There is a multitude of factors in the national health care reform equation but one thing is clear, the skyrocketing cost of health care is hurting all Americans, young and old alike.  That's why it's critical that Congress treats Medicare as more than just a cash-cow to pay for system-wide health care reforms.  Some of the savings proposed by the Obama administration should be reinvested to improve care for the nation's 45 million Medicare beneficiaries.  We can't reform health care while ignoring the nation's largest health care provider. We've written a letter to President Obama and Congress suggesting 3 key Medicare priorities: 
On behalf of the National Committee's millions of members and supporters, we propose three priority areas we believe must be addressed.  First, we urge you to eliminate the billions of dollars in subsidies that are being paid to private insurance plans under Medicare Advantage.  Currently, our nation is spending over $1,000 more per individual for those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans than it would cost to cover those same individuals under traditional Medicare.  There is simply no justification for the wasteful overpayment of private plans participating in the Medicare program.  Second, we urge Congress to enact sorely-needed reforms to the Medicare prescription drug benefit.  Priority improvements in Part D include:  providing seniors the choice of a Medicare-operated prescription drug plan, providing Medicare the authority to negotiate lower drug prices, eliminating the doughnut hole (which does not exist in any private sector health insurance system), and improving assistance to low-income seniors.  We believe these changes will both improve seniors' health and lower costs over the long term.  Finally, as you consider changes in coverage for those under age 65, we urge you to consider parallel improvements in the Medicare program for those aged 65 and older.  For example, most private health insurance plans include a limit on annual out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries.  We believe a similar cap in Medicare would address some of the issues seniors on fixed, limited incomes face with the unpredictability of annual health care expenditures.
You can see the full letter posted here on the National Committee's website.