Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who Are “the Bad Guys” in the Current Healthcare Debate?








That’s the crux of the question that must be answered, “Just who “the bad guys” in this current healthcare debate?

Is it the Conservatives, many of whom already benefit from government-run healthcare in the form of Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Hospital care, OR is it the liberal-Democrats who want to impose rationing and restrictions on care for all, so that a few more Americans can be covered under an umbrella of what by current standards is sub-par care, with those who CAN afford to, being able to buy expensive gap insurance to avoid those restrictions?

To be able to answer that question, we first have to look at the problem.

The same liberal Democrats who chant “America’s healthcare system is broken,” conveniently overlook the undeniable FACT that the part that is broken is, in fact, Medicare and Medicaid not only account for a large and growing share of federal spending — 23% last year, they now account for appx 50% of all U.S. healthcare spending, that is about 6% of GDP, for a nation that currently spends 12% of GDP on healthcare.

Both Medicaid and Medicare are rife with fraud, waste and cost-overruns.

Moreover, the fact is that the primary reason that the United States spends more per capita on healthcare than other countries is because we have access to and consume far more healthcare services at baseline. Countries that utilize various forms of socialized or universal healthcare spend less than the United States because they ration care, to some degree or another, by restricting what services patients can have access to through a variety of mechanisms.

Those rationings and restrictions come with a very high human price.

Recently, a review of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed that the United States ranked at the top in terms of access to advanced medical technology such as CT scanners, MRI machines, and Cardiac Catheterizations. As a result of this access to newer services and technologies, Americans enjoyed among the highest rates of cancer survivorship and survival from major medical illness around the world.

An recent study from the Eurocare-4 working group, which appeared in Lancet Oncology, found that the United States outperformed European countries in 5-year relative survival rates for all malignancies in men (66.3 versus 47.3) and women (62.9 versus 55.8) and was among the highest performers in terms of 5-year relative survival rates for colo-rectum, lung, soft tissue, skin melanoma, breast, uterine, prostate, thyroid, and non-hodgkins lymphoma.

In addition to these live sustaining measures, increased utilization and access to healthcare services improves the quality of life for many patients suffering from painful and debilitating diseases such as joint, eye and cardiovascular disease. Regarding "disease specific outcomes", which were not taken into account in the WHO rankings, the US performs at the top.

But all of this comes at a cost.

The liberal Democrats are pushing healthcare rationing and restrictions to cut costs, specifically to the most poor and vulnerable – those unable to purchase the needed supplemental insurances to circumvent the rationed care that comes with any government-managed healthcare.

Some Conservatives are being equally hypocritical, in that they too support reining in healthcare costs by eliminating access to top level care to those unable to afford it, but they too, don’t want to annunciate this. Why do so? There’s no downside in them politicizing this issue to the hilt the way the liberal Democrats politicized national security over the past decade!

So, bottom-line, there’s no way to cut America’s healthcare costs nor keep them from continuing to mushroom other than restrictions and rationing of care.

That can be done by BOTH government AND the private sector.

One thing that MUST be done is to get the out-of-control costs of Medicare and Medicaid under control BEFORE any misguided politician even considers using them as “a workable healthcare system,” as in their current form, they’re far from that.

Another thing that MUST be done is to eliminate that inane “unfunded mandate” that maintains that ANYONE who comes to an American hospital’s emergency room in need of care MUST be cared for AT TAXPAYER’S EXPENSE! It’s a mandate that DOES NOT EXIST anywhere else in the modern industrial world and it’s now a luxury we cannot afford.

Then, we must look at rationing care, restricting access AND really cracking down on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse.

Government funded healthcare is NOT “free” because no commodity (and healthcare is a commodity) is ever delivered for free. The cost of all our current, government-funded “free healthcare” (in the form of Medicare and Medicaid) is 6% of GDP or appx. $900 BILLION every year.

What America can no long afford is giving people who don’t pay into the system unlimited access to expensive, advanced care. Those of us who recognize that fact and accept that some form of rationing and retrictions for existing government healthcare programs are wrong to argue against universal, government-run healthcare plans for their restrictions and rationing, just as surely as those who support the "public option" are wrong for claimiing that the most dysfunctional portion of our current healthcare system (Medicare & Medicaid) can be blueprintss for any kind of "solution" to our current healthcare cost problems.

159 comments:

Linda said...

I am on Medicare now, and I don't think we have an alternative plan available. We also have a secondary plan.

When I worked for a DME (Durable Medical Equiptment) company about 15 years ago, I saw fraud. I worked for a small company, but also for a nationwide company. The one instance I remember is the Pulmo Aide machine. It is a machine that provides nebulizer treatments for patients with COPD, asthma, etc. According to the Medicare plan, they rented the equipment for months on end for around $45/month. Now these machines cost about $120, but we charged Medicare month after month. I think they finally purchased the machines, but that is just a small amount of foolishness in the system. Multiply that amount by thousands and we can see how much money is wasted.

I don't know what the answer it, but I do know it needs to be fixed. I'm not smart enough for the answers, but there are smart people out there who are.

The people who are on Medicare and Medicaid can't be thrown to the wolves. They need to be taken care of.

My MIL is in the nursing home, and is on Medicaid, and I don't know what we would do if she couldn't get it to pay for her nursing home.

My dad paid over $4000/month for his nursing home care, and they would just have kept taking the money, but he died. He was there for over 2 years.

We are fortunate to live in a country that has good health care, and I hope we don't lose it, either the country or our health care.

JMK said...

"The one instance I remember is the Pulmo Aide machine...According to the Medicare plan, they rented the equipment for months on end for around $45/month. (Linda)
<
<
That IS very typical of “the stupidity of bureaucracy” Linda. What’s more, hundreds, if not thousands of doctors and others have abused Medicare and Medicaid by ordering tons of unnecessary and often undone tests and billing the feds thousands for a routine office visit that was over in fifteen minutes.

I agree, in that he difference between Medicare and Medicaid is the same difference that exists between unemployment insurance and welfare...and it’s a HUGE difference.

Unemployment benefits are paid into by BOTH the employee and the employer, in case of layoffs down the road, while welfare had been an incentive for lazy people to continue doing nothing and living off others. Conservatives support unemployment insurance, just as surely as they support workfare designed to get welfare recipients off the dole and into some kind of work AND, if nothing else, to keep them too busy to collect multiple sources of welfare from multiple Municipalities.

Medicare, like social security is paid into by American citizens the whole of their working lives, that’s NOT the case for Medicaid, which provides welfare recipients and other “poor people” so-called “free medical care.”

Conservatives tend to want Medicaid scrutinized and even rationed, but they do not generally oppose Medicare for seniors who paid into the program all their lives, though many, including myself, do support changing retirement ages, payouts, etc., going forward, while still honoring the contract made with those already retired on that program.

The bottom-line is our medical costs are higher because we use so much more, in terms of medical services than most other countries. As a result, we also have the highest survival rates for most cancers. The ONLY way that healthcare costs can be lowered is by denying access to medical services via restrictions and rationing. Ted Kennedy admitted as much last month.

The “disconnect” comes when most Americans hear “improving American healthcare” as delivering even more services at a lower price, while the Obama administration means the opposite – LESS medical services available, coming at a much higher (in terms of taxes) price!

A good example of the distortion is how the Dems assailed Sarah Palin’s remarks regarding her aged mother and her young, handicapped son (Trig) being shunted to the back of the line by healthcare rationing, as though she was saying that the “Obama Plan” had euthanasia built into it.

Palin never mentioned euthanasia, but YES, rationing care to seniors and the handicapped, as the current Democrat plan (in the House) would, is indeed a “soft euthanasia.”

OK, I guess that’s not so much “hypocrisy” as it is an outright “distortion” or lie. The current Democratic plan would indeed ration care and restrict access to “cut costs.”

The Left's viewpoint is squarely misanthropic, as it tries...LIMPS to make some kind of non-existent moral equivalency between welfare and unemployment and welfare and civil service, just as they claim a moral equivalent between Medicare and Medicaid. Their twisted view is that "we're all looking for something (from the government) for nothing", though OF COURSE, that's NOT true! Unemployment INSURANCE and Social Security/Medicare ARE vastly different than welfare and MEDICAID...programs set up to support those unable and too often UNWILLING to work.

The only difference between the current so-called "Obama plan" and what we have now, seems to be that the private sector could do all that AND deliver better quality care at a much more affordable price.

What we really should have is some sort of pay-as-you-go private sector driven healthcare, where people can buy as much or as little health insurance as they feel they need, though some basic insurance would be mandated by law, just as vehicular insurance is required on a car.

it'sme said...

Do those people who are at the Townhall-type Meetings on the news, yelling and screaming....who actually know that their Medicare is a government-run socialistic product....also know that it will not pay for their nursing home care.

I bet they don't know that.

Linda said...

To It's me,
I know medicare won't pay for nursing home, and I'll bet most of the old folks do know it. It is spelled out, and there are insurance companies out there that know our date of birth, and are after all of us to get our nursing home insurance.

I got mine when I was 55, and we got my husband's this past year. He is paying 3x as much for his as I do for mine. The moral, get it when you are young. One year in a home will more than pay for the insurance. I think the average stay is 2 1/2 years at over $4000 a month, figure it out.

Get your NH insurance!

it'sme said...

Linda: The problem is the long-term care insurance products are very convoluted and flawed and for those who have assets worth protecting...some cannot afford it. Lots of small print. Some policies will not pay the nursing home if they had to pay for your home health care in any amount. They are wily.....so buyer beware. The new HealthCare measures are not bringing up any conversation in the media as to how this will be addressed in the present broken system.

And the nursing home industry has many loopholes to get around the system, believe me....at the time you may need a nursing home beware...because your warm and still-breathing bodies will be used as chips......in this present broken system....trust me...

Try to get this conversation started out there.....it is a dirtly little secret....

JMK said...

"Do those people who are at the Townhall-type Meetings on the news, yelling and screaming....who actually know that their Medicare is a government-run socialistic product....also know that it will not pay for their nursing home care." (it'sme)
<
<
That's all very true AND it's more than a little ironic that it's this PUBLIC SECTOR of the healthcare market that is the most dysfunctional part of America's healthcare delivery system.

And yet many liberal Democrats have actually resorted to touting Medicare and Medicaid as "a workable option." Nancy Pelosi has talked of "expanding Medicare for EVERYONE," as though that COULD work.

Today, Medicare and Medicaid are both rife with fraud, abuse, waste and overages....hardly a viable option.

Virtually ALL of the world's government-run healthcare programs ration care and restrict access, usually based on age.

England's vaunted (at least by the far-Left) healthcare system uses QALYs (Quality Adjusted Life Years) to determine who gets care and what kind and level of care they can get.

Here, the market SHOULD determine what level of care people can get...we should ALL get the level of care we can afford.

People like Linda, who can and DO put aside those premiums warrant a level of care that those who don't simply aren’t going to get.

Look, there's no way (nor any reason) to seek to stop the rich from getting MORE and BETTER healthcare....just as they have access to and get more of the best of EVERYTHING (food, clothing, car, legal and financial advice)....simply put, the rich EVERYWHERE can afford the best of everything. They can afford to opt out and pay for their own healthcare OUTSIDE the restrictions of any given system.

ALL that government-run systems do, is what they're designed to do, to LIMIT, RATION and RESTRICT access to healthcare primarily to those most in need.

In Britain, the NHS, using its QALYs generally won't pay more than $22,000 to extend a life 6 months...and that number goes down with a person's age.

That is what the current Pelosi-Reid-Obama plan offers Americans and right now, about 58% of Americans seem to oppose that.

it'sme said...

This means that there would be a Medicare-like system that everyone can choose...or not...that will also include long term care...

Just like buying a private policy for medical care and long-term care...or not...

it's not that complicated.

What happens now is when long-term care is necessary you have to pay a nursing home $300 a day until you have only $2,000 in assets left, and only then can you apply for Medicaid long-term care coverage. Or you could have taken a chance on a previous purchase of a long-term care policy and hope that at that point in time it is still viable. Many horror stories are out there on this.

So you know that your assets will be counted back five years from the day you go into a nursing home. If you have given assets away in any form...you will have those amounts disqualify you from Medicaid for the time period they determine by State.
So as an example, if you gift your grandchildren during those previous five years, the amounts will be counted as disqualifying your Medicaid start date by a certain amount of time....
those disqualifying amounts will have to be retrived in some manner to be paid to the nursing home, along with any other savings; $300 a day...until you have nothing left.....

so those with any savings, or any gifting for five previous years are taking the brunt of the burden for all the others already on Medicare and Medicaid....fee sharing contributions to profit and nonprofit nursing homes, by only a few to fill the gaps created by so many...

that's the way it is....the nursing home reps practically hover like vultures at your hospital room door to pitch their wares...especially once they know you are not on Medicaid....follow the money.....

it'sme said...

http://freedomdown.net/586501-Medicaid-Overview-Part-II.html

Worth reading by all of us.....

it'sme said...

Will you be able to go after the government for not regulating the private insurance long-term care policy writers enough...when you find out that you, perhaps, are out of luck in paying your long-term care costs through a policy that "fine-printed" you out of this?

Joe Fireman said...

“This means that there would be a Medicare-like system that everyone can choose...or not...that will also include long term care...

“Just like buying a private policy for medical care and long-term care...or not...it's not that complicated.”
(it’sme)
<
<
That (a Medicare system that would include long-term care coverage) would be denying Americans choice.

Of the 40 million uninsured Americans, appx 15 million are illegal immigrants whom over 70% of Americans oppose covering, another 18 million are people who choose to forego coverage, opting for more take-home pay instead.

Those people are NOT misinformed or uninformed. They, like most of those who CHOS not to take out private long-term care policies do so for financial reasons. As free people they have the right to make such choices. Government denying people that choice is inherently wrong.

American industries no longer want to be saddled with these healthcare costs (rightly so) and government wants to eradicate all those BILLIONS in untaxed compensation (workers are not taxed on the value of their health benefits, pensions, etc.)...BUT the people (at least 90% of those workers DO NOT want to be taxed on those benefits.

There are NOT multiple reasons why Americans spend the most on healthcare, there’s only ONE – Americans have access to the most advanced care and the greatest range of testing and procedures. That’s why America’s survival rates for early detected breast and prostate cancer are near 100% today, while England’s is 77%...you tend t get what you pay for.

The only problem is...WE’RE NOT PAYING FOR IT! At least not many of us.

I have always said, I wouldn’t mind rationing, so long as that rationing was based on economic status and value to society, rather than on mere age. A 94 y/o inventor is almost certainly more valuable than a 19 y/o laborer or welfare recipient.

The problem with most such government programs is that they ultimately tend to be dysgenic, that is, they benefit the “useless eaters” more than they do the most productive...and that ultimately harms us all.

Insurance companies ARE regulated, but the funny thing is that they INSIST on making a profit, in order to stay in business and pay employees, etc., so they've lobbied successfully to make expensive long-term care policies "stand-alone" policies that are often quite expensive.

People like Linda plan ahead and buy it when they're younger and pay far lower premiums than those who take out policies later in life.

That's not a bad model in my view. Those who want long term care tend to plan ahead for it, don't you think?

it'sme said...

I think it's wonderful that people like Linda have done the responsible thing in pre-planning for their probable long-term care needs. Again, I only hope that she will not be "fine-printed" out by wily insurance companies trying to make their rightful profits...

The Medicare enrollees who cannot afford long-term care policies, who are thinking that Medicaid will cover them because of this, or who aren't thinking at all, are in for a complete surprise when their life savings, assets and income go to the nuring home.

Z said...

Torte Reform.
No more closing hospitals down from the weight of illegals going for FREE....
Great piece, Workingclass..let's fix what we've got, nobody needs a complete overhaul....

it'sme said...

To the working class...Don't hold your breath waiting for what we've got to be overhauled on its own...because you will be waiting for a very, very long time....

Take a good hard look at what the Deficit Reduction Act did to the working/middle class elderly...and ponder that. And then remember who cast the deciding vote on that shameful Bill....

it'sme said...

http://www.wm-arts.com/fiction/Tender%20Loving%20Greed%2002.pdf

JMK said...

Bottom-line, this plan and EVERY plan is going to center around the inevitable rationing and restricting of care for the "public option."

Most of America's major industries support it, the Auto-makers, the healthcare insurers and "Big Pharma" ALL support this thing....it'll make American industry with its very productive workforce much more competitive in the global market!

Right now, the indigent and those who are unable or unwilling to pay do get top notch healthcare at taxpayer expense...a "public option" will merely cut that level of quality to a "bear bones" level....not the worst idea around, to my way of thinking.

Under such a "new system" with its "public option" EVERYONE would get a baseline "bear bones" level of healthcare, ad those willing and able to pay for supplemental insurance will be able to circumvent the rationing and other restrictions of the public option.

Look, most politicians support this, because their primary constuency (big business, which funds over 60% of ALL major candidacies in BOTH major Parties) supports it, they just don't want to be honest about what's really coming down the pike - the same sort of rationing that England, France and other countries with such "public options" have.

The hypocrisy is that BOTH sides seem unable to articulate a good enough reason for the most engaged voters (seniors and already covered workers) to give up what they have for a plan that will ultimately deliver LESS product at MORE cost.

How about straight up justifying the needed and inevitable rationing by clearly showing the burgeoning costs of healthcare every year.....now 12% and soon to be 16% of GDP.

A public option (so long as it comes with voluntary and available supplemental insurance) would basically ration and restrict the healthcare of the least productive people.

It's no wonder the Democrats don't want to be seen as "pro-rationing" and it's equally expected that the GOP would seek to smear the Dems as just that, along with "pro-euthanasia" and "looking to force publicly funded abortion on demand" on a largely unsupportive public...THAT'S what political Parties do - they POLITICIZE just about EVERYTHING!

it'sme said...

The only difference between the current so-called "Obama plan" and what we have now, seems to be that the private sector could do all that AND deliver better quality care at a much more affordable price. JMK said

If they could do all that and deliver better quality care, what's stopped them from doing so up to now?

