10/17/12

Murphy's Plan to Save Medicare

In a press release, Democrat Mark Murphy, running to unseat Conservative-Republican Congressional Representative Michael Grimm in NY-11, laid out a four-point plan to save Medicare.

A commonsense policy Murphy said could save $20 billion or more per year prescription drug spending would be to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to lower prescription drug prices. To that end, Murphy would work to pass the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Medicare fraud and abuse eat 10% or more of Medicare dollars. Getting rid of them would save $80 billion or more every year.  Murphy would support stricter oversight of Medicare contracting and billing, where most fraud happens, and stronger penalties for Medicare cheats, including working to pass a House version of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Enforcement and Prevention Act.

A recent study by the Institute of Medicine identified key areas in the medical system that need streamlining, including bloated administrative expenses, unnecessary services and inefficient service delivery. Reform in these areas could save hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, Murphy said.

Eliminating tax breaks for Big Oil and America's Wealthiest could generate billions in funding. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that letting the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest expire would put $800 billion back in the federal budget over the next ten years. Murphy would reinvest a percentage of these funds in healthcare reforms to get better outcomes for Medicare patients, to better police Medicare fraud, and to eliminate systemic waste, improving Medicaid's long-term solvency and sustainability.

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