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Something must be done about Medicare? Don't we mean health care costs?

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 12:58 PM
Original message
Something must be done about Medicare? Don't we mean health care costs?
I would very much like a strong supporter of Obama to explain this to me.

Medicare is adding to the deficit because health care costs are massive in this country and going up; also, the population is getting older. If we are committed to paying for the care of seniors, how does limiting their eligibility or benefits with Medicare address the deficit when the private insurers cost so much more? How is it solving the problem to lower the deficits by reforming Medicare if we increase them even more by subsidizing private insurance for seniors? Or is the idea to not provide the same level of care for seniors?

Seniors cannot afford insurance in the private system. Private insurance is more expensive than Medicare. If we are to care for seniors as we have in the past, shunting them from Medicare to the private sector will increase the deficit, not lower it. If Medicare never existed, we would -still- have a deficit crisis providing care to seniors, only it would be much worse due to the far greater expense of insuring them in the private sector.

So how does limiting the eligibility and benefits of Medicare solve the problem of gov't health care deficits when Medicare is the cheapest way to provide seniors with health care? Is the plan to simply provide them with a far lower level of care, or to subsidize the private insurers at greater cost? If the latter, how are we addressing the problem?
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. You understand what about this administration's interest in reforming Medicare?
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. If you do, could you spell out what changes would be acceptable and which won't?
Because I don't have a clear idea. Limiting eligibility or benefits (such as raising the age) is one idea I've heard, but specifics are hard to find.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Exactly, specifics are hard to find,
Edited on Sun Sep-11-11 01:47 PM by elleng
and I'll be damned if I'll criticize this administration for suggesting it/he would like 'reforms' in an industry we all know needs change.

Unfortunately, too many here START by criticizing. 'IMG, he said REFORM MEDICARE! He's gonna send grandma into the streets for her health care!' This approach seriously offends and frightens me.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #5
29. The insurance industry needs the change.
Medicare worked just fine before they started cutting it, started having private insurance companies provide it for so many people, and created this fake crisis so they could try to privatize it.

You're offending because people are worried that people are going to lose their health care? We're offending because we really are likely to loose our health care. Get your priorities straight!

Medicare has always been the most efficiently run health care provider in the nation. Why in hell would we want to screw that up, just because of some imaginary crisis, and the bizarre belief that for-profit insurance companies have to get their hands into everything?

The Veteran's Administration has always been right up there too, more cost effective and efficient than any private insurance plan, dollar for dollar.

So why aren't we putting our money into merging and expanding the programs that work? Why are we buying into the phoney emergencies, and letting them slash and cut and destroy programs that have always worked well in the past?

I don't understand why people feel the need to wait, to see just how much a politician is going to back the corporations, and sacrifice the programs that people rely on, before they'll form an opinion and take a stand.

:wtf:

That's the kind of passive approach that guarantees they'll succeed in gutting and privatizing Medicare and Social Security. By the time you get around to thinking that maybe they're serious, and think about complaining, they'll have already implemented most of it. It's too late to complain at that point. You have to shout loud enough to shut them down before they start dismantling a program. Hopefully it's not too late already.

It's obvious that Medicare is on Obama's chopping block. I hope people take this seriously enough to defend it, and raise a big enough stink about it to get him to back down.

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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #29
35. 'Its obvious that Medicare is on Obama's chopping block'
is just the kind of b.s. repugs WANT Dems to spew, and MANY here appear to be following their orders perfectly.
Will leave the country if Dems fail to recognize where this crap comes from and fail to re-elect President Obama.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. No. Obama himself has stated that Medicare and Social Security
need to be reformed.

Obama stated that his job plan will be paid for by cutting payroll taxes, which pay for Medicare and Social Security.

You can't take take away the source of funding for Medicare and Social Security, to the tune of $240 Billion Dollars, and claim that this won't undermine these programs.