What would entice them to take the wake up call?

JMK said...

Who's stopping them?

Right now private insurers ARE delivering better care at a better value than either Medicare or Medicaid. It's the existing "public option" in America that is failing.

And it's government that is raising the costs of all healthcare via numerous "unfunded mandates" like demanding that ANYONE who comes into an American Emergency Room be treated, regardless of their ability to pay.

The physicians and hospitals charge the SAME amount for these "non-payers" as they do for the insured.

So, WHO PAYS?

NOT the government. The governmnt CANNOT pay those Bills, so they are ALL passed on to us, as healthcare consumers.

In effect, WE ALL PAY for government's gross incompetence.

There IS only ONE way to cut America's healthcare costs and that is to ration/limit care to those less able to pay for it.

I support that, so long as those willing and ABLE to pay for the gap insurance needed to circumvent that rationing have it available to them....in other words, so long as healthcare is rationed on some kind of "an ability to pay basis" and NOT on "other concerns."

Healthcare is a COMMODITY, just as is housing, food, energy, etc.

Sure, we all NEED those commodities, but the ONLY way to properly distribute them is via the market process. Those who can pay WILL pay, those who CAN'T will make due by forming cooperative ventures and stretching out the amount of the commodities they can afford.

Socialism is based on the view that "freedom/liberty is innately unfair" (it IS) and that it's wrong that some people, whose skills are considered more valuable, can, because of that disproportionate value of their skills be enabled to glom the best of everything - the best housing, the best clothing, the best food, the best medical and legal care, etc.

THAT is NOT at all wrong.

What would be wrong would be assigning a truly arbitrary value (ie. an equal value on all life) and, in effect, "working each person according to their abilities and rewarding them based on their needs."

Hitler supported that....so did Stalin and Mao.

The reason such a fantasy-land vision is doomed to failure should be self-evident. When you have a system based on "working each according to his abilities and rewarding each according to his needs" inevitably results in a LOT of gluttonous (high needs people) with chronically bad backs (low ability to produce) - that's an express route back to the stoneage.

No, the ONLY workable economic model is the market-based model that rewards those who are highly skilled (ie, lawyers, physicians, engineers, businessmen) and the clever (shrewd investors, etc) while allowing everyone to produce as they can, whatever their abilities allow.

Food, housing, clothing, healthcare, and other such essential COMMODITIES are, in the end, commodities, NOT "rights."

it'sme said...

JMK:

If the private insurers are delivering the best possible option for us, then they have nothing to worry about. \

I repeat...“This means that there would be a Medicare-like system that everyone can choose...or not...that will also include long term care...

“Just like buying a private policy for medical care and long-term care...or not...it's not that complicated.”
(it’sme)

JMK said...

"“This means that there would be a Medicare-like system that everyone can choose...or not...that will also include long term care..." (it'sme)
<
<
That's NOT what's being offered or even considered!

Not one politician in Washington likes Medicare as it now exists....hell, it's scheduled to go broke by 2018.

Medicare, as it now exists is fiscally UNSUSTAINABLE.

That's why BOTH Parties want what America NEEDS - healthcare rationing.

The Republicans lucked out on this issue, just like the Dems lucked out that the jihadists that had been ignored for over a decade, attacked America on 9/11/01 and set off a veritable world war between jihadist Islam and te West.

The Republicans can feign outrage over "rationing" and politicize this issue to the hilt because the Dems are responsible for it all right now.

Anyone who thinks that either Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid or any Republican is looking to offer MORE healthcare options to MORE Americans at LOWER cost, is crazy.

NONE of them are offering that!

What the Democrats are offering is rationed care.

THAT'S exactly how they plan to "cut costs. It's the ONLY way to cut costs and I support that, so long as the "right people" (those who can't or won't pay) are rationed.

Moreover, the two biggest supporters of the Democrat's plan are Big Pharma and the health insurers!

Why are those two entities supporting so-called "Obama-care"? Well, for one thing, they KNOW that the sole reason for the high cost of U.S. healthcare is that too many Americans (who cannot or will not pay for it, or even pay for the premiums to cover their insurance) are getting far too MUCH healthcare, far too advanced healthcare than any people anywhere else in the world! That's why nearly 100% of Americans diagnosed with stage 1 (early detected) breast and prostate cancer survive, compared to 77% in England and 81% in Canada.

We simply can't afford to continue giving expensive, cutting edge healthcare to the indigent and others who don't pay healthcare insurance premiums.

Over the last decade healthcare costs have risen so fast that employER's costs have skyrocketed and that's impacted employEES by diverting most of the monies that would've gone to raises into the increased premiums/costs of their employer funded healthcare plans. It's also the reason why so many younger workers opt OUT of their employer's healthcare plans to increase their take home pay.

Personally I'm a Libertarian, so I would prefer an open, or truly free market healthcare system WITHOUT ANY insurers or government involvement to mask the real costs of healthcare....but we're not going to have that, any more than we'll see cigarettes made illegal or high fructose corn syrup eradicated from America's food industry.

JMK said...

I know all that because I invest.

I've spent a LOT of time learning to invest.

Every year, since 1987 I've made more money investing than the year before. Over the last few years I've actually and fortunately been able to make more money from investments than I do from my work.

I was fortunate to get out of the market in July of 1999 before the Tech Bubble bust that began in March of 2000 and in December 2007 before the implosion triggered by the Credit Crisis in September of 2008. I've been fortunate to know some really savvy investors and professional brokers and I've gotten a LOT of really good advice.

For instance, for about a dozen years I've done really well by simply leveraging unleaded gasoline futures in February (ahead of the switch to the summer blends, which begins in March) and selling them in late May.

I don't like high gasoline prices, but what can I (or any of us) do?

The government causes them by mandating those summer blends that cost a lot more to refine....I don't "cause" any price increases, I just profit off the stupidity of government and its policies that cause those price hikes.

I've also invested heavily over the years in J R Reynolds and Mars candies....I neither smoke nor ingest high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) myself, but I'll fight to the death for everyone else's right to do BOTH....fat, dumb, self-destructive people make me a LOT of money, so I like fat, dumb, self-destructive people very much, or at least my wallet does.

While I wish tobacco (a major cause of cardiovascular diseases) and high fructose corn syrup (type II diabetes has gone from impacting 8% of the U.S. population in 1962, before the introduction of HFCS to 37% today) were illegal, I can't support those who seek to make them illegal.....there's just too much profit in allowing self-destructive people to do self-destructive things.

Right about now would be a fine time to invest in some health insurance stocks....with the almost certain coming rationing the subsequent rush among those able and willing to pay for the gap insurance needed to circumvent the rationed care and restrictions, an investor COULD stand to make a nice profit from such a move, just as investors who invested in Ford Motor Company a few months back (it's STILL a good investment) are poised to do well, since Ford is the only one of the "Big Three" auto-makers NOT to take government monies.

Right now, the best bet is on America's reckless and irresponsible self-destruction - it's continued over-spending UNTIL their is a cataclysmic economic crisis.

I'd advise Republicans and Conservatives to wait and "keep their powder dry" until AFTER that inevitable "Carter-redux" and be poised to take advantage of it.

Of course the pessimist in me sees NOT another Gingrich or Reagan (what we NEED), but instead a bunch of GOP Delay's and Hastert's, who'll take their turn at the "public trough" just like the Dems always do. At least until the whole thing falls apart and a Libertarian “pay-as-you-go” type of economic model is the ONLY option left.

Please it’sme, believe in ANYTHING EXCEPT that government wants to GIVE you and me “free stuff” or “something for nothing.”

One of the reasons most people (especially elected officials) in government revile the people (they call the folks “sheeple”) is because they perceive (and largely rightly so) that most of us do believe and WANT “free stuff” and “something for nothing.” In their view, anyone dumb enough to believe in that deserves to be taken advantage of.

I got to tell you, in all honesty, I can’t argue against that. Such people DO deserve to be taken advantage of.

it'sme said...

Isn't transparency wonderful!

it'sme said...

I HAVE DECIDED TO BECOME A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT IN THE YEAR 2012..
HERE IS MY PLATFORM:

(1). Any use of the phrase: 'Press 1 for English' is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait outside of our borders until you can.

(2). We will immediately go into a two year isolationist attitude in order to straighten out the greedy big business posture in this country. America will allow NO imports, and we'll do no exports. We will use the 'Wal-Mart 'S policy, 'If we ain't got it, you don't need it.' We'll make it here and sell it here!

(3).. When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it coming in here.

(4). All retired military personnel will be required to man one of the many observation towers located on the southern border of the United States (six month tour). They will be under strict orders not to fire on SOUTHBOUND aliens.

(5). Social Security will immediately return to its original state. If you didn't put nuttin in, you ain't getting nuttin out. Neither the President nor any other politician will be able to touch it.


(6). Welfare. -- Checks will be handed out on Fridays, at the end of the 40 hour school week, the successful completion of a urinalysis test for drugs, and passing grades.

(7). Professional Athletes -- Steroids? The FIRST time you check positive you're banned from sports ... For life.

(8). Crime - We will adopt the Turkish method, I.e., the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There is no more 'life sentences'. If convicted of murder, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for the victim you killed: gun, knife, strangulation, etc.

(9).. One export of ours will be allowed: wheat; because the world needs to eat. However, a bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.

(10). All foreign aid, using American taxpayer money, will immediately cease and the saved money will help to pay off the national debt and, ultimately, lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we'll ask The American People if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision as to whether, or not, it's a worthy cause.

(11). The Pledge of Allegiance will be said every day at school and every day in Congress.

(12). The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

My apology is offered if I've stepped on anyone's toes ..... Nevertheless......


GOD BLESSAMERICA.


Sincerely, Bill Cosby

This came across my email......

JMK said...

That's a GREAT email it'sme!

Regardless of whether Bill Cosby actually penned that (I guess it can be checked out at snopes.com...it certainly sounds like something Bill Cosby would say, he is a straight-shooter) it is a great message that WOULD probably unify the country, if it were to be advanced by a populist candidate.

Saying that, I do have a problem with #2....isolationism is a real bad policy and economic isolationism is suicidal in this global economy.

Moreover, this plank lends itself to the myth that "greedy businessmen are what's wrong with America's economy."

As usual, the enemy is US....the people. Unions, while necessary to protect worker's interests, have way too often enriched themselves at the workers-they're-supposed-to-represent's expense.

As an example, it's not foreign imports that have "killed American jobs" in fact, they've created more jobs than importing goods and outsourcing some work have cost us.

In the 1970s when VW and Toyota, etc. were allowed in to compete here, they didn't kill the American auto industry, they revitalized it!

They offered American consumers a choice...all too often a better, more cost-effective and fuel-efficient choice that America's "Big Three" couldn't or wouldn't duplicate.

Lately America's Big Three ran aground, because they couldn't compete with the America-based foreign car makers (often called "the working part of the U.S. auto industry").

Why couldn't the "Big Three" compete?

Two primary reasons; (1) a short-sighted government policy that allowed all those foreign entities to come in here and set up shop in "Right-to-Work" states like Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, etc., while the "Big Three" were saddled the with those heavy, cost-ineffective UAW contracts, AND (2) those insane UAW contracts that had healthcare and pension costs for retirees adding $5,000 to the cost of EVERY car the "Big Three" made!

There really aren't many simple answers....and even many of the simple ones offered here (though I LIKE most of them very much) would almost certainly have many unintended consequences that most of us wouldn't like at all.

Certainly Planck #2 would.

JMK said...

I don't blame the UAW for looking for the best deal it could get...and I don't blame the Big Three's Board of Directors seeking the "path of least resistance" in giving them such concessions to avoid potential costly strikes, BUT the sad fact is that it's exactly THOSE things that led to the near demise of the Big Three!

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, COULD HAVE sought to either (1) impose tariffs on all autos made in the U.S. by foreign entities OR found other ways (ie. excise taxes, etc.) to impose the same costs on them that the UAW did on the "Big Three," but they did not.

Why not?

Because they didn't want to very possibly chase all the tens of thousands of American jobs created by the many VW, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai and BMW plants located right here in the USA, out of he country!

While ending both imports and exports sounds good, simply shutting out those foreign competitors would (1) deny American consumers a valuable and all too often a more affordable CHOICE and (2) kill tens of thousands of good paying American jobs.

The vast majority of Americans work for a living and WANT TO work. Too often government means well, but does not do well in its actions.

Government responds to MONIED INTERESTS far more than it does mere VOTERS. I wish that were different, but it's not. Right now, most big businesses want out from under providing Americans healthcare and Big Pharma and the Insurance giants also want some form of "single payer"/government-managed healthcare.

They DO NOT want such a healthcare system to provide as much, let alone more than is provided now. Any "public option" will inevitably be a cost-effective, "bare-bones" system that offers the least care to the most people. One that'll have anyone who can, running to buy up the alternative or "gap" insurances needed to circumvent the rationing and other restrictions.

I don't like that....I don't support that, BUT I do accept that it is virtually inevitable. In fact, I'm only surprised that it's taken so long to implement.

As I noted above, it's not possible to stop people from voting for foolish, short-sighted things, BUT, it is very possible to expect that and to profit by it.

I'm afraid that we still haven't hit the real "hard times" yet...but we're headed there. Higher taxes and more spending will, without question, bring back the stagflation (double-digit inflation, interest rates and unemployment rates of the Carter years).

I feel bad for the group in the WH right now. They've come in at a rough time and have sought to impose a massive and very expensive shift in America's economy, bringing ours closer to what France and Germany are now running away from.

I think Barack Obama, like GW Bush, is a nice enough guy...I think BOTH men are pretty nice guys, who both embarked on some questionable positions.

it'sme said...

To JMK: The transparency of social media is wonderful.

See how total strangers can have a discussion, maybe disagree, but remain polite.

I learn so much from blogs like this one.

Keep watching the debate as the din quiets down.

I call social media the electronic lie detector.

Thank you Linda, JMK, and Z....I read everything you all said and I learned a lot....

JMK said...

Thankyou it'sme....I learn alot from those who come and comment here, as well.

Everyone has their own unique perspective and their own reasons for believing what they do.

A wonderful reader named Jean sent me an email the other the day that caught the spirit of exactly what you exhibit. It read in part, "...Thank you for your honesty and yes you do speak for many of us. Most people think they are alone out here but if they only knew there are alot more of us then of them they just need to do some searching on the web or talk to people you see in the stores or your neighbor hood you will be surprisd how much we think alike.My neighbor is a Democrate but I didn't know and I've lived next door to them for 17 years and we just never realy talked politics til 2008 and they said they are voting for Sara not John and that is how it all started so now we are getting things together in our local area to make some changes in our town and that is how it we found out we actually agree on alot of issues.But most of all the are by far a true Blessing to our neighbor hood and to my family and I and he and his wife are not rich by no means own their own towing business and they are hurting but you wouldn't know it except the personal conversations we have together but they always ask me how are you can we do anything for you and it is I who wishes I could help them.It is sad between television,net,cell phones people don't talk to one another as much anymore we need to get back to that.Our government is trying their best to pit us against one another and we can't let them do that or we fall...."

I think the vast majority of Americans want the same things, more and better jobs for themselves, their fellow Americans and they want more freedom/autonomy and less governmental intervention and control over their own personal lives. Sure, people occasionally may need a hand, but they don't want to feel guilted by and beholden to government for the help provided through it but funded by their neighbors.

We've moved far from where we were in just a few decades back and even that point was a far cry from the original individualism and freedom America's Founders bequeathed us.

What many of us haven't come to accept is that although the "political class" (career political hacks and bureaucrats) have profited the most from this, it is WE "the people" who've become lazy and expected government to do too much for us...and so, we've gotten the kind of increasingly tyrannical government a lazy populace deserves.

If things are going to change for the better, more and MORE people are going to have to opt for the hard choice, the choice of individual liberty over government dependancy.

Will enough us do that?

We'll find out, soon enough.

Thank you for your kind words...and thanks for commenting and spurring an intersting discussion. Much appreciated.

it'sme said...

You're welcome, JMK. Just please remember what the Cheney/Gregg Deficit Reduction Act did to hapless seniors who where caught in the headlights of this Bill.

My parents, 91 and 88-years-old are, in a nursing home. Father is a Disabled WWII Vet. My mother was a widow of the War. There are two Purple Hearts in this family, and one burial flag. They had to pay what is called Private Pay Fees to the nursing home until they were penniless; $300/day each. Now that Medicaid did pick them up, their retirement income is so much that the state kicks nothing in to supplement them. As a matter of fact, this gives them the privilege of going back to paying the Private Pay Fee whenever the "overages" their generous retirement brings in accumulates enough to pay for an additional month at the Private Pay rate.

My parents did not hide their money like many do. In fact, they have a disabled grandson who they wanted to contribute to.

So they paid the nursing home their life savings....$350K; and on Medicaid they pay over $5K a month.

I often say it would have been better if the government made my father pay for the P-47 he was piloting that crashed, upon his discharge. It would have been less a financial burden on this one family in the long run....

These elderly WWII Vets are apparently for sale, and no one is talking about it.

JMK said...

I understand your parents plight....that's been going on for a VERY long time.

The government never covered long term care for those "able to pay." In the 1970s and 1980s older people were hiding their incomes or putting their life's savings in Trusts to avoid the extreme costs of nursing home care.

There's no current Bill that would cover nursing home care for all Americans.

The WH has been adamant about REDUCING healthcare costs.

Those costs are NOT due to "greedy doctors and hospitals," they're due to Americans having access to more healthcare and more advanced and cutting dge healthcare.

The ONLY way to cut costs is to restrict and ration care....LIMITING that access to the current cutting edge care Americans are getting.

I think we ALL support cutting costs.

But we may not all support what that entails - rationing, restrictions...and why?

Most Americans DO NOT support sacrificing anything they have in order to make sure everyone (including illegal immigrants) get some basic coverage.

