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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Quick fixes for Medicare will not address inherent problems

By Andrew Bisto
November 30, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST

As the fiscal decisions significantly impacting our country approach quickly, I would like to spend a moment discussing the threats to cut Medicare.

In spite of our bloated military budget that has surpassed all other countries in the world, we have maintained an isolated focus on budgetary concerns regarding programs like Medicare. This fixation on reducing expenditures on Medicare and subjecting our health care to the “free hand” of the market is based on the ideological premise that we should have smaller government, or no government at all, involved in our most vital societal decisions.

One measure claims that increasing the age of qualification would reduce the amount of expenditures, but what would it accomplish for our collective well-being? The only need such cuts address is Medicare’s cost, not its underlying function.

Medical costs are a huge burden for American families, and the uncertainty of future coverage increases this strain. People are more than dollars and cents — the overwhelming focus on these social programs’ cost has reduced the discussion to a matter of monetary concerns.

The focus should not be limited to reducing the amount of people qualified for care. Instead, we should make Medicare stronger for the tens of millions of Americans who need it.

Andrew Bisto is an MU student studying sociology.