The republicans, AND Obama, have been claiming that Social Security and Medicare are facing a crisis already, so what are they going to claim after Obama deliberately causes a $240 billion shortfall? That's one hell of a hole, you know it isn't ever going to get patched.

In that Jobs Speech Obama came right out and said that he's going to make changes that many his party aren't going to like. Now he's talking about moving back the eligibility age, so fewer people can get access to these services. That's just a different kind of spending cut, and will deny a hell of a lot of people access to the benefits they need, when they need them most.

Instead of taxing people who have the most money, he's cutting benefits from the people who have the very least. He's cutting the programs designed to try to keep our seniors and people with disabilities from living in total destitution.

As someone who lives on Social Security, and receives Medicare, I can tell you from first hand experience, Social Security alone is rarely enough to get anyone above the poverty limit. You're still going to be struggling and desperately poor. Medicare is barely adequate insurance. There are a lot of services and meds that aren't covered because of cost.

Nobody is forcing Obama to cut the payroll tax. He's choosing that on his own. The fact that cutting the payroll tax will also act as a $240 billion hit to Social Security and Medicare won't be lost on him, or anyone else in Washington. It won't be lost on anyone on Wall Street either. They'll all know an opportunity when they see one. Obama is giving them all an opportunity to carve up the two programs that a hell of a lot of poor people depend upon to stay alive.

He mentioned that often sited comment, about Warren Buffet paying a lower tax rate than his Secretary, but did he do anything to raise taxes on wealthy people? No. Nothing at all. Obama has bought into the republican model of only giving tax cuts as the answer to every problem.

So the poorest and most vulnerable people can be targeted directly for benefit cuts. But the wealthiest people can't be targeted for tax cuts. That's absurd. Why are the poorest people in our nation paying for this jobs bill?

Why are the poorest and most vulnerable people in this nation paying for this jobs bill? :grr:



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uponit7771 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #36
58. Conspiracy theory accounting doesn't mean reality.
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Exilednight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. The specifics aren't that hard to find. They've been posted all over DU. One of the
options that Obama is open to is raising the age from 65 to 67. That number has been confirmed by Democrats and Republicans alike.

People attempt to defend this by saying that there is no direct quote by Obama, but his past history has proven that these "unconfirmed statements" often have the ability to become reality. Anyone remember tax cut extensions?
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. Something must be done about Medicare because it is a threat to total control of our
Edited on Sun Sep-11-11 01:12 PM by RC
Private For Profit health care system. Kinda like Social Security being a threat from keeping people from total destitution.
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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. Current CMS administrator Don Berwick is already instituting many good programs that will
improve quality and outcomes, eliminate waste and abuse, decrease medical errors and save lots of money over time.

He is dedicated to continuing to improve access to care for America's seniors while reforming the system.

If we want Medicare to be the model for a single payer system (and I, for one, do), it needs to be reformed from within first.

The Republicans are going to try and remove Dr. Berwick at the end of this session and I hope we do everything we can to prevent that from happening.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. "saving" medicare is all about protecting corporate profits and politicians those profits buy nt
Edited on Sun Sep-11-11 02:16 PM by msongs
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
50. You are absolutely right.
They never have any concern about "saving" any government program until outside corporations are interested in the income they can get from it.
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. Yes, but the two aren't mutually exclusive
Fixing Medicare spending does not have to mean cutting benefits--and in fact most Democrats' proposals (including the President's) do not affect premiums or benefits. The way hospitals are paid, the way procedures are done, the way medicines are priced are all a potential part of "fixing Medicare" so that it is solvent and available in the future.

No one on either side of the aisle or in the economics community believes that we can continue to spend for health care at the current rates, with the kinds of annual increases that have been steadily growing over the last few decades. That is a given.

