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Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:24 AM

 

Medicare is directly connected to the deficit. 40% of its funding is the general fund.

http://www.kff.org/medicare/upload/7305-07.pdf

Medicare is funded primarily from three sources: general revenues (40%), payroll tax contributions (38%), and beneficiary premiums (13%) (Figure 3):
 Part A is financed primarily through a 2.9% tax on earnings paid by employers and employees (1.45% each) (accounting for 86% of Part A revenue). For higher-income taxpayers (more than $200,000/individual and $250,000/couple), the payroll tax on earnings increases by 0.9 percentage points, from 1.45% to 2.35%, in 2013.

Part B is financed through general revenues (72%), beneficiary premiums (25%), and interest and other sources (3%). Beneficiaries with annual incomes over $85,000/individual or $170,000/couple pay a higher, income-related Part B premium reflecting a larger share of total Part B spending, ranging from 35% to 80%; the ACA froze the income thresholds through 2019, which is expected to increase the share of beneficiaries paying the higher Part B premium.

Part D is financed through general revenues (74%), beneficiary premiums (13%), and state payments for dual eligibles (13%). Similar to Part B, enrollees with higher incomes pay a larger share of the cost of Part D coverage.

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Reply Medicare is directly connected to the deficit. 40% of its funding is the general fund. (Original post)
dkf Dec 2012 OP
mmonk Dec 2012 #1
dkf Dec 2012 #2
mmonk Dec 2012 #7
dkf Dec 2012 #13
mmonk Dec 2012 #19
lalalu Dec 2012 #34
Ikonoklast Dec 2012 #72
iemitsu Dec 2012 #87
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #20
dkf Dec 2012 #76
jeff47 Dec 2012 #94
WinkyDink Dec 2012 #22
Zorra Dec 2012 #37
dkf Dec 2012 #49
iemitsu Dec 2012 #88
dkf Dec 2012 #110
iemitsu Dec 2012 #111
Phlem Dec 2012 #51
Zorra Dec 2012 #61
Phlem Dec 2012 #85
BlueCaliDem Dec 2012 #63
Go Vols Dec 2012 #97
still_one Dec 2012 #70
Telly Savalas Dec 2012 #107
randome Dec 2012 #3
dkf Dec 2012 #4
randome Dec 2012 #10
enlightenment Dec 2012 #14
eridani Dec 2012 #106
leftstreet Dec 2012 #5
abelenkpe Dec 2012 #9
lalalu Dec 2012 #32
bemildred Dec 2012 #6
dkf Dec 2012 #16
bemildred Dec 2012 #17
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #28
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #102
99Forever Dec 2012 #8
trumad Dec 2012 #11
Wounded Bear Dec 2012 #12
dkf Dec 2012 #15
randome Dec 2012 #25
randome Dec 2012 #29
dkf Dec 2012 #50
randome Dec 2012 #52
dkf Dec 2012 #56
randome Dec 2012 #59
dkf Dec 2012 #64
randome Dec 2012 #66
dkf Dec 2012 #67
Ikonoklast Dec 2012 #71
dkf Dec 2012 #73
randome Dec 2012 #79
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #69
Hestia Dec 2012 #90
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #93
DavidDvorkin Dec 2012 #18
MiniMe Dec 2012 #21
Ikonoklast Dec 2012 #23
liberalhistorian Dec 2012 #31
Coyotl Dec 2012 #95
Rex Dec 2012 #104
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #24
OKNancy Dec 2012 #36
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #26
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #27
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #46
BlueCaliDem Dec 2012 #54
dkf Dec 2012 #53
randome Dec 2012 #55
dkf Dec 2012 #58
randome Dec 2012 #60
dkf Dec 2012 #75
randome Dec 2012 #82
dkf Dec 2012 #86
Hestia Dec 2012 #91
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #81
gkhouston Dec 2012 #98
lalalu Dec 2012 #30
randome Dec 2012 #33
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #39
randome Dec 2012 #42
eridani Dec 2012 #109
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #35
eShirl Dec 2012 #108
Curmudgeoness Dec 2012 #38
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #40
Curmudgeoness Dec 2012 #48
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #83
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2012 #41
FarCenter Dec 2012 #43
JaneyVee Dec 2012 #44
jody Dec 2012 #45
cthulu2016 Dec 2012 #47
elleng Dec 2012 #57
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #62
forestpath Dec 2012 #65
OldDem2012 Dec 2012 #74
dkf Dec 2012 #78
ProSense Dec 2012 #99
dkf Dec 2012 #101
ProSense Dec 2012 #103
taught_me_patience Dec 2012 #89
jeff47 Dec 2012 #100
Rex Dec 2012 #105
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #68
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #77
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #80
Capt. Obvious Dec 2012 #84
ProSense Dec 2012 #92
RagAss Dec 2012 #96

Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:26 AM

1. Point?

So is the tax rate.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:28 AM

2. This is why Medicare is going to have more attention during the deficit talks.

 

Also costs are expanding faster than GDP. Most analysts will say medicare is our biggest long term fiscal problem, much more so than Social Social security.

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Response to dkf (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:44 AM

7. We shouldn't be having deficit talks. The economy is not strong enough.

We should be looking at stimulus.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:50 AM

13. Fixing our projected fiscal problems can also be a stimulus.

 

Why invest in a venture you feel is fiscally unsound? Getting our house in order will be a positive for confidence.

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Response to dkf (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:01 PM

19. Medicare has low overhead and does not slow or harm the economy.

So why cut it? How would that help? Getting people to work and creating demand in the economy will bring in revenue.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:31 PM

34. They want to gut social security and medicare.

 

This will reduce the life expectancy and kill off a lot of old people. That is what they mean by deficit reduction.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #34)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:49 PM

72. Force the elderly to sell off assets to pay for health care.

That way their wealth accumulated over a lifetime will be gone, and have nothing to pass on to their heirs.

The Economic Elite hate anyone else getting ahead in any way.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #34)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:28 PM

87. Those in power (the rich) want to cut Medicare because they know that

the only way for the rich to continue to avoid paying their fair share of taxes the government has to reduce spending.
Since cutting the defense budget doesn't seem to be an option, our health care, our educational system, our infrastructure have all become targets.
We could adopt a single-payer health care system that would work to close the gap between government revenues and the cost of running the country, but those in power are not willing to consider that either (because the current system provides a few with obscene wealth and power).
Every policy decision made is designed to insure that those with power and wealth don't lose their positions.

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Response to dkf (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:01 PM

20. Look at the UK

Text book example of when it does not work.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:04 PM

76. It worked for Germany earlier.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 05:42 PM

94. Only if you can't do math. (nt)

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Response to dkf (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:06 PM

22. Military.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:40 PM

37. +1 nt

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:08 PM

49. CBO is projecting a decrease in military spending from 4.3% to 3.0% of GDP over next 10 years.

 

After 10 years they keep it steady. See page 74.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/06-05-Long-Term_Budget_Outlook_2.pdf#page76

They project Medicare spending rising from 3.7% to 6% of GDP by 2037.

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Response to dkf (Reply #49)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:43 PM

88. We spend nearly 20% of the GNP on health care

while no other comparable country spends more than 11%. That is a lot of money we could and should, save, both as individuals and as a state. Medical bills are the cause of most personal bankruptcies in America and contribute much to the insolvency of the national budget.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #88)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:46 PM

110. Yes we don't get as much for our healthcare dollar.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #110)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:27 AM

111. Well, we get a class of rich MD's

and specialists, who are as hard to access as "the great and powerful Wizard of Oz".

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:12 PM

51. Corporate Tax loop holes.

-p

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Response to Phlem (Reply #51)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:21 PM

61. Increase revenue by ending Bush tax cuts and taxing the wealthy. nt

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Response to Zorra (Reply #61)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:21 PM

85. yep

plenty of places get revenue, but nooo, it's the social security and medicare. Just like it was teachers, firefighters, government employees causing our nations debt to climb.

For fucks sake.

-p

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Response to dkf (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:23 PM

63. *Medicare isn't the problem. Rising health care costs are the problem.

Democrats would do well to point this out that health care services in this country are obscenely expensive as the ProfitCare industries help the GOP at trying to make "medicare wither on a vine".

