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Raising the Cost of Medicare

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Corporate Criminals, GOP Lies, Medicare, ObamaCare )

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TomCat S (129)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 8:30 am
Republicans keep saying that our problem is a spending problem, and chief among their targets for cuts to control costs is Medicare. Every plan they have suggested to date shifts the cost of care onto both present and future beneficiaries. However, if they are co concerned at cutting cost, then why are Republicans trying to raise the cost of Medicare.

Terrie Williams (798)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 9:25 am
They want to raise it because their buddies in the insurance industry and the hospital corporations make obscene profits. They want their lobbyists to remain happy with them. So much easier than say, OMG, force the said industries AND doctors to NEGOTIATE their prices with the big bad gubmint. Hence, no Medicare for all because that would make the insurance corps obsolete and force hospitals/doctors to accept REASONABLE pricing for all services and RESONABLE SALARIES for doctors/techs/personnel. OMG, can't have friggin LOGIC, COMPASSION or MODEST profit, no no, gotta have amoral, obscene, depraved friggin PROFIT ABOVE EVERYTHING including LIFE.

They make me sick.

Kit B (276)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 9:40 am

Has any one noticed that about every four years the discussion of Social Security and Medicare becomes the core cause of how to address a budget? If Congress does nothing else, they should finally and at long last, put Social Security in to an untouchable endowment. The same is true of Medicare/Medicaid. In all good faith people do pay into these safety nets, only to have them threatened every election cycle. Fear tactics seem to reign supreme when the issue is how to cut the budget. We do have a glutted Pentagon, that is from one of many statements by the Pentagon, about their own budget allocations and about forced new bombers or other weapons, they are not interested in having, and have not requested.

For those who do not know, the bogey man of the USSR, ended in 1989, with total internal collapse by the early 1990's. We have troops with air and naval support all over the globe, and just who is it that plans to or can attack our homeland? Terrorist attacks, we should be ready for those, and both the CIA and the FBI are ever vigilant to attempt to intercept those attacks. Do please explain how our soldiers in Japan or Germany can or will prevent those attacks by radical people.

We have permanently stationed troops in at least 150 countries, that is 1,217,901 personnel on active duty. They are armed often supported the Navy and Air Force. Why?

The small navy of China is of course, still interested in contested islands with Japan. So let's be honest on that front as well.

There was so much talk of "food stamps" during the election, but no real answers by either candidate about how to address the growing poverty in this country. I think that Obama's JOBS bill, which will help train people for new jobs, those may be in many areas, and make the currently unskilled worker into workers with skills for the changing and developing jobs market. Education is one of many responsibilities of the Federal government and I would prefer to see that money given to states as block grants have defined "strings" attached. Let's be sure that money allocated does what it is meant to do, and let's accept that Social Security, SSDI, Medicare/Medicaid, though always in need of supervision to prevent abuses, is now and must be an touchable part of the US budget.

Elle B (84)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 10:09 am
Ty. Tom. This is how the "reich wing" gets their unannounced agenda through. Initially they throw out completely unacceptable ideas [eg. privatizing soc. sec.] to desensitize the public and then keep bringing it up year after year until now we are actually seriously discussing them. Social Security has never been a real issue. What other program can we look at projections 75 years out and discuss with some degree of accuracy? I began reading and downloading extensive studies by reputable groups in the early to mid 2000's. I received two survey calls between 2007 and 2009. The results are that after doing several independent national studies the VAST majority of citizens said they would be willing to pay in more to keep the program solvent for future recipients [67 to 80+ % depending on study and sample.] Only optimal logistics, timing and attendant details were left to resolve. The whole thing is NUTS another REICH WING marketing into confusion extravaganza success.

JL A (281)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 11:19 am
Thanks TomCat for highlighting that the GOP's priorities are things at odds with what the voters told them earlier this month. Kit and Elle, thanks for providing undisputed facts for what the public wants and where some easy yet substantial logical budget cuts can readily come (unless certain in the GOP still want their earmarks under another name in useless to the military, Pentagon and national security expenditures.