Obama's original (and continuing) focus has been squarely on how to control costs within the Medicare system through better medical practices and coordination. That he mentioned a raise in eligibility age as one possibility this summer does not mean that he endorses it: just that it is one of the ideas out there under consideration. It is unclear yet how this would interact with the Affordable Care Act, where the more people joining the insurance exchanges the better they will work and the lower the costs will be to individuals. I think we need to await the real scoring and analysis on this option. It could be, on one level, that bringing more people into the exchanges will help those who are, say 50-64 and in need of private insurance: so it may be a tradeoff that helps more people than it hurts. I don't know yet: I suggest following analysis and updates from Wonkblog, especially now that they have a reporter dedicated to medical analysis. The age hike is not, however, a particularly politically viable option at this time, and it is in no way certain that it will be the answer that will be adopted by Congress.

In other words, it's too early to get our knickers in a knot; and it must always be acknowledged that many of these attempts, even if enacted, are not permanent. We saw Bush's adoption of Medicare Advantage (a private option for Medicare) severely cut back by the Obama administration. This proves that they are no patsies when it comes to favoring private insurance over Medicare, and that these laws, once enacted, are not irreversible. I think we must continue to seek out solutions and then let the ones that seem halfway promising and passable pass (and the bad ones die). They are never the last word.
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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Excellent response
:thumbsup:
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Obama put a raise in the eligibility age for Medicare on the table
Edited on Sun Sep-11-11 02:36 PM by woo me with science
during the debt ceiling debate.

I have seen absolutely nothing to suggest that he has taken that option off the table as the Super Theft Congress convenes.

And we are kidding ourselves, given the level of spending cuts the committee is tasked to find, if we think they WON'T start with a proposal that the President has already signaled that he will accept.

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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Everything is on the table
Everything. Doesn't mean it's going to happen.
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. I was responding to your first sentence, which implies inaccurately that Obama opposes benefit cuts.
Edited on Sun Sep-11-11 03:35 PM by woo me with science
"Fixing Medicare spending does not have to mean cutting benefits--and in fact most Democrats' proposals (including the President's) do not affect premiums or benefits."

The fact is that this President was the one who put a severe cut, an increase in the Medicare eligibility age, on the table, where it remains and will certainly be considered by the Super Theft Committee.

Of course it might not happen. It might not rain in Seattle this year, either. But that is a rather weak response when you have (A) a committee tasked with finding unprecedented spending cuts in this budget and (B) a President who has ALREADY offered this significant cut up on a platter and signaled that he will accept it.

This President has done nothing to indicate that he wants to protect Medicare benefits. On the contrary, he has led the way in putting them at risk.



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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. But how does reforming Medicare change the cost of care?
Edited on Sun Sep-11-11 03:14 PM by jpgray
You could effect a change in cost by negotiating drug prices (off the table per the White House deal with Tauzin) or regulating prices for procedures and certain examinations, but I don't see any push in that direction. If we're to care for seniors as we do now, the cost of drugs, procedures and exams has to go down, or we will have large deficits via Medicare or massive deficits through public subsidy of private insurers.

But I don't see a push to lower the cost of drugs or care, I see a push to ration care and reduce the number of people on Medicare, thereby reducing the deficit impact of the program. But reducing the debt from Medicare does not mean reducing the government debt for providing health care--it may in fact mean increasing the deficit spending on health care as the private sector is more expensive.
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Coordinating care and changing ways doctors and hospitals are paid
is one way being talked about. So if a team of doctors is assigned to coordinating the care for a patient, it is believed repetitive or unnecessary procedures can be avoided, as an example, and that better treatment can be a result. Another idea is paying a lump sum annually for the care of a patient.

The literature on this is so vast and complex, I wish I had the time to point you in the direction of some of the policy stuff I've read, but unfortunately, I'm out the door for the day. Maybe later!

