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How the Obama HealthCare Plan Effect’s Medicare

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A doctor friend asked me what I was working on. I told her I was writing; the topic was a straightforward, no-nonsense look at how the new healthcare bill will affect Medicare, the government run program that provides health care to over 37 million American 65 years or older.  I wanted my work to be a well-balanced article, not shaded by partisan politics or opinion; I wanted only the ‘facts.’  My friend laughed and told me that was a rather presumptuous thing I was doing, as no one else has been able to do that before.  With that she wished me luck, and walked away.

Undaunted, I set out to do some research. Newsweek, Forbes, CNN, Fox News, the New York Times, AARP, Medicare.com, among others touted the pros and the cons of the Obama Health Care (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).  Most pundits generally do agree on one thing: : Medicare has been in financial trouble for years and something must be done to fix the problem.  However, it seems that depending upon who is asked; the changes to Medicare would either greatly help, or hurt most seniors. It was the best thing – or the worst thing – to ever happen to Medicare in modern times.

So which was it?  Is reform good or bad?

Well, it seems that the goal of the new Obama health care plan contains costs.

Super!

Not so fast. Not if you ask the 10 million Americans covered by Medicare Advantage, the privately run alternative to government health care which provide dental and vision care not covered by traditional Medicare. In actuality, much of the cost savings that go to support traditional Medicare would come from cuts in Medicare Advantage. These cuts will significantly raise Medicare Advantage deductibles and premiums, and force participating seniors to bear a large part of this cost burden to help traditional Medicare. Robbing Peter to pay Paul does not sound like a good strategy to these Americans.

But Medicare would be placed on better financial footing by removing no-bid private plans, and create a net savings of about $316 billion over the next decade.  When these savings are added to $318 billion in new tax revenue, $634 billion is available to insure about 32 million of currently uninsured Americans.

Sounds great, right?

Not to the individuals and family taxpayers, including small business owners, earning over $200,000 and $250,000; who would fund this new tax revenue.  These citizen are growing increasingly angry about the increased taxation, feeling disproportionately penalized for being productive.  Small business owners claim that these tax increases also impede their ability to create more jobs. Ouch!

And then there is the debate on quality of care…

Somehow, I know my friend is out there somewhere, giggling.

Sources: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6884G720100909; http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Daily-Report.aspx;

By Elle Dee



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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Roxanne September 13, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Roxanne wrote:
“Gov’t needs to work on the 2 systems they “try” to run now..Medicare and Medicaid. If they made the social services people actually investigate the cases they get and get all those who havent earned or deserve either of these two plans, LOTS of money would be saved. And dont even get me started about all the non-deserving folks who get social security disability..the number is astounding! They cant efficently run these two programs and are now wanting to run healthcare for the entire US…OMG…lets hope and pray it is defunded and dropped after the elections.”

Jerri D. October 24, 2010 at 4:49 PM

If people are really disabled they deserve help. What ye do to the least of thy brethren so ye do to me. All healthy people should be thankful they are not in the shoes of the disabled. If someone is cheating the system as the saying goes. Stiffer penalties and maybe put his picture in the paper. But no one has any shame these days.

Lisa Parris November 30, 2010 at 4:00 PM

My husband and I happen to be disabled and on Social Security Disability, and it isn’t easy to make it from month to month. We ARE truly disabled and are unable to work. We were very hard working productive citizens in the past, however are now unable to work at all. Investigate-Social Security already has and they are thorough. As for the health care reform, my current program will quit writing my plan by December 31st. I just found out yesterday that a new insurance program will cost me more than I get annually. So now the choices are do I go without insurance, become a liability to my community and my health suffers and gets worse? Or do I pay for the insurance, live in the streets or a funded shelter and recieve additional help from the government? Does anyone have an answer…I’m open for helpful suggestions. All sarcastic remarks can be left in your own heads please. Thank you

Lori J. December 8, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Dear Lisa,
Isn’t your question about what to do = buy health insurance or pay rent and for groceries- moot? In fact, unless there was a radical change, people on disability are covered by Medicare regardless of age. Or maybe it’s Medicaid. It’s still coverage either way.

Lynn G. December 8, 2010 at 4:53 PM

It is frightening for anyone in their fifties to worry about the future in health care. With people in power who knows what will happen? George Bush once tried to privatize Social Security. What would have been left for all those foolish enough to invest poorly and lost their share? Now we can worry about Medicare. It is hard enough to pay. My mother pays almost as much per month as she saves because of the premium for part B I think it is. Then she pays a hundred for her share of Medicare per year. And then she pays anything over 80% of the medical bills. Who wins? The people in adminnistratation who process the paperwork?

L. J. December 8, 2010 at 4:55 PM

It stinks that the elderly have to worry so much. Everyone should keep the doctor they like as it helps the doctor to know as much about the patient as possible. It forms a comfortable relationship over the years.

Clark D. December 8, 2010 at 4:57 PM

The congress does battle according to how the population votes. Call your senator and representative in congress and express your opinion there. If enough do that it helps eventually. Especially right before election time.

Jeana Morgan December 8, 2010 at 5:00 PM

The paperwork for all these programs is staggering. Isn’t there some way to cut down the process so all can benefit from the money being used for the actual medical care? I see that as a solution. Plus throw the effing doctors in jail who scam the system, cheating us all out of millions of dollars. Make them give free care and go back to jail each night till they repay what they stole. Heuber Law I think it’s called keeps them at night from having any fun and lets them out just to work.

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