In the Arena

A Modest Proposition

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This week’s print column: How you can mesh Obamacare with Medicare, save money and improve health care–and get Republican support.

25 comments
superlogi
superlogi

Joe, what you suggest is impossible and even you can't be stupid enough to believe the suggestion.

EllsieB
EllsieB

With all politics aside, there are some holes in your analysis between 'traditional' Medicare (TM) and Medicare Advantage (MA).  While MA appears great, it can be more costly to the individual.  Charging higher deductibles and co-pays is just an example.  Also, let us keep in mind that the HMO providing the MA is in it for profit.  What happens when you have a costly but treatable long term illness?  Would you then want to be in a MA plan that would prefer to cut their losses or one that will provide treatment regardless of the long term cost?  Does "Death Panels" sound familiar?

superlogi
superlogi

When both Obamacare and Medicare are mathematically unable to sustain themselves, merging them will just create and implosion that much sooner.  

DrinkerOfTheRye
DrinkerOfTheRye

Joe, you confuse me. The Presedent met with and worked tirelessly with the health industry to bend the cost curve. We won't see the major savings until those reforms are fully implemented. Now it's time to stay the course and let Obamacare work.

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

That's impossible; the Rs would oppose a bill that they wrote themselves if they thought it might make obama look good.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

Medicare for all (and just don't tell the Teatards that it's government-run, single-payer healthcare and the Europeans did it first).

bobell
bobell

JOE -- The current situation is the result of actions taken not, as you say, by the last Congress but by the current one, now in lame duck status but still very much the one that created the artificial debt-ceiling crisis of 2011 and the sequester.  I don't expect those lame-os to do anything good unless it's shoved down their collective throats, and the only thing they want to do with -- or rather to -- medical care is make it less available and more expensive.

If you let the Repubs anywhere near Medicare Advantage, the first thing they'll try to do is restore the unnecessary subsidy that the Obama Administration somehow managed to get rid of.  I don't trust them to know or care what's good for the country. If it doesn't feather the nest of them or their supporters, they'll only vote for it at gunpoint, and Obama needs them as hostages for other purporses. 

Too bad, because your underlying idea sounds worth exploring.

dollared
dollared

Joe, still completely out of touch.

1.  We need to lower the retirement age, not raise it.  Unless you are willing to create a special national FBI unit to enforce our age discrimination laws.  Have you seen the unemployment figures for 55-67?    Your ignorance of the actual facts for real people is duly noted.

2. This isn't about enticing conservatives.  They are not interested in controlling costs.  NOT INTERESTED?  They are interested in funnelling money to their friends.   Medicare Part D funnelled money to Pharma.  The wars funnnelled money to defense contractors.  The Bush Tax Cuts funnelled money to the Rich.   You are either stupid or dishonest to suggest that Republicans care about controlling costs.

3.  The only solution is controlling health care costs, but it must be done unilaterally by Democrats. as responsible patriots concerned for the future of our country.  

jmac
jmac

"Pay doctors by salary rather than services they preform."  Exactly what the military did when I was growing up.    We weren't  handed anti-biotics at the drop of a hat in the military.   600,000 hysterectomies a year would not be happening if the doctor had a salary.  Heavy bleeding due to hormonal changes or fibroids that never cause cancer would not be a reason to rip out a woman's body parts in a major operation that causes all kinds of extra problems down the road.     

MrObvious
MrObvious

Question - why is their support even desired? Doing the right thing doesn't require a bi-partisan agreement. Remove for profit insurance from the base level and put it at the top. Remove the 'profit motive' out of our healthcare system where we keep rewarding over testing instead of better results. Trust me - the doctors will still get well compensated for their expertise and training. They just won't have the ability to make extra cash by owning the testing facilities they send their patients too.

Private insurance should be the 'extra stuff' beyond base level healthcare. Why do we need a middle hand anyways? To make insane healthcare cost affordable by first having a profit motivated middle hand taking our money to 'ensure' us that 'greedy' healthcare providers lower the cost on what they're selling us?

