Although people may believe that their insurance worries are over once they qualify for Medicare, both doctors and patients are looking for a private option—especially with Medicare's looming bankruptcy, and ObamaCare's promise to cut half a trillion dollars from it to help fund universal coverage.
Many doctors can't pay their rent on Medicare-allowed fees. Some Medicare patients can't find a doctor willing to see them at all, much less to provide VIP service.
Medicare is supposed to be "voluntary"—except of course for paying the tax. Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) explores what that means, in the summer issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. (http://www.jpands.org/vol15no2/orient.pdf)
The original Medicare law promised that the federal government would not interfere in the practice of medicine. Cost escalation, however, quickly led to price controls, "utilization review," and "quality assurance." Courts held that these were constitutional—because Medicare participation is "voluntary." By accepting money from Medicare, a doctor "volunteers" to be bound by more than 100,000 pages of rules.
Physicians are "opting out" of Medicare at an accelerating rate. Additionally, now that Medicare is requiring onerous procedures to enroll, or to "revalidate" enrollment, more physicians are asking why they should.