Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Congress approves formula fixing Medicare doctors pay.
Congress on Tuesday approved a bill to repair the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians, marking a rare bipartisan achievement just in time to head off a 21 percent cut in the doctors' pay.
What the-??!! Did I wake up in an alternate reality?
It gets better.
The legislation includes a two-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for low-income children and a two-year extension of funding for community health centers.
Maybe there is some hope...
Saturday, August 30, 2014
The changes are big. The difference between the current estimate for Medicare’s 2019 budget and the estimate for the 2019 budget four years ago is about $95 billion. That sum is greater than the government is expected to spend that year on unemployment insurance, welfare and Amtrak — combined. It’s equal to about one-fifth of the expected Pentagon budget in 2019. Widely discussed policy changes, like raising the estate tax, would generate just a tiny fraction of the budget savings relative to the recent changes in Medicare’s spending estimates.
Check out the graph they provide. Pretty cool.
So, why did this happen?
Even as more people are getting access to health insurance, the costs of caring for individual patients is growing at a super-slow rate. That means that health care, which has eaten into salary gains for years and driven up debt and bankruptcies, may be starting to stabilize as a share of national spending.
..some are because of cuts in health care spending passed by Congress. The Affordable Care Act, in particular, made significant reductions to Medicare’s spending on hospitals and private Medicare plans, to help subsidize insurance coverage for low- and middle-income Americans. The Budget Control Act, which Congress passed in 2011, also made some across-the-board cuts to Medicare spending.
...much of the recent reductions come from changes in behavior among doctors, nurses, hospitals and patients. Medicare beneficiaries are using fewer high-cost health care services than in the past — taking fewer brand-name drugs, for example, or spending less time in the hospital. The C.B.O.'s economists call these changes “technical changes,” and they dominate the downward revisions since 2010.
Well, there goes that talking point:)
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.
Wow. That's certainly going to piss off a lot of Democrats. And it's way past time that he did this!
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Sunday, May 29, 2011
I've been thinking along the same lines myself since Election Day 2008. In essence, the Republican Party is in the same disaster state today as it was nearly three years ago. I may have been naive back then when I predicted their demise (I must remember to never forget about paranoia, racism, and greed) and certainly premature but honestly, I think their days are numbered.
While it's true that they did win elections in 2010 which resulted in them taking back the House, the only reason they did was because of the Tea Party. Take them out of the equation and the Democrats win every election. Put them into the equation and they primary candidates that aren't far enough right...candidates that can't win a general election because the country simply isn't that far right. This is why I say the Republicans are fucked.
This problem was illustrated quite clearly in the recent special election in NY-26. A Democratic victory in a district that has been largely a Republican stronghold for over 150 years. How did this happen? Blame Paul Ryan and his plan to privatize Medicare which further illustrates the fucked-ness of the GOP. Ryan's plan has now become a litmus test for conservatives. If you don't support it, your ass is going to be primaried by the only reason the GOP has a pulse...the Tea Party. Yet if you do support it, say goodbye to 70 percent of the voters. So, it's not really a rock and a hard place. It's a rock and a rock. Because the only way out of their dilemma is to admit that their party is, quite literally, over.
And we all know their track record on admitting defeat.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The poster said something which stuck with me and left me curious.
I submit to you and your readers, that most people could handle the complexities of life if they were just allowed to do so. At some point, your mother 'cut the apron strings' and allowed you to 'sink or swim'. Unless we are all still breast-fed, adversity was overcome starting at an early age.
Conservative vs. Liberal seems to disagree on the amount of adversity a citizen should be allowed to experience before 'the system' provides for that individual.
I enjoy this person's optimism and agree that people in our culture need to handle the complexities of life in a more diligent and effective way. They are very emotionally retarded about it now and I see it every day. I constantly pummel my own kids with "Figure it out yourself." In the end, it will help them.
Yet this comment evokes several questions. First, who is not "allowing them" to manage complexities? Second, what is meant by "cutting the apron strings and allowing you to sink or swim?" I would assume the latter means cutting or eliminating Social Security and Medicare. Is that correct? I'm not just asking the poster. I'm asking all of you because that seems to be a general sentiment.
By intimating that some people will "sink" (sort of Darwin's survival of the fittest thing), how do any of you envision that will play out? Social Security, for example, has been proven to have reduced poverty in the elderly. So when the plug is literally pulled on grandma, are you going to be alright with that?
As the poster said, conservatives and liberals do disagree on the amount of adversity a citizen should have to face before aid steps in. I'm just wondering if the conservatives have really thought how "sink or swim" works as a practical application in reality. We're talking about the elderly in our population here and they are already treated like crap by a culture trapped in the hubris of worshiping youth.
So, I'm hoping that the poster clarifies his comments because I could easily have misinterpreted them. Anyone else should feel free to offer their slant...as always:)
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
- Starting Jan. 1, 2013, 3M retirees eligible for Medicare will get a health reimbursement arrangement: an account with credit in it to buy a Medicare supplement plan or a prescription drug plan.
- Starting Jan. 1, 2015, retirees not eligible for Medicare will also get a retiree health reimbursement arrangement to buy an individual insurance plan on the open market
"I got to tell you, I would like to take Congress and wring their necks," said Horne, of Hudson, Wis. "They've taken a very satisfactory and good health insurance program and going to I don't know what."
Her husband, 75, who's had cancer and open-heart surgery, said he knew this day would come ever since "Obama passed Obamacare."
"You would think every corporation in America would do the same. Number one, it's going to save a hell of a lot of money and number two, it's probably as fair a system as you can get out of anybody," he said.
Will the new plan save money for him? Horne laughed: "I have no idea."