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View Diary: We Need to Kick the Crap out of the GOP on Medicare (104 comments)

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  •  I could not agree more (10+ / 0-)

    And I have some experience in these matters. It would help to point out that raising the medicare eligibility age actually raises costs for everyone, as the 65-66year olds now consume private insurance, which is more expensive than medicare, and the medicare premiums for everyone else go up, as you have removed the relatively healthy section of the program. Thus the immeidate savings are nugatory, the long term ones illusory - exactly the same argument, btw, against 'voucherizing' the program.
       I merely console myself that the PResident and his team must know that, and that this loose talk about raising the eligibilty age is just that. He'd better know that

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 02:06:17 PM PST

    •  removed the relatively healthy section ?? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, GayHillbilly, dickensgirl

      I don't understand this. If the age is raised to 67 from 65, then people 65 and 66 still pay the Medicare tax (as/if they work), but get no benefits - so how does that raise the premiums for everyone else????

      >>as the 65-66year olds now consume private insurance

      well, some of them do. I did not. When I got onto Medicare two years ago (after being self-employed for 25 years - you know, a software entrepreneur - and paying double FICA) I spent a lot of time fixing things, including a surgery, that if corrected years earlier would have been much cheaper and better for my quality of life. Now I live with consequences of that deferral that cost (medicare) money to address that should have been fixed years earlier - when it was cheaper and simpler.

      So the point is, getting 65 and 66 yr old people onto medicare to get their situation straightened up is a cost saving compared to deferring their healthcare for yet another two years while they worked jobs without any benefits, then having to go in and spend more money to fix things that have been allowed to fester... it's stupid.

      And I am completely happy with Medicare - excellent treatment by Doctors, all providers - gosh, I haven't had such good medical care since I was under another socialist type of system - the USAF military medical system during Vietnam. 'course, in those days there was this quaint notion that if you were worrying about a toothache or heart pain maybe you wouldn't be the most effective Pilot or Nuclear Engineer or Launch Officer and might make a mistake.....

      Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

      by blindcynic on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 10:09:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you are getting my point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg

        That in any mass insurance scheme - such as medicare - the healthy essentially subsidize the ill. That's OK, because in most insurance (say fire insurance) you can't know and can't plan for something catastrophic. So I pay some fire insurance and am happy if I never have to use it, even though by not using it, I am effectively subsidizing those whose house burns down. Similarly I am healthy, but my health insurance premiums go to paying for sick people. Again, that's OK, because I know it will be there for me if I am sick, and the progressive in me wants to make sure sick people can still have affordable care.
           Now, people generally have worse health with age, so the youngest medicare beneficiaries are on average the healthiest. So if you take them out of the medicare pool, you have a higher percentage of sick people. This concentrates the cost, and so their premiums and co-pays will likely increase.
           Remember, medicare is cost effective compared to provate insurance because there is no profit motive. So really in terms of bringing down hgealth care costs we should expand medicare, not diminish it. And btw, I have had extensive experience with another aspect of American Socialized medicine - the Army healthcare system, and while it had its problems, it really worked well in terms of outcomes and taking care of people at reasonable cost. But that is the subject of a whole series of diaries.

        An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

        by MichiganChet on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:40:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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