So’s the fraud and abuse.
The IRS collects the taxes that fund the program; Social Security collects many of the premiums paid by beneficiaries; HHS pays for a great deal of what you would think of as basic overhead, but doesn’t put it on the Medicare program’s budget. Obviously private insurers have to pay for such things themselves. Medicare’s administration is also exempt from taxes, while insurers pay an excise tax on premiums (which is counted as overhead). And private insurers also spend a great deal of money fighting fraud, while Medicare doesn’t. That might reduce the program’s administrative costs, but it greatly increases its overall costs. Some administrative costs save money, after all: The GAO has estimated that a $1 investment in pre-payment review of claims, for instance, would save $21 in improper Medicare payments.
Oh the little things.
Lmao, stop talking about things you don’t understand! I’ve got several doctor clients under Medicare audits at the moment. They spend plenty making sure your tax dollars are being used properly.
Justice Department Charges Three in $1 Billion Medicare Fraud Scheme in Florida
Prosecutors outline details of its largest-ever single criminal health-care fraud case
Medicare Fraud: A $60 Billion Crime
A.G. Holder Tells 60 Minutes More Oversight Is Needed; Scammer Explains How Easy It Is To Steal Millions
Medicare fraud - estimated now to total about $60 billion a year - has become one of, if not the most profitable, crimes in America.
Your killing me. ROTFLMAO.
That comment speaks volumes about the ‘government regulatory complex’ and competitiveness of US busienss
That’s the point, and the reason that Medicare conducts audits. There’s plenty of fraud within our near trillion dollar annual pentagon budget too, but that’s likely a sacred cow to you.
My sarcasm was not meant to offend.
Overall, I see this as an effort to push the Overton Window a little to the left, and I think it’s some really good politics. In fact, I haven’t been able to divine much of a downside… the people who are already predisposed to hate it were just going to find something else to bitch and moan about. So let’s give them a real reason to have a debate. Besides, what is the worst thing they can call us, “Socialists”? Please don’t, or you might make me cry.
Centrist Democrats Turn to Pragmatism, Seek Bipartisan ACA Fixes
While some progressives campaigned this week for “Medicare for all,” a group of moderate House Democrats aligned themselves with a more modest push to stabilize the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it could spur broader health care reforms in the future.
Thirty-eight of the 61 members of the New Democrat Coalition sent a letter Friday urging the leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to agree on a bipartisan bill to keep premiums from rising further for Obamacare enrollees next year.
The letter outlines five short-term proposals agreed to by the group — several of which are likely to be included in the Senate bill, such as the extension of key insurer payments known as cost-sharing reductions.
New Democrat Coalition Chair Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) said that while some Democrats and Republicans continue to push polarizing health care plans after the July collapse of Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal push, some lawmakers of both parties are ready to try bipartisanship.
“There’s a pretty substantial group of Democrats and Republicans who are ready to work together and get some things done on this most politically charged of topics,” Himes said in an interview Thursday.
Only three of the 38 Democrats who signed the letter are co-sponsors of a single-payer health care bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) that has been endorsed by approximately 60 percent of the House Democratic caucus; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced similar legislation in the Senate on Wednesday.
But the progressive single-payer legislation has almost no chance of passing the Republican-led Congress, and members of the New Democrat Coalition are taking a more pragmatic approach: While “Medicare for all” proponents support placing nearly all Americans on a government plan, the New Democrat Coalition is backing reforms to improve private health insurance coverage and reduce health care costs.
“We believe these ideas provide a framework to reduce health care costs for families and seniors, increase choices for consumers, and encourage participation by the young and healthy,” the Democrats wrote in the letter.
Some members of the New Democrat Coalition are also in the House Problem Solvers Caucus, which consists of centrist GOP and Democratic lawmakers and sent its own letter Wednesday urging the Senate HELP and Finance committees to move toward a bill as a crucial Sept. 27 deadline for insurers approaches.
HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander hopes to reach an agreement on the legislation by early next week, the Tennessee Republican said at a hearing on Thursday.
This story has been updated to note that three more lawmakers signed the New Democrat Coalition letter.
Democrats Follow Bernie Sanders Off a Cliff
The bad math and foolish politics of single-payer health care
BY: Matthew Continetti
September 15, 2017 5:00 am
How rudderless is the Democratic Party? Its membership is so bereft of leadership and policy direction that 16 of its senators have signed on to a health care bill sponsored by a self-avowed independent democratic socialist from Vermont.
The “Medicare for All Act of 2017” would repeal Obamacare, along with most other private and public insurance, and replace it with a government-run, one-size-fits-all, centrally directed system of reimbursement for medical expenses. Sanders, who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, holds the same opinion of health insurance as he does antiperspirants: “You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different sneakers when children are hungry in this country.”
Senators Harris, Booker, Gillibrand, and Warren, who in addition to cosponsoring the bill may soon be fighting each other, as well as Sanders, for the Democratic nomination, are generals re-enacting the last war. They saw how well Sanders did against Clinton, they have marched in the anti-Trump “resistance” movement, and they want to inoculate themselves from accusations of ideological heresy.
Which is why they embrace the thin-skinned and irritable senator whose wife is under federal investigation. What the copycats forget is the future in politics is never a straight-line projection of the present, much less of the bizarre circumstances surrounding the 2016 Democratic primary. “Medicare for All” might strike Warren & co. today as legislation worthy of support for reasons both moral and self-interested. In time, however, palling around with Bernie Bros may become a liability.
