Published: Sunday, Aug. 4 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
From the Article: "That is no way to run a national health care
system… It's long past time…for Congress to get serious about
fiscal responsibility, and that includes reforming how entitlements are funded
and getting serious about dealing with the long-term costs of the Affordable
Care Act."Sad, but very true.You are now going to
see a barrage of comments to this editorial that "…it is the
Republicans fault or it is the Democrats fault." But the bottom line is
this: Attempting to make "political hay" over this issue does NOT solve
Is Medicare an entitlement? Pensions, medicare, social security. It
seems like the American taxpayer is being fleeced by business and government. We
pay all our lives to see our work stolen from us.
Doctors need to make money. This is an absolute truth. And Doctors need to be,
and should be reasonably compensated for their services. But as one who is
caring for both my own as well as my wife's aged parents. I see a lot of
warts in the system. It has become completely clear that there are some
doctors that have turned themselves into medicare mills. While they do provide
decent care for their patients, they are more than willing to act as referral
hubs for specialist... whether that be testing or other medical practices. It is not uncommon for us to have 4 or 5 doctors appointments a week
scheduled. I am constantly asking the providers now why, and what they expect
the outcome to be of a particular test or treatment. Often I find that these
test are fishing expeditions, and even sometime just to placate the elderly, to
make them feel they are doing something.... when the reality is sometimes aging
is very unforgiving. The problem needs to be address at many
different levels. Doctors sometimes are as much the problem, as they are the
"That is no way to run a national health care system."The
real question is whether there should *be* a national health care system."Political realities make it impossible to repeal the act."And yet repeal is the first step toward any good solution.
If we get our medical costs down to the level of Germany, or France, or Japan,
or Australia, or any other developed country, there would be no Medicare crisis.
It would also solve most of our long term budget problems. Americans pay almost
twice as much for medical care as do residents of all other developed countries.
We don't seem to get anything in exchange for all of the extra spending.
First, as a Social Security and Medicare recipient, I'm getting
increasingly tired of hearing of these termed "entitlements" when I
paid into them every payday while I was working.Second; we need one
program in this county that is supported by the government. One for everyone.
Congress, the president, everyone should have one program. Third;
what happened to the Doctor's oath that they do no harm. I guess you do no
harm if it doesn't get in the way of profits.
Let us consider some social welfare programs that the government runs:Social Security: going bankrupt and seeking more taxpayer dollarsMedicare: going bankrupt and seeking more taxpayer dollarsMedicaid:
going bankrupt and seeking more taxpayer dollarsDoes any rational person
actually believe the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare will be any different?Something else to consider: Most doctors that accept Medicare set quotas
limiting how many Medicare patients they will serve. Why? Doctors LOSE money
with every Medicate patient they serve. Expect more limits from doctors
regarding Medicare (and Obamacare) patients that they'll serve, besides
those who drop Medicare patients altogether. The health care crisis is about to
get a lot worse.
Socialized medicine is fast approaching. We need to be working on a viable
option to ACA or just accept it and work with it. There is no going back to the
way it was.
There is an EASY fix to this. For example, a surgeon's fee for a total hip
replacement may be $5,000. Medicare/Insurance's predetermined and
advertised reimbursement for that procedure code may be $1800. The surgeon
should be able to bill the patient for the remaining $3200. If the patient is
unable to pay the balance, that is between the surgeon and the patient...no
government or insurance involved. This "balance billing" is not allowed
under current Medicare and insurance rules.The amount of
reimbursement per procedure from Medicare or insurance should be the same in
every part of the country. Not necessarily the same from company to company or
Medicare, but the same throughout the country. If a doctor practices or a
patient chooses to live in a rural area or large city, it shouldn't
matter.With a set amount of reimbursement available from
Medicare/insurance (known prior to the procedure), patients can plan and wisely
use their own resources to make up the balance. Cavalier use of the medical
system would abruptly stop, Medicare procedures would be greatly simplified and
those using medical service would be paying more of their "fair share."
SLars,Insightful comment. Consider that one person has to be
robbed/fleeced/taxed in order for the government to provide welfare services
such as Medicare/SS/Medicaid to another. The insidious nature of it is that the
situation pits one generation against another. Senior citizens fight/vote to
ensure that the government keeps taxing/fleecing younger generations to preserve
the government provided welfare services for the senior citizens.
The opinion article basically said we don't like that doctors won't be
paid as much and therefore there may be less available to serve the Medicare
patients...and so something needs to be done. It would be nice to have read what
they would suggest congress do specifically. And just repealing the cuts to the
doctors was not a valid suggestion as was pointed out since they realized the
congress would never get the law changed to do that.
If we put medicare patients, and every other person in the nation, into a single
payer health care system we could get costs under control.
Sounds to me like the bloated cost of insurance is finally taking its toll. Time
to move to a single-payer system. Rather than let insurance companies goug let
everyone pay a certain tax to have everyone covered and treated.
LittleStream,It is with some pity that I must inform you that you
never "paid into" anything while you were working, unless it was your
own 401K program or your own healthcare premiums. All those Social Security and
Medicare taxes were just that, TAXES. Your taxes paid for those who were on the
receiving end of the ponzi scheme. Now you are on the receiving end of the
ponzi scheme. Problem is, the ponzi scheme is collapsing in on itself.
Historically that pretty much always happens with ponzi schemes.
UtahBlueDevil,Doctors often engage in a lot of unnecessary testing because
they know that if they don't, they risk being sued for "not doing
enough". It's one of the reasons why doctors have such high insurance
costs associated with their practice.
@LittleStream:First, as a Social Security and Medicare recipient, I'm
getting increasingly tired of hearing of these termed 'entitlements'
when I paid into them every payday while I was working."It's an entitlement to many recipients who paid in little or nothing."Congress, the president, everyone should have one program."There is but one program for Congress and the president... When
eligible, they go on Medicare as a primary. They can also chose a secondary
insurance to cover what Medicare doesn't... same as everyone can.@Roland Kayser:"If we get our medical costs down to the level of
Germany, or France, or Japan, or Australia, or any other developed country,
there would be no Medicare crisis."Don't worry, Obama is
working on getting medical costs down... Once Obamacare is up and running, the
government will start deciding what you can and cannot eat to keep you
healthy... and how much exercise you will need to get... etc.
"But the choice is clear. Either let the cuts take effect and anger doctors
who, after all, need to turn a profit," A more correct statement would be:
the HMO's doctors work for need to make a profit. Big difference. This is
why many of us wanted a single payer system, medicare for all, something like
Canada has. Canadians have shown no inclination to dump their system in favor
of the U.S. hodgepodge. As a senior citizen I fear an attempt to cut us off
from health care. We will see to it that there are political prices aplenty
before that happens, even if it means a race between accelerating chronic
illness and action. People have rights and they have limits.
We ARE getting entitlement reform in ACA--the spending cut and the tax increase
are intended to bring Medicare back to balance. Everybody knows it has to be
done, so why all the caterwauling?
If Irony Guy is right, then this editorial is incendiary. If so, for what
Every American citizen should have the right and opportunity, and obligation, to
work for paid employment ( workfare and not welfare); and a right and access to
an education; and a right and access to health care, all provided and guaranteed
under a national program..
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