Nov 182012
 

Republicans keep saying that our problem is a spending problem, and chief among their targets for cuts to control costs is Medicare.  Every plan they have suggested to date shifts the cost of care onto both present and future beneficiaries.  However, if they are co concerned at cutting cost, then why are Republicans trying to raise the cost of Medicare.

18handsoffkidsmedicareHouse Republicans like to talk about the need to find common ground with President Obama to make progress on important national issues, especially after the election. Yet within days, they were setting an agenda to eliminate an important element of his signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the majority leader, recently proposed that House Republicans set their sights on repealing the part of the law that creates an independent board that is supposed to help limit growth in Medicare spending. Increases in Medicare spending have already slowed substantially, but the board will be needed to make sure that they stay low after 2014, when most of the law takes effect.

The board, known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board, has been the subject of false attacks over the past few years by Republicans who claim that it will ration care, disrupt doctor-patient relationships, and tell patients what treatments they can receive. That is an outlandish way to describe a board that is prohibited by law from making any recommendations to ration care, raise premiums, increase cost-sharing, restrict benefits or limit eligibility.

The board will consist of 12 experts, including doctors, patient advocates, employers and financial analysts, who will be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, and three nonvoting government officials. Its sole duty is to monitor and, if necessary, reduce Medicare spending, which needs to be reined in to control deficits… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Photo credit: Daily Kos

Why on earth would Republicans want to raise the cost of Medicare?  One of the of the prime functions of the board is to keep watch for fraud and abuse by health care providers.  Republicans hate controlling fraud and abuse, because it limits the ability of corporate criminals to game the system at our expense.  They, in turn, reward Republican candidates handsomely with direct and indirect campaign cash.  Republicans support raising costs that reward corporate greed, but they are determined to cut only costs to relieve Americans’’ need.

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  20 Responses to “Raising the Cost of Medicare”

  1. Republican interest is to reduce the cost to government, not to reduce the cost overall.  Why reduce cost to government?  Because government costs are paid with taxes and republicans want to reduce taxes.  They don't give a crap about medical costs.

    • But, Jerry. what Republicans have actually done is to raise the cost of government  much more then Democrats have.  They want to eliminate costs spent on Main Street Americans, but raise the costs spent on billionaires.

  2. It's a closed economic system between Congress and the House and Super PAC donors who are large corporate outsourcers.  The outsourcers want more and more of our money (which makes what we have here no longer capitalism), which they then stash in banks in the Caymans.  They also want to pay no taxes.  They will handsomely reward any and all senators who help  them reach these goals with Super PAC donations.  Super PAC money has no real record keeping  requirements, no real laws regulating it.  If a congressman gets it, he keeps it if he doesn't spend it.  No one checks on that.  That's the way that was set up.
    So, republicans have chosen the money over the people.

  3. In a poll by Kaiser Family Foundation, the IPAB's legally-mandated 15-member independent panel of experts appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate is about TWICE as popular a choice among Americans to run the program when compared to either Congress or private health insurance companies.
    http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/upload/8202-T.pdf
     

  4. They want Medicare to fail. Making it more expensive (their thinking) will make that more possible.It would also make the public think government cannot handle the bureaucracy. Like "starving the beast" it makes appearances that these programs cannot work managed by the government. They have been successful. The country is fed up, and blames the government. They refuse to accept Republican shenanigans are the problem.

  5. The Republicans have been fighting Medicare and Social Security since their inceptions.  Why help the poor and the elderly when that money could be going to a super Pac or a campaign contributor?  It amazes me how many middle and lower middle class people still fall for this junk.

  6. As I understand things, the ACA gains some of its efficiencies by controlling the amounts that go to the insurance companies — cracking down on fraud, legislating efficiency ratios (no less than 80% spent on patient care, max 20% on administrative costs — I believe those were the numbers) etc.  That, in and of itself ticks the Republican/Teabaggers because they are in bed with the insurance companies.  Isn't it the Independent Payment Advisory Board that the right has been referring to as the 'death panel'?  I suppose it is — death of the insurance company monopoly of scamming the people, and government.
     
    The other thing, the Republican/Teabaggers are so into election fraud, voter suppression etc, what is one more fraud to them, especially when it is one of their allies — the insurance companies.  Fraud is all the GOP knows and people like the little worm, Cantor, just can't get enough of it.
     
    Being Canadian, our universal system, which is run by the provincial governments, works well.  Given the number of Republican/Teabagger state governments, I'm certainly not sure I'd want them controlling the purse strings, but I know they do have some control.

    • Lynn, that's true, except the 80%/20% ratio does not apply to Medicare, because it's a government run program.  Otherwise, you're spot-on.

      • Wasn't the 80/20 what the government mandated on the insurance companies, the government having set that standard?  Otherwise they had to cut refund cheques to their insureds. 

  7. Let's start cutting the pay and benefits Senators and Representatives receive for their part-time work. Full-time employees in the private sector don't get anywhere near as generous bennies for actual work. The Congress-persons work consists of receiving bribes to pass legislation beneficial to their donors.
     
    Leave our Medicare alone!
    Yes. It is an entitlement. We are ENTITLED to it because we have paid for it all of our working years and continue to pay for it while we receive it after retirement.

  8. This ANGERS'S me so much, every time our Country has financial problems they always attack Medicare and Social Security. The people that are living on SS & Medicar efor most this is their only income. What can they do if we take this from them. What is the matter with this Country putting our Seniors through all this stress at this time in their lives.  Where are they to go, family some have no family I will be one of them in the future as my one 2 sons have passed away, and their are so many like me.
    I agree start cutting the pay and benefits (req. to take Obamacare) from Congress, Senators and other higher paid government jobs. They are the ones having to do with the budgets and they have failed doing a good job. Why should they be awarded with high paying jobs? Heck they don't even do full time work.  I know if I did as bad a job as them, I would have been fired from my job.
    Romney is not the only one with oversee's bank accounts, Obama also has them, and even people in Congress, and alot of CEO's. So the blame goes around.
    I just hope the people in Gov't who are making the decisions for us, in the next 4-years will take their head out of their asses.