Forbes Blasts Clinton for Expanding Medicare While Restricting Seniors’ Choice

(Bedminster, New Jersey) Steve Forbes, Honorary Chairman of Americans for Hope, Growth and Opportunity, a national issues advocacy organization, today criticized President Clinton for trying to expand government-run Medicare while simultaneously trying to restrict Medicare-eligible seniors from choosing their own doctors.

“There are a number of important changes Medicare needs to keep it from going completely bankrupt,” said Mr. Forbes. “But making Medicare bigger isn’t one of them.”

“First, President Clinton and Congress must immediately repeal Section 4507 of the Medicare law they just passed. Section 4507 effectively prohibits doctors from treating elderly patients on a private basis. This virtually denies seniors the choice of seeking treatment outside of Medicare. Even Britain, mother of socialized medicine, allows patients to contract privately with physicians. We must do all we can to maintain the right of patients to choose their own doctors, and protect the doctor-patient relationship.”

“Next, medical savings accounts must be available for all Medicare patients,” said Mr. Forbes. “Today, government pays for Medicare patients to be in a one-size-fits-all health care system, and effectively forces patients to purchase Medigap insurance to protect them from runaway costs. MSAs, by contrast, give seniors low cost, high-deductible catastrophic health insurance plans, and savings accounts to cover most out-of-pocket health care expenses. If seniors keep expenses low, the money in their MSAs grows over time to further limit, or even eliminate, their future out-of-pocket expenses.”

“The problem here is that step by step the Clinton-Gore Administration is trying to take over the American health care system and socialize it so that it can be run by government bureaucrats, not physicians and patients,” said Mr. Forbes.

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