Many healthcare professionals (especially physicians, radiologists, anesthesiologists, etc.) are highly trained and very highly paid professionals who won't provide those services at significantly lower rates of compensation.

When hospitals (as they do now) cover the costs of the indigent, the uninsured, even illegal immigrants, those costs HAVE TO BE rcouped from the rest of us....those bills, so we're all stuck with the bill for all that "free care," in the form of higher hospital costs, $500 aspirins, etc.

The part of our existing healthcare system that doesn't work is, ironically enough, the government-run part - Medicaid and Medicare is a mess, with over 300,000 unfunded mandates that will cost us all $84 TRILLION by 2018.....and we simply don't have the money to pay for that and it's doubtful we even could borrow that much!

So what to do?

Costs have to be cut.

I'd personally prefer simply NOT COVERING illegal immigrants and the chronically indigent, but that's NOT going to happen.

What we're going to get is what Barack Obama and the Democrats (and most Republicans, although they don't have to sign onto it and they CAN and WILL make political hay out of it) support and that's a basic, very bare bones "public option" or "universal care" that will eventually have most employers (both in the private sector and Municipalities) opting OUT of their private sector healthcare programs, leaving almost ALL Amricans subject to this bare bones "public option."

The result is that most Americans are going to pay a LOT more (both in taxes and the premiums on the needed "gap insurance" to circumvent healthcare rationing) and they STILL may not get the care they already get today, as the current standard level of care may come with premiums out of reach for all but the top 1% or 2% of the wealthiest Americans.

I know what's coming.

A lot of people seem to mistakenly believe (because they WANT to believe) that government is offring them something bettr at lower cost.

What they're being offered is "coverage for everyone (including the uninsured and illegal immigrants) in return for less quality care and rationed care all around"....UNLESS they can pay the higher premiums for private sector gap insurance.

That's what's being offered right now. I just don't like people being misinformed about all this.

it'sme said...

JMK: You have to adress the fact that the Cheney/Gregg Deficit Reduction Act has hurt my parents, and many, many others, and only because they decided that that generation would be leaving so many billions to the next one tax free. That's what the DRA did. It tapped into that pocket of WWII Vets savings. It injustly targeted the middle class elderly. Please speak to this directly.

I still have not heard anyone on either side of the aisle address this. I feel that is because it is a dirty little secret both sides want to keep under the radar. There's equal blame for this getting passed.

JMK said...

I may be wrong, but I believe that if the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 were put to a referendum TODAY, I’d guess that over 70% of Americans would supported that.

WHY?

Because Medicaid (the program that funds healthcare for the indigent) is VERY unpopular primarily because most Americans don’t consider themselves as ever possibly benefitting from such a program.

Workfare, reductions in welfare benefits, cuts in Medicaid will ALWAYS be popular, so long as the working class outnumbers the chronically poor.

The difference between Medicare and Medicaid is that while Medicare is paid into “entitlement program” funded entirely at the federal level, Medicaid is as much as 50% State funded.

While Medicare is NOT means tested, Medicaid IS means tested for eligibility. That generally means that those seniors with nest eggs or savings of $100,000, $250,000 or more, or usually (depending on location) ineligible for Medicaid (and rightly so, in most people’s eyes) and are required to be covered by Medicare, which is a social insurance program focused primarily on the older population.

As stated on the CMS website, Medicare is a health insurance program for people age 65 or older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of all ages with end stage renal disease. The Medicare Program provides a Medicare part A which covers hospital bills, Medicare Part B which covers medical insurance coverage, and Medicare Part D which covers prescription drugs.

Medicaid is a program that is not solely funded at the federal level. States provide up to half of the funding for the Medicaid program. In some states, counties also contribute funds. Unlike the Medicare entitlement program, Medicaid is a means-tested, needs-based social welfare or social protection program rather than a social insurance program. Eligibility is determined largely by income...although those with low incomes and large savings accrued are generally ineligible for Medicaid.

Because of the aging Baby Boomer population, the fastest growing aspect of Medicaid is nursing home coverage.

What the DRA did was to extend Medicaid's "lookback" period for all asset transfers from three to five years and change the start of the penalty period for transferred assets from the date of transfer to the date when the individual transferring the assets enters a nursing home and would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid coverage. In other words, the penalty period does not begin until the nursing home resident is out of funds, meaning she cannot afford to pay the nursing home.

Because of the change in the penalty period start date, it has left nursing homes on the hook for the care of residents waiting out extended penalty periods.

BUT the fact is, there is NO WAY for America to pay for this extended care for millions of “needy Americans.”

That program alone, even IF welfare, Medicare and the rest of Medicaid were eliminated, would by itself bankrupt America.

That’s why the “Obama plan” DOES NOT offer long term care for all...it CAN’T.

JMK said...

What the current plan offers is universal care under a “public option,” designed to give a bare bones, rationed and restricted healthcare access, along with the option (for those willing and able to afford the premiums) to purchase the private insurance necessary to circumvent the rationing, restrictions and limited access of the public option.


In short, “Obama-care” is NOT aimed at giving MORE or better care at a lower price to seniors or anyone else “already covered” and those already on Medicare and Medicaid ARE “already covered,” it is designed to mandate healthcare for those who now CHOOSE to be uninsured (about 17 million young, healthy people CHOOSE higher take-home pay over paying into to their employer’s healthcare plans) and covering the appx. 12 million Americans (mostly P/T and per diem workers) PLUS the estimated 15 million illegal immigrants under the SAME public option that will eventually become the ONLY “free option” for ALL Americans. THUS, the vast majority of Americans, about 85% of us now getting healthcare through our employers will eventually get the SAME public option EVERYONE will get (ending BILLIONS in UNTAXED COMPENSATION...a boom to the government, while ADDING to the productivity of American industry by freeing them from the costs of providing healthcare to its workers) complete with rationing and restrictions, so we’ll find ourselves paying more (possibly MUCH MORE) for the same level of care we’re now getting with none of the costs.

In a free country no one will tell you the advantages of buying catastrophic care and long-term care insurance, except maybe an insurance salesman. I have it. Linda has it, many, many Americans have it and many others either CHOOSE NOT TO pay for it, OR are completely in the dark and just don’t know their options.

We’re NOT going to have a country that helps people who don’t fend for themselves. What we WILL HAVE is a country that takes complete control over every aspect of one’s life and micromanages everyone’s life to the most minute degree, in exchange for “the free stuff we all come to depend on.

JMK said...

I know a few guy’s badly wounded in the Mideast over the last several years. A number of them are multiple amputees, and ALL of them have rebounded and either gone back into the Military or found productive jobs.

A common sentiment among ALL of them is that “No American should have the right not to work.” One of the things Michelle Obama said during Barrack Obama’s campaign that I wholeheartedly agree with is “Barack will MAKE YOU work.”

I don’t believe Barack Obama, G W Bush or anyone in politics today is really up to that task, now I COULD MAKE people work. I’d force people to work or have their benefits cut. I’m not at all squeamish, so I’d have no problem starving a certain amount of people to death to impress on everyone else how serious we are, and to those who naively think that “That would lead to an uprising or revolution,” I say, “Nonsense. Once people are dependent, you could force the unemployed and the chronically dependent into forced labor camps and the majority of everyone else would cheer.”

I KNOW that I could pull that off, because I’ve gotten guys completely unwilling and resistant to take hose lines down into raging cellar fires.

But maybe I underestimate today’s politicians.

Maybe once they have enough Americans dependent, they’ll show a far less agreeable demeanor and a far more steely resolve and embark upon MAKING those disinclined to work due to age, infirmity, or any number of other reasons “work, or else.”

We’ll see.

JMK said...

The question I have is, “WHY do so many poor people and those disinclined to work and vehemently opposed to government forcing us to do things against our wills support the Democratic Party?”

I have been a registered Democrat my entire life. I was sent, at an early age to both Corsica and northern Italy and while I greatly admire and acknowledge that the Supply Side (market-based) policies of the Libertarians and Republicans work best, I have always been greatly attracted by the autocratic (“control-freak”) policies embraced by many Democrats.

A friend of mine once lamented, “IF fascism ever comes to America, it will come through the Democratic Party.” Having recently returned from northern Italy, where fascism does not have the same repulsive connotation it does here, I didn’t notice that he was unhappy about that prospect, and blithely responded, “Yeah, idn’t it GREAT?!”

He didn’t talk to me for an awfully long time after that. Now, I didn’t mean that fascism is good, merely that if it DOES come, that’s the vehicle it will come in. The irony is that today’s autocratic Democrats have conned a LOT of Americans into thinking that “market-oriented”, pro-individualism and freedom Republicans and Conservatives are “the real fascists.” Forgive me please, but I’ve always found that sought of thing uproariously funny...and that's what I meant by "Idn't it GREAT"..."great" as in incredibly hilarious.

I readily admit that the part of me that wants “to MAKE everyone work” and to “maintain order and structure above all else” has always felt at home in the Democratic Party.

Full disclosure, I DO also readily admit to acknowledging that as “my dark side.”

I’m sorry to have rambled here it’sme, but please don’t think that the Democratic healthcare plan is looking to expand Medicaid or Medicare to ANYONE already covered by those plans.

The current plan is SOLELY devised to extend those benefits to those currently not covered and to CUT COSTS by bringing rationing and restrictions to everyone on those programs, just as those on the “public option” will subjected to rationed and restricted care.

The plan amounts to LESS CARE at HIGHER COSTS for all those covered under ANY plan now, in order to “help cover” all those who are currently uninsured, either by choice, citizenship status (ie. illegal immigrants) or other reasons.

As for the DRA of 2005, I was among those who, at the time said, “It didn’t go far enough and didn’t save enough, especially in light of the HUGE spending excesses of the Bush administration – the NCLBA and the prescription drug boondoggle.”

We simply can’t afford to GIVE out all the “free stuff” we once did. That’s why I agreed with what Newt Gingrich once said, “We need to cut, cut and CUT government and when people scream, we’ve got to cut it some more.”

The LESS government does for us, the MORE free we all are.

it'sme said...

The DRA made it necessary for the elderly population in need of long-term care to pay down all their assets accumulated for the previous five years...including any gifting or charitalble giving..to the nursing home at the Private Pay Rate....the tipping point is... what elders is that hurting? The ones who saved and invested a little to accumulate a modest nest egg....who must disproportionately pay out of their savings for those who are already receiving Medicaid...fee sharing in the nursing home. Who should care about this? Everyone one of us!

Nursing home CFO's love this population of elderly....because it nets them 4:1 private pay fees vs. Medicaid fees. Nursing home reps were getting a whip lash trying to get to the hospital to sell their wares to my parents.

This is what Cheney/Gregg wanted to happen...the GOP version of a Stimulus Plan...and I still say to keep your fingers crossed that your Long-Term-Care Policy is what you think it is.....so many have been duped with the fine print. Read it very carefully.......or pay to have an Elder-Care Attorney read it for you.....to make sure....they are wily......when the policy need to kick in...don't be surprised.

it'sme said...

it'sme said...
You're welcome, JMK. Just please remember what the Cheney/Gregg Deficit Reduction Act did to hapless seniors who where caught in the headlights of this Bill.

My parents, 91 and 88-years-old are, in a nursing home. Father is a Disabled WWII Vet. My mother was a widow of the War. There are two Purple Hearts in this family, and one burial flag. They had to pay what is called Private Pay Fees to the nursing home until they were penniless; $300/day each. Now that Medicaid did pick them up, their retirement income is so much that the state kicks nothing in to supplement them. As a matter of fact, this gives them the privilege of going back to paying the Private Pay Fee whenever the "overages" their generous retirement brings in accumulates enough to pay for an additional month at the Private Pay rate.

My parents did not hide their money like many do. In fact, they have a disabled grandson who they wanted to contribute to.

So they paid the nursing home their life savings....$350K; and on Medicaid they pay over $5K a month.

I often say it would have been better if the government made my father pay for the P-47 he was piloting that crashed, upon his discharge. It would have been less a financial burden on this one family in the long run....

These elderly WWII Vets are apparently for sale, and no one is talking about it.

**********************************


I want to emphasive here, my parents retirement income is so high that Medicaid does not pay anything for them. So the nursing home got all their savings, and they get their retirement....no cost to taxpayers.....at all. They worked hard and saved, to lose everything because so many did not work and save and have retirement income at their level.....because Medicaid gives out to so many for free.....

My parents should have been able to pass their savings to grandchildren...their retirment income that goes to the nursing home is so high it keeps them off of any Medicaid help anyway....
So Cheney/Gregg made sure their $350,000 savings went to the nurinsg home to offset the other Welfare receipients. On top of that the savings would have been inherited tax free by their grandchildren.....they couldn't let that happen, could they? They stopped that from happening with the DRA.

So before they got their monthly retirement income...$6K a month, my parents life savings had to be drained first...all to offset the elderly on Medicaid already....

My parents still warm and breathing bodies are for sale.

JMK said...

"The DRA made it necessary for the elderly population in need of long-term care to pay down all their assets accumulated for the previous five years...including any gifting or charitalble giving..to the nursing home at the Private Pay Rate....the tipping point is... what elders is that hurting? The ones who saved and invested a little to accumulate a modest nest egg..." (it'sme)
<
<
Yes, that's a hard thing, BUT, try convincing most Americans that "nursing home care should be free."

We can't afford that.

The projected bill for the baby boomer's long-term and catastrophic care is conservatively estimated at OVER $50 TRILLION!

Our GDP is $16 TRILLION/year....we can't afford that.

Again, long-term and catastrophic insurance IS available.

I had a naive, but lovable economics professor in College who, among other inanities preached that "America's GDP of $11 TRILLION/year (at that time) could and should provide each and every American with $60,000/year" and then went on to pontificate about how the disparity in incomes and wealth based on "arbitrary valuations in skills was criminal."

The guy was well-intentioned, but idiotic in every way.

If you could make the SAME money digging a ditch or being a janitor (two low stress jobs) as you would being a surgeon or a lawyer or an air traffic controller, why'd anyone do those higher stress, higher skilled jobs, for the same compensation as the lowest stressed jobs...or maybe even no job at all?!

ANSWER: No one would do those higher skilled, high stress jobs...and society and the economy would ground to a screeching halt. That's why socialism CANNOT work.

That's why I don't get anyone thinking or desiring that food, housing, healthcare, or any other "necessities" be "rights." They're mere COMMODITIES, and commodities produced via the labors of others are NOT "rights" and CANNOT BE "rights" UNLESS, we're talking about enslaving those who provide those commodities.

Like I said, I'm certain that at least 70% of Americans would vote for LESS government help (especially for others) and LOWER taxes (especially for themselves) because that's just human nature.

The key here is that the Democrat's healthcare plan DOES NOT promise MORE healthcare at a LOWER cost....instead it seeks to make care "universal" at HIGHER cost to all those covered today....those higher costs coming in the form of higher taxes, less choice and rationing and restrictions built into the "public option" forcing those who CAN afford them to pay the premiums necessary to circumvent that rationing and the restrictions.

The GOP is completely onboard with healthcare rationing to those unable and unwilling to pay extra premiums to maintain unrationed care and better access to healthcare, BUT, just as the Democrats recently politicized TWO wars and national security (the NSA surveillance program), you can count on the GOP to politicize and make hay off this healthcare debate.

Is it a littl hypocritical of the GOP?

maybe, but not nearly as shameful OR dangerous as the Democrats earlier politicizing of Iraq and Afghanistan AND the NSA Surveillance proggram.

I'm a registered Democrat and I cringed when some Republicans made a big thing out of Bill Clinton's sexcapades (and that backfired bi time)...but I cringed even harder when I saw the Dave Axelrod astroturfing of the bullshit "anti-war protests"...I knew they'd backfire as the GOP would respond in kind/slime. I honestly can't say the Democrats don't deserve this (the "politicizing" of EVERYTHING), because they DO deserve exactly that.

it'sme said...

Yes, that's a hard thing, BUT, try convincing most Americans that "nursing home care should be free."

JMK: What does this statement mean? I don't understand your conclusion here.

Nursing home is free now to all those on Medicaid, because my parent's life savings paid for those in that facility on welfare already.....so that tax-free inheritance his grandchildren could have gotten, that was taxed when it was earned, goes back into the pot...to be used again....and remember it could be you next....or your loved-ones....

Like I said, they should have made him pay for the P-47 he was piloting that crashed into the ocean ($83K) in exchange for the possibility of his long-term care. It would have been less of a burden.

He fought in the War and now this Veteran and his wife's still warm and breathing bodies are up for sale. It's as simple as that.

My parents lost their life savings because they have to pay a disproportionate amount to offset those who did not save as much, or whose retirement income is so too low to pay their own way in long-term care.

That cannot be okay with you, because you could be next.....and then you can thank Cheney and Gregg personally....for reducing the deficit off elderly WWII Disabled Vets backs. They really should be ashamed....and I think we all should not be afraid to bring this up for discussion in the media......

Linda said...

I've been following all of the comments on this subject, and I know my MIL had to 'spend down' to $2000 or less to qualify for Medicaid. Every year we have to prove that she doesn't have any more $ than that. She gets to 'keep' $62/mo from her social security, and the rest goes to the home. I know it doesn't seem fair to not be able to continue giving to the charities, disabled kids, or even to the 'normal' ones, but that is the way the system works.

I guess if you don't want all of your savings to go to a home, spend all you make now, live a poor lifestyle so you will die young, and the problem will take care of itself.

One thing we were able to do for mom was get her a funeral pre-paid plan. Well, this month we got a notice from the insurance company where we got the policy that they are in receivership, so, now what do we do? The mortuary owner that we got the plan through said the policy would pay when she dies, and he would take that as payment, but what happens if he isn't around? Will the next guy do that?

There are so many questions and so few answers, but I don't think a gov't run program of a single payer will do it.

Sen. Kennedy died this morning, and I'll bet he wouldn't have lasted over a year with his brain cancer if he'd been required to have a single payer system. World-wise, he was much better off than my MIL ever was, and better off than most of the American population. However, even the 'best' insurance in the world didn't save him.

