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New Study Shows That American Public is Willing to Accept Major Reforms in Medicare Program
Date:12/29/2009

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Although Americans see Medicare as a key part of the country's social contract and want to preserve it in some recognizable form, they are willing to consider significant changes in the program to hold down its costs as the U.S. population ages.

In day-long "Choice-Dialogues" in which Americans from all walks of life considered the pros and cons of a range of choices for reforming Medicare, common ground was found in several key areas:

  • Allow Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs (94 percent support).
  • Encourage hospice care instead of heroic end-of-life measures (85 percent support).
  • Only cover treatments that are scientifically proven to be effective (68 percent support).
  • Emphasize preventive care and personal responsibility (89 percent consider preventive care very important or essential).
  • Gradually increase the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 (68 percent support).

If additional money is needed to maintain Medicare in a way that is familiar in the future, Americans would rather see the government raise taxes than increase the federal debt.

These are among the central findings in a report released today by The Concord Coalition and Viewpoint Learning, Inc. The report is entitled "Medicare: It's Not Just Another Program."

The report, which was written by Viewpoint Learning, also underscores public dismay at the health care system in general. It comes as Congress and the Obama administration are working on massive changes in the entire system.

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SOURCE The Concord Coalition
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