Doctors in Holland, for example, are excellent General Practitioners, and they don't make the astronomical salaries *the average or below par doctors make in this country.

Also, Republicans had forced through the law that won't allow Medicare to negotiate better prices on medicine, bloating the already over-bloated coffers of Big Pharma that turns around and sells their products CHEAPER in countries like Germany and Holland. Even Bill O'Reilly mentioned that back in 2000 when I was still watching Fox News because I thought they really were "fair and balanced".

Anyway, the solution is, *DO NOT cut any earned benefits to recipients, but rather focus on bringing down the medical costs or allow doctors from the UK, Germany, and Holland, for example, come in and replace the greedy bastards here if they threaten to stop practicing. We'd get cheaper AND superior health care services, so it's a win-win for the country and the American people.

*Edited for spelling and grammar

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #63)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 07:11 PM

97. +1

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Response to dkf (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:40 PM

70. Just increase the premiums for those making in excess of 250K. For social security raise the CAP.

For the wars, stop invading countries

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Response to dkf (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:34 AM

107. Fair enough, but the focus needs to be on reducing costs

not shifting the costs from the federal government to Medicare beneficiaries.

Raising the eligibility age and slashing benefits might help alleviate the federal government's fiscal problems, but all such proposals would do is shift the costs to those least able to shoulder the additional burden. That's simply irresponsible and cruel.

Medicare is a long term fiscal issue due to the skyrocketing underlying medical costs the program has to pay for. True reform means addressing these costs, not leaving seniors hung out to dry.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:29 AM

3. That's accurate and good to keep in mind.

It still doesn't support the idea of cutting back on the social safety net instead of corporate loopholes and personal deductions. There is an entire universe of revenue-enhancing measures to undertake without touching a single dollar of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security or any of the others.

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Response to randome (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:39 AM

4. For now maybe...

 

But it's the driver of costs in the long term and that is what they are trying to solve.

The US does a 75 year projection and medicare is the biggest hurdle based on those numbers.

See page 14

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/06-05-Long-Term_Budget_Outlook_2.pdf

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:47 AM

10. I'm all for taking care of problems BEFORE they become too much to handle.

But 75 years is a long way away. We have more pressing matters to attend to.

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:53 AM

14. Interesting charts - the Trustees' report doesn't seem to be quite that gloomy.

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:34 AM

106. 100% of the deficit would disappear instantly if only--

--our per capita health care costs were the same as those of other developed countries.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:41 AM

5. Oh Look! A Mediscare thread!

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:46 AM

9. +1000

I love it when republican lite posts to this board. How else would I know their talking points and why the little people need to suck it up?

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:29 PM

32. LOL

 

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:43 AM

6. Thanks for clearing that up.

Here I thought it was done by little leprechauns.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:55 AM

16. Or maybe they think the $ grows on trees.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:57 AM

17. No, it's all little magnetic dots nowadays, except for the paper and coins in your pocket. nt

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Response to dkf (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:20 PM

28. as "money" is an accounting abstraction represented by paper tokens at the retail level

it literally does grow on trees.

But certainly having the elderly pay for the excesses of the 0.01% for the last 30 years makes a lot of sense.

Better that than actually raising income and dividend and capital gains taxes to pre-2000 levels.

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Response to dkf (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:00 PM

102. No, they think the tax payers will pay their gambling debts, as we have so far.

And if only they could get their hands on even more of the people's money.

.

Anything to say about the Bush Cuts which cost this country $2 Trillion Dollars over the past decade? Or the wars for profit? More trillions for Defense Contractors?

How about the corruption on Wall Street which cost the people trillions to cover?

Medicare for all and cut out the Middlemen, the greedy Corporate entities that eat up one third of the money that should go for actual care.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:45 AM

8. Here we go!

Let the excuses why we have been lied to and those that claimed to be "on our side" to get elected, turning their backs on us AGAIN, begin.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:48 AM

11. So---let's make it 50 percent...hell 60.

Let's cover the whole US population.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:49 AM

12. Does NOT explain why revenue is seemingly off the table....

Especially revenue from sources that have most benefitted from the recent financial situation. Hint: that isn't the 98% of the population that got reamed by the recession.