Chris C (152)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 12:06 pm
Kit, Elle, Terrie Williams - right on! But the GOP has apparently not yet yealized that they must evolve or go instinct! Also, Medicare and SS aren't "gifts" - we all paid dearly for them!

Diane O (194)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 2:25 pm
Kit, I'm holding my sides from laughing too hard at your comment. Sorry, I apologize. The taxpayers have been paying $60 billion a year in fraud and abuse in these socialist programs. Think the government is doing a good job of managing the socialized medicine in America? Honestly, selective memory can be a gift to some. Yes, you pay into medicare and social security. You should talk to Bill Clinton stating he left a surplus when, in fact, he took all of our money out of social security and left an IOU in its place. Does that bother any of you? Of course not! He's a democrat! He wouldn't do anything like that!

America is more a divided country today than it was before the election. Obama got less votes and only won by 51%. Gives new meaning to the word "eke" by the seat of his pants. But, that's okay. Republicans have to deal with it. Governors are in line now denying ObamaCare in their states....they want no part of it. 27 have denied ObamaCare....and there's a reason for that. We have another supreme opportunity in 2014 to kick the democrats out again like we did in 2010. We'll rise to the occasion....once again.

Chris, the republican party is alive and well. Remember Obama only won by 51% of the votes. 49% of Americans didn't buy into his socialist agenda for their country.

Terrie Williams (798)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 2:59 pm
I see someone left the friggin door cracked again........I smell.....operative. You have no idea what Socialism is, Diane. Go educate yourself. President Obama is far from it.

2014.....we are already on the ground and more than ready.

Yvonne White (229)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 3:05 pm
Medicare is what's holding back the greed of Corporate Healthcare as it is!!! We should already have Universal-Single-payer-Medicare-for-All! Presidents from "I don't Recall" Reagan on down have Tried to re-distribute our Safety nets, Social Security IS a distinct entity that NEVER HAS contributed to the National Debt!!.. ONLY JOBS can replace what has been "moved" & ONLY JOBS can make Everything (the WHOLE Economy as well as Social Security & Medicare, Medicaid) safer & saner!
Good luck to the Idiot States who deny their citizens a decent life. If the CONservative Media would report the Truth instead of Koch Brother "made for FOX" bull$hit maybe the people would realize voting RepubliCON is like cutting off your nose to spite your face... but RepubliCONs don't hold with that fancy book-learnin'..;)

Cheryl O (82)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 3:07 pm
WOW everything is going up but pay isn't!!!!!!

Diane O (194)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 3:08 pm
Terrie, you are blind to who Obama, perhaps, are in need of educating. Know Obama. If you haven't taken the time to do your research, you opine from a position of weakness.

Just because you say you are ready for 2014 doesn't mean it even exists. None of us can know that. What a silly comment.

Diane O (194)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 3:11 pm
Cheryl, then talk to the socialist president, Obama, and see if he can give you 'free stuff." That might appease you and the masses. We can all look to Greece and see how those "free" entitlements have worked for them. Somebody needs to pay the bills. The rich, ahh, yes, the rich. But, what happens when all the rich people leave their countries? Oh, yes, reality sets in.

Diane O (194)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 3:13 pm
The majority of Americans can afford "concierge medicine." That's all the rage these days..doctors opting out of ObamaCare where they are offered an offensive small amount of money for seeing a patient. Doctors need to be in profit mode, no? After all, many of them pay out of their own pockets over $300,00 for going to medical school. Soon, if not already, we'll suffer a severe shortage of physicians in America. Then where will you turn, liberals? Haven't a clue, do you?

jan b (5)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 3:24 pm
Well DIANE --welcome back after your big-loss. Part A is okay....But Part B is subsidized by the general fund at around 75%. Liberals DO have a clue that we are going to have more recipients of medicare because your party doesn't believe in birth control so your 50% will keep reproducing like rabbits....and we are a country that takes care of our OLD PEOPLE aren't we still doing that ? That's more a priority than satisfying the oil speculators and defense contractors which are some of the groups looking to make a killing on another war out of our general fund. Republicans voted against taking away subsidies for BIG OIL..... The 5 big companies spent more than $145 million last year on nearly 800 lobbyists whose job is to defeat any bills. The $4 billion they'll likely get to keep as a result represents a 2,700% return on their investment to defeat the bills. You can complain about how we help our elderly, the poor, the children but we'll still keep on doing it cause there are more of us than you 1 or 2 percenters out there.

