Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Raising Medicare Age Raises Costs, Joint Committee Will Fail, Health Care Reform on the Deline

How Increasing Medicare Age Would Lead To Higher Costs

"Many health care providers, including major hospital groups, have also been urging members of the supercommittee -- formally the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction -- to consider raising Medicare's eligibility age rather than cutting their payments."

Tricia Neuman of the Kaiser Family Foundation "says if raising the eligibility age is looked at purely as a mechanism to reduce the federal deficit, then it's definitely a winner.  'This proposal will save money for the federal government and save money for Medicare,' Neuman says.  And the downside?  'It would do so by shifting costs to other payers.'  Specifically, some costs would shift to employers because they'd have to continue to cover many of those people who'd continue to work.  Some costs would also shift to those 65- and 66-year-olds themselves, if they're no longer working.  They'd have to pay for their own insurance."

"In the end, while the federal government would save a net of about $6 billion in 2014 from such a switch, overall health spending would grow by nearly $8 billion, illustrating, yet again, that nothing in health care is ever as simple as it appears."

"You're gonna have to serve somebody, yes."  -- Dob Dylan

Senator Schumer - Failure Ahead

"Senate Democrats’ top messaging strategist predicted Monday that the deficit Super Committee will fail to meet its required minimum target of $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.  'I don’t think the Super Committee is going to succeed because our Republican colleagues have said "no net revenues,"’” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on MSNBC.  'When Democrats move too far left, we lose.  We’re now -- the basic mainstream of Democrats … we’re willing to move to the middle,' Schumer said.  'They are not willing to do any revenues.'  Schumer’s the highest ranking member of either party to publicly predict the panel will fail.'"

As you know, I have mixed feelings about what would be a "success" -- agreement or disagreement, resolution or no resolution by the Joint Committee.  Congress has taken an extreme decision in creating the Joint Committee and upped the ante to an intolerable level.

Losing Support for Health Care Reform

"Support for ObamaCare has fallen to just 34 percent of the American public, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's most recent tracking poll.  That's down from 41 percent in just one month."

"One reason reform advocates cite for the decline in support: relentless attacks on the law by GOP presidential candidates, especially during those free-for-all debates.  At one of the recent get-togethers, Newt Gingrich even resurrected the biggest of the big lies -- that the law creates government-run death plans that will decide when to pull the plug on sick Medicare beneficiaries.  Supporters can't expect debate moderators to challenge the candidates on such baseless accusations, and they don't have comparable forums to communicate how the law is helping millions of Americans.  At least not yet."

One of the major rules, and we just talked about it:  Keep telling those big lies.

The Republican Reality-Free Zone


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