Sen. Klobuchar For Public Option, Insists On Medicare Reform

Senator Klobuchar: “We’ll I’ve always been positive about a public option or a competitive option or some type as the President talked about today. I’ve always just said it has to be hand and hand with cost reform. And I felt at the beginning of the summer that this wasn’t put up front and center like it should be. And we’re starting to see that change now. Next week a number of us are going to take to the floor about how we have to do Medicare reform. My view is this, if you were going to tie a public option to Medicare rates either explicitly or implicitly, you have to reform Medicare at the same time.


And I think that is a prudent and long-term way of looking at this. We just can’t pretend it’s not happening, that Medicare is going to go in the red by 2017 or that premiums are going to double in ten years. So both public option and that Medicare reform can work together to get better health care for people. “


“How are we ever going to bring the cost savings the President wants to do in Medicare if we continue to reward certain state systems that are just adding more and more tests as the President pointed out instead of emailing each other the results. Or that are not organized with a primary care provider and a number of specialists. There’s one great example of an HMO down in the southwestern part of the country that actually has instead of having doctors see reams of patients, they had nurses see them and then have two endrochnologists, these are diabetes patients, oversee it. Nurses actually see them more often than doctors did. Results go up to the endrochnologist. They adjust what the results are. They saved a lot of money and they got much higher quality and the patients were happier. They get punished under the existing reimbursement system. That is just wrong and that’s what I’m talking about here. Mike McIntee


” If something like that was reformed, if that got put in as part of this bill and there is a public option, would you be behind something like that then?” Klobuchar: “Oh yes. I’ve always said that. It’s just that if I don’t push this cost issue and tie it into the other things that we need to do, it’s going to be very difficult because the high quality, low cost states are really a minority in the country. And we have to push because it’s better for the whole country. ” McIntee: “A lot of the liberal-progressive side of the Democratic party has been a little bit upset because they haven’t heard you say ‘yeah yeah yeah’ yet.”


Klobuchar: “And I understand that. But I think when they listen to me they understand where I’m coming from. That I have never voiced opposition. That I’m simply saying let’s have this go hand in hand together and we’ll have a much better system. “

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