jan b (5)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 3:30 pm
Before you laugh at others out there KNOW YOUR FACTS or we'll be referring to you as oh-stupid one.
A physician shortage in the U.S. was expected even before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Now the group estimates that there will be a shortage of 63,000 doctors by 2015 and 130,600 by 2025. The shortage is a result of several factors. A large number of medical professionals are reaching retirement age.

On top of that, there is a lack of residency spots available for students graduating from medical school. In 2011, more than 7,000 were left with degrees that said "M.D." but no place to continue their education, according to the National Residency Matching Program.

Many residency spots are funded by Medicare, and there's a cap on the number a hospital can claim each year. That number, about 100,000, has remained steady since 1997. While the Affordable Care Act will redistribute some unused residency slots and increase funding for the National Health Service Corps, more needs to be done, advocates say.

"There will be real physician shortages if we don't do more to lift the residency cap," said Dr. Atul Grover, the Association of American Medical Colleges' chief advocacy officer, in a statement. "People on both sides of the aisle have realized the need to train more doctors

The reason I know is my grandson is in pre- MED school.

cecily w (0)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 4:15 pm
There are some inequities about the way Medicare is administered, but these will not be addressed by general cost increases. (Although if all able-bodied people contributed a fair share of costs, the outlook would be brighter.) The Board should be left alone to factor in projections based on changes already in process or plotted.

The competency of House members to evaluate many things is in doubt. After all, Akin is on the House Science Committee.

Robert K (31)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 4:31 pm
We have the second lowest spending as a % of GNP. Spending is not and has never been (under Democrats) a problem. The problem is under taxation of the rich. Taxes are currently the lowest since the Truman administration. What we need is a return to progressive taxation with a top marginal rate of at least 70%. At our economic height we had a 91% rate and people still accumulated huge fortunes.

JL A (281)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 5:03 pm
Janice, Until Pres. Bush, medical school was partially subsidized by the federal government to make it an affordable choice for students.
Most of the fraud is via the private part of the health care partnership (e.g., private entities billing for services not provided or otherwise overbilling)--transitioning to a fully public system would prevent that aspect and cost factor, along with many other systemic costs of partnering with private for profit entities that are not direct provision of health care.
Oil and gas subsidies are socialist Diane, Obama is a moderate by any political science definition.
By majority, is that 50.01% --perhaps of those with insurance? Over a quarter of Americans cannot afford any health care (including an ER bill when uninsured).
The so-called free stuff (socialism) Diane are oil and gas subsidies, discounted tax rate for unearned income (capitol gains)...
Yes, austerity programs are sending European countries back into a recession Diane when they needed more money moving in their economies via ordinary consumer spending to keep it from happening. Apparently that is what Diane (and all those she doesn't consider liberals) want for the US...and she is posting the same words here she got nailed for them being untrue, at odds with the facts, etc. on other threads.
For people to become knowledgeable in a subject area, it is usual for them to first reach the point of recognizing how much they don't know. I look forward to some reaching that point so they can begin the primary learning associated with expertise and credibility.


Robert K (31)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 7:00 pm
Diane O, thought we were rid of you when every prediction you made was shown to be the idiocy I claimed it was, but you're back with more arrogant lies. How do you think Obama is getting rid of that 716 billion that mittens wrongly claimed he was stealing from Medicare for "Obamacare" comes from? Clue for the ethically and honesty challenged, it comes from eliminating the waste, fraud and abuse.

You don't even know what socialism is. We have smart people on this site, we don't need you to lower the intelligence level here.

BTW, a large majority of AMA doctors, the most conservative doctors organization, says they would much rather deal with Medicare than private insurance because it allows them to treat their patients, not interfere with their treatment, and takes about 1/3 to 1/4 the amount of paperwork time.