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. How much money is there to be saved this way? Who decides what is repetitive or unnecessary?
Edited on Sun Sep-11-11 03:57 PM by jpgray
Again I feel a lack of specifics. I'm reminded of the familiar cry from both sides of the aisle to remove loopholes from the tax code--it seems every year someone says it, often meaning something entirely different from the last person to say it, and, in the end, never significantly departing from the way things currently are.
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Hoyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. Medicare already regulates prices or procedures. Drugs are an exception that needs correction.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. It depends on the procedure, I believe--chemotherapy is tied to average sales price, no?
Edited on Sun Sep-11-11 05:52 PM by jpgray
I wasn't very clear on what I meant there, but it is my understanding that any medication administered in the hospital as part of a procedure is subject not to the fee schedule but the average sales price. I probably shouldn't separate that out in my head from prescription drugs picked up at the pharmacy, but I did.

I should point out I'm not an expert on Medicare by any means, and appreciate anyone pointing out that I'm wrong in any aspect of my understanding.
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Hoyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Drugs are an area needing more controls, including chemo drugs.

But when chemo is delivered in a physician's office, the physician gets paid a regulated price.

The cost of drugs really need regulation.

We definitely need to find a better way to deliver care at a reasonable cost. But, every time you start talking about it, providers and many patients don't want any changes.

We definitely need a more rational health care system.

I hope you are doing well, and I understood your point.
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zalinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. Cuts are already happening
Apparently, no one cares that payments to doctors, hospitals and long care homes are being cut. It is already starting to happen.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Instead of really getting costs under control, they will be hurting those that need services, when service providers will stop taking Medicare or Medicaid.

zalinda
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
52. Yes, and the effect of this is going to be that More Doctors
are refusing to accept Medicare patients. They simply refuse to accept the low rates that Medicare is being forced to pay.

That means that people who have Medicare as their only insurance can have a hard time finding places to use it.

If you have Medicaid, it is even worse.
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zalinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #52
54. You have to wonder if any one looks beyond the
pretty package. Geriatrics is not a 'rock star' segment of the medical profession already. Start cutting payments and seniors will get the rock bottom of doctors, who barely made their certification.

zalinda
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #54
55. I have already had one neurologist turn me away because
"Your case is too complicated for me." He didn't want to have to spend more than his usual five minutes per patient, and I'd throw him off is schedule. So I had to go.

I have a disability and chronic pain.

You are going to see a lot more doctors refusing to treat anyone who has a disability or persistent health conditions. More doctors are going to specialize in only treating healthy, able-bodied patients, or only patients in simple, easy to treat situations. :(
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. "the way medicines are priced." That'll be the day they "reform" that!
If it will cost Big Pharma one red cent, they'll put their muscle behind blocking reform. And then it's "ta ta".
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #21
45. Exactly!
I've got 2 good friends who are MDs. One teaches. They are sick of the oft-repeated lies about innecessary tests and redundant treatments. They have both told me that fraud comes from the theft of Soial Security/Medicare numbers where thieves bi8ll Medicare Medicaid for treatments and Rxs never given a patient.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
51. Delaying when people can get access to a program
is a cut in benefits.

It is a 100% cut in benefits for every person who is prevented from getting access.



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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
10. K&R It's ironic, isn't it,
that Obama's answer to skyrocketing costs was to entrench into the health care system with mandates the very corporate interests that have led to the skyrocketing of costs.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #10
53. It isn't ironic at all when you look at who stands next to him
at all his public speeches about the economy.

All his financial experts and advisers are former corporate executives from wall street firms that invest in those hospitals and medical corporations.

Obama is inside a bubble, surrounded by only the pro-corporate view. He doesn't hear, or care about poor people except when his election advisers tell him that he needs to start pretending to be be a populist in order to fool people into voting for him.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. We've got to deal with the malpractice issue in this country
And no, I don't mean simply caps. All that does is limit the liability of the malpractice insurance companies, it does nothing whatsoever to reduce either the incidence of malpractice, or the willingness of the sue-happy to inspire the use of defensive medicine.