I wish we had he answers.

it'sme said...

Hi Linda: That's why the conversation needs to continue, and like we are doing here, our conversations with eachother are the cream rising to the top. We all have to sit and think this out. Both sides of the aisle have to be accountable for what has happened to us in the past. Both sides have to untangle the web they have woven, that we are trapped in now. (We = all of us)

Let's keep talking about the injustice we have right, the injustice my parents have to endure. This is not being discussed....and that DRA vote speak volumns.....and it cut my parents off at the knees...and you and I will be next, perhaps.....

Thank you for responding.

JMK said...

"Nursing home is free now to all those on Medicaid, because my parent's life savings paid for those in that facility on welfare already.....so that tax-free inheritance his grandchildren could have gotten, that was taxed when it was earned, goes back into the pot...to be used again....and remember it could be you next....or your loved-ones...." (it'sme)
<
<
What your complaining about is not an "injustice" it's a set of rules.

The current rules (and to be fair, Medicaid's "lookback period" has existed from the start of that program) require that a patient divest themselves of ALL their savings BEFORE they apply for Medicaid for help entering a long-term care facility.

That's what most people do, because that's the ONLY way to protect those savings.

Personally, I DON'T like the idea of nursing home care being covered by taxpayers....and neither does the current Democratic Plan, which PRIMARILY seeks to CUT healthcare COSTS by limiting the care provided and NOT extending or providing more care.

I'm presuming that we all agree with the premises that healthcare costs (1) MUST BE CUT and (2) are primarily, if not solely the result of Americans having access to TOO MUCH advanced care they can't pay for.

As I've said all along here, I don't believe there is a majority of Americans who feel the government should "take care of those who can't take care of themselves." I really believe through personal experience, that most people oppose that. I'd be shocked and ashamed of my country if a majority of Americans believed that.

JMK said...

"My parents lost their life savings because they have to pay a disproportionate amount to offset those who did not save as much, or whose retirement income is so too low to pay their own way in long-term care." (it'sme)
<
<
That's not true it'sme, your parents lost their savings because they didn't follow the rules and didn't go to an estate planner or financial planner for the needed advice.

We don't live in a simple, handshake world any more. We live in a world of fine print, smaller print and microscopic print that MUST be interpreted by lawyers and accountants. That's what we get for allowing the Lawyer/Legislator to run government.

The "lookback period" ALWAYS existed in Medicaid and it was designed to do exactly what it did in the case of your parents, which is to make sure that ANY person claiming Medicaid eligibility (means tested by income) and thus claiming poverty/destitution, indeed be destitute by the time they get aid.

Medicaid is NOT a program for the elderly. It's a means tested program for the poor/destitute and as such it does NOT allow people with LOW incomes and HIGH savings to keep those savings.

As far back as the 1970s, people had to put their savings in Trust or gift it BEFORE seeking any government help via Medicaid.

WHY?

Because they knew that the government wasn't going to let people keep their accrued savings on a program designed for "the poor."

Your parents lost their savings for failing to prepare to deal with the rules regarding such programs, not to "offset those who can't afford any costs at all."

UNFORTUNATELY we all pay (as taxpayers) for ALL those who can't/won't pay for advanced care.

THAT is the essence of the healthcare debate, should EVERYONE have equal access to the best available care?

The answer is NO. We can't afford that. So the question isn't, "Should there be rationing," the ONLY question remaining is "How do we implement such rationing so that it impacts the most productive among us the least, while most impacting the least productive?"

The current Democratic plan, dubbed "Obama-care" seeks to deliver a bare-bones coverage, WITH heavy restricitons and rationing of care to ALL at a very high price (estimates are over $16 TRILLION over its first ten years), while maintaining the availabiity of gap insurance for those who CAN and WILL pay the premiums on that.

Once this Bill passes, there will be many misinformed American who are going to bitterly complain that they didn't know they'd have to pay for private insurance just to get around the heavy rationed care of the "public option," and that's the same complaint as you're voicing here for your parents - there WAS/IS catastrophic and long-term care insurance available, the fact that many Americans didn't know that without it, your entire life's savings would be wiped out, should you seek help through Medicaid is, sad to say, their own fault.

Linda knew that. So did millions of Americans.

I DO feel bad for those who didn't and as a result failed to plan adequately, but the answer isn't "government simply covering everyone regardless of wealth"...and someone with $250,000 in savings toward the end of their life is considered "rich" or "wealthy" by today's politicians, just as are people who earn over $250,000/year.

JMK said...

"Let's keep talking about the injustice we have right, the injustice my parents have to endure. This is not being discussed....and that DRA vote speak volumns.....and it cut my parents off at the knees...and you and I will be next, perhaps....." (it'sme)
<
<
Again, Medicare (for seniors) and Medicaid (for the poor) are two different and distinct programs.

There is no way to expect government to cover the catastrophic and long-term care costs of those who CAN PAY (those with savings)....that's why they've written the rules to allow Medicaid (a means tested) program to liquidate ANY savings BEFORE Medicaid kicks in to help.

And again, the current healthcare Bill DOES NOT offer long-term and catastrophic care FOR FREE.

It doesn't.

It offers universal care (extending care to those now uncovered) but CUTS the care offered to ALL via rationing and restrictions built into the system.

It HAS TO do that in order for it to stay viable.

And YES, we will ALL have to dig deep and pay MORE, probably much more just to get around the severe rationing and restrictions that'll come with the new "public option."

And again, I'm presuming we all oppose free food, free housing, etc. because we oppose universal slavery to the state.

To those who like the idea of universal slavery to the state, my views are probably antithetical to all they believe in.

it'sme said...

JMK: My parents did have plans in place. What happened to them was the DRA changed the look back period..right when they needed long-term care. The rules changed.
So all their planning with the Elder Care Attorney was useless. All those documents were worthless at the hands of Cheney/Gregg. Their right to make contracts/trusts and directives was taken away by the DRA. Did you realize that this is what the DRA has the power to do.....

You cannot think that is okay.

And remember you will be paying a lot of $$ to keep ahead of the ever-morphing rules, too. So don't be a deer in the headlights of the private insurance policies that you think are protecting you today, and government mandates. You are a potential victim of both, as my parents were/are.

This cannot be okay with you all!!!!!

Get Gregg abd Cheney to do a Town-Hall Meeting together and have the media there.

They were disproportionately targeted to reduce the deficit, pure and simple....

Read the fine-print of you long-term-care policies every week..because you are at the mercy of their fine print in the moment you may need them to kick in...mark my words....they are wily....because the insurance companies need to make a huge profit off you....and they will....so don't get caught.....maybe you need to do some more research on the horror stories out there......

I assure you, your warm and still-breathing body will be for sale, too.

JMK said...

The "lookback period" has always existed in Medicaid it'sme.

The 2005 DRA merely increased the period. In the 1970s one of the things my maternal grandfather feared most was becoming incapacitated and needing nursing home of convalescent care...because even back then Medicaid drained your savings BEFORE it offered any assistance.

Medicaid is NOT a program for the elderly.

Medicare is NOT "means tested," Medicaid IS "means tested" and, as a result, it is designed to use up ALL the available savings and revenues of the recipient.

Catastrophic care insurance and long-term care insurance plans circumvent the need for relying on Medicaid.

Again, the current healthcare Bill WILL NOT reverse the DRA, in fact, it will offer LESS in the way of long-term care and MORE restrictions on people (like your parents) who'd like to divest themselves of their savings BEFORE needing Medicaid assistance.

We're at a stage we're we can't afford to offer even the level of long-term care we do now.

Perhaps we'll have to MANDATE long-term care insurance just as the states now mandate auto insurance.

Those of us who still cling to a "public option" defind as "free health care for all" are misinformd and going to be greatly disillusioned.

"Obama-care" is modeled on "Romney-care" which Massachusetts hates right now. Romeny promised "universal healthcare to MA" and delivered mandated insurance....ANYONE not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare were simply ordered by law to buy their own health insurance, same as drivers must have auto insurance.

The people who "HATE Romney-care" are the ones who THOUGHT that "universal care meant free healthcare for all."

That's NOT being promised.

What WAS promised was a public option available to all, including part-time and per diem workers AND illegal immigrants, it DOES NOT promise MORE CARE or BETTER CAR to those currently covered by Medicare and Medicaid....in FACT, it will ration and restrict access on ALL those public options!

I LIKE my employer provided healthcare and I DON'T much LIKE the prospect of having to pay for private insurance to fill the gaps caused by the coming rationing and restrictions of the "public option."

BUT at least I KNOW what's coming and NO, I won't feel at all sorry for all those dupes who thought they were going to get SOMETHING for NOTHING. Suckers deserve to get suckered.

As to Medicaid, if you doubt what I say (that the current Bill will do nothing to rescind the extended "lookback period" brought in by the DRA of 2005," I promise you, that you'll be very unhappily surprised.

JMK said...

Right now, the Demorats are looking at a ballooning DEFICIT, FROM it's current $1.6 TRILLION (it was $800 BILLION at the end of GW's tenure) TO $9 TRILLION (and the estimates are continually GROWING) over the next ten tears!

That'll raise out national Debt to over 85% of GDP and pressurize interest rates UPWARD, probably well over the previous Carter-era high of 23%!

Imagine a 25% or even a 31% home mortgage rate over 30 years! That would be around $3,000/month on every $100,000 borrowed....today's rates (around 5%) = appx $500/month on every $100,000 borrowed!!!

Imagine that combined with the incredible inflation that'll accompany that (probably over 15%/year, very possibly over 20%/year) coupled with an unemployment rate well over 15%!

With this massive DEBT we could soon have STAGFLATION that'll outdo anything Carter ever presided over. We COULD HAVE the first 30+ point Misery Index in U.S. history!

Carter's record high was 23.1.

Long-term care costs for the Baby Boomers is (conservatively) estimated at $85 TRILLION! We CAN'T pay that! Our annual GDP is only $16 TRILLION (actually it WAS $16 TRILLION...in 2007, it's declined slightly in 2008 and is off a little more significantly, so far, in 2009)...we simply DON'T have enough money to pay for such a boondoggle.

I am seriously worried it'sme....NOT for people who need taking care of...they're going to be doomed - and they'll probably be lucky for that - at least they'll be spared the slow death many of the rest of us fall prey to.

I've long said that Republicans should be in no hurry to take back power and share the blame for this coming and inevitable catastrophe.

My fervent hope is that it DOES implode completely, so that we can get on with scuttling the whole state-run leviathon. Eradicate the USPS, privatize NASA, privatize Social Security and make it a bundle of individual 401-Ks and 457s, eradicate the coming "public option", slash the entire federal budget, streamline the Military, replace welfare with workfare, etc.

Bottom-line, market-based economies work and government-run (command) economies don't....and they DON'T because they CAN'T.

I've suggested for a very long time, "Let's let the Liberal Dems instill a Keynesian (socialized) economy on us...then let it fail, and THEN tear it ALL down, even the stuff once heralded as "compassionate" like welfare and social security and eliminatee the income tax in favor of a "Fair Tax" (a National Sales Tax in place of the income tax, payroll taxes, like FICA, Corporate income taxes, Cap Gains and Dividend taxes, etc.) and America's productivity and prosperity would soar!"

Like I said, I feel very bad for what happened to your parents, BUT Medicaid is NOT a federal program for the elderly. Rules change from state to state and that program is "means tested" and designed to USE UP all a recipient's savings and income BEFORE Medicaid offers "help."

I DO appreciate your input and your viewpoints on this, even if we don't entirely agree. I do think we both see the folly of ANY state-run system.

it'sme said...

JMK: I will repeat, you cannot believe that it was okay for my WWII Disabled Vet 91-year-old father and my mother who was a widow of the War (two Purple Hearts in this family) to come back home after the War, get married, work hard, save his pennies, pay all his taxes, keep himself covered by insurance, pay for his Medicare out of pocket because he was a Federal Employee...do all the right things...including serving his country honorably...only to be caught in the headlights of the Cheney/Gregg Bill to reduce the deficit....disproportionately...forthose who did not have this kind of life.....and if all Americans are not ashamed of what this Bill did to this very small population of Americans...something is very, very wrong with all of us....

Like I have said, if it were your parents in this exact same situation mine are in...you would not be saying...."They didn't play by the rules."

They did nothing but play by the rules....with the way they lived their lives....and, again, you cannot think this is okay.....and no one, conservative or otherwise, can really believe in their hearts that it is okay....

And remember, you might be next.....don't be so sure you are protected by an insurance policy written by profiteers.

Look very, very closely at all those words in that policy...especially the "and" "but" "when" "only" "if" "at the time of" "not" "because of" "excluding".....you get what I'm saying.....I only hope.....

JMK said...

" you cannot believe that it was okay for my WWII Disabled Vet 91-year-old father and my mother who was a widow of the War (two Purple Hearts in this family) to come back home after the War, get married, work hard, save his pennies, pay all his taxes, keep himself covered by insurance, pay for his Medicare out of pocket because he was a Federal Employee...do all the right things...including serving his country honorably...only to be caught in the headlights of the Cheney/Gregg Bill to reduce the deficit....disproportionately...forthose who did not have this kind of life....." (it'sme)
<
<
It's not a matter of "right and wrong" at all, it's a matter of RULES.

Medicaid IS NOT set up to help the elderly afford nursing home care.

It IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN a "means tested" (based on income AND assetts) program for the POOR.

That's why there ALWAYS WAS a "lookback" period for Medicaid, in which the government USED UP all the available SAVINGS and INCOME from those seniors BEFORE they'd get Medicaid assistance.

Since the 60's no one could get Medicaid WITHOUT proving they were poor....not just "low income," but low in assetts too. Many people have had to sell their homes, and divest themselves of any and all investments and savings to get Medicaid assistance. That DID NOT begin in 2005.

What I don't get is your fixation on Dick Cheney who DID cast the deciding vote on the 2005 DRA, when EVERY Liberal Democrat looks on people like your parents as "the hated rich."

Anyone with assetts over $250,000 is routinely derided as "rich" by the Liberal Democrats of today!

As I said, IF you think the current healthcare Bill is going to reverse the Medicaid lookback period extension of the 2005 DRA, you're going to be very unpleasantly surprised.

What it WILL do is shunt elderly Americans AWAY from expensive "end of life care" and onto cheaper pain pills and a "quiet exit."

I have ALWAYS believed that to be eligible for either Medicaid or welfare an individual must BOTH meet the low income requiements AND have either NO savings or assetts (ie. a home) or have those liquidated by the government to offset some of the costs of that assistance.

I think that's just common sense.

it'sme said...

So you are saying that this elderly couple got what was coming to them, because they did not play the game correctly.

The deficit was reduced on their elderly backs disproportionately to what everyone else has to do, because they lived the life they lived.

The rules made their modest nest egg offset those who had none...for whatever reason...and additionally have no retirement income worth the trouble for the taking......and that is not okay.

May I remind you that their retirement income is so high that Medicaid contributes nothing for their care still.....

There should have been a better formula to stop this from happening....

Like I said, the nonprofit nursing homes within a 20 miles radius were getting whiplash tring to get in to sell their wares to my mother with Alzheimers...she represented $$$$ to them, not Medicaid reimbursement $$$ but real $$$ in $300 a day x 2 until the assets were gone and then after that $6,000 a month in retirment income.....so as I said before...their (and your) still warm and breathing bodies are most definitely for sale.

Deep down that cannot be okay with you.

You keep saying you are sorry for what happened to them...but then you go on to say..."Too bad, they didn't play the game correctly."

These two people did not play games. My father was a member of Keary's Thunderbolts...an Ace....they were not poor enough or rich enough to miss the Cheney/Gregg DRA sunami.

I wonder if they ever have had to explain their reasoning in the media for all to see...

Let's ask them for a defense of what they did to this elderly couple, and the millions of others, too....in writing, in the media.....

I would love to see that on any major Network....

I think we will have a very, very long wait....

JMK said...

That’s not at all what I’m saying.

What I’ve said is that Medicaid IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN a “means tested” (income and asset limited program), one you DON’T qualify for unless BOTH your income and your assets are below a certain level.

Certainly, you wouldn’t argue that a family with a million dollar home, who've fallen on very hard times and wind up on welfare, should be able to keep that million dollar house while on the public dime, would you?!

Neither would I.

A person in that position would first have to sell that house and liquidate all their other assets before being eligible collect welfare or ANY other "means-tested" public assistance programs, like section-8 housing, etc.

Medicaid’s the same thing. It’s a program partly state-funded, and partly federally-funded and “means tested”, SOLELY for the poor.

There are insurance plans (catastrophic health insurance and long-term care insurance) that allow regular Americans to avoid having rely on Medicaid toward the end of their lives.

To say, “Couple A should NOT have been “mean-tested” and lost their savings, in order to become eligible for Medicaid” is the same as arguing that, “Couple X should not have to sell their million-dollar home and divest themselves of THEIR savings and investments, because they’d earned them BEFORE they needed that public assistance!"

I’m sorry, but that’s a ridiculous argument in BOTH cases.

You can’t even get many student loans today WITHOUT being “means tested.” That is, if you earn “too much income,” or have too much socked away – too bad.

All “anti-poverty programs ARE “means-tested” and ALL of them allow the government to liquidate all the “excess assets” (assets above the allowable limits) to defray their own costs.
Complying with those “means-tests” is NOT “playing a game.”

Without those “means-tests” anyone COULD and, believe me, just about EVERYONE WOULD claim poverty and glom public assistance meant for the destitute - now THAT’S “playing a game.”

I feel bad that your parents apparently didn’t know that the government liquidates all existing assets above the allowable limit for any “means-tested” programs.

I can’t support eradicating those “means-tests” or the “Lookback” periods that allow the government to liquidate assets above the "allowable limits," as that would bankrupt those programs and swamp our already bloated National Debt.

it'sme said...