BTW, it was 52-48, not 51-49 and I didn't see you complaining about Bush claiming a mandate when he got a much smaller win, and that was due to well documented election fraud in Ohio.

Greece wasn't taken down by free stuff, Greece was taken down by the actions of Goldman Sachs.

Obama isn't my hero. For many reasons, primarily continuing way too many of Bush's horrible policies, for not asking for the resignation of all the US Attorneys from the Bush administration, which is almost always done with a change of presidents and the Bush USAs were and are some of the worst we've ever had. And because he appointed Geithner, Summers and Holder, all people form Wall Street and all involved in the troubles we have now when they were on Wall Street. However, Mittens wouldn't have iomproved that and he would have made everything else worse.

The fact that you're back pushing the same old garbage and lies shows thaat you don't have the ability to learn or to think for yourself.

Robert K (31)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 7:08 pm
BTW Diane, there are two things that government healthcare does better than ours is it costs far less and has better outcomes. Even Cuba is rated higher than us and the care is free.

And, since your ignorance is all encompassing, Medicare is funded by the government, but run by a private company, called GMC. Every time I use Medicare they send a letter asking me to verify that I received the care they were billed for. Before Obama there was no verification and thaat's where the 716 billion comes from. The private doctors and healthcare corporations now get busted for fraud where they didn't before.

Edith B (146)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 9:23 pm
The Republicans have fought both Medicare and Social Security since their inception. The poor and the elderly are not high on their list of Preferred customers, unlike the Super Pac and campaign contributors. Diane O. I looked at your profile page tonight after I read your comments, you don't sound that mean on there. If you are so against liberals, why are you on this site?

Susanne R (235)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 11:54 pm
In 2010, the Department of Justice recovered $4 billiion lost to Medicare fraud, yet the Republican party refused a $283.4 million increase to the DOJ budget so that they could increase their efforts. Those are the facts. The Republicans continue to bite off their noses to spite their faces because they hate President Obama.

Curbing Fraud Could Save Billions by David Callahan

"This week DOJ went before Congress to ask for a whopping 22 percent increase in its budget to fight fraud for next year, or $283.4 million. (See testimony below.) The request came just weeks after DOJ and HHS announced that it had recovered $4 billion in funds lost to healthcare fraud. Given that success, it's hard to argue against investing more in anti-fraud efforts. As Senator Tom Harkin pointed out at a hearing this week, "On average, every dollar that the Federal Government spent on these efforts returned $6.80 to the U.S. Treasury."

Republicans have famously argued for years that they are people you elect if you want to go after "waste, fraud, and abuse" in government programs. Too often, though, their anti-government zeal has led them to underfund efforts aimed at nailing fraudsters. Meanwhile, in the past two years, the Obama Administration has shown that it is serious about saving billions of taxpayer dollars by attacking fraud, especially in the healthcare sector.

Yet even as evidence piles up of the Administration's success on this score, it seems that GOP fiscal hawks aren't paying attention. They have proposed deep cuts in funds aimed at reducing healthcare fraud -- cuts that are likely to increase the deficit. Some Republicans may have different ideas, though. At this week's hearing on fraud, organized by Harkin, a top Republican, Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, agreed that more must be done to address the problem. Does that mean that he'll defy Tea Party types and support DOJ's budget hike? Stay tuned."
To those who are interested, this site summarizes how numerous provisions of the Affordable Care Act will help the Obama Administration continue to proactively work to prevent and fight fraud, waste and abuse in health care programs and its successes. It also outlines how "the money is rolling in, along with indictments, thanks to far-reaching cooperation between the Health and Human Services Department and the Justice Department, along with Treasury. In 2009, the Obama Administration created the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) 'to prevent waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and to crack down on the fraud perpetrators who are abusing the system and costing American taxpayers billions of dollars.' There is also a Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program (HCFAC) and Medicare Fraud Strike Force that has been ramped up to operate in growing number of cities."