What if we had national malpractice insurance? And what if instead of using courts, we used something like a Worker's Comp board to figure out if anyone did anything wrong, and make the results public? The current system clogs up courts, enriches attorneys and 'professional' witnesses, takes a very long time to produce any semblance of justice for those wronged, and covers up the results with gag orders, protecting the incompetent.

We could save a hell of a lot of money if we simply cut the legal system, with its costly delays, out of the bargain.
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Exilednight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Malpractive payments account for a very, very, very small sliver of overall health care costs. n/t
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. I doubt that
but they are responsible for a large part of the defensive medicine practiced by the vast majority of doctors, who don't want the hassle, distraction, and expense of a lawsuit.

Do you support health care dollars going to the legal system? If so, I'd be interested to hear your reasons why you feel that way.
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sad sally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #24
47. Malpractice suits are not the big contributor to health care costs the Republicans like to make it.
According to the actuarial consulting firm Towers Perrin, medical malpractice tort costs were $30.4 billion in 2007, the last year for which data are available. We have a more than a $2 trillion health care system. That puts litigation costs and malpractice insurance at 1 to 1.5 percent of total medical costs. Thats a rounding error. Liability isnt even the tail on the cost dog. Its the hair on the end of the tail.

and

CBO now estimates, on the basis of an analysis incorporating the results of recent research, that ... would reduce total national health care spending by about 0.5 percent (about $11 billion in 2009). That figure is the sum of the direct reduction in spending of 0.2 percent from lower medical liability premiums, as discussed earlier, and an additional indirect reduction of 0.3 percent from slightly less utilization of health care services."
The CBO estimates total health care spending at $2.6 trillion dollars. Since the CBO finds that $11 billion in savings would result from tort reform (medical malpractice reform), this means that tort reform would reduce health care spending by about 0.5%. (0.5% is not "a major contributor" to total health care costs.]
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 04:10 AM
Response to Reply #19
25. The fix for the high cost of malpractice insurance is universal health care for ALL
Most other countries have annual malpractice premiums of $1000-$3000/year. Patients don't sue doctors often because if outcomes are less than ideal (regardless of whether or not malpractice has occurred), patients are guaranteed any further health care they need as a result. Therefore they don't have to go on a deep pockets hunt.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #25
42. Agreed
I'm for single-payer, but it still doesn't address the malpractice issue. We have got to cut lawyers and courts out of the equation.

If the government provided free malpractice insurance for physicians who treat government-funded patients, there are doctors who would be happy to take only Medicare and Medicaid patients, knowing that they wouldn't be summoned to court if they did a good job, the way 99.9% of physicians do.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #19
43. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 05:44 AM
Response to Original message
26. The flaw in the premise is as follows:
Any, and every, cut in costs will be characterized as a cut in benefits.

You cannot cut costs without it being played as a cut in benefits.

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 06:01 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. If "death panels" taught us nothing else
It taught us even reasonable steps can be vilified politically. I think re-importation of drugs, or price negotiation via Medicare part D is a sure winner politically (the former is even "free market" friendly), but then there is the fact of a powerful and wealthy lobby no one is much interested in upsetting.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
28. That's a very good point...
...it seems most of our political discourse is artificially constrained in ways just like this, in order to guide the public towards certain desired conclusions.

We need to get back in the habit of looking at the big picture. We need to counter the knee-jerk catcalls of "socialism" whenever we try to bring up these big-picture issues.
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
30. I don't recall Obama ever saying he wanted to limit Medicare benefits.
What I do recall - and is sorely needed - reform in the area of suppliers. Bush made a huge exclusive Medicare deal with Big Pharma so they'd rake in govt $$ for their brands. THAT'S what needs to be reworked, so seniors aren't forced to buy certain brands of drugs because they're the only ones "allowed" by Medicare. Huge savings can be had here.
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. Obama put a raise in the eligibility age for Medicare on the table

during the debt ceiling debate.