What we're talking about here is that fact that this couple had all their documents in place, and then at the exact time they needed long-term care the rules changed.....and because of this they disproportionately have to supplement all the others in that nursing home who are already on welfare. Their monthly retirement income, which is SS, Federal Annunity and VA Pension, all goes to the nursing home....and that's as it should be...and because that figure is so high, Welfare contributes nothing in their behalf....in fact the formula is such that when the overage their retirment income brings in to the nursing home reaches the amount of the Private Pay Fee, the nursing home gets that one-month private fee amount ($18,000); and then they start counting over again.

Why didn't this just happen right from the beginning before their life savings had to sink in this black hole? Because the rules changed mid-game for them. So they got to supplement all the welfare receipients with their life savings, and still are supplementing them with their very generous retirment income....well above the Welfare levels....

And this is because, and only because of when the Cheney/Gregg DRA went into effect.....

and only based on the fact that this generation was going to bequeth many millions over tax free under $1 million....and Gregg made that his target to reduce the deficit......they were up against a brick wall of greed the GOP let happen....under the radar....and they tried to fix this under the radar by targeting these hapless elderly citizens at this time of their life.....remember who this hurts......just the ones like my parents who had a modest nest egg....the poor got taken care of off their backs x 3...the wealthy have enough to cover themselves......Gregg torpedoed my parents and all the thousands like them with his version of a stimulus plan.....when he realized that the greed of the few was going to put them the government in jeopardy.....

Remember, you could be next...and you cannot think that it okay....because you think you are not to be considered "hapless" but I assure you...be warned...the rules will change for you, too...

and remember this is a WWII Disabled Vet and his wiife...who have a disabled grandson.....who were not spared by the Bill.....
how proud Gregg must be!!!!!!

Wouldn't you like him to be interviewed on the air?

I truly believe this is not okay with you....

JMK said...

Don't get me wrong, it'sme, I DO think that the current set-up is far too archane and all too often grossly unfair.

I am NOT justifying the rules, merely acknowledging that they exist and the reasons given as to why they exist.

Welfare rules have become draconian because so many scammers have abused that system....same with SSI, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Ideally, Medicare should have some provision for people like your parents....as Medicare is NOT "means tested," they'd not be subject to losing their acrued assetts.

BOTH political Parties have been poor on this issue, largely because the "political class" doen't rely on Social Securityand Medicare/Medicaid, as they have their own, much better, more "gold plated" one.

My problem with what's been offered to date, as "Obama-care" is NOT "more healthcare to MORE people," but instead, more widespread care (in that it'll mandate those young people who now often opt out to purchase their own), while rationing and retricting the "public option."

It's not that I disagree with the intent (to CUT healthcare costs) but with the way it's being marketed....MOST people seem to think they're going to get something better for free, when that is not at all close to the truth.

it'sme said...

So I thank you JMK for saying that what happened to my parents really is not okay. (and to the many, many others in the same boat).

We are back to square one...Buy your own private health insurance/long term care policy; buy your government option health care policy/long-term care policy...either way no one is exempt for such purchases...no one!!!!!!

My parents always purchased their insurance, their Medigap insurance policy, and my father has to pay his own Medicare premiums because he was a Federal employee.....and Gregg/Cheney screwed this couple and all the others like them.....WWII Veterans and their wives/two Purple Hearts....because and only because they planned on targeting this elderly, hapless population...who would soon die and leave $$$ untaxed to their survivors......and that cannot be okay with you......and now all you have to say is that "The Rules" as they are now are also not okay with you.....

This will come out in the media and it will expose the outcome of the DRA to this elderly population who did so much for this country...being treat now as just a tool to solve their greedy debacle.....

And these are the wonderful people who we have given the power to to start wars....

and that cannot be okay with you....

Read the book KEARBY'S THUNDERBOLTS...my father is in it....

JMK said...

My own Dad grew up in the Great Deression and also served in WW II and Korea...that was a GREAT generation.

They DID make one mistake, they spoiled their kids rotten...and that, coupled with the relative peace and prosprity of the second part of this century really softened the core of this country.

We are not the same people our parents were and largely because of that, we are not the same country we were back then.

The problem was that Mediare wasn't funded to take on such long-term care and Medicaid (an "anti-poverty" program) was not the proper venue for caring for our seniors.

But it's going to get a LOT worse.

The long-term care of the Baby Boomers CAN'T be picked up by government. We simply can't afford the estimated $34 TRILLION in long-term care costs alone for that group!

Just because a "need" exists does not mean that government can afford to cover it.

It now looks like "Obama-care" will be greatly watered down and the "public option" eviscerated from the Bill, BUT that will NOT keep us from eentually having to face some very harsh realities - we just can't afford to care for everyone (thus rationing and restricitions will be the rule, rather than the exception) and we certainly can't afford to deliver long-term nursing home care to the Boomers....we just DON'T and WON'T have the money for that.

I don't think many people realize just how dire things are economically...YET.

it'sme said...

So you think it's okay that my parents very generous retirment income goes to the nursing home, as it should be...and because this income is considered over/under (considerably above the Welfare fee per month) they get to pay one month of Private Pay Fee when that much accumulates ($18,000)...in addition to having to Private Pay their entire life savings....because and only because so many others in that facility are already on Welfare and don't have the savings and income these two have. That is what the Gregg DRA did to this elderly couple and so many just like them....who did nothing but "play by the rules"...the nursing homes love them!!!! They mean real $$$$ to the nursing home...not Welfare $$$....and you cannot really believe this is okay!

This elderly couple are being disproportionately targeted to pick up the deficit created by all the others in that non-profit nuring home who are on Welfare.

And you cannot believe that the Cheney/Gregg DRA didn't know this was what they were doing when they wrote this shamful Bill.

And they say it would have reduced the deficit by how much, over how many years? Let's expose who they were reducing the deficit with; who this Bill hurt the most.

And let's overlay that with what has happened to this economy over the years since the DRA got signed.

The rich got richer and the middles class elderly WWII Disabled Veterans with some savings and good retirment income got poorer. Thank you Cheney/Gregg. How proud the two of you must be!

And you cannot think that it okay.

JMK said...

Bottom-line NO One with an income above the poverty level (appx $24,000/year) should be able to legally apply for Medicaid.

Medicaid, welfare, WIC and section-8 housing are all “means tested” programs designed ONLY for the truly destitute. I believe we BOTH agree that no one with an income above the poverty level OR substantial savings and/or assets (ie a home, etc.) should ever be eligible for ANY of those programs.

In FACT, BEFORE any American can receive welfare, WIC or other forms of public assistance they MUST divest themselves any substantial assets, such as homes, cash savings, stocks, etc. Medicaid is ALSO a “means tested” program for the poor and ONLY the truly POOR should be eligible for such programs. No “wealthier” Americans (people earning incomes ABOVE the poverty line or eligibility requirements) OR with substantial savings should even be eligible for such programs.

There was NEVER a time when Medicaid was NOT “means tested.”

As far back as when Medicaid was started, people who sought to get onto Medicaid had to sell off or otherwise divest themselves of those assets. You couldn't own a home, hold substantial cash or stocks in savings, etc. and be eligible for that program.

NONE of that started in 2005.

JMK said...

One thing I steadfastly agree with Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama is their opposition to even ALLOWING working people, who’ve accrued assets, like a house or substantial cash savings, to “scam the system.”

That’s exactly how the late Senator Kennedy defined middle class people seeking to gain access to programs for “the POOR,” like Medicaid and WIC – he called that “scamming the system.”

Like you, I put cutting healthcare costs above giving all who "need it" high quality healthcare. We simply CAN NO LONGER afford to give all Americans the access they currently take for granted to cutting edge, high tech health care.

BOTH Medicare and Medicaid are going to go bust before 2016! Worse yet, we simply don’t have the money to keep those programs as generous as they are now. They will collapse if nothing is done to reign in those costs by rationing and restricting people's access to care.

THAT’S why Big Business AND government BOTH support the “public option” – a tightly rationed, severely restricted healthcare option, that would often make decisions based on costs, rather than on the mere health and welfare of the individual, like Oregon’s state-run healthcare system that declined a lung cancer patient’s request for medication, which would’ve cost $4,0000/mth, but OK’d pain pills that cost only $50.

Many Republicans wrongly, in my view, feigned outrage over this, but the facts backed up Oregon’s decision. That woman was given the anti-cancer meds by a major pharmaceutical company, but she died anyway within two years, so she would’ve been better off with the pain pills...and those expensive anti-cancer drugs COULD’VE been given to someone with a much better chance of survival.

Those are the choices we’re now facing. We must accept rationed and restricted care to those unable and/or unwilling to pay the higher premiums needed to merely maintain the level of access too many of us now take for granted.

Our government routinely confiscate and sell off the property of drug dealers and white collar criminals, like Madoff, so too, the same government confiscates the assets of middle class people who seek to, in the words of the late Ted Kennedy, “Scam the system,” by seeking to KEEP their incomes, accrued savings AND other assets (homes, etc.) while looking to collect government HELP from “means tested” programs intended ONLY for the very poorest among us.

It stands to reason that one MUST BE POOR (no house, no substantial savings, etc.) in order to benefit from anti-poverty programs), when non-destitute people seek to benefit from those programs, they're cheating or "scamming" the system.

I think when all is said and done, I DO think you and I agree that we NEED to spend LESS on healthcare going forward, despite the fact that our population’s needs and the costs will only go up...that means that people like you and I will have to support a severely and strictly rationed and restricted “public option,” which will include programs like Medicaid and Medicare, allowing those who CAN to purchase supplemental insurance to circumvent that rationing and restrictions.

We’ll ALL have to put fiscal responsibility above our current reckless desire to “give everyone equal and full access to the very best and latest medical care.”

We simply CAN’T afford to do that going forward...we don’t have the money to fund that!

it'sme said...

Are you saying that it was okay for my parents to supplement those with less in that nonprofit nursing home, with their life savings and retirement income every month only because they worked for saved and earned those assets and monthly retirment income in the form of SS, VA Benefits and Government Retirment income..only because of the timing of the Gregg DRA? This is a disproportionate drain of these WWII Disabled Vets now in need of nonprofit long-term care, and only for the benefit of those who did not or could not work all their lives for those targeted retirment $$$...so desirable for the nonprofit..

We are talking about a elderly couple who did everything correctly...insured themselves their whole lives, and in retirment bought out of pocket a Medicare policy that was not in place for a Federal Employee, bought out of pocket a Medigap policy that also covered Rx's..all which they are required to keep up even now (as it should be)...all on their own dime...contribute their very generous monthly retirment income to the nonprofit nursing home (as it should be) which is over and above the Welfare formula...which enables this couple to give up an additional $18,000 in Private Pay fee when that amount acccumulates enought to do so......again, to offset those who are not in this catagory......in addition to their modest life savings counted back 60months.

You cannot think there is nothing with with this picture......and even Cheney and Gregg will eventually admit their mistake when they get cornored and have to explain in the media what they purposely did....and had the chutzpa to call it a Deficit Reduction Act......they forgot to put in "on the backs of WWII Disabled Vets who saved over $2,000in their lifetime who now need long-term care."

Sooner or later this will be in the media...this disparity...against this ever-shrinking population, before there is not one left of them to complain out loud....

Clever Gregg/Cheney will be outed for what they did. And I can hear them saying now, "This is not what we intended to happen to these
Vets" when they get caught in front of a camera and microphone....I am sure they have even practiced these excuses on the chance that they would have to explain....

And you cannot think that is okay....because you will be next, I assure you....heads up everyone!

If they threw this population under the bus, don't you think you could be next....

Just leave everything as it is and see what happens to you...

JMK said...

I'm VERY clear in what I've said and I've said that all along.

We cannot afford to GIVE access to cutting edge, state of the art healthcare to all Americans. The fact that Medicare and Medicaid are going broke and WILL BE broke by 2016 is proof of that.

I believe I agree with you in SUPPORTING "means testing" for ALL anti-poverty programs," such as WIC and Medicaid.

That "means testing" includes refusing to allow middle class retirees to access Medicaid while owning a home or holding onto substantial savings.

People CAN and DO gift or put into Trusts, accrued savings BEFORE applying for Medicaid.

ONLY those who apply for that needed help BEFORE divesting themselves of their "wealth" are subjected to any "Lookback period."

What the 2005 DRA did was merely to increase that "Lookback period" from 42 months to 60 months.

Medicaid, with its "Lookback period" was initially developed by Democrats, like Ted Kennedy, who saw middle class retirees looking to use Medicaid in their later years as "scamming the system," which is why they put in that "Lookback period."

As I said, things going forward are going to get worse.

WE CAN'T afford to continue giving access to state of the art healthcare to everyone.

The question going forward is NOT, "How did we do that before and how can we do the best we can," NO, the only real question is, "How can we salvage at least a bare bones (highly regulated and strictly rationed) system and not break the bank?"

We CAN'T allow the Baby Boomers to access Medicaid (without massive restrictions on long-term care) because the costs are simply too high.

I commend the COST-CUTTING intent of "Obamacare," BUT I do NOT like the disingenuous marketing of it.

Americans have got to KNOW that Medicare and Medicaid are both fundamentally flawed and we'll HAVE TO ration and restrict care to those unable to pay the premiums on the supplemental insurance needed to bypass all that rationing and the restrictions of the coming "public option."

We have been a very spoiled country for a very long time now, but reality is staring us in the face and we're NOT going to be able to take care of tomorrow's elderly as we've done to date...the money's just not there and we can't raise enough to do it, even IF we wanted to.

You're arguing that your parents SHOULD NOT have had to divest themselves of their savings and other accrued possessions BEFORE applying for Medicaid.

Most people seem to see allowing people who've worked hard, saved well and late in life, find themselves in need of anti-poverty programs, like Medicaid, to gt that help while keeping all their accrued possessions as "cheating."

And it is.

Medicaid, WIC, section-8 housing are NOT meant for middle class retirees, who find they could use some government help. Those "means tested" programs DEMAND that recipients be destitute and prove that.....but that's the way those programs have ALWAYS been?

In the 1930s you weren't even allowed to have a home phone if you received public assistance. You couldn't own a car, or hold other major possessions.

I have to admit that I have no problem with such draconian regulations for receiving any "means tested" public assistance.

My primary focus here is on fiscal responsibility and NOT on the many possible deleterious effects such regulations and any future restrictions and rationing may have on any one of our individual quality of life.

With the DEFICIT (NOT the DEBT, just the DEFICIT) ballooning to upwards of $9 TRILLION over the next ten years, which will expand the National DEBT to over 80% of GDP, we simply CANNOT afford NOT to CUT healthcare expenditures...and the ONLY way to do that is by rationing, restricting access to any of the "public options, including Medicare and Medicaid and making sure that all those who apply for "means tested" anti-poverty program assistance (like Medicaid) can prove they're destitute.

What any of us feel we "deserve" has really got NOTHING to do with that.

JMK said...

And there’s NO ONE supporting “leaving things as they are,” in FACT the Republicans are the ONLY ones arguing for MORE CHOICE, more options, while still lowering overall costs.

I remain skeptical of their numbers. I don't see how we can offer MORE care and still SAVE money and CUT costs.

For that reason, I DO LIKE and DO support some kind of “public option.”

NOT to deliver MORE healthcare, or BETTER healthcare to MORE people, but to help get our businesses and industries out from under the yolk of providing free healthcare to all their workers.

Such a “public option” would save GM, Chrysler, GE, IBM and most of America’s Municipalities BILLIONS in health insurance premiums and instantly make them MORE profitable and that would greatly help America!

That “public option” (part of which already exists in the form of Medicare and Medicaid) would be tightly rationed and severely restricted and anyone who COULD afford to pay the premiums to bypass all that rationing of care would probably want to do just that, which would be a boom to the as would FORCING/MANDATING all those ineligible for either Medicare or Medicaid BUY their own healthcare insurance, as we are now mandated to purchase auto insurance.

We CANNOT afford to take care of the Baby Boomers the way their parents and grandparents were taken care of...the MONEY IS NOT THERE. We CAN’T do it....and we're simply not going to do that.

Things are going to get a lot rougher and to some, a lot bleaker, from here on in.

Why is THAT such a bad thing?

JMK said...

CORRCTION: That “public option” (part of which already exists in the form of Medicare and Medicaid) would be tightly rationed and severely restricted and anyone who COULD afford to pay the premiums to bypass all that rationing of care would probably want to do just that, which would be a boom to the insurance companies, as would FORCING/MANDATING all those ineligible for either Medicare or Medicaid BUY their own healthcare insurance, as we are now mandated to purchase auto insurance."

it'sme said...

We're right back where we started....what we have now is completely inequitable...but that may be okay for some because they believe health care is a privilege...until it becomes inequitable on their backs, of course...

Why hasn't this big mess been cleaned up before now? Was the DRA the GOP's answer to reduce the deficit, and on whose backs did this happen? Is this okay with you?

Wake up and realize that "they" are playing games with all of us...see through all of it, please.

They want us to "divide" so they can conquer.

it'sme said...

"And there’s NO ONE supporting “leaving things as they are,” in FACT the Republicans are the ONLY ones arguing for MORE CHOICE, more options, while still lowering overall costs. JMK

If this is true, why now? Why not before the debacle they caused by the DRA?

Why are they claiming to want these changes now? Is this because what they have created to date is such a total mess?

They are probably ashamed to see those lines waiting for free medical care by volunteer doctors to those who are insured buy still cannot get the care they need; working people who have insurance that is worthless when actually needed.

Maybe that's not an embarassment to everyone. Maybe those "people" don't deserve the privilege of health care. Maybe they don't work enough hours to afford an the insurance that is offered from their employeer that will take care of their needs. They can only afford the one with $5,000 deductible.

The timing of the Republicans only now offering a change in private policy coverage should be looked at for what it is.

I don't believe the profiteers would move in this direction on their own. Is this going to be government intervention? A socialistic change required of the insurance company products?

What? That used to be called "talking out of both sides of the mouth."

Again I ask them, if this is actually true, JMK, "Why now?"

JMK said...

