Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: rberq On: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:44 pm

(AP) "A plan to let people as young as 55 buy into Medicare, heralded as a breakthrough in the Senate's health care debate, ran into resistance Sunday from ... Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut [who] declared the early Medicare buy-in a bad deal ...."

As a local writer describes him, "Joe Lieberman is a man who lives in Washington and works for Aetna Insurance."
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: stockingfull On: Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:10 pm

It's astonishing how venal and vindictive Joe has become since the days in 2004 and 2006, when he was challenged for supporting the Iraq war.

He's so angry about the beating he's taken for promoting proxy wars to defend Israel that he can't even remember that he was a social progressive all his life.

Joe's a very small shadow of the leader he once was.
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: pvolcko On: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:45 am

What do you think of the proposal itself?

I see three big problems with it:

1) Already on the table is a 500 billion cut to medicare. How does letting a whole new age bracket in help that? Besides the cuts, one of the proposals is to eliminate Medicare Advantage plans, which are private insurance supplemental plans to standard medicare. Furthermore, there is already a medicare crisis in terms of doctor availability. Over the years more and more primary care doctors have been getting out of the business of treating medicare insurees due to under payments, high administrative overheads, high incidence of late or contested reimbursements, etc. Adding this bracket of people will only make this problem worse (and the 500 billion cut and dropping of medicare advantage plans will make it even worse than that).

2) Medicare is already running a multi-year deficit. Just a few years ago there was talk of increasing the eligibility age on this as well as SocSec or perhaps reducing coverage levels or something along those lines to help deal with the issue. It had also been recently suggested to decrease the entry age to 62 or 63 from the current 65. The scoring of that found that reducing the age by just that 2-3 years was going to add billions onto the annual costs, so the plan got scrapped. Now they're considering lowering it to 55?! Even if these 55-64 year olds have a higher premium to buy in, the cost is still going to end up being heavily subsidized (if not initially, certainly in upcoming legislative sessions as this group becomes more vocal about premiums and their legislators feel the pressure to help themselves by helping them make premium payments) and end up being a net defict contribution, especially when issue #2 gets folded into the mix.

3) Older people are sicker as a general rule. Those who will be considering getting into this new medicare option will very likely be some of the sickest people in the age bracket (otherwise they'd be sticking with or looking at private insurance or perhaps the vaunted new "exchange" that is in the health care proposal). Especially if there is going to be no-denial based on prior conditions for entry into this medicare option. This means care costs will far outstrip premium payments for this group generally and cause Medicare overruns to at the very least continue and very likely increase, if this were put into practice.

Somewhat paradoxically, if Lieberman were actually simply a tool for the insurance industry, he'd be championing this as I would expect them to be championing this (so far I haven't really heard what the insurance industry response to this idea is, it is a fairly new proposal). It would result in their most costly insurees moving into the medicare system, allow them to either pocket the net gain or to lower premiums, enticing more younger/healthier people to sign up and pay in (also getting them a net profit).
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: samhill On: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:21 am

It wasn`t long ago on 20/20 or some program along those lines they had a segment from California( of coarse) about uncovering medicare fraud. It seems these winos, druggies whatever types have some type of photo medical card that they would take to a clinic monthly I believe it was & recieve $50 for their trouble after their caed was processed. They reported that they rarely if ever saw a doctor, just paper work. Since then I`ve heard nothing & they reported this one clinic alone was scaming the Gov. out of millions & there are hundreds of clinics. Maybe if they crack down on the fraud medicare would actually pay for itself, everything has to be made idiot proof & IMO should also be made greed proof.
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:47 am

This buy-in is just a disguised public option, it will overtake existing healthcare in no time.
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: stockingfull On: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:47 am

coaledsweat wrote:This buy-in is just a disguised public option, it will overtake existing healthcare in no time.

"DING! ..."

But I would add a clause: it will overtake existing healthcare in no time "if the insurance companies continue to behave in a monopolistic fashion."
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: stockingfull On: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:43 pm

BREAKING NEWS from AirAmerica:

"3 Amendments That Would Get Lieberman's Support"

It is increasingly clear that Senator Joe Lieberman is unwilling to support a health care bill in the Senate that would challenge the insurance industry in any way. On Sunday, Lieberman reportedly told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he would vote against any health care bill that included a public option, or a provision that would expand Medicare.

Since Lieberman continues to make noise about the provisions in the health care reform bill that he would vote against, we decided to make a bid for Lieberman's vote by inserting amendments that he would undoubtedly support.

Here are the 3 that might be most attractive to Lieberman's worldview on health care reform:

3) Barack Obama would immediately step down as president of the United States, to be replaced by Lieberman's close friend John McCain. Joe Biden would similarly be replaced by Lieberman, which would save tax dollars because only one name would have to change on Biden's office door.

2) The United States would invade Iran no later than January 2011. Any and all plans for a draw-down in Afghanistan and Iraq would be subsequently canceled and replaced with plans for escalation. Lieberman's histoy of inconsistent positions on foreign policy would be rewritten in a more favorable light.

1) Senate laws would be changed so that Lieberman would be able to start receiving direct payments from the health insurance industry immediately. He would also be allowed to conduct Senate business directly from new yacht The VendeAetna

Bonus Term: All Senate and House of Representative members of the Democratic party would be forced to apologize to Lieberman one by one for his loss to Ned Lamont in the 2006 Connecticut Democratic primary. The apologies are required to sound sincere, with references to Sen. Lieberman as "your righteousness," and they must be televised on C-Span.



http://airamerica.com/really/12-14-2009/5-amendments-lieberman-would-support/
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: ken On: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:25 pm

If this health plan finally does get passed. They say a little over 1 trillion. I say bull , more like 10 or 15 trillion. The feds never estimate things right.
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: rberq On: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:23 pm

pvolcko wrote:Somewhat paradoxically, if Lieberman were actually simply a tool for the insurance industry, he'd be championing this [age 55 Medicare buy-in] as I would expect them to be championing this (so far I haven't really heard what the insurance industry response to this idea is, it is a fairly new proposal). It would result in their most costly insurees moving into the medicare system, allow them to either pocket the net gain or to lower premiums, enticing more younger/healthier people to sign up and pay in (also getting them a net profit).

That's an interesting argument. Other things being equal, what you say makes sense, Aetna should be happy to unload these older sicker people (e.g., me). But having the larger, sicker group would mean Aetna (and all its competitors) would handle more premiums overall, and potentially make more profit by virtue of the larger volume. If Aetna takes the long-term view that lowering their profits to Medicare level would be detrimental to them, then they would oppose rather than embrace the age 55 Medicare buy-in.

You can bet the insurance companies have made their best estimate of which way they lean. If you haven't heard their views directly, you have heard them from their mouthpieces in Congress.
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: stockingfull On: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:25 pm

I don't think it's that elegant. I think it's purely the threat of the "foot-in-the-door" that Big Hartford is skeerd of. If Medicare could come into the marketplace and successfully, and economically, cover the 55-65 set, there would be a strong foundation for that platform to expand further.

And that worries Joe's patrons in Hartford a lot....
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: mikeandgerry On: Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:35 pm

ken wrote:If this health plan finally does get passed. They say a little over 1 trillion. I say bull , more like 10 or 15 trillion. The feds never estimate things right.


You are not far off, especially on medicare and health care cost estimates.

www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb-58.pdf
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Re: Medicare buy-in for people 55 years old

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:14 pm

All this bill does is transfer a bigger burden to the states who will balance their budgets by raising our taxes. Everyone that voted for it needs to go.
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