Many of Part D's problems would be eased by ending the onerous need to buy drugs at retail, instead of negotiated prices.

Lower the age of eligibility, sat to 50, to bring the working elderly into the program. It would be cheaper for them, make them more attractive employees since their benefits would be less expensive for the employer, and increase the base of the program.

There really isn't a need to attack benefits. We need to attack those who profit from others woes to increase revenues.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:53 AM

15. I am all for a complete overhaul of the healthcare system.

 

But do we hear anything on that?

Take reform off the table and that only leaves cuts to the program.

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Response to dkf (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:13 PM

25. No one else is.

Maybe you can explain your Utopian vision of 'a complete overhaul'.

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Response to randome (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:24 PM

29. Hm. That's funny.

I guess it takes time to make up 'a complete overhaul' on the fly.

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Response to randome (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:10 PM

50. Canada.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #50)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:13 PM

52. That's the name of a country. Not an explanation of how to overhaul our health system.

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Response to randome (Reply #52)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:17 PM

56. Seriously? What more do you need?

 

I like the Canadian health system and would be happy were we to adopt their laws in regard to health care.

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Response to dkf (Reply #56)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:19 PM

59. Medicare works as is.

When we have exhausted other avenues of revenue and cost-cutting, THEN we can look at overhauling the social safety net. It should be the last thing to be on the table, not the first.

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Response to randome (Reply #59)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:23 PM

64. The Canadian system is much more efficient.

 

Medicare is too vulnerable to abuse and overuse of services. Electronic billing with its easy ability to cut and paste menus of services is leading to higher expenses.

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Response to dkf (Reply #64)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:26 PM

66. All those changes can be implemented.

That doesn't amount to 'a complete overhaul', IMO. You're talking about billing practices.

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Response to randome (Reply #66)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:33 PM

67. It's worse than that...

 

Medicare Bills Rise as Records Turn Electronic
By REED ABELSON, JULIE CRESWELL and GRIFF PALMER
Published: September 21, 2012

When the federal government began providing billions of dollars in incentives to push hospitals and physicians to use electronic medical and billing records, the goal was not only to improve efficiency and patient safety, but also to reduce health care costs.

But, in reality, the move to electronic health records may be contributing to billions of dollars in higher costs for Medicare, private insurers and patients by making it easier for hospitals and physicians to bill more for their services, whether or not they provide additional care.

Hospitals received $1 billion more in Medicare reimbursements in 2010 than they did five years earlier, at least in part by changing the billing codes they assign to patients in emergency rooms, according to a New York Times analysis of Medicare data from the American Hospital Directory. Regulators say physicians have changed the way they bill for office visits similarly, increasing their payments by billions of dollars as well.

The most aggressive billing — by just 1,700 of the more than 440,000 doctors in the country — cost Medicare as much as $100 million in 2010 alone, federal regulators said in a recent report, noting that the largest share of those doctors specialized in family practice, internal medicine and emergency care.

For instance, the portion of patients that the emergency department at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica, N.Y., claimed required the highest levels of treatment — and thus higher reimbursements — rose 43 percent in 2009. That was the same year the hospital began using electronic health records.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/22/business/medicare-billing-rises-at-hospitals-with-electronic-records.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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Response to dkf (Reply #67)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:43 PM

71. That looks like good old-fashioned FRAUD.

They'll soon find out that just because they can change codes easily also means they can be audited easier.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #71)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:57 PM

73. Or doctors will just get a full range of the most expensive services ordered for each patient.

 

I wonder if the patients even know exactly what tests have been done.

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Response to dkf (Reply #67)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:15 PM

79. 'Medicare Bills' = billing practices.

They received a billion dollars more in 2010 but only about 100 million of that was due to fraudulent billing. Hardly enough to justify anything more than cracking down on billing practices. Cancel the order for more jets and we'll be fine.