Medicare/Medicaid Fraud

Gloria picchetti (304)
Monday November 19, 2012, 7:25 am
A good part to medical bills are directly attributed to doctors. If you have medicare or good insurance they decide you need more care than a person who is not insured.

P A (117)
Monday November 19, 2012, 7:49 am
Wonderful posts - apart from one of course, poor misguided soul. Green stars to Kit and Robert K and janice b and others - the rest I couldn't give stars to yet, sorry! Robert K you deserve several stars for that quote on your page on its own - I laughed till I cried, it is most apt, thank you!

TomCat S (129)
Monday November 19, 2012, 7:52 am
Thanks to all but one. It is critically important to protect these "gifts" for which we paid all our working lives.

Do not feed the trolls.

Dotti L (85)
Monday November 19, 2012, 9:04 am
Sorry, Tom, I made a pact with myself long ago that I would not post on the same thread as that certain troll. I did make an exception yesterday, but no more. Will continue to read all the other comments from my rational friends. BTW, where did that person come from all of a sudden? She never used to post on your articles. Oh, right, she was too busy bashing President Obama (still is).

Tamara Hayes (185)
Monday November 19, 2012, 10:31 am
Oh goodness! Sorry Tom, I was so busy sending green stars to everyone here except ONE that I completely forgot the profound statement I was going to make.

David C (131)
Monday November 19, 2012, 10:53 am
thanks, Tom, and great comments to everyone!

Nancy M (197)
Monday November 19, 2012, 10:56 am
Interesting article and thread. Thanks.

Terrie Williams (798)
Monday November 19, 2012, 12:28 pm
(Slowly taping desk) Ok....Tom, because I respect you my friend and all my other friends on this thread.....I will not feed the FASCIST (^^$R^#$ OPERATIVE.......I really.....really.....want to but....I will refrain.

You know Tom, don't you, that I am straining my loggin chain....

Roseann d (178)
Monday November 19, 2012, 12:43 pm
I see Diane O. is still pining and holding strong to her own "gifts" from the the form of continued BushCo Tax Cuts. It's well past the time to let that delusional fairy tale die. The poor and middle class have footed the bill long enough. There is nothing worse than being BOTH rich and a Freeloader. Pay up already for the dang BushCo wars that you wanted so badly at the time. War isn't free ya know.

Elle B (84)
Monday November 19, 2012, 12:46 pm
The only problems with Medicare and Medicaid are the parasitical "feeder" industries/professionals that make their affluent livings by constantly scamming, ripping and bleeding these excellent programs. Remember the doctor who went to Italy and purchased a marble statue in the $100,000's for his clinic lobby? Did that guy ever sell it and give the money back? I never heard. How about the $10-20/ea handy packs of 20-30 tissues and $2-5 gauze pads billed daily. WOW!! Those precious little items should "cure" whatever they're wiping at that price. And isn't it interesting how those who oppose these programs as socialist or communist or whatever. . .support the very people who are always "ripping" them off! Getting "curiouser and curiouser" . . . We have evolved a "blended" economy with a safety net that works very well. . .if the greedy guts and the "think they are smarter than they are when they know nothing useful" crowds would grow up or back off us. The GOP & buddies--should find a large island and build their Austrian School Economy. That would be a sight to behold with NO contracts and funding from the so-called socialist government to feed their illusional enterprises. Ha! They wouldn't even get a building up without sending out reps to work deals to try to rip us off! And would most likely just start a bunch of wars internal and external. Brings to mind "Merchant Adventures" owners of the Mayflower. They sent a second boat the Fortune earlier than the Plymouth Colony expected. NO provisions, no supplies on board though. . .just a nasty little letter that the Mayflower passengers had kept the Mayflower TOO LONG and therefore owed Merchant Adventures additional funds. So the "seven" people who could work after a year when most had died or were still too frail to stand [along with the new folks] stuffed the Fortune to the brim with timber and supplies for the return trip. PIRATES ended up stealing every last bit of it. . .a little Karma? Procter and Gamble got their big start when asked to supply the Union Army with soap and candles during the Civil War. ALL successful entities can attribute their prosperity to a combination of US Government subsidies, contracts, tax codes and infrastructure. . .which MANY acquire via corrupt methods. We will never know what we would be if the tycoons and barons had not been so greedy from the start.

