GOP presidential candidate: Eliminate the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says he favors privatizing Medicare and says he would like to see the elimination of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Programs administered at least in part by CMS account for an overwhelming majority of payments made to skilled nursing providers.

Santorum, who eked out a second-place finish in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, said on CNN that he would welcome the growth of private sector health plans that would compete with Medicare.

"You want the private sector out there competing, driving down costs, improving efficiency," he told CNN reporter John King. “You want to get rid of this — of CMS [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services], where government basically micromanages all healthcare through Medicare and Medicaid."

Santorum explained that Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) proposal to convert Medicare to a voucher system is not much different than what some seniors do now in purchasing Medigap policies.

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