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Response to randome (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:35 PM

69. I'm for a complete overhaul as well...

I've seen first hand the amount of waste and abuse within Medicare.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #69)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 04:13 PM

90. There was a report about this very thing - "they" have built a Medicare

fraud protection center, IT based, that will and go after the fraud a lot sooner than we have seen in the past. This is where part of the $768B that was cited in the campaign speeches. Kathleen Sibilus (sp?) has really done a great job, and this is part of it. So, the oh no's can calm down because fraud is being addressed.

I think I read that report on this board. I hate the search function of DU - I always! get stories from 2004 or sooner first.

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Response to Hestia (Reply #90)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 05:38 PM

93. It's not just the fraud that is a problem.

My late domestic partner went through 100s of thousands of dollars of Medicare costs and probably 25% could be chalked up to abuse. I wouldn't be concerned if I had any confidence that he was the very rare exception, but I know he was not. After he passed away, I carried 5 large shopping bags of unopened boxes of breathing medications to his pulmonologist's office.... He would never bother to cancel shipments of meds he no longer needed and I didn't have the authority to change the shipments. One prescription he gave to his son. He had COPD, a miserable, terminal disease that eventually requires oxygen therapy 24/7. Medicare provided that and it was wonderful. He purchased, out of pocket, an Inogen portable concentrator that we used for trips. It cost $5,000. Today Medicare covers it. Frankly, it is a luxury. He had Type II diabetes, when he passed I had 3 unopened monitors and heaven only knows how many boxes of test strips (I didn't bother counting) to donate. There were 3 monitors that he had used and he would check his sugar only 2 to 3 times a week! He had 5 doctors, all of whom would send him for blood work on a regular basis. Some months he was at the Lab 3 times. He finally got sick of that and said something to his nephrologist who then arranged for the doctors to share reports. I could go on and on.

The problem is that illness often causes depression, which goes unacknowledged, thus they seem to not give a crap about things like waste. Don't get me wrong, I think Medicare is a wonderful program, I will be getting it myself as of Feb., 2013 But if it is going to survive it has to be taken off the fee-for-service model. Today, I finally got around to reading what the gov't sent me about Medicare. I was thinking I would sign up for Part A...and wait on Part B until I am 67...I realized today I am automatically enrolled in parts A & B....

I have never had great success using the DU search feature either.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:59 AM

18. 100% of military spending comes from taxes.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:04 PM

21. And Social Security has 0% impact on the deficit

But they want to screw with Social Security too.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:10 PM

23. Military spending is 100% connected to the general fund.

And a huge driver of our deficit.

Discuss.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:28 PM

31. Funny how the repub lites around here

never seem to acknowledge that and it's the huge elephant in the country's living room that no one will acknowledge. The vast majority of our money goes to the military and Pentagon, but we're almost not even allowed to say anything at all about it, about the four BILLION a fucking WEEK that we pour into it, at the expense of real, human needs. But no, it's the real, human needs that are always the first on the chopping block and no one can even talk about touching the goddamn Pentagon budget, not even after twelve years of unprecedented tax cuts while simultaneously starting and maintaining two wars. This particular OP, though, is a DINO, so what else would you expect from him or her.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 06:18 PM

95. and it is 50% money down the toilet, no benefit except big booms.

At least medicare makes people healthy and good jobs are available for health care providers, thus added secondary economic benefits.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #23)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:12 AM

104. Ya but...but MEDICARE!!!

Doesn't that scare you!?!?! Not falling for the FUD? Okay...how bout...SOCIAL SECURITY!!!

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:12 PM

24. Medicare has two easily soluble problems:

1.{b] It serves only the oldest, least healthy members of the population, exactly the people that insurance companies were refusing to cover at any affordable price, which was the primary reason for Medicare in the first place. Open it up to younger, healthier people, and you get their premiums with fewer outlays.

2. The Bush formulation of Medicare Part D specifically forbids the government to negotiate for drug prices, unlike every other government in the Western world. What a gift to Big Pharma! If we fix that it will help a lot.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:37 PM

36. absolutely and your part 1. would reduce unemployment

Just think. If people could retire or quit jobs without fear of losing their insurance, the job market would open for younger people... and entrepreneurship would probably increase as well.