The current disastrous portion of American healthcare, its existing “public option” (Medicare and Medicaid) is a Democratic concoction. The Democrats INSISTED (largely because of Conservative, “fiscally responsible” Blue Dog Dems, like myself) on “means testing” Medicaid, along with all other anti-poverty programs.”

You seem to oppose that kind of "means testing." am certain, the vast majority of Americans DO NOT share your view.

Moreover, I don’t even think there are enough Americans out there opposed to continuing all that “means testing” that keeps retired seniors from getting Medicaid while still holding onto the accrued assets they worked their whole lives for, to make that a major issue.

I am certain that most people would see the basic fiscal argument – “We can’t afford to shell out $34 TRILLION for free long-term care for the Baby Boomers.”

They’ll accept that argument because there’s simply no way to counter such an argument.

Like yourself, I also believe that healthcare is a COMMODITY, and as a commodity (a product produced by others) it CANNOT be a “RIGHT.”

So, if we agree on that, we can focus on what’s important – CUTTING healthcare costs by LIMITING ACCESS and rationing care on our “public options.”

Our existing “public option” (Medicare and Medicaid) has FAILED. It’ll implode under a skyrocketing $18 TRILLION DEFICIT by 2016!

There ARE still some misguided Liberals who continue to insist that “EVERY American should have equal access to the highest level of healthcare available, no matter what the cost.”

Those folks are dupes.

We simply can’t afford that and that’s why the likes of Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama DO NOT support MORE “free healthcare for MORE Americans,” they support a “free or public option that is strictly rationed.” In fact, slightly over a month before his death, Senator Kennedy extolled the rationing of healthcare. SEE: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Kennedy-Lets-Ration-Health-Care-51145997.html

Ironically enough, the GOP did try and overhaul healthcare in 2003 and again in 2005. Their plan sought to cap punitive damages and enact other tort reforms to CUT one of the primary reasons for the incredible rise in healthcare costs – the massive malpractice awards that have sent malpractice premiums through the roof and done more to escalate healthcare costs than anything other single factor.

They also sought to make a worker’s healthcare plan transferable from job to job and to mandate that insurance companies cover everyone without regard to pre-existing conditions, and deny insurers the right to drop people after they become ill, but those reforms were defeated by a bi-partisan group, virtually EVERY Democrat and many Moderate Republicans voted against them, ergo, the Democrats, are sadly to blame for that.

In my view, they can make up for that NOW, by relegating those unable and/or unwilling to pay for supplemental insurance to a heavily restricted and strictly rationed “public option,” which would come to include both Medicare AND Medicaid.

One flaw in your analysis is that you seem to erroneously believe that “THEY” (in your view, the Republicans) seek to divide and conquer us.

UNTRUE.

The entire “POLITICAL CLASS” is separate and distinct from the rest of us, referred to, by them, as “little people.”

Neither Political Party is any better or worse than the other...not ONE BIT.

Now that’s NOT true of ideologies. Conservatives and Libertarians tend to be very moral, decent people who devoutly adhere to what they call “America’s FOUNDING Design.”

On the other hand, Leftists or, in America’s political parlance, “Liberals” tend to be self-centered, misanthropic people, who despise others and consider them unworthy of freedom. Leftists are a malignancy wherever they appear.

it'sme said...

JMK: I have no problem with "means testing" whatsoever. My parents are means tested and they are contributing over and above their share every month...because their retirment income is so high...to balance out those who do not have that kind of retirment income. They have disproportionately contributed to the pot with their life savings and their monthly retirement income only becaude of the DRA changing the rules midstream....Make no mistake about it. They were targeted by Cheney/Gregg to capture their life savings (which would have been untaxed inheritance) to reduce the deficit caused by all those who are already on Welfare, youg and old, that are creating the debt. And understand, this hapless elderly population were chosen to do this because of the inheritance tax manipulations.

You cannot really believe that this DRA formula is defendable. Look at it for what it is. They targeted the middle class elderly's $$$ at the time they would need long-term care to siphon off their life savings...to balance off all those in that nursing home (and all the others in this country) who are already on Welfare and whose retirement income is not worth the taking...that is how Gregg balanced the deficit.

And let there be no mistake about it...he and Cheney have a captive audience in these elderly WWII Disabled Vets, who have no vehicle to complain anymore due to their age.

And this is being swept under the rug and you cannot think this is okay.

Have the DRA "means testing" reconfiguered to be proportionate across the board...not to target this elderly WWII Disabled Vet population at the time of their need for long-term care...

Cheney/Gregg targeted a captive audience to reduce the deficit...and you cannot think this is okay....

And remember...you are next...make no mistkae about it...

If my father had been charged the $83,000 it cost to produce the P-47he piloted and crashed,in exchange for his long-term care costs, it would have been better for him.

And that cannot be okay with you.

it'sme said...

And one more thing: my father always insured his family out of pocket. He still does have to pay for his Medigap insurance coverage which also covers medications, and his Medicare coverage out of pocket because he was a Federal Employee.

So out of his monthly retirement income he "gets" to pay for all this coverage still at a cost to him of $400.00 each month...so these private and socialistic insurance policies continue to pick him up....

which allows him to NOT drain the pot whatsoever, as I have explained before. It allows him to disproportionately pay for all those others in the country who did not pay as much attention to this as he and my mother did...because of the good life they lead....

And that cannot be okay with you.

it'sme said...

"Seniors frequently become victims of fraud because of their financial resources. These older individuals have 70 percent of the financial wealth of the country, which makes them “a target for enterprising criminals.”

And remember that some of that 70 percent is under the taxable inheritance amount....quite a resourse to reduce the deficit...but how to do it? Could we target those elderly who need long-term care now, probably because they suffer from dementia and they won't know the difference anyway? And if they are that wealthy that cannot hurt them that much...most especially because they can take this hit and not complain about what we are doing. Sounds like a plan.....

JMK said...

The DRA merely increased the EXISTING "Lookback period" from 3 years to 5 years.

That's ALL it did.

There was NEVER a way to hold onto any substantial accrued assetts on Medicaid....there just wasn't.

There WAS and still IS a way to avoid ever having to use Medicaid and that IS to get Catastrophic and Long-term Care INSURANCE.

Anyone today WITH Long-term Care Insurance WON'T NEED Medicaid. Those policies cover long-term care in nursing homes, etc.

Something like 75% of Seniors DON'T HAVE either Catastrophic OR Long-Term Care insurance.

That's NOT the government's fault.

Neither is looking to confiscate the assetts of those who apply for "means tested" anti-poverty programs. The governmnt has always done that.

Believe me, there will be MORE DEMAND and LESS revenue available to take care of the NEXT generation!

We NEED to cut costs and rationing and restricting care on any "public options," though painful, IS sad to say, very necessary.

it'sme said...

Yes, JMK, that is my point here. That's what hit my parents up for their life savings, the change in the look back right when then needed long-term care.

This made this elderly population in the same situation as them pay for all those others on Welfare already; disproportionately...because the reducing of the deficit targeted them, thank you Gregg/Cheney.

Again I say, just do the math...and re-read everything I have said before...

and if you think a private long-term care policy written by profiteers is going to save you from this same treatment...I wish you good luck!

Again, they are wily..and they really do not care about anything but profit...and they will throw you under the bus, too, like they have done to so many before you.

And who picked up that deficit when the long-term-care policies were worthless for some reason or another, in the nurisng home my parents are in?

My parent's life savings and their over/under retirment income. They hand this over to the nursing home (as it should be) get no $$ from Welfare because the retirment is so high..and whenever the overage amounts to a month of private pay fee $$ they get to go back and pay that amount again...$18,000...

And this takes place in this nursing home and all the others in this country...and I am betting that this is a total surprise to a lot of you....because and only because Cheney/Gregg tapped into this population (who will not be able to complain or report fraud because they are elderly) to reduce the deficit...

Linda seemed to think that every senior had long-term-care policies. Now you are agreeing with me that they mostly are hapless.

And remember,you may be in the next group of hapless citizens who think they are covered...but the only thing they get is to offset all the other welfare receipients in the long-term-care facility they are in.....

and that's how Cheney/Gregg planned it...

and that cannot be okay with you all...


Please everyone, wake up!

You've been duped by the masters.

Linda said...

It'sme,

You know, I am sorry your folks are losing their $ to a nursing home. You could solve that by bringing them into your home, or paying for round the clock care in their home, but if they can't care for themselves at all,then they are where they need to be. There is no law that says our kids are entitled to an inheritance. We all, including your parents, want to have enough $ to take care of our end days. I don't know where your parents are, but $18K/month sounds like a lot of $. If you could talk to them about this, they would probably tell you they are glad they have the resources to pay for their care.

My dad was on private pay because he still had some $. My MIL is on medicaid because she doesn't have any $. My MIL did get her funeral insurance paid for before she was down to the line of $ for medicaid. Her level of care is the same as anybody else's care.

It sounds like you are bitter because you probably won't have any $ when your folks pass on. That is the way life goes.

I didn't say most of the elder generation has nursing home insurance. Actually, less than 1% of the elderly population will end up in a home, so they probably don't feel the need of it. Both my mother and dad were in a home when they died, so the chances of me being there are pretty great. I hope I'm just throwing the $ away, and will never have to use the benefits, but they are there if I need them.

Anyway,JMK, you got quite a discussion going on with this post. I hope it causes many people to think about end of life care, but not in the way BO wants it.

I don't even know where a person can buy catastrophic insurance when they reach 65 and go on Medicare. We have a secondary policy that pickups up the 20% of whatever charge that Medicare doesn't pay. We are fortunate for the time being that our DR's, and hospitals accept Medicare assignment. I guess we'll all see what will happen in the days to come.

it'sme said...

To It's me,
I know medicare won't pay for nursing home, and I'll bet most of the old folks do know it. It is spelled out, and there are insurance companies out there that know our date of birth, and are after all of us to get our nursing home insurance. Linda said

Linda: if you read through all my posts you will see that I am pointing out what happened specifically to my parents.

This is how the formula works right now, thanks to the DRA catching them right when they needed long-term care. And the cost is correct for private pay. Remember for them it's x 2....

They did everything correct and now they are paying a disproportionate amount to cover all those already on Welfare, with their life savings counted back 60 months and again with their retirement income that is such that Welfare does not pick any of their costs up anyway. That overage they provide to the home gets added up until it reaches the Private Pay amount $9,000 x 2, so they get to private pay once again for one month...$18,000 vs. $8,734.


All you have to do is see how much they contribute to that home compared to the others that are there and have Welfare pay their way totally....

My parents have to be in a locked ward. I cannot provide the care they need, even with round the clock care here.

Linda, you have Medicare and you pay for your own Medigap policy.

My parents pay for both of these still out of pocket. Medicare is not paid for my father because he was a Federal employee.

These two insurances do not pay for long-term care...Welfare kicks in, and if you are lucky not to be duped by a long-term care policy some of that might kick in, too.

Either way we are gambling....

And that cannot be okay with all of us....

$81,000 from their retirment income since 08/01/08 to date...in addition to the savings....

That is a big difference from what Welfare pays...only 4,367/mo...$52,404/yr.

And that's why nursing homes love this population of elderly...trust me....

Pay close attention everyone.....

JMK said...

I believe we agree it's me that Medicaid is NOT a program for seniors.

It's an anti-poverty program that was designed by BOTH parties to EXCLUDE "people who worked hard all their lives and did all the right things"...(EXCEPT purchase long-term care and/or catastrophic illness insurance).

Medicare doesn't pay for long-term nursing home care because it CAN'T...the Bill for that would've bankrupted the Treasury by 1977.

To get on Medicaid, retirees had to divet themselves of their homes and savings WITHIN 3 years UNTIL 2005.

That "Lookback period" was changed to 5 years in 2005.

There's ONLY one way for ANYONE to avoid Medicaid as "the insurer of last resort" and that is to purchase private long-term care insurance.

There is no plan and NO politician who supports "free long-term care for all."

I am actually convinced that the vast majority of Americans would revolt at the mere mention of such an inane idea.

The current $10 TRILLION Debt is unsustainable. We are NOT going to add an estimated $34 TRILLION to that in long-term care costs alone...we ARE going to CUT healthcare costs on ALL "public options" - Medicare, Medicaid and any coming "public options."

I simply don't see anyone clamoring for "free long-term care" or even "MORE and BETTER healthcare for ALL Americans for FREE."

Can I honestly ask the question, "Why, and more to the point, HOW could anyone support such a disastrous boondoggle?"

It's not that America "won't come up with the $$$$, it's that it CAN'T."

I remain completely unconvinced that "the majority of Americans cannot afford long-term care and catastrophic insurance."

I believe that many Americans may not want to, but NOT that "they can't."

it'sme said...

Here's an idea...why not just use the very generous retirement income my parents get and give the nurisng home now, after they get to pay for their Medicare and Blue Cross which they are required to keep up themselves. That would give the nursing home approximately $2,000 a month more than they get from the Welfare monthly fees the facility gets for all those other Welfare receipients. Why not do this?

You understand, don't you, that my parents get no help from this state because their retirment income far exceeds the formula.

So they got to drain their life savings and they also give their retirment income (as it should be) because the majority in that home did not save any $$$, do not have anything but SS for retirement, and are already on Welfare.

That cannot be okay with you!!!!

And all because they got caught right in the cross-fire of the Cheney/Gregg DRA that took away they right to the contracts they had signed previously to protect their disabled grandson...looked back at for 60 months....Welfare formulas take away your right to contract with anyone you want....

And I know that you cannot think this is okay.

Wonder what you would think if their long-term-care policy refused to pay for part of the nursing home because of some small paragraph stating that you cannot have that policy pay for any home bound care.

This happens over and over again...because the policy writers have to be wily enough to make a profit....

Read your policies everyone!!! Beware....

Thank you Cheney/Gregg! Brilliant piece of legislation! How proud you must be to throw this elderly WWII Disabled couple under your bus.

You picked a captive audience in these elderly citizens...not too many complaints will surface.

This cannot be okay with you.

You're next!!!!

it'sme said...

It's not that America "won't come up with the $$$$, it's that it CAN'T." JMK said.

And who knows that better than my parents? They were required to reduce that deficit with their life savings, and still with their retirement income, keep up their insurance policies, private ones and the Medicare they pay for out of pocket....to offset the Welfare receipients in that nursing home who do not or cannot do as much as them...

and this also includes those in there who thought their long-term-care policies had them covered...and found out otherwise...so again...my parents are paying, paying, paying...for the debt, debt, debt....

and these elderly don't have the capacity to complain anymore...a point that was not lost on Cheney/Gregg....mark my words....

And that cannot be okay with you...especially if you are next....

JMK said...

The problem it’sme is NOT government stiginess NOR “greed” on the parts of doctors and nursing homes.

Nursing home care costs from $10,000/month and up.

That’s why ALL working people HAVE TO get catastrophic and long-term care insurance...it’s a necessity.

Long-term care and Catastrophic insurance is NOT “Medigap” insurance...it’s private insurance policy that runs a couple hundred dollars per month, so long as you get it before you’re 60.

Medicaid is NOT a “senior care” program, it’s an anti-poverty program for the destitute. When a middle class person comes to need nursing home care late in life and DOES NOT have private long-term care insurance, they’re stuck with ONE OPTION – MEDICAID.

And with Medicaid comes all kinds of “means tests,” which means; (1) you cannot own a home within 5 years of application, (2) you cannot have had significant savings within 5 years of application and (3) if you do get a pension, or some other retirement compensation, a large chunk of that will go toward your own care and upkeep.

You seem to be arguing, “People who’ve done nothing but wallow in their own poverty are getting their nursing home care for FREE, while my parents who’ve worked hard their whole lives and saved up for their family, have had all their savings, etc. taken from them to help pay for their upkeep, why shouldn’t they get their care for FREE too?”

That’s the WRONG argument.

A better one, would be, “Why are we not simply warehousing the poor, who’ve been on Medicaid their whole lives into public nursing homes, where care is not as good as the one people like your parent would get in?”

Asking, WHY does a person, who’s worked hard his/her life and accrued a home and savings, have to have all that taken away should they come to need Medicaid later in life, is really a silly question.

A person, who owns a home, has a pension and some significant savings is generally NOT eligible for Medicaid, even if their upkeep costs swamp their pension, savings and the value of their house...Medicaid was NOT designed for such people!

To become eligible for Medicaid, such a person must meet the eligibility requirements, which means if they had a home, savings and a pension up to 3 years before they applied, they lost all of that, to the state, in order to (1) meet the program’s eligibility requirements and (2) contribute to their own very costly upkeep.

Almost NO ONE, who suddenly comes to need nursing home or long-term care beat the previous 3 year Lookback period, now that period was extended to 5 years...that wasn’t going to make much of a difference to most people...if you didn’t divest yourself of your home and savings within five years, it’s highly doubtful you’d have done that within three years either.

The lessons here are (1) Medicaid is NOT a program for seniors and (2) EVERYONE NEEDS some kind of long-term or catastrophic care insurance.

Going forward, the rules surrounding Medicaid aren’t going to loosen, they’re going to get even stricter because we DON’T have the money to pay for the Baby Boomer’s long term care...yes, if you want to look at it cynically, we DID give that $$$ away to “the chronically unemployable poor” and the illegal immigrants.

It’s astounding really, just how generous we can all be UNTIL we realize that what we’re giving away really IS ultimately coming out of our own pockets, usually when WE need it the most.

Sadly, that’s how government works...or “doesn’t work,” depending on one’s perspective.


And yes, Linda, this really IS some discussion, thanks mainly to it'sme and yourself, although the issue will, without question, effect all of us at some point.

it'sme said...

JMK: you haven't been listening to me. I want my parents to pay for their long-term care. They do pay for their long-term care with no help from the state Welfare program because their retirment is so high. They are required to contined to pay for Medicare out of pocket and Blue Shield out of pocket, too.

What part of me saying that over and over was not clear?

This is as it should be.

