- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Your editorial, “Reform Medicare first” (Opinion, Tuesday), makes a lot of sense. Medicare, as an insurance provider, should be eliminated altogether and replaced with a simple medical insurance premium subsidy that begins at age 65. Allowing Medicare recipients to select a policy from many offered by private insurers makes more sense than any government-run enterprise. They eventually will do to the medical industry what Congress, through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, recently did to the banking industry.

Government can never be trusted to compete fairly in the free market. As someone who is both privately insured and a Medicare recipient, I see Medicare forcing health care providers to accept payments that don’t cover the cost of the service provided, thus increasing costs to non-Medicare patients. Perhaps this is one reason private insurance premiums do not drop a cent when Medicare becomes the primary insurer. Additionally, and in what is by far the worst abuse, Medicare cuts costs by forcing doctors to take risks with their patients’ lives.

Whenever the government thinks it can run things better than a highly competitive private sector, it is suffering from delusions of grandeur, and any voter who supports such government endeavors evidently has learned nothing from history.

LESTER VIA

Springfield

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