I'm thinking raising the age to 67 may in the long run increase unemployment. I know they say the Affordable Care Act should alleviate that, but until it's in place, I just don't think we can know for sure. I guess their will be a bunch of "gap" insurance policies offered. What a mess.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:16 PM

26. Has anyone seen my unrec button?

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:17 PM

27. +1

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #27)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:01 PM

46. the rec list of this thread is "interesting".

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #46)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:16 PM

54. Makes you wonder

why one was banned from Kos, doesn't it?

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:14 PM

53. How can you discuss the program and its funding without knowing how it works?

 

What good is it to remain in ignorance of the specifics?

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Response to dkf (Reply #53)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:16 PM

55. We don't NEED to discuss its funding.

Not when there are hundreds of other avenues with which to raise revenue or cut expenses. The social safety net should be the LAST thing to be considered.

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Response to randome (Reply #55)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:19 PM

58. How can you discuss raising revenue if you don't understand how the revenue is currently generated?

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #58)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:20 PM

60. My statement stands.

Cutting the social safety net comes LAST, not first.

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Response to randome (Reply #60)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:02 PM

75. Well you can always cut education, R&D and infrastructure before Medicare I guess

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #75)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:18 PM

82. You're being disingenuous.

Obviously we can end our military adventurism and cut back on military spending. Obviously we can close numerous corporate loopholes and subsidies.

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Response to randome (Reply #82)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:23 PM

86. If you want less military adventures you really need to oppose Susan Rice as S of S.

 

And it's really not possible for all the cuts to come from the pet project of half the country. Moreover those expenses are projected to decrease as a % of GDP. Not so for Medicare.

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Response to dkf (Reply #58)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 04:16 PM

91. You're assuming that the forum members aren't aware of funding, revenue, etc. already.

Go look at the copious amount of posts on this very thing for years. You're talking ECON 101 and most members are discussing ECON301-501.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:17 PM

81. Can't say I've seen it.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 07:38 PM

98. I swiped it. I was feeling a strong urge to unrec some threads more than once. n/t

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:28 PM

30. I can't believe you are still posting your dribble.

 

Do you work for a private insurance agency because your agenda against Medicare is pretty obvious.

Those "general revenues" include taxes paid by Medicare beneficiaries. I have also explained to you before that surplus revenues in social security funds were generated by the same Medicare beneficiaries. Instead of congress raiding the surplus from social security that money should have been set aside for Medicare and to continue funding social security.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #30)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:30 PM

33. He/she still hasn't explained what is meant by 'a complete overhaul'.

'Dribble' is a kind word.

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Response to randome (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:41 PM

39. Sounds like GOP-speak for vouchers

Just sayin'

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #39)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:46 PM

42. You just have to quietly stand up to them and then they go away.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #30)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:45 AM

109. Not entirely fair. Repubs lite do not generally advocate for single payer

The problem is when this is accompanied by "Oh, we can't get single payer, so let's do the Repuke solution instead."

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:36 PM

35. 100% of military spending comes out of the general fund

So I guess it just depends on where you are on the guns vs butter debate. Seeing as how we have more military spending than the rest of the world combined, I'm kinda thinking the gun side should give a bit on this one rather than taking pills away from grandma.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #35)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:37 AM

108. too much big money sucking on that teat

with senators and representatives in their pockets

ka-ching!

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:41 PM

38. So what? Some things are worth having

even if tax dollars are used. Do you really think that I give a rat's ass that 40% of Medicare funding comes from the general fund?

Think again.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #38)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:45 PM

40. Quite a bit of that 40% is due to the higher costs incurred by using private insurers

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #40)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:06 PM

48. You don't have to convince me that "for profit" insurers are a problem.

I wasn't getting into all the issues involved, I just wanted to tell the OP that I don't really give a shit whether general fund tax dollars are supporting Medicare. It seems that the whole point of the OP was to support cuts to Medicare, and I am not buying it.

You are right though. There are so many ways to cut the tax burden and still provide all the benefits we get from Medicare, and these are not coming up in any discussions. In fact, when Obama "cut" expenses without cutting benefits, the GOP has a hissy fit over how he was trying to destroy Medicare----at the same time they are looking to gut the program that they always hated. (I still cannot imagine why.)