I have seen absolutely nothing to suggest that he has taken that option off the table as the Super Theft Congress convenes.

And we are kidding ourselves, given the level of spending cuts the committee is tasked to find, if we think they WON'T start with a proposal that the President has already signaled that he will accept.
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Obama made that comment during a standoff with Pukes.
That doesn't mean he wants to do it or will do it. It certainly doesn't mean he'll recommend it to committee. I am sooooo tired of people jumping to conclusions based on nothing.
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. You are entitled to your own opinions. You are not entitled to your own facts.
Edited on Mon Sep-12-11 02:12 PM by woo me with science
A severe cut in Medicare benefits, a raise in the eligibility age, was absolutely in the debt deal that he put on the table, and the size of the cut (an increase from age 65 to 67) was confirmed by multiple sources, both Republican and Democrat. The President also made public addresses at the time, urging Republicans to accept the deal. It was absolutely not just a stray comment.

This President has done nothing to indicate that he wants to protect Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits. On the contrary, he has led the way in putting them at risk.




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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. I would like to read, from a legitimate source, about the "severe cuts and
a raise in the eligibility age" of which you speak. Please provide a link, or several, to prove your point.
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. It was already posted here multiple times and documented in multiple articles.
Edited on Mon Sep-12-11 03:33 PM by woo me with science
You can do the research yourself and find more if you care to try. By the way, there is even an article out there that quotes Nancy Pelosi on this, but I do not have the time or inclination to find it for you. Good luck.

A very brief (less than two-minute) search reveals these:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/23/what-obama-...

What Obama Was Willing to Give Away - Jonathan Cohn summarizes what seems to have been in the deal that Boehner walked away from; its horrifying. Above all, the proposed rise in the age of Medicare eligibility was a real betrayal of both Democratic principles and good government.

http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/92539/obama-boehn...

"Nobody disputes that, except for the revenue part, the administration and Boehner had agreement over virtually everything else. And it was a deal that, like Obamas previous offers, was strikingly tilted towards Republican priorities. Among the provisions Obama to which Obama had said yes, according to a senior administration official, were the following:

Medicare: Raising the eligibility age, imposing higher premiums for upper income beneficiaries, changing the cost-sharing structure, and shifting Medigap insurance in ways that would likely reduce first-dollar coverage. This was to generate about $250 billion in ten-year savings. This was virtually identical to what Boehner offered."



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Kazzim_Zongo/obama...

"According to five separate sources with knowledge of negotiations -- including both Republicans and Democrats -- the president offered an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare, from 65 to 67, in exchange for Republican movement on increasing tax revenues."



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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. You provided what I thought you would.....
Edited on Mon Sep-12-11 03:45 PM by Avalux
and I'm fully aware of this information. All sources are unnamed or secondhand; one article says the information came from Cantor (and we know he's certainly reliable!) nowhere did Obama or the WH officially propose to raise the age. And most importantly, there is nothing, by any source, stating that Obama proposes "severe cuts".

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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Well, I think that's quite a reach you just made.
Edited on Mon Sep-12-11 07:06 PM by woo me with science
You want to throw out news stories that are supported by unnamed sources and replace your own imagined account of what must have happened,

...EVEN WHEN those sources include not just members of the opposition party but also your own party and senior administration officials...

...and EVEN WHEN the stories are detailed to the point of containing specific arguments and quotes from these senior administration officials and Democrats...

....and EVEN WHEN this story is at the top of the news across the country for days, is presented as fact, is editorialized upon by multiple well-known columnists, and never once denied by anyone in the administration...

...and EVEN WHEN named sources close to the negotiations are described in the news reacting to the threat you say was never made...

...and EVEN WHEN the President during this time and to the present day has repeatedly made speeches and public statements defending the idea of benefit cuts, and never once made a strong argument against considering benefit cuts or even hinted that he would rule out such a cut.


