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CalcuttaRain

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« : June 13, 2013, 02:26:16 PM »

The potential cost of the Medicare problem.

"At his March dinner at the Jefferson Hotel with a small group of Senate Republicans, President Obama made something of an admission.

“The problem you have reforming Medicare is that for every dollar Americans pay into the system, they’re going to get three dollars out in benefits. Americans don’t understand that,” Obama said, citing a study from the Urban Institute.

“You’re right about Medicare. We’ve been quoting that exact same study,” Senator Ron Johnson responded, according to attendees. “We’re pretty small little voices compared to your platform. It would be enormously helpful if you use that bully pulpit and start telling the American people the truth.”


How did we get here:

"How did the current system become so unbalanced?

It has to do, Steuerle says, with the way Medicare was built to work — by passing on an individual retiree's health care costs to the wide pool of current taxpayers.
"The incentive for me as a consumer to worry about the cost isn't very high," he says. "But the incentive for providers have this incentive to keep listing as many services as possible. The more services the hospital can list, the more they can collect."    

A system like that works all right if health care costs stay low. But over the past few decades, they've risen dramatically. There are more and more people entering the Medicare system. Those people live increasingly longer lives. And most importantly, Steuerle says, no one is in charge of saying "no" to medical-cost inflation.
The result is a Medicare system that only pays for one third of itself. The shortfall is made up — in part — from other sources of revenue.
"It's also borrowing from China and Germany and a lot of other countries," Steuerle says.


Damn insurers . . . .  err . .  . healthcare companies.  Wait, healthcare companies?


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Bucfucious

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« #1 : June 13, 2013, 02:41:52 PM »

 "It would be enormously helpful if you use that bully pulpit and start telling the American people the truth.”

Americans don't vote for the truth, they vote for "I'll funnel other people's money to you and your causes." There's no quicker way to end a political career than failing to keep a sufficient distance from the truth.

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« #2 : June 15, 2013, 06:49:50 AM »

People live too long now, and hospitals/pharmaceutical companies are only in for the profit. When that marriage between death being the cheapest out for profits, health care will suffer. If healthcare is non-profit, you may actually see success. Health Insurance companies are built upon the notion that they will help you when you get sick, but when you are really sick, they back out.. One of the most shameful parts of true capitalism.

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« #3 : June 15, 2013, 03:57:45 PM »

People live too long now, and hospitals/pharmaceutical companies are only in for the profit. When that marriage between death being the cheapest out for profits, health care will suffer. If healthcare is non-profit, you may actually see success. Health Insurance companies are built upon the notion that they will help you when you get sick, but when you are really sick, they back out.. One of the most shameful parts of true capitalism.

You really don't understand healthcare, do you?

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« #4 : June 15, 2013, 03:58:10 PM »

Or how "non profit" works either for that matter.

CBWx2

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« #5 : June 17, 2013, 05:39:34 PM »

"But the incentive for providers have this incentive to keep listing as many services as possible. The more services the hospital can list, the more they can collect."

Do you think that this only happens with Medicare?


CalcuttaRain

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« #6 : June 17, 2013, 07:08:08 PM »

I am asking not criticizing: what does Obamacare do to contain healthcare prices? Who is taking the hit? doctors? healthcare companies? drug companies? It can be healthcare companies if healthcare stock indices went up after the legislation passed?

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CBWx2

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« #7 : June 17, 2013, 09:40:51 PM »

I am asking not criticizing: what does Obamacare do to contain healthcare prices? Who is taking the hit? doctors? healthcare companies? drug companies? It can be healthcare companies if healthcare stock indices went up after the legislation passed?

I think the only mechanism seemingly in place to reduce costs in Obamacare is the fact that it expands access, which decreases per person costs because the costs are spread out among a broader pool of people. The more young, healthy people you have paying in, the cheaper it costs for everyone covered. Not enough of an impact, certainly more price controls are needed, but I do think there is some merit to that.


CalcuttaRain

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« #8 : June 18, 2013, 06:29:22 AM »

Then what's the point if it doesn't address the problem?

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CBWx2

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« #9 : June 18, 2013, 08:22:35 PM »

Then what's the point if it doesn't address the problem?

Costs aren't the only problem. Access is also a huge problem in the US. I think it deals with the access problem better than the cost problem, although it doesn't address either as efficiently as it should. It isn't the plan that progressives were calling for, but it's a start, I suppose.


CalcuttaRain

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« #10 : June 18, 2013, 11:10:18 PM »

Then what's the point if it doesn't address the problem?

Costs aren't the only problem. Access is also a huge problem in the US. I think it deals with the access problem better than the cost problem, although it doesn't address either as efficiently as it should. It isn't the plan that progressives were calling for, but it's a start, I suppose.

1. I thought you suggested in another thread that access was a problem because of cost?
2. putting things in the hands of the government without addressing costs = recipe for disaster

Show the bravest of the brave kids that you have their back.  Go to http://www.childrenscancercenter.org/

Just check out the site or maybe like them on Facebook . .  or Share the site on Facebook, re-tweet one of their tweets.  Not everyone can give money to support this great cause, but its easy to give 10 seconds of your time to help spread the word about The Children\\\\\\\'s Cancer Center

CBWx2

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« #11 : June 19, 2013, 07:44:25 AM »

Then what's the point if it doesn't address the problem?

