October 4, 2011
Jay Hancock 's article about shared sacrifices was well written and I couldn't agree more with his main thrust of putting everything on the table for all to sacrifice, from entitlements to cuts in spending to raising revenue ("Fixing America needs contributions from everybody," Oct. 2). I will point to one piece and take another point of view. That is Medicare. I believe there is a way to reform Medicare making it more solvent without sacrifice. I suggest lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare to 55. This would add about 20 million new younger premium paying subscribers to Medicare.
May 17, 2011
The Sun does a disservice in Noam N. Levey's reporting ("Medicare to run out in 2024," May 14). The article stresses the dates when the Medicare and Social Service trust funds run out of money, but these are, in fact, fairly meaningless milestones. The trust funds do not contain any funds. Today, the money to pay benefits comes from general funds, taxes, newly printed money or newly borrowed funds. As noted in the article, Social Security benefits are already being paid partially from the trust fund — excuse me — from general funds.
April 12, 2011
Jay Hancock writes as if liberals and arithmetic are on opposite sides and liberals are just wishful thinkers ("Fixing Medicare means sacrifice," April 10). That is silly, and no credit to him. Arithmetic is used to find results derived from premises which may be ideological, factual, or both, and the conclusions it allows are as various as the starting points. For the conclusions to be useful, the premises need to be factually accurate; for the conclusions to be ethical, the premises must be also.
March 26, 2010
Your March 24 editorial about the new health reform bill asks whether it is constitutional to require people to purchase health insurance ("Individual mandate is constitutional"). According to an article in the same issue of The Sun, 14 state attorneys general (all but one of whom are Republican) are filing federal lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of this requirement. Florida's Attorney General Bill McCollum, one of the 14, states that the new requirement "forces people to do something ... that simply the Constitution does not allow Congress to do."
August 21, 2012
Are the Republicans really that stupid, or has telling lies become such a way of life for them that they can't keep them all straight? I see in the paper from Republican babbling heads like Bob Ehrlich, as well as their cadre of misinformed letter writers, their new "talking point" that President Obama has not issued any plans for Medicare ("Ryan is a good pick - but very risky," Aug. 18). What drug do these guys take that seems to remove 90 percent of their brains? The president already has a plan.
February 6, 2012
Maxine Reed-Vance, of Belcamp, director of clinical affairs and causality assurance for Baltimore Healthy Start Inc., has been selected for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Innovation Advisors Program. Vance was selected through a competitive process and is one of 73 selected from a field of more than 900 applicants nationwide. The initiative, launched by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Innovations Center in 2011, will assist health care professionals deepen skills that will drive improvements to patient care and reduce cost.
January 22, 1998
MEDICARE is facing a new attack that threatens to replace the universal health coverage system that now serves America's elderly with a multitiered approach based on ability to pay.The Medicare Beneficiary Freedom to Contract Act, sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican, would allow doctors and senior citizens to contract for medical care at rates above those set by Medicare. It would permit doctors to charge senior citizens higher fees than now allowed for services already covered by Medicare.
May 10, 1995
Thanks to Medicare, Americans over 65 are the best-insured age group in the country. Of some 33 million elderly Americans, only about 1 percent lack health insurance, compared to 17 percent of people under 65.But that success has not come cheap, and Medicare faces deficits in the next decade that could reach $165 million. Meanwhile, Republicans are looking for significant savings in programs like Medicare in their quest to balance the budget by 2002. Clearly, Medicare cannot remain immune to the cost-containment pressures that in recent years have transformed the private market for health insurance.
May 26, 2011
One political party overwhelmingly favors a dramatic change to how health care is delivered in this country. The other denounces it, and polls show the public opposes it, too. Yet proponents stick to their guns — and voters punish them for it. A description of the 2010 mid-term elections and the effect of President Obama's health care reform initiative on Democrats in Congress? No, that's what is happening right now with the Republicans and proposed changes to Medicare. Irony, thy name is Washington.
May 21, 1995
Okay, it's only politics. But even by that standard, the Republican turnabout on Medicare is breathtaking.Last October, Washington Sen. Slade Gorton's TV ads criticized his opponent, Ron Sims, for supporting President Clinton's 1993 deficit-reduction package, focusing on a $56 billion cut to Medicare spread over five years. Not a single Republican in Congress voted for that budget, and most used it to pummel Democrats at the polls.Now the Republicans are about to go Mr. Clinton five times better.