When Medicare saves on costs, others pay

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 - 4:10 pm

Re "Affordable Care Act's big secret: It's already a surprising success" (Viewpoints, Nov. 30): Paul Krugman thinks that we will buy his false logic regarding the "slowing" of rising health care costs. He uses real Medicare spending to support his argument. The fallacy is that Medicare reduces its spending by cutting back on or refusing payment for services. Unfortunately, those costs get passed on to the recipient or others through co-insurance or direct billing. This year, my 82-year-old mother was admitted to a hospital with symptoms of a heart attack. Tests run during her stay ruled out a heart attack. Medicare decided that she could have been treated as an outpatient and refused to pay for her stay. The hospital had to eat it. Krugman also thinks that a decline in medical innovation and new drugs is good. Just take the old pills or old tests and shut up. Good luck!

-- Dennis Ringnes, Pollock Pines

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