Medicare Meltdown: How Wall Street and Washington are Ruining Medicare and How to Fix It

Overview

Medicare affects everyone. If you are a boomer, you are counting on Medicare to protect you from the cost of health care when you retire. If you have turned 65, you already depend on Medicare. If you are a Gen-X or Gen-Y, you are contributing to Medicare from your paycheck. Will Medicare continue to exist as we have known it? Will it be there when you need it? How much will it cost? As the future of Medicare is debated in Washington, Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh shine a light on a rarely-seen side of...
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Medicare Meltdown: How Wall Street and Washington are Ruining Medicare and How to Fix It

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Overview

Medicare affects everyone. If you are a boomer, you are counting on Medicare to protect you from the cost of health care when you retire. If you have turned 65, you already depend on Medicare. If you are a Gen-X or Gen-Y, you are contributing to Medicare from your paycheck. Will Medicare continue to exist as we have known it? Will it be there when you need it? How much will it cost? As the future of Medicare is debated in Washington, Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh shine a light on a rarely-seen side of this storied program: the business of Medicare.

Medicare is known as an entitlement for the nation’s seniors. It is also the largest entitlement-based program for any business sector in the US economy. Its beneficiaries include hospitals, doctors, drug companies, device manufacturers, Wall Street investment banks, private equity firms, hedge funds, and others that rely on the $600 billion that Medicare spends a year.

The ties that bind Wall Street and Washington in the healthcare industry are strong, and they will play an outsized role in determining Medicare’s future. Gibson and Singh reveal how the industry’s interests are often at odds with those of seniors and boomers.

While some politicians point to the culture of dependence of the public on Medicare, the authors suggest that policymakers turn their attention to the culture of dependence of the healthcare industry on Medicare, which is the predominant force pushing the program toward a fiscal cliff.

The amount of waste in the Medicare program is equivalent to the entire economy of New Zealand. For Medicare to be sustained, this culture of dependence -- and the habits it breeds, namely waste, excessive pricing, and overuse of unnecessary services -- should be the first priority for the chopping block. By parings back the excess, the authors argue, Medicare can be sustained for future generations. This is essential reading for anyone interested in how Medicare works, how it could work better, and where it will go if reforms are not made.

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Editorial Reviews

Bernie Sanders
A thoughtful contribution to the debate surrounding the future of Medicare.
Max Richtman
...Bolsters the case we have been making that Medicare must be preserved and strengthened... without shiftingcoststo seniors who are already paying a large share of their modest incomes for health care.
Amitai Etzioni
Rarely have I felt as justified in supporting a book.Any person who cares about American public life, politics or their own personal well-being should closely read this book.
Jennie Chin Hansen
A riveting read, this eyebrow raising and pupil dilating book frames 'entitlement' in a new light and uncovers some inconvenient truths.
Jean E. Johnson
The most powerful analysis of Medicare I have seen in my career.
Randy Block
Courageous authors like Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh are shining a spotlight on how Wall Street and the health care industry's sense of entitlementare contributing to the financial meltdown of Medicare.
Kip Piper
After exposing the hidden impact of medical errors, Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh take on financial and political intrigues in the Medicare program. Medicare Meltdown is a lively polemic, leaving no prisoners in a provocative exposé of the $600 billion Medicare program.
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
This expose is quite readable. It is shocking, depressing, and educational. Everyone should read this book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442219793
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/16/2013
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 494,110
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosemary Gibson is anational authority on U.S. health care. At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, she designed and led national initiatives to improve health care quality and safety. She was vice president of the Economic and Social Research Institute and served as senior associate at the American Enterprise Institute. She is principal author of Wall of Silence, The Treatment Trap, and The Battle Over Health Care. She serves as an editor for the Archives of Internal Medicine series, Less is More.

Janardan Prasad Singh is an economist at the World Bank. He has been a member of the International Advisory Council for several prime ministers of India. He worked on economic policy at the American Enterprise Institute and on foreign policy at the United Nations. He has written extensively on health care, social policy, and economic development. He was a member of the Board of Contributors of the Wall Street Journal. He is co-author of Wall of Silence, The Treatment Trap, and The Battle Over Health Care.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I: How Much Is Medicare Costing You?
1: 15 Medicare Facts That Will Astonish You
2: They’re Coming for Your Social Security
3: Will Democrats and Republicans Really Fix Medicare for You?
4: Swiss Cheese Medicare: More Holes Than Cheese

Part II: Where Your Money Goes: The Business of Medicare
5: A House on Medicare Drive
6: Bill, Baby, Bill
7: A Country Without Red Lights

Part III: How Wall Street Determines the Care You Get
8: Medicare’s One Percent
9: When Wall Street Health Care Comes to Main Street
10: Wall Street and Government: Born Forty-Eight Seconds Apart

Part IV: The Entitled and the Entitlers: Taking a Slice of the American Pie
11: Seven Habits of an Entitled Health Care Industry
12: Hedge Funds: The Newest Beneficiaries of Medicare’s Entitlement
13: The Entitlers: The White House and Congress

Part V: Saving Medicare
14: Pull the Emergency Brake
15: Public Interest, Not Private Gain
16: Recycle the Waste, Restore the Dream

Notes
Index
About the Authors

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