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #38)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:18 PM

83. Exactly. Medicare's worth every penny. n/t

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:45 PM

41. Part D is the only part that should be on the table. Luckily, the fix is simple.

Amend the law so that the government is allowed to negotiate pricing for prescription drugs.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:49 PM

43. The government receives money; the government spend money - the rest is accounting BS

What really matters is the total income and expenditure cash flows in the next two years.

Beware the fog of accounting for tax X paying for program X.

All the money is the same.

And all 10 year budget figures are bogus.

The march 2009 CBO budget analysis projected real GDP growth in 2011, 2012, 2014 of 4.0, 4.1 and 4.0% -- which is laughable.

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/41166

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:54 PM

44. Let people be able to buy in at 50. Or single payer.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:01 PM

45. $454,393,280,417.03 interest paid on national debt could easily erase that deficit. nt

 

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:05 PM

47. If the deficit currently caused any real-world problem this would be more interesting

But it doesn't.

Cutting the deficit is clearly WRONG economic policy today, so the OP is an (unknowing) argument for leaving Medicare alone.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:18 PM

57. Thanks for shedding some light.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:22 PM

62. Medicare did not cause the deficit. So what's your point?

Cut the Military in half and the entire problem is solved.

No one is fooled by this, so it's a waste of time for anyone to try to support the Republicans' attempt to take away Health Care from the elderly and the disabled. Can you explain why anyone might support this scam using the Deficit to literally, and it will, let more Americans die?

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #62)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:23 PM

65. +1

 

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #62)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:58 PM

74. Bingo. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of military programs....

...that are no longer needed primarily because of obsolescence. Additionally, the sooner we get out of Afghanistan, the sooner that monthly military pay-out can be diverted to social and infrastructure programs that need the help. I can't help but think there is a lot of fat in a $711 billion 2012 defense budget.

The intelligence organizations also need to be examined very closely. Currently, we have no way to know how our tax dollars are being spent because the funding goes into so-called "black programs" that are heavily classified. The estimated 2012 budget for US intelligence programs that we know of is $75 billion.

Every time I read a post like the thread OP about the need to reevaluate Medicare expenditures I get more angry. Those are right-wing GOP talking points and don't need to be posted to this board.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #62)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:14 PM

78. One solution is a new payroll tax for part B and D that increases as costs go up.

 

If you really do not wish to contain costs this is an option.

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Response to dkf (Reply #78)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 07:40 PM

99. That idea

sucks: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021940823

And you keep reposting the OP as if you have a vested interest.

Medicare gets 42% of funding from general revenues, 37% from payroll taxes and 13% from premiums
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021198233

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Response to ProSense (Reply #99)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 08:54 PM

101. Not everyone is here 24/7 you know. Frankly I never see this point made in the public discussion.

 

Where have you seen it other than from me?

It's no wonder the public can't have an honest debate about this. They don't have enough basic knowledge to participate other than to cry "don't touch my Medicare".

Anyone who studies the deficit knows Medicare won't be left untouched. At the end the populace will probably imagine everyone in government wants to kill old people or some other piece of ridiculousness because they don't understand the depth of the problem.

Democrats are the ones in danger from the backlash because they made promises they can't keep.

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Response to dkf (Reply #101)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:02 PM

103. What a

It's no wonder the public can't have an honest debate about this. They don't have enough basic knowledge to participate other than to cry "don't touch my Medicare".

...bullshit straw man argument. That's right "don't touch my Medicare."

"Anyone who studies the deficit knows Medicare won't be left untouched."

Anyone who studied RW talking points knows what that means. The people who are really trying to fix Medicare know that the problem is health care costs.

"Democrats are the ones in danger from the backlash because they made promises they can't keep. "

"don't touch my Medicare."

Promise kept!

Also see: Fuck Republicans and their attempts to conflate Medicare benefit cuts with deficit reduction.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #62)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 03:09 PM

89. Military spending is approx $700B but the deficit is $1.2T

Cutting the military budget in half, alone, will not solve the deficit.

There are a lot more things than the military that is causing the deficit.

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Response to taught_me_patience (Reply #89)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 08:41 PM

100. Yes, but the largest cause is the poor economy

About 60% of the deficit goes completely away when unemployment gets down to a normal level.

