Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Utah Medicare Experiment, A Little Health Care History

Utah Plays Politics With Medicaid, Medicare

"Disguised by the ornate language of a bill that would wrest Medicare from the federal government and put it under Utah’s control is the law of untended consequences.  The bill, SB208, would adopt the interstate Health Care Compact, which backers say would use the money far more efficiently than the feds’ Affordable Care Act.  Now, the federal government runs Medicare and the state runs Medicaid."

"However, the math doesn’t work out that way, according to the Utah Health Care Policy Project, which estimates Medicare would lose $217 million by 2014.  Add in the loss that year of about $132 million for Medicaid, and joining the compact makes no sense at all. "

Healthcare History: How the Patchwork Coverage Came To Be

"Workers swarmed through Henry J. Kaiser's Richmond, Calif., shipyard in World War II, building 747 ships for the Navy.  The war 'had siphoned off the most hardy specimens,' a newspaper reported, so Kaiser was left with many workers too young, old or infirm to be drafted.  The workers needed to be in good health to be effective on the job, and Kaiser offered them care from doctors in company clinics and at company hospitals.  The workers paid 50 cents a week for the benefit."

"It was something new in industrial America -- a bonus offered to attract scarce labor while wages were frozen during the war."

Medicare Expansion Riled Affluent Seniors in 1988

"President Reagan, the great apostle of modern conservatism, persuaded a Democratic Congress in 1988 to enact the biggest expansion of Medicare since the program's creation in 1965.  For the first time, there would be financial protection against catastrophic illness, with a limit on out-of-pocket payments.  To avoid worsening the federal deficit, the expansion would be paid for by the people benefiting from it: the Medicare beneficiaries themselves.  Poor people would pay little or nothing, and seniors making $35,000 a year or more would pay $800 a year for this new protection."

"An enthusiastic Congress delivered the legislation with huge majorities.  But affluent seniors were outraged."

For Your Information

From NSPSSM:  Chained CPI Doesn’t Cut It  "Normally we see eye to eye with the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities on Social Security and Medicare policy.  However, we respectfully disagree with their recent position that the Chained CPI formula should be used to calculate Cost of Living Adjustments for Social Security recipients as part of a larger deficit reduction package."


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