The Democratization of Health Care: The Seniors Question

NMQF: March 25, 2013

There is much talk these days about seniors. There are just so doggone many of them, proliferating and living long lives in Medicare. It is estimated that by 2030, one-third of our population (80 million) will be on Medicare, with a life expectancy of 20 years in the program. The concern is that, by their numbers and longevity, seniors will bankrupt Medicare and damage our economy as we struggle to save the program.

How can Medicare afford to cover our seniors? One answer to that question is Medicare’s recent effort to move away from paying fees for services and toward paying for value. Value is a pleasant-sounding word. Who could be against getting value for a dollar? But this shift raises questions of its own: How can value save Medicare from bankruptcy? What do the proponents of a value-based health care system mean by the term value? Read more