In Medicare's Victims, David Hogberg recounts the intimate stories of patients and physicians who have struggled with Medicare – and then examines the particular Medicare policy that has caused their plight. Patients who are victims of Medicare are often the sickest of the sick – whether they are the disabled who are on Medicare's two-year waiting period; seniors who fell into Part D's donut hole; or individuals who are harmed through too much treatment or not enough. Physicians who are victims are the ones who struggle to provide the best care for their patients while Medicare's reimbursement system, in effect, punishes them for it. There clearly is one thing all of them do have in common: the lack of political power.
People who are seriously ill are relatively few. As such, they do not have the numbers necessary to impact elections. Furthermore, people who are ill are generally not engaged in the networking, meetings and other activities necessary to form effective political organizations. Thus, Congress seldom feels pressure to change the policies that harm these people. In the end, only through genuine Medicare reform can patients and physicians be put in control of their own medical decisions and, thus, no longer able to be victimized.
David Hogberg is Senior Fellow for Health Care Policy at the National Center for Public Policy Research. He previously worked for Investor's Business Daily, the Office of Representative Jeff Fortenberry, the Capital Research Center, and the Public Interest Institute. He has a B.A. from CSU Sacramento, an M.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, all in political science.
More About the Speakers
David Hogberg, Ph.D.
Edmund F. Haislmaier
Senior Research Fellow, Health Policy Studies