However, because of the DRA's timing they lost their savings to the nursing home (which the home needs to offset all those on welfare already) and then they still get no help from Welfare because their retirment income is so high. And because of this, every eight or nine months my parents get to pay the Private Pay amount of $9,300 for a month of care for one of them. So they are still paying out of pocket a total of 65,593.00 a year for their long term care by themselves, because that's their retirment income. And that's as it should be.

But they had to spend down the life savings before welfare determined that they would get no help from the state, and never will.

And that cannot be okay with you.

Why did the DRA require the life savings to go also? Because so many in the home are on welfare already, and only get Social Security as income...or their long-term-catastrophic policy was worthless when it should have kick in...because the private policy wrote in so many loopholes...

And that's how the game is played; those are the rules.

At least give my parents back their savings that went to the residents who thought they had long-term care private coverage, but were duped. My parents are picking up the tab for them, too.

Read that policy you are counting on so very much!!! Not just for yourself, but for the roommate you may have in the home who will be paying your way there, too, when the fine print zaps you; like the rules did to my parents...

I assume that would embarass you completely! It would outrage your roommate. :)

Thank you Cheney/Gregg! Outstanding work!

JMK said...

I don't think you're understanding me here, it's me. I'm NOT saying anything is OK or not, what I'm saying is that there IS a way to avoid what hapned to your parents and that's by taking out a Long-Term Care/Catstrophic Health policy before one retires.

Otherwise, to become eligible for any Medicaid assistance, the state will draw down your assetts and attach your income (ie. any pension amounts) in order to meet their "eligibility requirements."

The 2005 DRA is NOT responsible for that process. That process ALWAYS existed. Before 2005, the Lookback period was 3 years...and they STILL drew down a retired middle class person's assets and pension to meet eligibiliy requirements. ALL that the 2005 DRA did was to extend a Lookback period, it DID NOT change any Medicaid policies or rquirements. In 1978 you could not be eligible for Medicaid assistance while owning a home, getting a pension or holding substantial savings.

I just don't want anyone to mistakenly think that the 2005 DRA changed ANY Medicaid policy or eligibility requirements, as it merely changed a "Lookback period" from 3 years to 5 years...MEANING that instead of having to have sold your house and divested/gifted your savings 3 years earlier, AFTER that date, you had to have done those things 5 years before applying for Medicaid.

The vast majority of Americans who aren't insured were unaware and caught by the 3 year "Lookback," the 5 year period merely extended that a few months.

it'sme said...

I really don't think you are listening to me. That's okay. Apparently it doesn't suit your purposes here.

The crap shoot of Long-term-care catastrophic insurance is not the answer to this problem. Like I said to you, your roommate in the home will be very angry at you when his life savings is paying your way, too, because you LTC policy duped you into thinking you were covered.

The insurance policy writers' goals are to make a profit off you. End of story.

Again, I will assume you would be completely embarassed if this should happen, especially because you played by those rules you love to bring up.

Hopefully, you will see that this is why I am outraged by what happened to my parents...and because they cannot be outraged for themselves anymore.

Wake up. You are defending the rules written by profiteers and Cheney/Gregg.

That should send a chill down your spine.

And apparently you think what happened here is okay.

Let's get Cheney and Gregg on T.V. to defend themselves on the air. I would love to tune in to that one.

The DRA removes elders rights in more ways that just the damage done by the extended look back period. Wake up.

it'sme said...

Just sent the nursing home another $6,000, after paying for the Medicare and Blue Cross premium they are still responsible for keeping up.

Welfare does not have to supplement this payment from my parents, nor should they. This is as it should be. But to get to this place they had to drain off their life savings to the home, only to pay for those there already only getting Social Security retirment and already on Welfare.

This cannot be okay with you.

it'sme said...

it'sme said...
This means that there would be a Medicare-like system that everyone can choose...or not...that will also include long term care...

Just like buying a private policy for medical care and long-term care...or not...

it's not that complicated.

it'sme said...

JMK SAID:

Look, there's no way (nor any reason) to seek to stop the rich from getting MORE and BETTER healthcare....just as they have access to and get more of the best of EVERYTHING (food, clothing, car, legal and financial advice)....simply put, the rich EVERYWHERE can afford the best of everything. They can afford to opt out and pay for their own healthcare OUTSIDE the restrictions of any given system JMK SAID

JMK said...

A Medicare-styled program that'll cover everyone as a "public option" is NOT on the table.

While Nancy Pelosi seems to support that, as does Harry Reid and the late Ted Kennedy (thankfully, he won't be voting this time around), the White House/President Obama DOES NOT.

The WH (that's Barack Obama, his Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel, etc.) seem to OPPOSE THAT.

The Senate Bill WILL NOT have a "public option," the House Bill probably will, but there will be no Bill passed with such a "public option."

Barack Obama told everyone very recently what he wants - to CUT some $500 BILLION from Medicare and Medicaid. The WH says in "fraud and abuse and double-billing," but there isn't nearly that much of any of that...so, the WH plans on rationing and restricting care on the existing "public options," NOT extending more care to more people.

All I've said is that I favor rationing and restricting, so long as I and others like me, have the option of purchasing insurance that will allow us to circumvent that rationing and restrictions.

The "profiteers" (as you call them) in the private sector, are solely responsible for ALL federal, state and Municipal JOBS.

Without those private sector profits, there wouldn't be enough revenues in the coffers of the feds, the individual states OR the local Municipalities to hire all those "public sector" employees.

We NEED to get more Americans back to work...and that means unbridling and de-regulating the private sector and getting the government out of the economy, as much as is humanly possible.

Newt Gingrich slashed the federal budget back in 1995 and Bill Clinton TEMPORARILY opposed that...then jumped on board the Gingrich-train.....and the vast majority of Americans cheerd and the nation's Misery Index in 1998 (AFTER those cuts, was the LOWEST in 4 decades).

Did any federal employees scream about those cuts?

If they did how come I didn't hear them?

Seem too rational to believe that more government is a good thing, so I continue to believe that, like me, you support slashing the federal budget to grow the PRIVATE SECTOR in order to create more jobs and more opportunities for people like you and I.

it'sme said...

You are not listening, but that is not a surprise.

Too bad.

it'sme said...

Again, here is the point I am making. If Cheney/Gregg were so willing to throw an elderly WWII Disabled Vet couple, 91 and 88-years-old, under the bus when they realized that this elderly generation's life savings would be inherited tax-free if under $1M...and even though they medically insured themsevles their whole lives and continue to do so, out of pocket...and their retirment income is such that no Welfare $$$ will ever be spent in their behalf...than you better watch your backs America...

That's what they did and still are doing...My parents are being taxed x 4 because they saved some $$ in their lifetime and never had, nor will have their hand out...Welfare...

And that cannot be okay with all you workingclass conservatives...no matter how much you try to defend this.....

and perhaps Sen. McCain believes this, too. I would love to hear from him on this.

Too bad he didn't ditch the GOP.

JMK said...

Your presumption it’sme, that the 2005 DRA somehow changed the parameters of Medicaid is wrong.

It DID NOT.

The government has ALWAYS confiscated the holdings (homes, pension incomes and SAVINGS) of ALL middle class/working people who later in life sought out Medicaid, which is a “means-tested” (based on income and assets) for the POOR. That's been done since the inception of that program.

Ironically enough, Dick Cheney has gone on record, numerous times, as OPPOSING any tightening of the restrictions for such programs, while most Liberal Democrats SUPPORT tightening those restrictions even further...a rare case, in which I AGREE with the likes of Schumer and Pelosi.

My own Senator, Charles Schumer has said, “Those on our anti-poverty programs SHOULD be poor BEFORE they get any assistance and it’s government’s job to make sure that everyone who applies for such programs meets the poverty requirements.”

The “Lookback period” did NOT appreciably increase the number of seniors who were forced to have their assets liquidated by the government.

How many people had gifted their savings and their homes 3 years BEFORE applying to Medicaid (as required before the 2005 DRA) but just got caught in the extra 2-year extension of that period?

I’d say that number is negligible (significantly less than 1%).

Working and Middle-class people SHOULD all have their own catastrophic health/long-term care policies, which ARE NOT, the “same” as Medi-gap insurance.

A vital part of living in a “free” society is that we are responsible for taking care of ourselves...and things like having the right amount of life insurance, catastrophic/long-term care insurance, etc. is part of that responsibility.

It is OK for government to seize the assets (homes, pension incomes and SAVINGS) of all those hard-working, middle class Americans who later come to need Medicaid (as the costs of their care far outweighs their combined asset’s value) in return for access to various “anti-poverty programs.”

People who don’t plan for such eventualities, by purchasing catastrophic/long-term care policies, do so at their own risk, as the consequences for NOT doing that are dire.

So far as I'm aware - and I know dozens of people of my Mom's (still alive) and my late father's generation, who've had catastrophic/long-term care insurance - NONE of those people have had to rely on Medicaid for any of their long-term care needs.

Generally, those who don’t plan in advance by purchasing long-term care policies, also don’t plan ahead to avoid the previous THREE-YEAR “lookback,” let alone the current FIVE-YEAR period.

So claims that such people got caught in the extended "Lookback period" are generally bogus.

Even YOU have not made a case for such a claim.

You acknowledge that your parents didn't have catastrophic/long-term care insurance, but HAD kept up with their own private health insurance, including Medi-gap (that's NOT catastrophic/long-term care insurance) and you don't claim that your OVER 3-years prior to applying for medicaid - as ORIGINALLY required PRE-2005.

Since,you haven't claimed that your parents had (1) sold their home, (2) gifted their savings and re-allocated their pension income THREE YEARS prior to applying to Medicaid, I'm assuming they DID NOT do those things.

In that case, the original THREE-YEAR "Lookback" period would've had the government confiscate all their assets prior to their being eligible for Medicaid assistance.

I feel bad about that outcome, but I DON'T see any injustice there and I certainly DON'T any case you've made about the 2005 DRA adversely impacting people like your parents.

For the 2005 DRA to have impacted them, they would have HAD TO already have gifted their SAVINGS, sold their home and re-allocated their pension income to avoid those things being attached/confiscated by the government under the ORIGINAL Medicaid rules!

If you disagree with that, prove me wrong....

JMK said...

TYPO: You acknowledge that your parents didn't have catastrophic/long-term care insurance, but HAD kept up with their own private health insurance, including Medi-gap (that's NOT catastrophic/long-term-care insurance) and you don't claim that your parents either gifted their savings, sold their home and re-allocated their pension income OVER 3-years prior to applying for medicaid - as ORIGINALLY required PRE-2005.

Yes, there are ways to avoid government confiscation of assets and it's NOT merely a matter of "knowing how to play the game." HOWEVER, as in the overall "game of life," we are EACH, individually reponsible for knowing the rules of that game.

it'sme said...

You haven't listened to anything I have said.

No surprise.

If you read their particular story, and not keep reiterating "the rules" over and over again, you will see that this couple, as many, many others, got caught right in the middle of the extended lookback period, right as they needed long-term care. They had protected themselves three years previously and appropriately with the guidance of a Elder Care Attorney...like you say, played by the rules...but the rules changed midstream on them. And the extended lookback disqualified their contracts and Trusts put in place.


They had their directives in place and they were "playing by the rules" and they had done everything right...when this occurred.

They became sitting ducks anyway. Just like those who think their LTC policy covers the nurisng home without a hitch.

They should not have had to lose their life savings to the nursing home. They should have been able to do exactly what they are doing right now.

They pay for the nursing home with their retirement, social security and VA pension, as it should be. They are required to pay for their Medicare out of pocket and their private insurance policy. As it should be.

Because this retirement income is so high, Welfare does not and never will have to pick up any of their long-term costs. As it should be.

As a matter of fact, because of the large amount of retirment income this couple brings in to the nursing home, they have to pay the home the Private Pay Fee every nine months, $9,300; then the retirment incomes start up again. It's called over/under.

So, again, they really are paying for all the others in the home with their savings and their additional $$$ every nine months...all the results of their hard work and diligence throughout their life.

Welfare will never give them a dime, nor should it. But I think they should have been able to let their disabled grandson have his inheritance, and I believe they should not have to ante up more every nine months.

All of this extra from this one couple is because of those already in the home who are on Social Security and Welfare only, or who found out that their Long-Term-Catastrophic Coverage was disqualified/voided (as so many have had happen to them).

It's called fee sharing and the nursing home reps got whip lash trying to reach my parents quickly enough to sell their wares to my parents; every one within a 15 mile radius of them. Like vultures.

Wake up.

This was the results of the Cheney/Gregg DRA. Wonder how the Disabled Vets from all the subsequent wars will be treated?

Hopefully they will not be too old when they get raked over the coals to complain to the media, like my parents are.

Serve your country honorably. And for what? To be treated like a vehicle to reduce the deficit the politicians created when you are elderly.

Shame on Cheney/Gregg.

Wake up working-class conservatives!!!!

You apparently think this is okay and it should remain so.

When it happens to you, (and I hope it does not) you will be appropriately quiet, I hope, when someone tells you that you were duped by the Catastrophic Insurance Policy you thought was your saving grace.

Thank your roommate in the home who will be paying your way, too, with the fee sharing he is required to perform...like my parents are doing right now.

it'sme said...

How many people had gifted their savings and their homes 3 years BEFORE applying to Medicaid (as required before the 2005 DRA) but just got caught in the extra 2-year extension of that period?

I’d say that number is negligible (significantly less than 1%).

Working and Middle-class people SHOULD all have their own catastrophic health/long-term care policies, which ARE NOT, the “same” as Medi-gap insurance. JMK SAID


This is exactly what happened to my parents.

And they are picking up the pieces for those with catastrophic/long-term care policies that were negated for the many reasons they have written in the fine print...in that home.

You are counting on Profiteering Insurance Policies! Wake up!
Of course, you might be an insurance salesman..so that would explain your love for these policies.

JMK said...

As I said, it'sme I feel very bad for what happened to your parents.

Apparently, they were among the very few who got caught in that extended “lookback period.”

Still, the truth is that had they had a long-term care insurance policy in effect, they wouldn’t have had to rely on Medicaid at all.

While I don’t sell insurance, I am obviously a very big believer in it.

I have myself insured for a million dollars to protect my wife, in case I die earlier and my pension dies with me. I also have both catastrophic and long-term care insurance policies, homeowners insurance and, of course auto insurance.

Personally, I can’t understand why anyone would revile the insurance industry.

It’s like people who revile investors...most of them simply don’t understand what investors do and how valuable, in fact NEEDED, they are.

Investors, put their own money at increased risk, in order to reap relatively large profits, and in the process, they help build businesses that hire lots and lots of ordinary people.

I took an interest in investing about two decades ago and have been learning ever since. One investment I’ve made religiously, over the last decade or so, has been to buy unleaded gasoline futures in mid to late February, ahead of the March 1st switch to the “summer blends.” Then I hold those contracts until Mid to late May, the start of “peak driving season” and sell them off.

EVERY year, those futures are relatively cheap in February and relatively expensive by May...and you CAN leverage $50,000 worth of contracts for around $5,000 and you can get returns of $9,000 to $12,000 for every 10-cent rise in the price of gasoline. Those years when the February price differs by more than $1 from the May price are VERY good years for those who make this particular investment.

Recently, some misguided souls have erroneously claimed that that kind of investment is “speculating” and "that kind of speculation is what often leads to the skyrocketing price of gasoline."

Well, FIRST of ALL, it is NOT “speculating,” it is merely investing in a particular commodity, in this case, unleaded gasoline, with the expectation that the government mandated “summer blends,” which vary from state to state, will significantly increase the price of that commodity, which is a very reasonable, even prescient expectation. And SECOND, while people like myself DO profit from that subsequent increase in the price of gasoline, we do absolutely NOTHING to cause that increase.

That increase is caused by a variety of factors, including the government’ short-sighted, even bafoonish behavior, increased demand, amidst a declining supply (also largely due to this government’s banning the harvesting on the BILLIONS of barrels of oil off its own shores and under the Bakken Ridge, among other locales, and the REAL speculation by major investment banks (ie. Goldman Sachs, the now defunct Merril, etc.).
Here’s the problem it’sme, liberal Democrats impotently promise people like yourself protection from people like myself, but in reality, you need no protection from such people. I mean no one else any harm and I would gladly try and show anyone interested what I’ve learned...in short, I could actually do more to help make other’s lives more prosperous and enjoyable than virtually ANYONE in government, and yet they make people like me out to be some kind of “bad guy.”

And as much as you claim I haven’t listened to you (I HAVE and have consistently responded to all your points, even though you apparently don’t like my responses) YOU, ironically enough, have NEVER addressed ANY of my challenges to you, most notably that the DRA DID NOT change the government’s confiscation policy (that existed from DAY ONE), but merely extended the lookback period from 3 years to 5 years...

Th CONFISCATION of ASSETS provision was built into that program from DAY ONE.

Am I right or am I right?

it'sme said...

JMK SAID: Still, the truth is that had they had a long-term care insurance policy in effect, they wouldn’t have had to rely on Medicaid at all. JMK SAID

**********************************
You still are not listening.

They do not rely on Welfare, and never will. As I have told you, their retirement income is so high that Welfare will not and should not pick up any of their expenses for long-term-care; as it should be!

Again, they are also paying (with this very generious retirment income they actually worked their whole lives for), for the resident in the next room who chose to pay out long-term-care premiums for himself. Unfortunately the policy was written by Louie Loophole-make-a-profit.

So, as I have said numerous times, my parent's generous retirment income gives an additional $9,300 every nine months to the home (remember how many times I have said this)...to offset the hapless gentleman in the next room who thought his catastrophic LTC policy was air tight.

Again, this totals $65,593.00 + $9,300 additional every nine months....

Cheney/Gregg helped themselves to this elderly WWII Disabled Vet couple's savings to offset the debt they let happen. That's the ugly truth.

Wouldn't it have been more equitable to just let them pay the nursing home the very generous retirement income they now get from my parents, that does not drain the Welfare system of one penny but, in fact, overpays to the extent that they get to pay an additional $300x30 every nine months. This goes directly to the deficit created by the gentleman in the next room whose Catastrophic LTC policy loopholed him out of any benefits.

