The Senate has voted. Their new health care bill will cut Medicare Advantage plans, the one I have, and other “excessive” payments made by Medicare. Savings from these cuts are expected to cover much of the cost of the health care reform bill.

I see several inconsistencies in this move. On the one hand the Congress is promoting a “public option” health insurance, which would be a government insurance to compete with private insurance. The intention here would be to have a lower cost public option that would force private insurers to lower the premiums paid by recipients.

However, clearly Medicare, a government health plan, is a bloated system since the Congress expects to pay much of the additional costs from the new health care plan from cuts in “excessive” payments by Medicare. If this government run health plan has so much “fat,” why would the Congress believe the new “public option” would be a low cost option?

Congress says that the care given to Medicare Advantage recipients costs an average 14% more than care given to recipients of normal Medicare. But wait, Medicare Advantage is an insurance payment by Medicare to a private firm to provide full coverage to the participant. Medicare does not pay for the services received by these participants, as it does for those receiving services under normal Medicare. So how can it arrive at this cost deferential?

The new health care bill is a hopeless hodge-podge that does nothing to reduce the cost of health care, which is the main problem to be addressed. Rather it will simply make health care more expensive.

I continue to urge the Feds to look at expanding Medicaid to those who do not now have health insurance. Medicaid delivers health care at the lowest cost of any system. It does this by the individual states in the main contracting HMOs to dispense the health care.

Medicaid now covers some 50 million Americans, usually poor children and mothers. It is aimed at providing health care to those not able to afford it. In the first instance it could be extrended to the estimated 5 million who are eligible for Medicaid, but have not entered it. We could extend it to those whose income is above the poverty line, set at $22,000 per year for a family of four, by using a formula to have the recipient pay a part in accordance with his income.

Fortunately I am not alone in proposing this route to insuring that all Americans receive good health care. It has a good chance of being the final outcome of the heated debate to formulate our new health care policy.