U.S. physicians want to have a say if Medicare ends up shifting to more of a “voucher-based” or “defined contribution” system.
Members of the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) decided Tuesday at a meeting in Honolulu to adopt a set of Medicare defined contribution program principles.
The vote tally was not immediately available.
The AMA’s Council on Medical Service developed a report that calls for the United States to replace its current Medicare program — which combines a large, government-run program with some access to private Medicare Advantage plans — with a new program that would put much more emphasis on use of private plans.
The government should be able to try to shore up the Medicare program’s finances by using a fixed federal subsidy payment to encourage enrollees to shop for private-plan coverage based on price, the AMA House members agreed.
The AMA House said any defined contribution Medicare program should:
- Give enrollees the option of choosing a plan comparable to the traditional Medicare plan.
- Provide higher subsidies for low-income enrollees and enrollees with chronic health problems.
- Adjust the defined contribution amounts to reflect increases in health care and health insurance costs, not on changes in gross domestic product, overall inflation, or other indicators that are not directly tied to health care costs.