Even THEN...You would have us believe that this entire proposal was fabricated and that the Obama administration and other Democrats chose to let these untrue reports top the news and become part of the history of this process without once bothering to correct the misinformation.

You would have us instead substitute your version of events, in which Eric Cantor made up the whole story and the news media aided and abetted him...not only by reporting what he said, but also by fabricating multiple other sources and making up entire arguments and quotes from these sources...none of which were ever disputed by any Democrat involved in the process.

I think that is highly unlikely. In fact, I think it defies credulity. If you have any information, denials, or clarifications that dispute the published accounts, I wish you would post them.

___________________________________________________


http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2011-07...
"WASHINGTON A White House offer to increase the age of Medicare eligibility to 67 as a compromise to Republicans during budget talks would save about $125 billion over 10 years, records show, but such a move could leave many seniors without care if last year's health care law were repealed....Top Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have said they don't support the change, while Republicans say they back increasing the age but oppose any proposal to increase taxes, such as Obama's bid to end tax cuts for couples earning more than $250,000 a year beginning in 2013."

http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-news/2011/07/11/obam... /
"According to a senior administration official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the private negotiations, Obama has proposed slowly raising the eligibility age for Medicare, incrementally through 2036. No decisions were made, and Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement after the meeting saying she opposes cuts to the pillars of economic and health security.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicare/171761-ob...
President Obama said Friday he could support Medicare means testing and cuts from the pharmaceutical industry...Obama has put relatively significant Medicare cuts on the table during negotiations over the debt ceiling, even as other Democrats especially in the House draw a hard line against benefit cuts....He didn't comment specifically (IN THAT INTERVIEW) on a proposal to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67, which he reportedly offered as part of a larger, $4 trillion deficit-reduction package.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/obama-medicare...
Obama's willingness to embrace the idea, however, was seen as a major bargaining chip that could help win concessions from Republicans on revenues....The frameworks of the deal were as follows: In exchange for raising the Medicare retirement age (in addition to other entitlement reforms and cuts that together would add up to $3 trillion), GOP leadership would sign off on $800 billion to $1 trillion in revenue raisers. Those increases, however, would only come in 2013. ....The idea, as one Democratic source with knowledge of the discussions put it, was to give House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) both an "out" and an "incentive." He would be able to go back to his caucus and say he had prevented an immediate tax increase and, potentially, the elimination of some of the Bush tax cuts. He would also be able to argue that he had created the proper conditions for tax reform. In order to ensure that he followed through, however, the prospect of the upper-end rates rising loomed in the near future.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/12/rep-nadler-oba...
Rep. Jerry Nadler On Obama's Medicare Proposal: 'There Won't Be Any Democratic Votes For That'
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has insisted throughout the debt ceiling debate that her caucus would oppose any proposal that included benefit cuts to Medicare and Social Security recipients. On Monday, The Huffington Post reported that Obama's deal would have done just that, raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67....A Democratic official familiar with the discussions sought to defend the proposal shortly after the news broke, explaining that the age would be raised gradually over time (ending in 2036). The official also stressed that the effect on seniors would have been mitigated by reforms implemented under the president's health care law...On the more immediate political front, it did not seem to give Democratic lawmakers a sense of assurance. On Tuesday, Pelosi re-affirmed her position on entitlement reform...."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/07/pelosi-none-...
In a statement to reporters outside her office moments ago, she sounded a strong note of doubt about the prospects for members of her caucus supporting the bill....."We all may not be able to support it," she said. "And maybe none of us will be able to support it."....Liberals in her caucus are set to revolt. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), a leader among House progressives, blasted the deal in an official statement earlier Sunday.....""This deal trades peoples' livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it," he said.







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uponit7771 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #41
57. That's not a stretch, you can't inject policies onto Obama that he doesn't stand for
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #57
59. We know what he stands for.
Edited on Tue Sep-13-11 11:51 PM by woo me with science
He has been defending benefit cuts throughout this process. Do you now claim that the House Ways and Means committee memo account of his proposal is a lie, too?

