The Solvency of the Medicare program-Nursing Paper Examples

DB 4 (The Solvency of the Medicare program-Nursing Paper Examples)

What alternatives are available to policymakers interested in ensuring the solvency of the Medicare program?

 The Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund that pays for Medicare beneficiaries’ healthcare services has been projected to become insolvent by 2031. Without potential changes, the trust fund will be insufficient to cover all beneficiary’s health spending. However, policymakers have two options to increase the trust fund’s life span (Solvency of the Medicare program-Nursing Paper).

The options are reducing unnecessary spending/spending less and increasing the revenue to extend the solvency (Jacobson et al., 2021). Thus, more revenue while reducing unnecessary will ensure that the Medicare program has sufficient funds to cover the healthcare bill and services for qualified beneficiaries (The Solvency of the Medicare program-Nursing Paper Examples).

(The Solvency of the Medicare program-Nursing Paper Examples)
(The Solvency of the Medicare program-Nursing Paper Examples)

What change should be made to ensure the future solvency of Medicare?

The revenue proposal addresses the tax loopholes that allow people to avoid paying Medicare taxes. In this case, policymakers will ensure that the total income for qualifying individuals is subject to one of the existing taxes for people who organize their businesses to avoid paying tax and redirect all net investment income tax to the hospital insurance trust fund (The Commonwealth Fund, 2023). Subsequently, the spending proposals entail reducing excessive payment to post-acute services, lowering the prices of prescription drugs, and creating competitive bidding among Medicare Advantage plans (The Solvency of the Medicare program-Nursing Paper Examples).

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What lessons can we learn from government-sponsored programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA System about the problems facing fixed-budget healthcare systems?

 Fixed-budget health policies are difficult to implement to cater to the United States Medicare, Medicaid, and VA systems. One shortcoming is that fixed budgets are not responsive to patient volume changes from one system to another. As such, a system may receive additional patient volumes but not receive additional revenue to provide care for the number of new patients (The Solvency of the Medicare program-Nursing Paper Examples).

The fixed budget approach also offers disproportionate incentives for different systems, thus restricting or reducing healthcare delivery. However, a variable budget approach will foster adjustments that create incentives based on services provision, patient volumes, disease incidence, and payer and consumer preferences (The Solvency of the Medicare program-Nursing Paper Examples).

References

Jacobson, G., Cicchiello, A., Sutton, J. P., & Shah, A. (2021). Medicare Advantage vs. traditional Medicare: How do beneficiaries’ characteristics and experiences differ? Commonwealth Fund. https://www.snpalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Medicare-Advantage-vs.-Traditional-Medicare-Beneficiaries-Differ-_-Commonwealth-Fund-1.pdf

The Commonwealth Fund (2023). Addressing Medicare Solvency Will Require Both Revenue and Spending Changes. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2021/addressing-medicare-solvency-will-require-both-revenue-and-spending-changes

DB 05

 Outline the arguments that favor the implementation of a universal healthcare program. Who should pay for the coverage?

The main argument that favors implementing universal health coverage is that it ensures that all people access quality care in full range, at a time and place of need, without encountering financial hardships. Universal health coverage also provides continued access to full health services ranging from health promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation to palliative care v.

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Importantly, Universal health coverage allows nations to use human capital, one of the strongest assets for economic growth and development (Cometto et al., 2021). Therefore, supporting health through affordable and quality care for all people is foundational and instrumental in human capital and the country’s growth. It increases labor supply reducing disability and work absenteeism leading to the rise of GDP while reducing the budget deficit.

The government (taxes) and the consumers (premiums to health programs/ companies) should pay for their universal health coverage. Although the US does not have universal health coverage, public insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and private companies promote the right to health for eligible individuals. Thus, eligible consumers pay up-front premiums to health insurance programs or companies where the payment allows the consumer to share the risk with others that make similar payments. The premiums paid cater to the healthcare needs of the smaller number of people that get sick over the few that remain healthy most of the time.

References

Cometto, G., Buchan, J., & Dussault, G. (2020). Developing the health workforce for universal health coverage. Bulletin of the World Health Organization98(2), 109. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6986219/

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