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Medicare: Comparison With Medicaid and Its Evolution Essay

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Updated: Mar 1st, 2022

Medicare vs. Medicaid

Medicare is a social insurance plan under the U.S. Health care system and provides coverage to individuals not taking into regard their status or income. This is what differentiates Medicare from Medicaid. Medicaid, unlike Medicare, caters to the poor and destitute and instead of paying the patient the hospital bills; they pay the health institutes directly and often require some partial payment from the patient as well. Medicaid varies from state to state and to be eligible for it, the patient must be poor and should fall under the legal paradigms set by the state’s laws (HHS Gov).

Medicare is for people who are older than 65 years of age. A compromise is made if the patient is below 65 and has a disability. Recently another condition is added which allows people having End-Stage Renal disease, which requires a kidney transplant, to avail the facility of Medicare. Strict guidelines are in place so that only the deserving candidates receive medical treatment.

Evolution of Medicare

In 1965, about half of the elderly lacked medical insurance, but Medicare now caters to everyone over the age of 65. In 1972 Medicare was expanded to include younger age groups with permanent disabilities and suffering from the liver disease. As Medicare caters to people living primarily on Social Security as their income, the changes in the conditions of Medicare are relatively low compared to other government sponsored agencies. It is also seen that 16% of people availing Medicare are below the age of 65 and are disabled (Kaiser Family Foundation).

With improving health facilities the mortality rate is growing older and older. Thanks to technological innovations now not only there are better drugs available, but also better ideas of the disease. In old ages a lot of prescription drugs are required and over a time they become unaffordable to many people. Medicare facilitates this service and helps them in purchasing the drugs. Also over the past years the number of workers was decreasing with an increase in the beneficiaries. These changes in demographics affect the decision of who is entitled to avail Medicare. Medicare is now given after careful scrutiny of the applicant and it does not aim to cater to long term diseases as it would become too costly. It is just like a process how a bank gives out a loan by first looking at the person’s history and then the authenticity.

Medicare has also become a trump card for politicians as they use its importance in society to collect votes by promising reforms in the healthcare system and making Medicare and Medicaid more available and efficient. These points have influenced Medicare to become in its current state.

Future of Medicare

With the economy in recession, older mortality rates, and increasing beneficiaries as compared to workers, some policies are believed to be changed to meet the demand. To help Medicare survive there are differing views but one thing is clear. To improve Medicare and make it in its ideal form, change should be subtly made and financing problems shouldn’t govern the actions of Medicare and humane measures must be established to govern Medicare policies. After all, life is scared and its protection must become a priority over all other things. (Future of Medicare)

Works Cited

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (2007). Overview. Web.

Hill, J.E. (2006). The Coming Revolution in Healthcare. Vital Speeches of the Day, 72(26), 774-777.

HHS.gov. Medicaid Program – General Information. 2006. Web.

Kaiser Family Foundation. Medicaid 101 Tutorial. 2002. Web.

Medicare Basics Tutorial. 2008. Web.

Managed Care. “The Future of Medicare.” The Future of Medicare: A Discussion Forum About Medicare Reform and Growth. Philadelphia, 2003.

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