Medicare was created in 1965 to help senior citizens and disabled citizens with access to health care if they did not have commercial health insurance. In 2014, 54 million Americans are receiving Medicare benefits. As stated by Emily P. Walker, Medicare is “considered both a huge success that has markedly improved the health of the nation’s elderly and an unbelievably complex, unsustainable program that accounts for an ever-increasing portion of the federal budget” (Walker, 2010, p. 1). Medicare is essential to the landscape of the American health care system. Medicare is essential to getting patients access to care they may never have had before. Societal issues
Although Medicare helps millions of Americans it is not without costs to society. Medicare covers basic medical costs with some out-of-pocket expenses to the patients. However, Medicare does not offer long-term benefits for nursing homes and long-term facilities for extended care. This creates the need to have some people on Medicare also apply for Medicaid to cover the extended costs of health care that are not covered by Medicare. In addition, Physicians have been left with the responsibility to keep costs down for Medicare patients while the yearly reimbursement continues to drop. When Medicare drops their rates commercial insurance companies, that base their rates off of Medicare reimbursement rates, drop their reimbursement for treatment of patients that are not on Medicare therefore affecting Physicians income and abilities to support their practices.
Walker, E. P. (2010). The history of Medicare and its influence on American health care. Retrieved from http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2010/01/history-medicare-influences-american-health-care.html