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View Diary: What I Keep Not Hearing About Medicare (182 comments)

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  •  I don't think either the President or Joe (23+ / 0-)

    Biden made the case for Medicare. Biden came the closest last night by saying, "Are you going to trust them to fix Medicare or are you going to trust us?"

    I know Senior Citizens are just one segment of our society, however, Medicare is promised to every American when they turn 65, so it is an issue that sooner or later will effect evey single American.

    What I find so disengenous about Romney/Ryan and their rhetoric is that they completly ignore the fact that Medicare already offers people choices. With your Medicare you have the right to chose your doctor, and the right to chose to get additional coverage if you choose to do so.

    I would actually like to see a full and honest debate on Medicare. I think if people heard more than sound bites and rhetoric, they would understand providing Medicare is costly and might just understand the reasons why. Turning over Medicare to health insurance companies as Romney/Ryan's voucher plan would do would do nothing to bring down the costs, it would simply shift the cost from the federal budget to the backs of seniors, the ones who can least likely afford to pay for it.

    •  And when seniors cannot afford the premiums (12+ / 0-)

      You are right back covering the difference one way or another.  If they force down premiums then young people pay anyway because their premiums go up.  All you achieve is humiliating elderly Americans.

    •  I have to remind myself that this is not what (11+ / 0-)

      Obama had in mind when the planning of The Affordable Care Act began.

      The Republicans and duped Democrats are very much responsible for this turkey. Our health care system was so broken that just to get it back on track , this less than perfect Frankenstein monster was created. How many patches can old Frank take? He looks like a cross quilt as it stands.

      I wish we could junk the whole thing and create the kind of system that we deserve.

      •  While what you say is true, just look at what the (10+ / 0-)

        G.O.P. is doing to Medicare, which in my opinion is a perfect system, and I would love to see it applied to all Americans. It would never happen, so the best we can do is to maintain it for the most vulnerable Americans. I think if we have hopes of ever acheiving Universal Healthcare for all Americans, we need to fight hard to keep "Medicare as we know it", because in truth it is universal healthcare for seniors. You know that dreaded monster, "socialized medicine".

        The poor and weak are not allowed to survive. Since these seniors no longer pay taxes, they are not entitled to what the" tax payers "are.  That is just fucking wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!

        •  I also think very highly of traditional Medicare, (10+ / 0-)

          Vera Lofaro, and I also support single payer for everyone. I'm disgusted by the notion that some minor functionary at an insurance company can get a bonus for refusing to authorize treatment to someone who needs it. And, yes, that absolutely DOES happen.

          I went back to school in my 50s and worked part time in the office of a physician friend of mine to finance it. I billed Medicare, insurance companies, and got pre-authorizations for the people whose policies required it. Ugh, I got out of that job as quickly as I could, so I'm by no means an expert, but I did see some hair-raising refusals to authorize treatment.

          Also, I saw that the for-profit insurance companies would drag out payment, especially on larger bills, for as much as 6 months or even a year by requesting special reports on this or that, "losing" claims, etc., while Medicare engages in no such nonsense. My friend, a pretty savvy business man as well as a physician, convinced me that getting the quick, albeit generally lower, payment from Medicare had its benefits over wrestling with a for-profit company. In fact, more and more for-profit insurance companies actually insist on negotiating cut rate deals with physicians before they'll pre-authorize so the rate differential is no longer as great as some people believe.

          Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

          by RJDixon74135 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:44:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And nobody including the doctor has any idea (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NWTerriD

            how much a procedure or test costs.

          •  As a physician (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NWTerriD

            I can tell you the most frustrating parts of my job usually revolve around talking to some uneducated insurance company hack on the phone for pre-authorization or somesuch, who is trying as hard as he can to deny care I know my patient needs.

            Whenever some GOP talking head references the 'death panels' or more recently the Payment Advisory Board I wish someone would point out we already have much worse than that in the greedy insurance companies, making de facto treatment decisions. Do people really trust them more than a government agency which at least theoretically has transparency and responsiveness to voters?

    •  Now Rmoney promises premiums wont exceed vouchers (9+ / 0-)

      In his latest response to the argument that costs to seniors will gradually rise under his plan because vouchers will not keep up with increases in premiums, Rmoney now says he will guarantee that the vouchers will cover actual costs!  It seems to me this gives the insurance companies a free hand to raise premiums without restraint, totally defeating the argument that competition among insurers will keep premiums down.

      If Rmoney's plan doesn't shift the cost to seniors, it becomes unworkable. It simultaneously makes seniors dependent on the government and on the marketplace, while federal money fills insurance company coffers.  And who will determine the amount of the voucher each person gets each year? Death panels?

      •  I didn't see this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ManhattanMan

        I don't think that Ryan said that last night. Do you have a link?

        Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

        by JamieG from Md on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:55:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He did (6+ / 0-)
          MS. RADDATZ: Let me ask you this: what is your specific plan for seniors who really can't afford to make up the difference in the value of what you call a premium support plan and others call a voucher?

          REP. RYAN: A hundred percent coverage for them.

          Transcript

          But don't worry. If you can't make up the difference between the Romney/Ryan "premium support" and the actual cost of health insurance, Mitt will just come over on Christmas with his boys and his wife and promise to pay for it himself.

          We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

          by NoMoJoe on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:51:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  such BS (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell, NWTerriD

            100% covered! Sounds great!

            Devil being in the details and all...about where do you draw the line to say who can afford to pay the difference and who can't?

            To me, that looks like a situation custom-made to put the elderly in the same situation many working poor find themselves in: too rich to qualify for Medicaid and not rich enough to actually pay the premium.

            Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

            by Joe Bob on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 01:56:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Don't forget, Romney lies (4+ / 0-)

        He also said that under his plan, people with pre-existing conditions could get insurance. That was NOT true. Under his plan, people with CONTINUOUS COVERAGE changing from one company to another could get coverage with a pre-existing condition, but people who don't have insurance because they can't get it now or can't afford it are just screwed.

        I wouldn't bet a nickle on anything he says.

        Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

        by RJDixon74135 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:53:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Turning Medicare private can ONLY increase costs (4+ / 0-)

      We have a certain number of seniors in this country who are going to need a certain amount of medical care on average per person (unless we really are willing to have people die for want of insurance) so the outflow- cost of health care for that population is what it is.  It is just a question of how we pay for it.  If it is Medicare, it will cost the cost of health care plus Medicare's 3% admin.  If it is private it is the same cost of health care plus the health insurance company's 20%+ overhead and profit.

      Newt Gingrich: Believes marriage is between one man and a series of ever younger women. Wife #1 born ~ 1936, divorced when in her mid-40s...Wife #2 born ~1947, divorced when in her mid-40s...Wife #3 born ~1966.

      by trillian on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:48:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, except that the overhead plus profits to (4+ / 0-)

        shareholders at many of the for-profit insurance companies hits 30% and even higher.

        As Bill Clinton said, it's the math.

        Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

        by RJDixon74135 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:55:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But Math Has A Well Know Liberal Bias (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NWTerriD

          Hey, thanks for the explanation above about Medicare.  I don't know the percentage of American that could answer simple questions about Medicare, but I would bet that it is pretty low.  If more people had the basic facts, I gotta believe it would be a lot harder for the Republicans to get away with all their BS.  

          I guess that is why Republicans are so against public education!

          Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

          by howd on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 02:52:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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