People are arguing about a kitchen remodel while the house is on fire.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #62)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:13 AM

105. Aww come on...not falling for the FUD!?!

Ya I agree...it is getting to be a boring show.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:34 PM

68. It is virtually impossible

to preserve Medicare, for the long term, as it now operates. While administrative costs are below those of private health insurance companies, the other costs are far greater. The 'risk pool' for Medicare is old, increasingly unhealthy people. Doctors, hospitals, nursing facilities, the pharmaceutical industry, physical therapy centers and, yes, beneficiaries abuse the system and will continue to abuse it until it becomes unsupportable. The "fee for service" model has to go or Medicare won't survive.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:13 PM

77. Medicare's financial problems disappear if you go to a single-payer system for everyone.

Because MC recipients are elderly, they are the most expensive part of the healthcare pool. If you include everyone and model the system on the rest of the world, costs overall drop from about 18% of GDP to maybe 10%.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:16 PM

80. I can think of a few ways to address the deficit without cutting Medicare benefits.

First, end the pointless and destructive wars - bring the troops home from Afghanistan, cut back on overseas deployments, and cut the military - trust me, there's LOOOOOOOTS of wasteful spending in the .mil that needs to be cut.

Second, there's that whole tax-the-rich thing. Also tax big corporations (no, I don't think companies like GE should be able to get away with paying zero taxes - getting corporations to pay their fair share of taxes by closing loopholes will bring in significant revenue.

Really, if your idea of dealing with the deficit is forcing austerity on the little guy, I think you're on the wrong web site.

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:20 PM

84. Death panels will solve this problem

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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 04:18 PM

92. Oooh, oooh

facts:

Bending The Curve

<...>



In other words, the Medicare actuaries believe that the cost-saving provisions in the Obama health reform will make a huge difference to the long-run budget outlook. Yes, it’s just a projection, and debatable like all projections. And it’s still not enough. But anyone who both claims to be worried about the long-run deficit and was opposed to health reform has some explaining to do. All the facts we have suggest that health reform was the biggest move toward fiscal responsibility in a long, long time.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/bending-the-curve/


<...>

Medicare, on the other hand, is a big budget problem. But raising the eligibility age, which means forcing seniors to seek private insurance, is no way to deal with that problem....The answer is to do what every other advanced country does, and make a serious effort to rein in health care costs. Give Medicare the ability to bargain over drug prices. Let the Independent Payment Advisory Board, created as part of Obamacare to help Medicare control costs, do its job instead of crying “death panels.” (And isn’t it odd that the same people who demagogue attempts to help Medicare save money are eager to throw millions of people out of the program altogether?) We know that we have a health care system with skewed incentives and bloated costs, so why don’t we try to fix it?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/opinion/life-death-and-deficits.html


It’s Health Care Costs, Stupid

<...>

In today’s column, I tried to emphasize a point that is weirdly absent from public discourse, at least among VSPs: the favorite VSP “solution” to the long-run budget deficit, raising the Medicare eligibility age, actually yields only minor savings. The point is that if you want to control Medicare costs, you can’t do it by kicking a small number of relatively young seniors off the program; to control costs, you have to, you know, control costs.

And the truth is that we know a lot about how to do that — after all, every other advanced country has much lower health costs than we do, and even within the US, the VHA and even Medicaid are much better at controlling costs than Medicare, and even more so relative to private insurance.

The key is having a health insurance system that can say no — no, we won’t pay premium prices for drugs that are little if any better, we won’t pay for medical procedures that yield little or no benefit

But even as Republicans demand “entitlement reform”, they are dead set against anything like that. Bargaining over drug prices? Horrors! The Independent Payment Advisory Board? Death panels! They refuse to contemplate using approaches that have worked around the world; the only solution they will countenance is the solution that has never worked anywhere, namely, converting Medicare into an underfunded voucher system.

- more -

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/03/its-health-care-costs-stupid/

What Defines A Serious Deficit Proposal?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021914963


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Response to dkf (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 06:22 PM

96. Let's move the age to 76 then....let the fucking bodies pile up in the streets !!!!

The rich love the stench of death.

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