posted on September 28, 2009 12:03
Life and politics are full of irony. Like health-care reform.
One of the great obstacles to a “public option” is the fear of “government-run health care.”
One voter group most worried about reform are seniors. Specifically, they worry that reform will jeopardize Medicare.
That is, they fear that government-run health care will threaten their government-run health care.
If Medicare is so great, and all my (somewhat) older friends say it is, what’s wrong with Medicare for everybody?
For that matter, what’s wrong with Republicans doing what we Democrats have done so well for so long: Scare seniors?
We’ve won older voters election after election by telling them Republicans will cut Social Security and Medicare.
Now it looks like we get to wear the scary mask.
Monday, September 28, 2009 7:09 PM
So, Gary, you appear to have heard Obama, himself, say that some of the funding for what he wants to do with regard to health care will come from medicare dollars. Now, maybe he means that he'd clean up the graft and corruption therein. I hope so. But, if he knows that exists, can you please tell me why that isn't already something he is working on to correct? Will he only clean that up if his health care initiative is passed?
Seniors heard what he said. They worry that he is going to reduce medicare benefits in some way. You can say all day long that this isn't going to happen, but....that's the worry by seniors. Trust me, I know.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 5:18 PM
It's a fact that Obama wants to drop Medicare Advantage. That may not jeopardize the core Medicare program, but it's pretty darn close. And, there's nothing wring about pointing that out to those who would be most affected by the change -- Seniors.
As to the question of "what's wrong with Medicare for everybody," let's count the ways. First of all, Medicare is going bankrupt -- it's a lot more expensive than originally planned. Secondly, reimbursement rates are too low in some areas, and too high in others, leading to shortages of care in some fields and gluts in others. (A big glut is in those mobility scooters.) Third, the entire procedure-based reimbursement model for Medicare is broken -- doctors don't get reimbursed for talking with a patient for 15 minutes to hear about their medical history; instead, they get reimbursed for running tests. No surprise, you end up with a bunch of tests.
Another problem with Medicare is that prescription drug coverage reimbursement rates are too low. That motivated drug companies to switch their research efforts away from things that would help older patients, toward those targetting younger and middle-aged people. As a result, private companies don't develop treatments for things like Alzheimers. (Nearly all that research is publicly funded.)
There is tremendous amount of waste and abuse in Medicare as well, which Obama promises to cut. But, if cutting the waste and abuse were so easy, why wasn't it done 15 years ago? In reality, those things just got part-and-parcel with any big government program; there's no way to get rid of them.
It is impossible to centrally manage something as complex as the American health system. This is 10,000 times as difficult as organizing the military. Every action that the government takes will create 150 new problems and, in the end, the whole thing will be one royal mess. I know other countries do it, but they're not comparable: (1) those countries generally a lot smaller, (2) their populations are generally more homogenous, and (3) even so, they have some pretty severe problems.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 1:53 PM
Medicare and medicaid are bankrupting America.The further expansion of them will only hasten bankruptcy and drive 1000's of hospitals and doctors out of business.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 4:54 PM
The Obama administration is counting on Medicare and Medicaid going broke. It gives them more impetus to get government more involved..."making the situation better" through increased taxpayer's dollars. And, the side benefit for them is more control over those that count on government to "take care of them". Now, don't get me wrong, I think Medicare is a necessity and is a program that does what it's designed to do. The problem, of course, is in that it is going broke...if it's not already broke...and that's because of mismanagement and no oversight with regard to the graft and corruption within that system.
We all know it...liberal/democrat and conservative/republican alike. It's not something that can be legitimately argued.
My question is....why in the hell does anyone...ANYONE...think that a government-run national (public option) health care system would be any different.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 3:12 AM