For one thing, the policy is remarkably vague. “Mr. Sanders did not say how he would pay for his bill,” writes Robert Pear of the New York Times. “Aides said he would issue a list of financing options.” The “options” are not included in the bill—but they are enough to raise the hair on the back of one’s neck.
The experiences of Vermont, whose single-payer system collapsed several years ago, and of California and New Jersey, whose true-blue legislatures can’t carry single payer across the finish line, and of Colorado, which voted overwhelmingly against a similar plan last year, suggest the tax increases necessary to sustain expanded coverage frighten even Democrats. Examining a similar policy introduced by Sanders during the presidential campaign, the liberal Urban Institute concluded the following:
National health expenditures would increase by $6.6 trillion between 2017 and 2026, while federal expenditures would increase by $32 trillion over that period. Sanders’s revenue proposals, intended to finance all health and non-health spending he proposed, would raise $15.3 trillion from 2017 to 2026—thus, the proposal taxes are much too low to fully finance his health plan.
No wonder Sanders wants to avoid the details. He and his cosponsors are in a bind. There is no way to pay for the benefits they desire without a) economy-crushing tax hikes, b) rationing, or c) some combination thereof. That chases away support.
Nor is that support deep to begin with. Vox.com, citing research from the Kaiser Family Foundation, explains that “support for single-payer drops about 20 percent when people who initially said they supported the proposal are told it would give the government too much control or require Americans to pay higher taxes.” Universal coverage with no copays sounds nice at first. But both voters and politicians recoil when they are confronted by the reality of exorbitant costs and diminished freedoms.
The inconvenient truth of the health debate is this: The vast majority of Americans are not only insured, they are satisfied with their insurance. They might grumble about premiums or deductibles or choice of doctors, but they are not about to embark on systemic change. Two-thirds of the some 150 million Americans who receive health coverage through their employer told the Gallup organization they were satisfied in 2016. About three-fourths of the plurality of Americans who receive coverage from Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA said the same. Why overthrow those arrangements cavalierly for Sanders’s revolution?
As President Obama would say: This isn’t my opinion. It’s the conclusion of liberals who would embrace a single-payer system if they had to re-create American health care from scratch. “A commitment to universal health coverage—bringing in the people currently falling through Obamacare’s cracks—should definitely be a litmus test,” writes Paul Krugman. “But single-payer, while it has many virtues, isn’t the only way to get there; it would be much harder politically than its advocates acknowledge; and there are more important priorities.”
Recall what happened the last time Democrats tackled health care. The designers of the Affordable Care Act went out of their way to get buy-in from all the various players in the health care system. They based their plan on Mitt Romney’s legacy in Massachusetts. Yet the controversy over Obamacare’s mandates, taxes, regulations, and panels cost the Democrats the House, and the negative reaction to the law’s implementation in 2013 and 2014 cost them the Senate. What would be the fallout if Democrats, reduced to their weakest position in years, took on not only the entirety of the health care industry but also the status-quo bias of the American people?
The headlines the left has generated this week include single-payer health care, draping a tarp over a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the University of Virginia campus, the resignation of the mayor of Seattle after a fifth accusation of child abuse, the Bob Menendez corruption trial, and Hillary Clinton’s latest sanctimony tour. That man in the Oval Office? He can only be smiling.
The real question will you read the other side of the story???
A pertinent fact
Want free wins until they are told they have to pay for it.
On its fiftieth birthday, Medicare has 55 million participants. The one size fits all is already working. Ask anybody that’s on it and they like it. It’s superior to the private sector. Bill it correctly and it pays in 23 days. None of the private insurance companies I bill for does that. You will work the AR sometimes into 90 days. Send them documentation and they’ll tell you they didn’t get it, so you send it again. The person that runs Medicare from DC earns 247K a year compared to CEO’s of private insurance companies that earn 5, 10, even 20 million in annual compensations. Medicare operates at a cost of 3.5% when PI runs 15-20%. Medicare for all is and will be the way to go.
Medicare does reimburse well for certain things - cancer care- no, very poor reimbursements - chemotherapy yes- very high reimbursements, even for those on medicaid.
Patients get less care, and more drugs- sounds like what the left would want anyway.
I am 61- Medicare is not too far off for me, and I dread it, both because I will become a ‘second tier’ patient, and if single payer comes to pass, we will all enjoy the same crappy level of care as the worst urban hospitals.
It will be quite a debate, especially when the true costs are pointed out. After that it will be a very brief debate.
I don’t know if they would call you Socialist, I don’t think they will call you much of anything except, ummm what’s the word for the side that doesn’t win the election…
I’m sorry but you’re ill informed about Medicare. There is no pre authorization like you have with HMO’s, waiting on the phone for an answer, and often it’s denied. Not all doctors take HMO’s. But hey, you don’t have to go on Medicare when you turn 65, stay on PI.
The Potential Implications of Medicare for All is BANKRUPTCY , even the nitwit Sanders admitted it years ago .
Global occupation and endless wars aren’t helping!
Want free is a powerful attraction for medical care.
Once people have been told they have to pay higher taxes it becomes far less attractive.
p.s. Doctors hate it and many refuse to accept it. just like mine.
Many refuse to accept medicare as both pay less than insurance.
Of course we seem to be seeing the redefinition of ‘progressive’ just as we did liberal when it became a dirty word so we will need to be real careful when we assign a label like ‘independent’ to a demographic… Sanders ran as a political party independent but the only thing that made him any different than the liberal and progressives members of the Democratic party is that he was even farther left…
No, but as I posted above, the reimbursement my be fast but…does it really encourage participation of medical professionals that spend a pretty good chunk of change for their training…