Thanks again Tom. . .i'm in the market for Shill/Troll screens and digital sprays. . .

Lois Jordan (63)
Monday November 19, 2012, 2:36 pm
I think it's just easier to the trolls to attack Medicare and Social Security than to defend the overbloated defense budget. It says heaps about their lack of humanity and cold-blooded nature. So many excellent and specific comments otherwise. My biggest suggestion is to raise the Social Security payroll cap to tax every penny made on the income of those who're making millions. For those making less income, the percentage should then be reduced from what it is now. Also, hire more people to curb waste, fraud & abuse with oversight & accountability. That should make the rightwingnuts heads go spinning....

Robert K (31)
Monday November 19, 2012, 2:47 pm
Diane O, you said that your husband is a retired Naval officer. I totally respect that, as my grandson is one as well (no, not retired) but you are always railing on about and spouting nonsense about socialism, but the military is our only actual socialist program.

See how dumb you are?

Yvonne White (229)
Monday November 19, 2012, 3:02 pm
LOL Robert! Love that military socialist program!:)
Trolls should be blockable, but us Liberal Socialist types don't go for censorship..oh, wait, this is the 21st Century & LIES are NOT Free Speech, they're just LIES!!!! Canada is so Progressive it blocked FOX "News" because it was LIES, so why not block FOX trolls in the USA?;) I have trained myself to Skip Troll posts - it's really easy once you recognize the names, I just picture Karl Rove & move along..;)

Diane O (194)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 3:16 am
Edith, I'm not a mean person. I'm a nice southern lady who loves her children, grandchildren and her country. We have have two political parties in our country for a reason. It's because our vision for America is very different. Just because I don't agree with the liberal talking points doesn't make me mean. I am as passionate about my political leanings as the liberals. Notice I don't waste time calling the liberals names. I believe in your freedom of speech.

Robert, I guess I could turn that question around and ask how dumb are you? Our military is volunteer. You can opt in and you can opt out. You are comparing apples to oranges again and hoping you've made a clever comment but you failed.

When Americans put their lives on the line for their fellow Americans to keep them safe they receive healthcare. It's the same as medicare. Congress and the President receive a cadillac healthcare package and that doesn't seem to bother you.

Personally I would prefer "concierge medicine" which I'll be picking up soon. ObamaCare has now shot itself in the foot. The law mandates that exchanges be set up in the states. Only problem is many states are saying, "No Way. If you, the government wants an exchange set up set it up yourself and pay for for it."

I don't believe Obama planned for that big elephant in the room. Another problem is that Americans should not have to go on medicare at age 65 or at any age IMO. The majority of Americans are in great shape financially, have excellent credit, retirement accounts and many have no mortgages. They can afford to pay for private healthcare but the government says "no." Think of the impact that would have on medicare if many Americans weren't forced to join. It would leave a social program that could be better managed with fewer people enrolled in it.

And, by the way, veterans shell out premium payments for TriCare. Don't fool yourself.

What the liberals are incapable of doing is to address the cost of socialized medicine. The cost never goes down it goes up. Look at the European countries where their citizens are paying 50% of their salaries in taxes to pay for "free healthcare" for everyone. If you folks are incapable of doing the math then you deserve what you get.

Diane O (194)
Tuesday November 20, 2012, 3:26 am
And to all of you, I am no more a troll than you are. I've been a member on Care 2 for years just like some of you. If you don't want republicans responding on these threads then simply don't post them. Or...start a liberal political group and close the membership to opposing views. Then all of you can join a group where you bore yourselves to death patting each other on the back for saying the same thing day after day and you can exhaust yourselves by sending green stars to each other every day.

I would think that all of you are adults who consider learning a good tool to understanding why people are different before closing your minds. I read liberal websites every morning. Why do I do that? Because I want a different prospective on the issues and I have to admit it's fun reading the many biased left wing articles. It makes for interesting reading.

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