Suggesting Cost Savings to Congress

This past Sunday I heard NPR interview Congressman Barney Frank.

One of the things discussed was a cooperative effort he and Congressman Ron Paul have to find ways to save money in the Federal budget.

What would be done with the saved money, of course, depends on the congressman, but they have a common goal in making the Federal government more efficient. Below is the letter I faxed today. I couldn’t get Frank’s Washington fax number to work, so sent it to a district office. Paul does not publish his D.C. number, so I had no choice but to send it to a district office.

The Honorables Barney Frank and Ron Paul
Faxed to 617-332-2822 and 979-285-0271

Dear Congressmen Frank and Paul:

I heard Congressman Frank on NPR Sunday soliciting suggestions on behalf of himself and Cong. Paul for cutting the budget. I have a specific one concerning Medicare.

A friend of mind contracted MIRSA when getting a metal brace put in her back a couple of years ago. It went into remission.

The bones healed and the doctor took out the brace. Doing so somehow unleashed the virus again.

She now has to take an hour-long drip three times a day.

Medicare will pay for the expensive medicine only if she is in a nursing home.

The woman’s husband told me the first 100 days of a nursing home stay is free, that is, fully paid by Medicare.

The woman would like to stay at home during her treatment. Her husband and daughter have undergone training to administer the medicine.

But, as you can imagine, the economic disincentive for such home care is large and may end up persuading the family to put the woman in a nursing home.

I would suggest this tilt in Medicare’s rules toward nursing homes and away from the most economical way to treat such patients would save money and is worth looking into.

If you have specific suggestions, here would be a way to share them.

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