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Roy Blunt: "Medicare has never done anything to make people more healthy"

The Missouri Democratic Party has posted video of comments from Roy Blunt made this past weekend, in which Blunt states: "We've had Medicare since 1965, and Medicare has never done anything to make people more healthy. If there's any opportunity for more healthy activity, it's going to be, again, a private, competitive..." 

It's an incredible claim, but consistent with his comments a few weeks ago that it would have been best if Medicare and Medicaid had never been created. This may be new information for Blunt, but a lot of his constituents are much healthier because of Medicare, and they like it very much.

From the National Journal:

According to a national CAHPS [Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems] survey conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2007, 56 percent of enrollees in traditional fee-for-service Medicare give their "health plan" a rating of 9 or 10 on a 0-10 scale. Similarly, 60 percent of seniors enrolled in Medicare Managed Care rated their plans a 9 or 10. But according to the CAHPS surveys compiled by HHS, only 40 percent of Americans enrolled in private health insurance gave their plans a 9 or 10 rating.

More importantly, the higher scores for Medicare are based on perceptions of better access to care. More than two thirds (70 percent) of traditional Medicare enrollees say they "always" get access to needed care (appointments with specialists or other necessary tests and treatment), compared with 63 percent in Medicare managed care plans and only 51 percent of those with private insurance.

Medicare also pays for a lot of preventative services, including:

But in Blunt's world, none of those make people any healthier. Say what? 



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