That's what happens when health is not a right in this country.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

"And get Republican support"

I think you mean "Conservative" support because Republicans supporting anything the Democrats do and certainly anything the Democrats could possibly consider doing on ObamaCare or Medicare will not happen until Republicans actually learn that they need to become a sane party again.

superlogi
superlogi

@DrinkerOfTheRye Savings?  Certainly, you jest.  When it's implemented the spending will begin and is projected to provide the taxpayer another $1.5 trillion in deficits over the next ten years.  With regard to the cost curve bending, it will, but upward.

bobell
bobell

Mitch McConnell just did so.

Speaking of Mich, do you realize that he's the saner of the two senators from Kentucky?  OMG!

bobell
bobell

BTW, thanks for your frequent posts of late.  The water hasn't been roiled enough, but at least you're trying.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@outsider2011 

I don't know whether I should laugh at that or hang my head in shame.  The GOP are absolute clowns.

bobell
bobell

@Outsider2011 I  can: Stupid, venal, unscrupulous,  I could go on.

DrinkerOfTheRye
DrinkerOfTheRye

Don't be silly, that's why it's also called The Affordable Care Act.  It's all about making it affordable.

outsider
outsider

@bobell 

And giving us opportunity to vent as well - so thank you from me as well. 

MrObvious
MrObvious

@DonQuixotic @outsider2011 

I'm mostly sad that even though you have people like this so obviously conning voters they still received 47 percent of the votes.

outsider
outsider

@bobell 

I think Venal was the perfect word. Unscrupulous too. 

Please, some GOPer try and state how this is not just about opposing Obama. 

There is no way left to argue that. 

DrinkerOfTheRye
DrinkerOfTheRye

A man that doesn't taste the difference between Irish and Rye has no taste.

superlogi
superlogi

@DrinkerOfTheRye DrinkerOfTheRye It will be called a lot of things. But it will never actually be affordable. In fact, nothing your messiah has suggested, is. I think you should change to Irish. Tastes the same, but doesn't cause the same amount of brain damage.

outsider
outsider

@bobell 

McConnell had requested a vote on the offer in the morning that included the Obama administration’s offer on resolving the so-called fiscal cliff. It includes a permanent, “unlimited” debt limit hike with no spending cuts attached, along with a provision that would allow Congress to disapprove the debt increase. McConnell said President Barack Obama is “the last person who should have limitless borrowing power.”

In the morning, Reid swiftly objected to the idea. But then, in typical Senate theatrical fashion, Reid changed his mind said he wanted to hold a Thursday afternoon vote. A Democratic aide said the White House coordinated the move with Reid, and the Majority Leader had secured the 51 votes needed to pass the proposal on an up or down vote.

“Senator McConnell made a serious offer dealing with the debt ceiling of this country, one of the most important issues facing the country,” Reid said. “It’s a serious offer. I personally haven’t read it. My staff has looked at it. It’s important enough that I would like to have a vote on it this afternoon.”McConnell objected, requesting the vote clear the 60-vote filibuster threshold.

“What we’re talking about here is a perpetual debt ceiling grant in effect to the President. Matters of this level of controversy always require 60 votes,” McConnell said. “So I would ask my friend, the Majority Leader, if he would modify his consent agreement.”

Reid said McConnell’s objection was a “case of Republicans refusing to take yes for an answer.”“This morning the Republican leader asked consent to have a vote on this proposal. Now I told everyone that we are willing to have that vote, up-or-down vote,” Reid said. “Now the Republican leader objects to his own idea. So I guess we have a filibuster of his own bill.”

In a briefing with reporters, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Senate Democrats had 51 votes “at a minimum” to pass the proposal.

“Senator McConnell’s usually very astute political radar is off today,” Schumer added.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-congress/2012/12/senate-theatrics-over-obama-debt-limit-plan-151273.html?hp=lh_b4