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: 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

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    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

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    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

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: The blessing of memories

    Many years ago, shortly after I retired from the navy, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with my brother David, when he remarked that he regretted never serving in the military and experiencing the things I had seen. Like most of our farmer ancestors, he spent his entire life within five miles of where he grew up. Not unlike our parents, he could also count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he had even been out of the state of Texas and probably have digits to spare.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    Immigration: Wow! Where are all these illegal boys and girls coming from, and why? The “why” is a big question! I’m sure 5-year-olds are not coming for a better life and income. 

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Signs and seals

    God gave the church signs and seals. These are called sacraments or holy ordinances. They are both holy and commanded. There are two sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ. They are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These sacraments are often referred to as “secondary doctrine.” They are secondary not because they are unimportant. They are secondary because they are not necessary for salvation. 

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Response to 'Blame game'

    Dear Editor: It’s not drug cartels telling Central Americans their children won’t be turned away at the border, it is the actions of this administration with its refusal to secure the border and its unilateral rewriting of immigration law. As has been shown, this president and his administration have for some time lied about the security of the border and immigration enforcement.

    July 17, 2014