
- Medicare is inefficient and fails to control costs--the CBO has projected that per capita spending will grow only 1% more than inflation over the next decade.
- The well-off don't pay enough for their Medicare benefits--working age premiums as well as Part B premiums already vary considerably by income.
- Medicare benefits are overly generous--in 2007 Medicare paid an average of only half of the $18,000 the average beneficiary spent.
- Cutting Medicare is the only way to save it--changing incentives to providers offers more promise.
- Medicare needs fundamental restructuring--"Even the most well-run and efficient program cannot nearly double its enrollment without a matching increase in money."
And this conclusion:
"Containing health-care cost growth is critical for Medicare’s survival, but it’s impossible to do that for Medicare alone. Payment restraints and incentives that improve value must be applied to the entire health-care system to be effective."