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Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn Says He Has Plan To Save Medicare

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Tom Coburn says this new plan comes from years of discussion from both parties about common sense solutions - none of which have been acted on. Tom Coburn says this new plan comes from years of discussion from both parties about common sense solutions - none of which have been acted on.
Seniors could save with a combined Part A & B deductible, and a new maximum out of pocket cost. Seniors could save with a combined Part A & B deductible, and a new maximum out of pocket cost.
Loftin helps seniors navigate the Medicare system. Loftin helps seniors navigate the Medicare system.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

An Oklahoma Senator has come up with a Medicare makeover - that he says is one way to save a failing program.

Tom Coburn says this new plan comes from years of discussion from both parties about common sense solutions - none of which have been acted on.

Tom Coburn rolled out his plan to rescue Medicare with Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina.

"We think it's time to address it, to talk about it and what we're laying out is a blueprint," Coburn said.

Coburn says the plan would save at least $300 Billion over ten years and improve healthcare at the same time, mainly by introducing competition into the equation.

"Everywhere else, in almost everything we do, competition drives prices lower," Coburn said.

The plan would have private companies compete with Medicare for patients and allow seniors to choose which plan they prefer.

Seniors could save with a combined Part A & B deductible, and a new maximum out of pocket cost.

The government would spend less by gradually increasing eligibility to age 67 by 2027, and charging higher premiums for wealthier people.

"I would think, every year it goes up, people are used to that but it might be, I would hate to think, but people might have sticker shock at the increase," said Cindy of Life Senior Services.

Loftin helps seniors navigate the Medicare system. She says anyone who can afford buys extra insurance on top of their Medicare premiums - because they worry about paying too much out of pocket.

"Today a Medicare beneficiary has no maximum out of pocket protection at all, but if this proposal suggests a maximum out of pocket, I think that would be very attractive to most Medicare beneficiaries," she says

Senator Coburn says the biggest hurdle for his plan is election year politics - but the biggest push to make the changes is that Medicare is projected to be insolvent within 5 years.

"Not what makes sense politically, but what makes sense to solve the problem," Coburn said.

The out of pocket maximum would be $7,500 per year. Coburn says it's absolutely necessary to have people pay more in premiums because the government can't even borrow enough money to prop it up any longer.

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