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Entitlements like Medicare be on the chopping block in order to strike a deal on the fiscal cliff.
After spending more than 486.
Billion dollars on Medicare last your experts say.
It could be the next program to go bankrupt so is raising the eligibility age the answer.
Doctor Donald Thomas -- I was a former president of the American Medical Association and author of the little red book.
The lessons he joins us live from New Orleans.
Saints helmet perfectly placed just behind him good to see a -- Good thing and -- I'm a lot and Alison how you doing we're doing great a lot of people is certainly Republicans talking about raising the eligibility age for Medicare buy at least.
Around two years but you point out -- -- positives.
And negatives to that approach.
What -- well first of all.
Have to be done Medicare has broken and and we can't continue just to put -- -- in this leaking engine we have fifty.
Million people on Medicare.
Right now and we're adding 101000 people a day because of the baby boom is joining and last year we spent.
Billion dollars on Medicare.
And so if you look at two sources one the Congressional Budget Office and the second source.
The Medicare trustees' and we can say that those off nonpartisan groups.
They are saying that Medicare will be bankrupt in two point 24 and that's based on the assumptions that.
What will happen is that we're gonna do this price cutting cutting positions in January 27%.
So if you raise the Medicare -- The 67 what you have to do is to give some notice so that you don't suddenly have a detrimental reliance problem where people about to get on Medicare suddenly find that they can't get on Medicare.
-- you got to move that and gradually but that would be a step in the right direction certainly and the other thing would be to put it.
Medicare into a defined contribution.
Or a premium support model which by the way I'm not speaking for the AMA now but.
AMA is in favor of that and and terrible formal presence of AMA that it Johnson doctor plus that a knife.
Long Tom have advocated this.
You say that one thing that would really help is for people to take responsibility.
Forward their individual health care and make the right decisions what does that look like.
What what we shouldn't do is get competition in the -- is really no competition now.
In Medicare if -- tell everybody they can get an automobile and I got to pick I use you go.
They're gonna go out and buy a really nice claw.
An expensive -- our -- we need to do is make the individual.
Let the patients think about being fiscally responsible with a good way to do that.
A health savings account would be available to many people with high deductible insurance over that.
And I'm afraid with the Affordable Care Act that that.
Option may be knocked out because they're not gonna count the money that the individual puts in good health savings account as -- the ratio.
When they look at expenses and pay outs and -- one.
What -- we need to acknowledge that there's a problem.
That Medicare is going bankrupt and we need to come up with a solution raising the Medicare age converting Medicare to defined contribution a premium support.
Heavy competition across state lines so that we don't get one insurance company -- so much Powell out there they control what they pay well what services they offer let's have something like that federal employees health benefit program.
That the people in congress have.
If only we had some elected officials who would discuss changes to entitlements.
Well -- all of our staff.
They got to stop all the rhetoric and all the games playing and get down -- serious business.
Got a doctor Donald Paul -- out -- thanks for coming in your expertise.
Thank you very much part coming up the --
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