When did denial of reality become mistaken for an argument?


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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #38
48. Here.
Dean Baker pushes back.

This would be roughly equal to the average Social Security benefit for someone turning age 65 in that year. In other words, for the majority of workers who will have retired by age 65, the proposal to raise the age of eligibility to 67 implies that they will have to spend more than half of their income on health care.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


And here's why pushing back is vital:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Here's the Ways and Means Memo
http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/healthwatch/hea...



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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #38
56. Didn't you listen to his speech?
He said in it that he was going to make changes to Medicare that many his his own party won't like.

He said that he will be cutting the payroll tax to pay for this jobs bill. The payroll tax is the tax that pays for both social security and medicare. The total amount of the payroll tax cut has already been published. He wants a total of $240 billion in payroll tax cuts.

That is $240 billion transferred directly from Social Security and Medicare to Companies for hiring people. Seniors and people with disabilities will be paying companies to hire people.

He is saying that that money will hopefully be paid back out of the general fund from the treasury, but that would have to be approved by republicans. You know they'll fight like hell against that. And in the meantime, this $240 billion hole in medicare and social security is exactly the "URGENT FINANCIAL CRISIS" politicians have been waiting for in order to insist that both programs urgently need to be cut further, or privatized.

We already know from his Educational policies, and his health care policies, that Obama is a big fan of Privatizing. And we know from his comments about the cat food commission, that he already agrees with the myths that social security and medicare are supposedly already in a financial crisis even before he deliberately digs this unnecessary $240 billion hole in them.

Republicans have also been trying for over a decade to remove Social Security from it's dedicated funding, using the payroll tax. They have been fighting for all this time to get Social Security moved so that it gets funded out of the general budget like everything else, so that Social Security could be vulnerable to budget cuts every year like every other program.

So here is Obama, cutting the dedicated tax that funds Social Security, and forcing Social Security to depend on money from the general fund. That's the Republican DREAM! They will be able to use that an a precedent! They'll be able to use that as the first step to get rid of the payroll tax all together, and force social security into the general fund, where it can face cuts more easily, ever year.

This is part of an on-going political theme. Republicans rarely succeed in getting the worst of the things they want most. Often, "moderate" democrats give republicans the things they have wanted most for years.

Republicans wanted welfare "reform" but Clinton pushed it upon the whole country.

Republicans wanted free trade agreements, cut Clinton gave us NAFTA, CAFTA and others. And Obama is now now pushing through three new free trade agreements, with Panama, Columbia, and South Korea. Panama is even a tax haven nation where corporations and wealthy people hide their income from the IRS. That will become legal if this free trade agreement passes. Yet, Obama is pushing this anyway.

And student loan dept that can never be abolished through bankruptcy. (The only kind of debt you can never, ever get rid of, so it hounds you to the grave and keeps you in poverty.)

Over and over, policies that enrich corporations, and create massive structural poverty for the rest of us, are dreams that the republicans wish they could push through. "Moderate" democrats, who only listen to their lobbyists and corporate advisers think those policies are "good for business" and deliver those republican dreams, pushing them down our throats.

The plan to gut social security and medicare are next. Republicans have wanted it for a decade now, but it will take a supposedly "moderate" democrat in the white house to deliver it. Just watch. it's going to happen to us all over again.

The same is true with these additional free trade agreements that Obama is laughably including in his "Job Creation" plan. How in Hells do Free Trade Agreements create any jobs, when every previous free trade agreement sucked millions of jobs out of the US, and caused the remaining jobs to stagnate in pay, and lose benefits?
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
31. Everyone is supposed to take a cut in benefits and pay--EXCEPT doctors & pharmaceutical companies
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. Who said that? Obama didn't. n/t
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
44. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. Single payer could help EVERYBODY. n/t
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
49. Too late to rec, but KICK. n/t
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