I am a primary-care doctor in solo practice in Portland, Ore.
Gradually raise the age for Medicare eligibility to 75. If people have to work until they're 75, they'll be productive for longer. This is good. Why should the taxpayers cover a person's retirement expenses if they're still able to work? Raising the age would save billions of dollars, which can be spent on the needy. Those who can't work are already covered by the disability section of Medicare. For those who object that it's hard to get the unfair and unresponsive government to designate someone disabled—and they're right about that—I ask them, why do you trust the government to do a better job with a much bigger system?
Eliminate price controls for patients under Medicare who are wealthy. This would decrease cost-shifting and therefore it would decrease the upward pressure on private insurance premiums.
Let government negotiate on drug prices. I do not mean control prices. I mean negotiate, as the Veterans Administration does now.
Daniel J. Urbach, M.D.
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