No, there are a variety of approaches, some of which have been included in reform proposals put forth by members of Congress as well as others. The age of eligibility, now 65, could be increased, which would reduce Medicare spending by making people wait longer until they can begin collecting benefits. Payments to providers, such as doctors and nursing homes, could be reduced, and rules could be imposed to reduce the use of certain services. Congress changed the rules in the 1990s, making it harder to qualify for home health care, and this substantially cut spending for this coverage. Certain types of procedures, such as surgeries, could be given lower reimbursement rates under the Medicare program.
Is There More Than One Plan to Reform Medicare?
Is There More Than One Proposal to Reform Medicare?
What Is the Premium Support Option, and How Is it Different From Current Medicare?