Costs aren't the only problem. Access is also a huge problem in the US. I think it deals with the access problem better than the cost problem, although it doesn't address either as efficiently as it should. It isn't the plan that progressives were calling for, but it's a start, I suppose.

1. I thought you suggested in another thread that access was a problem because of cost?

The cost of insurance, Vince, not the cost of individual procedures as charged by the hospital. Even if you were to cut the price of every procedure billed by hospitals in half, it still wouldn't increase access all that much if people were required to pay out of pocket. Insurance is what provides the access.

2. putting things in the hands of the government without addressing costs = recipe for disaster

I don't think you quite understand how the PPACA works, Vince. If anything, it's inherent flaw is that it doesn't put hardly anything in the hands of government. It's essentially going to be a huge windfall for private insurers, because the mandate requires that everyone purchase their product.


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« #12 : June 19, 2013, 09:27:26 AM »

Litigious Distribution.

A single individual involved in a dispute with a hospital can sue them, but the cost to go to court can quickly add up to more than the amount being contested. Most of the time, the hospital ends up getting the amount they charge, covering their own costs and the profit margin. But when a single payer is in charge of multiple payments, litigation becomes quite profitable. In fact, insurance companies end up paying as little as a third of the actual bill.

The hospital's reaction is simple and most predictable - triple the price. No, it didn't happen all at once, but it has been happening for some time, and we've all seen the results. The insurance companies have absolutely **CENSORED**ed us over, and in return they will be richly rewarded.

 United States history has repeated this pattern many times. The farming crisis and ethanol are another recent example. The little guy lost out, the power became concentrated into fewer hands, and they were then able to use the system to gain undue influence. And that is the way that our current system works. It is illegal for the little guy to purchase influence from his local government official, but for those at the top of the chain, judicial and legislative favor go to the highest bidder. Executive favor can also be bought, but it will cost you quite a bit more.

Ordinarily, once the situation becomes so out of control that voters threaten politicians with their jobs, the offending monopoly will be broken up. The oil monopoly is a good example of this, and the definition of a monopoly has even become stricter to where we recently saw telecommunications being broken up. Now you see companies veering away from activities that could get them labeled as monopolies (Microsoft puts up a good example of how to walk this tightrope). But the insurance companies have been so insidious that instead of punishing them, their government pawns are going to force everyone to purchase their product. Impressive, really.

There is no argument for competition among insurance companies, they are in collusion on an issue where they all stand to gain an enormous windfall. But in the end, the issue still comes back to our government being for sale to those who can afford it. That has always been the issue since it was ruled that campaign contributions and lobbyist bribes were somehow "free speech."



deadzone

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« #13 : June 19, 2013, 09:45:13 AM »

Obamacare is a disaster...and that's how we'll see it play out....The freaking IRS (Americas biggest nightmare) is in charge.

CalcuttaRain

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« #14 : June 19, 2013, 09:57:39 AM »

Then what's the point if it doesn't address the problem?

Costs aren't the only problem. Access is also a huge problem in the US. I think it deals with the access problem better than the cost problem, although it doesn't address either as efficiently as it should. It isn't the plan that progressives were calling for, but it's a start, I suppose.

1. I thought you suggested in another thread that access was a problem because of cost?

The cost of insurance, Vince, not the cost of individual procedures as charged by the hospital. Even if you were to cut the price of every procedure billed by hospitals in half, it still wouldn't increase access all that much if people were required to pay out of pocket. Insurance is what provides the access.

CBW . . .  talk about fundamentally flawed thinking . .  .insurance costs $$ because the health care costs money . . . . . a lot of money.  Insurance is NOT what provides the access, MONEY is what provides the access and unless you do something about the underlying COST of health care NOTHING will change because somebody still has to pay for the insurance. You are just changing from a premium to a tax.

Here's a very simple example of what you are proposing, you tell me if it make sense:

Farms in Florida grow apples for .50.  People buy inurance to pay for apples because they are essential to life.  BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT gives corporate welfare to the apple farms, apple farmers sell apples all over the world for $1 BUT in the United States they sell apples for $15 dollars AND (back to the coroporate welfare) do so with the protection of the US Government which threatens to throw people in jail if they but their apples from  outside the US borders.  For some this means they cannnot walk a few blocks or over a bridge to pay $1 for apples, they must pay $15.

Your "solution" is NOT to have farmers sell for $1 to US citizens (by removing the corporate welfare) but rather to give more people the ability to pay $15.  That makes no sense . . . . and worse .....we have seen what happens when the government injects money into a system, just look at the cost of tutition for colleges. More demand for apples does not make apples prices go down, just like more demand for college did not make college tuition go down

You're a health care person I think . . . sounds to me like you want universal care so long as it is not your ox that gets gored.  Helath care providers and drug companies make a FORTUNE in this country, if you really want universal health care, do something about the COSTS. 

CBW . .  your solution explains this:


Show the bravest of the brave kids that you have their back.  Go to http://www.childrenscancercenter.org/

Just check out the site or maybe like them on Facebook . .  or Share the site on Facebook, re-tweet one of their tweets.  Not everyone can give money to support this great cause, but its easy to give 10 seconds of your time to help spread the word about The Children\\\\\\\'s Cancer Center
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