Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

July 24, 2013

OPINION: Medicare: Improving lives for 48 years

(Continued)

It’s important to note that the Affordable Care Act has already extended the life of Medicare by implementing key reforms that will save $500 billion over the next 10 years. From curtailing exorbitant payments to private insurers to cracking down on fraud and abuse, Washington has shown that it can accomplish real savings intelligently and responsibly, without cutting benefits for current or future retirees.

In order to reduce high prescription drug prices, we also must stop pharmaceutical companies from gaming the system. Right now, some brand name drug companies are driving up the cost of health care by entering into agreements with generic drug companies, paying them to delay bringing a competing product to the market. Moreover, Medicare should be allowed to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug costs, which isn’t permissible under current law. Allowing Medicare to use the bargaining power of its 52 million beneficiaries to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices, particularly for high-priced brand name drugs, could save money for seniors and reduce the cost of health care.

Improving care coordination is essential to making sure patients receive safe, high-quality care. We can do this by creating systems that better connect doctors and health care facilities and take advantage of advanced information technology. More effective care coordination will also reduce medical errors and  help prevent dangerous, preventable hospital re-admissions while also ensuring patients are getting recommended care and saving taxpayer dollars.

It is estimated that Medicare could save hundreds of billions of dollars by reducing waste and stepping up fraud detection. For example, Medicare currently pays all health claims and then has to chase down providers if an error or fraud is detected--and too often the improper payment is never recovered. By improving technology, we can flag fraudulent claims before they are paid. We can also use technology to crack down on criminals who file false Medicare claims. By removing personalized information from Medicare identification cards, we can develop new cards that can track and confirm that Medicare is being billed for only those services a patient receives.

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Viewpoints
  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: I have been corrected

    I was complaining about President Obama making promises that he has not kept, such as taxes will not go up one dime or health care will go down about $2,500 per year for a family of four. He said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He said he would have an immigration plan in place. What he really meant was that if Congress would allow it, we would have open borders.

    July 29, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Concern for your pocketbooks

    Dear Editor: My message today is to Democrats out in Parker County and the middle class and moderate-income Republicans in towns and rural areas. 

    July 27, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Taking care of your tools

    For much of my life I’ve heard the saying, “Take care of your tools, and your tools will take care of you.”  In our modern “throw away world” this has become much less important than it used to be, but down on the “pore farm,” tools still enjoy a prominent position in my daily life.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The greatest joy of all: Jesus

    The first part of this week was a joyous one for me. I took 10 youth to Lake Mineral Wells State Park for three days of day camping. Camp Adventure was the name of the camp. We discovered the joy of the One who created us: Jesus. I am sitting at my desk on the day after the camp writing this article. I am overjoyed by the events of the week, and yet I am physically exhausted. The Lord moved powerfully among our youth.

    July 26, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time for all good men...

    When man’s greed, desire for riches, power and control of our nation become greater than their love of humanity and our country, by constantly fomenting discord and hate among the citizens, warmongering and constantly talking of wars against other nations - it is putting political ideology before the welfare of citizens and country. It is time for We the People to take a good look at these men involved - no matter their status in our nation, we call the United States of America and decide whether or not they deserve the privilege and sanctuary of our nation.

    July 25, 2014

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Finding a church

    God commands His people to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the apostolic church to the first day, Sunday. The church refers to every Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a professing Christian will seek to find a local church in which to invest in the kingdom and worship the King! 

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s your current address?

    Shortly after we moved to Weatherford 19 years ago, the old post office (today’s Court Building) that was literally bursting at the seams was replaced by a new, larger facility – our present mail center that sometimes seems outgrown as we stand in line to buy stamps or mail a package.  

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Good company, better service

    We would like to thank Devin’s Handyman Service, Gary Boase, David Schramm and James Reed for the wonderful job they did repainting our front fence, front porch, back porch, patio and deck. Everything looks new and makes such a difference in our home.

    July 23, 2014

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church

    Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church? No matter how you answer, there are some common reasons — or perhaps we would call them conditions — that would cause all of us to truly enjoy going to church. 

    July 20, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Don't judge a book...

    Dear Editor: Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when state representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 20, 2014

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