Wake up Working-Class Conservatives! You're next!

This is happening all over the country.

These elderly in these situations have lost the capacity to complain for themselves at this point in their long lives; a detail that Cheney/Gregg counted on.

Can't wait for the TV interview they should air nationally, to ask these two pieces of work to explain themselves.

Isn't transparency wonderful!

JMK said...

Welfare?

Who mentioned welfare???

Here’s the deal Medicaid is and ALWAYS WAS a “means tested” (meaning you weren’t eligible if your income was above a specific, low level, if you owned a home OR had significant savings.

Charles Schumer summed the sentiments of most Democrats and probably, most Americans, when he said, in effect, “For those who apply to programs like Medicaid, if they’re NOT already POOR (by the government’s definition), we’ll make them poor (via confiscation).”

That’s the Democrat’s position, AND, as I said, it’s one of the few areas of agreement I have with people like Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Your complaint is that your parents had transferred their savings, their home, etc. three years prior to applying to Medicaid, when the 2005 DRA extended the Lookback period to five years.

Unfortunate? YES.

Unjust? No.

The government sets the rules for things like Medicaid and Medicare, etc. Those rules CAN be changed without notice.

Further there is NO healthcare program WITH LONG-TERM CARE covered.

I consider your NOT having refuted that assertion from me, as proof that even YOU acknowledge that as TRUE.

NO currently considered healthcare plan offers long-term care coverage, NONE. In FACT, the Democrat’s current plan intends “to pay for their universal healthcare with over $500 BILLION in CUTS FROM both Medicaid and Medicare.”

Those CUTS mean REDUCTIONS in services and help for all those already on those “public options.”

The FACT of the matter is, sadly, that $500 BILLION is not nearly enough to pay for a program that’ll cost over $1.6 TRILLION over that same period!

Your real complaint is with the existence of those programs at all.

Medicaid, like most government programs has been a scam from the start, but you erroneously blame those brave souls who’ve sought to cut this nation’s deficit (the 2005 DRA halved the DEFICIT through mid-2007).

That’s not to say that the Keynesian (big-government) Bush administration was any bargain. Saddled with two wars, it choose to spend more on reckless, irresponsible social spending than even LBJ had!

The Bush administration inherited a 5.3 TRILLION deficit and expanded that to over $9 Trillion in eight years.

That was horrific!

But we’re moving in exactly the WRONG direction now. The current administration has quadrupled the DEFICIT in less than a year and is on pace to increase the national debt more than every U.S. President from Washington thru G W Bush COMBINED!

What that debt is going to do is pressurize interest rates UPWARD (I expect a 25%+ Prime Lending rate within five years, and as close as two). That “end of cheap money” will pressurize inflation upward (certainly OVER 10% not too long down the road) and with interest and the inflation rates skyrocketing, unemployment will only rise, especially as revenues FALL and federal, state and local government employees, from cops, to teachers, to firefighters, to social workers all face massive layoffs.

Simply put, the worst is yet to come and there’s no one I’ll find credible who’ll refute that.

So, THAT’S why there isn’t a single healthcare plan being offered that seeks to cover long-term care.

I’m afraid it’s you who needs to WAKE UP.

Forget our long-term health, our economy was put off track and onto a disastrous big-government Keynesian path by the G W Bush administration and that has only been accelerated by the current administration.

What we need is LESS government, LOWER taxes and, with the help of God, a better, stronger nation.

JMK said...

CORRECTION: Here’s the deal - Medicaid is and ALWAYS WAS a “means tested” (meaning you weren’t eligible if your income was above a specific, low level, if you owned a home OR had significant savings you were ineligible) anti-poverty program.

it'sme said...

JMK SAID:
Your complaint is that your parents had transferred their savings, their home, etc. three years prior to applying to Medicaid, when the 2005 DRA extended the Lookback period to five years.
JMK SAID
***********************************

My "complaint" is, again, my parents retirement income is so high that Medicaid will never have to supplement them for any amount of long-term care they receive.

They also get the privilege of having their trusts and contracts that were drawn up three years prior to the long-term-care admission (my mother was first) ruled as totally disqualifying because they were caught right in extended look back period change over.

My father was still in the community at that time. It didn't matter. All the trusts and contacts drawn up in her name and the ones in his name only (even though he was in an apartment still) were deemed void and those $$$ had to be paid to the nurisng home at the Private Pay level, $300per day each. That's how they lost their life savings.

He went downhill very fast after my Mom had to be admitted. I spent many nights on his sofa to make sure he would be okay. But unfortunately he had to follow into the home four months later.

I object that he had protected his life savings appropriately, only to have all that preparation be worthless. The trusts and contracts were voided and went to the home at the Private Pay Level $600/day for this couple. The trusts that were in his name only were also counted towards her. It didn't matter that he was not in the home yet. They have the right to take it all, no matteer whose name it is in, for a married couple. Did you know that? The right to make a contract gets taken away in this situation. Thank you DRA/Cheney/Gregg.

When that savings was drained away in the fee-sharing model that nonprofit nursing homes get to function under, Medicaid was applied for.

Again....here goes....the retirment income of this couple is so high that Medicaid does not "have" to contribute anything in their behalf, nor will it every have to....as it should be.

In addition to this, the difference between what they get from my parent's retirement income and the Medicaid daily rate is calculated and when that difference reaches a one-month Private Pay Rate ($9,300) they have to pay that Private Pay amount for one month's stay. This happens for them every nine months....

They are at this very moment paying for the gentleman in the next room who didn't save up as much $$$ but purchased a Catastrophic LTC policy that refused to pay the home (that wily fine print)...whose retirment income is so low that Medicaid has to make up the difference. He technically is not costing the taxpayers any money through Medicaid, because my parents are making up his difference.

That is why these nonprofit nursing homes love the likes of my parents.

They only have to give services to three people in there and still get the $$$$ equivalent of four residents.

And what happened to this elderly WWII Disabled Vet couple with two Purple Crosses and one burial flag...cannot be okay with you...

No one live by the rules more than they did.

Do not tell me not to complain. I will complain in their behalf because they cannot do it for themselves anymore.

And if you were me, you would be doing the same...I assume.

You wouldn't tell your 91 and 88-year-old parents, "Too bad you didn't follow the rules."

They chose not to buy the Catastrophic LTC policy because it was so flawed and convoluted.

Too bad their next-door neighbor in the home got "you know what" by his CLTC policy. Maybe you will, too. You seen entirely too confident in Louie Loop-hole-policy-maker.

Wake up. Perhaps my parents will be paying you way, too.

You can send a thank you note for their unknowing generosity to you directly to Cheney/Gregg.

They are the masters of reducing the deficit off the backs of WWII Disabled Veterans and their families....

This cannot be okay with you.

JMK said...

There are two separate and distinct issues within your complaint it'sme.

The first is the government's using your parent's retirement income to pay for nursing home care...BUT even WITH long-term care insurance, often (ie. most of the time) those policies only protect the amount of the cost of the initial care from confiscation.

That means, a person with, say $400,000 in savings, will have only the $90,000 to $110,000 of the care protected, leaving the rest exposed...UNLESS they can beat the 5-year Lookback period for transferring their assets.

Anyone with a home valued at $500,000 or more is INELIGIBLE for Medicaid assistance.

As I said, that's very UNFORTUNATE, but government can and often DOES change the rules on such programs overnight.

Your secondary complaint that your parents had done everything right under the existing laws and were caught under the extended Lookback...is again VERY UNFORTUNATE, but the government can and DOES change the eligibility requirements of all such programs at will. It has done that both positively and negatively with food stamps, unemployment insurance, etc.

I don't know what you mean by "OK."

The government has the right to change the parameters or even cancel programs as it sees fit.

So, while what happened to your parents is terrible and unfortunate, it is NOT unjust or illicit.

What I don't understand is how you can agree that the Democrats have NOT offered a single Bill that would cover long-term care (they haven't...and your not refuting that seems to indicate agreement on your part), while they HAVE offered a plan that promises to CUT $500 BILLION from Medicare and Medicaid! (again, if you CAN, please, prove me wrong)

Why is a small extension of the Medicaid Lookback period, sponsored by the GOP an outrage to you, while the Democrats seeking to CUT, perhaps GUT healthcare for those on Medicaid and Medicare not big deal?

Did you know that the entire 1200 page Congressional healthcare Bill has been written by various lobbyists?

It has been.

Would that have happened had he GOP been in power as well?

Without question.....we HAVE to CUT healthcare costs and that means CUTIING access (rationing and restricting)....I'd bet the GOP is smiling right now. They get to blame and bash the Democrats for any and all failures of the coming system AND reap the bountious political benefits. I bet the lobbyists are smiling too, as it's a LOT easier to get draconian Bills like this passed with a Democratic Congress, rather than with a Republican one....the MSM is never on-board with any Republican Bills.

To his cedit, Obama's STATED purpose for pushing healthcare reform has NOT been to INCREASE access and IMPROVE patient care, BUT instead to SAVE MONEY by CUTIING COSTS via rationing and restricting access to those on any "public options."

it'sme said...

I, again, am saying that the Cheney/Gregg DRA's extended look-back period purposely targeted these hapless elderly WWII Disabeled Vets and their families to reduce the deficit. When I say hapless, I mean the likes of my parents who had their assets in Trusts and in all the other vehicles that had a sembalance of sanity to their particular situation, (not a CLTCP written by Louis Loophole) lawfully appropriate to protect those assets they had worked hard for their whole lives totalling over $2,000.

Cheney/Gregg targeted these elderly WWII Disabled Vets knowingly. They saw that they were dwindling in numbers very fast and that those accumulated assets would be inheritated "Tax Free" if under 1M.

And to be clear, I really don't particularly care what political party these two pieces of work were members of.

They threw the likes of my parents under their Deficit-Reducing bus. And as my father would have said (if he could), " And they had a captive audience."

So you don't think this is unjust. That is your right to say so.

I think it is unjust that this was the plan by those two pieces of work, who just happened to be Republicians.

My parents reduced the deficit with their life savings that would have gone to their grandsons, untaxed.

That was their (Cheney/Gregg) targeted $$$$, pure and simple.

And in addition....again...my parents are not receiving any $$$ from Medicaid. They are paying to the home their over-generous retirment income (they earned), as it should be!

But because of the generous amount this earned retirment income is, they have to pay an "extra" $9,300 every nine months.

So their life savings and their retirment income makes them a very attractive target to reduce the deficit, don't you thing?

You call that unfortunate. I call that unjust.

And again...my parents are, in fact, picking up the shortfall created by the gentleman in the next room who had a CLTCP ripped out from under him by Louie Loophole-profiteer-policy-writer.

You would call that unfortunate, too, I suppose. If a Democrate had done this to you you would say it was unjust.

I call it unjust. The VA should call it unjust. Why don't they speak up?!!! Perhaps they will have the courage to right this wrong done to these elderly WWII Disalbed Vets who have been "sitting ducks" in Cheney/Gregg's very small pond.

The debate will not stop. The important issues will be ferreted out. The VA will clean up their act, especially now...hopefully.

Perhaps you will help this particular injustice to be turned around by exposing it further; stop saying it is just "unfortunate."

My parents right to draw up contracts and to create Trusts was taken away from them...only to tap into their live savings to reduce the deficit. I call that unjust. They cannot complain anymore, rememeber. Convenient? I think so.

Perhaps the families of these elderly Vets will hold a rally and invite Gregg to explain himself...live...on the air...for all to see.....

I have asked Sen. Snowe to think about my parents plight at the hand of Gregg/Cheney. I am watching what she is doing.

Perhaps she will have enough embarassment to spread over to that piece of work in her neighboring state, and have the courage to say, "You, Mr. Gregg, were misguided when you took away these elderly citizen's right to make a contract or a Trust...only to reduce the deficit off their elderly backs, disproportionately, to other citizens."

it'sme said...

Continued....

Maybe the VA will be asking her to expose Gregg, too. I believe they need to stand up much stronger for Vets who have served/are serving this country honorably.

Did Gregg serve in the military? I'll have to look that up.

You should be as outraged as I am. If not for the elderly in the same boat as my parents but for yourself because you will be next.

Shine your flashlight on all the cockroaches, even the situations you chose label "unfortunate" because it hasn't hurt you yet.

Wake up. The Cheney/Gregg-type policies will steamroll over you, too. They couldn't care less about you either.

Unfortuante?

Outrageous!

JMK said...

I understand and sympathize with your parent’s plight, which is, bottom-line, really all about you – that they weren’t able to leave you their savings...and I agree that that shouldn’t have happened.

But a simple clause that would’ve had that new Lookback period go into effect two years AFTER the Bill passed, so as to have grandfathered in such people caught on the bubble your parents got caught on, would’ve been more than sufficient to have spared the couple thousand (if that) people caught like that.

BUT, as I’ve made clear in EVERY ONE of my postings your parent’s plight has nothing to do with the current healthcare debate!

There is NO plan being considered that would offer government paid long-term care.

The current Democrat plan DOES NOT look to extend ANY MORE benefits to today’s seniors, instead it looks to CUT over $500 BILLION FROM Medicare and Medicaid to pay for basic care for those uninsured.

Unless I miss you guess, you actually agree with me that we (1) CANNOT afford to offer “free”/government-funded long-term care to our seniors and (2) do not need to.

I think you also agree with me that some sort of healthcare reform, and probably some kind of “public option” (no matter how “watered down”) will be offered AND that that is a GOOD thing, if only to make our businesses more profitable by getting them “out from under the tremendous burden of paying for their employee’s healthcare.

I believe we also agree that healthcare costs in the USA MUST BE CUT, or they’ll literally bankrupt this nation.

Come on, let’s stay focused on those points on which we DO agree, which, I believe, is most points on the actual healthcare debate.

To my knowledge, no one is offering any kind of government paid for long-term and I don’t believe any significant number of Americans are calling for such a boondoggle.

The 2005 DRA and its extended Lookback period are NOT part of the current healthcare reform debate.

it'sme said...

JMK SAID: BUT, as I’ve made clear in EVERY ONE of my postings your parent’s plight has nothing to do with the current healthcare debate! JMK SAID
***********************************

My parent's plight is exactly why this debate is happening. You, perhaps, don't like what happened to them because it demonstrates the total and complete inequity of the system we are now in.

If I were you, I wouldn't want their example brought up for discussion either. You made my point for me...and I thank you for that.
***********************************
JMK SAID: That (a Medicare system that would include long-term care coverage) would be denying Americans choice. JMK SAID.
***********************************
I don't know what your statement above means.

Let me remind you that my parents had no choice but to pick up the tab for the hapless gentleman in the next room...who did make a choice to purchase CLTCI but, OMG, it didn't cover his long-term care at all.

Now my parents are "paying" for his "mistaken decision" also.

This has everything to do with the current health care debate. But I do understand why you would not want it to be included. I do understand why you would feel the need to make a statement that this is only about me. Actually, I expected this from you. Predictable.

That's is why it is good to have these opinions put out here.
*********************************
JMK SAID: Look, there's no way (nor any reason) to seek to stop the rich from getting MORE and BETTER healthcare....just as they have access to and get more of the best of EVERYTHING (food, clothing, car, legal and financial advice)....simply put, the rich EVERYWHERE can afford the best of everything. They can afford to opt out and pay for their own healthcare OUTSIDE the restrictions of any given system.
**********************************
I think your statement above says everything about you we all need to know.

This particular attitude is going the way of the dinosaur, never faster than when YOU become the man my parents are paying the long-term care for in the next room...with their retirement income and their life savings.

I assume you would send me (it's all about me, you say) a thank you note for the life savings you got from my parents because of your long-term care CHOICES, instead of it going to the trust for their disabled grandson.

So keep it up, please. It is truly revealing, especially the part where YOU have determined that this has nothing to do with the health-care-reform debate!

And, again, let's get Cheney and Gregg on TV to explain what their intensions were in the direct hit they took on these elderly WWII Disabled Vets and their families.

These elderly are going to be gone soon and will, therefore, not complain too much about the armed robbery they were subjected to...at the hands of Cheney/Gregg...to reduce the deficit...inequitably off their backs.

The government should have charged my father the $83,000 it cost them to produce the P-47 he was piloting and that crashed into the Coral Sea...in exchange for his long-term care costs.

It would have cost him 4 times less than it has so far, because my parents are, in fact, paying out of their pockets for themselves and for one other resident in the home.

So the nursing home gets to take care of only two people who have no choice but to pay for three, with the fee-sharing model the NONPROFIT runs.

When that third person is YOU, I assume you will be appropriately embarassed...or perhaps not...I can't tell...

(Cheney and Gregg, apparently, are not embarassed....)

because you have decided for all of us, apparently, that this is not part of the debate anyway......!

Convenient?

Self-serving?

I'm sure you will find a way to defend this, again, like you did here previously.

JMK said...

Your parent's plight demonstrates the failure of the CURRENT and existing "public option."

No "greedy doctors" or hospitals harmed your parents, the government simply changed the rules on an existing anti-poverty program (Medicaid) and your parents apparently got caught on a tiny bubble.

Did you know that the vast majority of Amricans support a lifelong "Lookback period," in other words, that those who apply for Medicaid not be allowed to transfer their homes, savings, etc., but instead be attached by the government to pay for such long-term care?

AND IF your parent's plight was impetus for the current healthcare debate, WHY do the Democrat's current plans NOT OFFER any kind of long-term care to seniors, INSTEAD it seeks to CUT over $500 BILLION from Medicare and Medicaid?

The current debate ISN'T over delivering MORE care for MORE people.....we can't afford that and given the mounting National Debt, believe we can all agree that such a goal simply isn't feasable.

The current Democratic healthcare plan looks to CUT aid to seniors already on Medicare and Medicaid in order to pay for a "universal" or expanded (not in services but in who is covered) "public option," that will be heavilly rationed and tightly restricted.

Worse yet, from your perspective and mine, is that the lobbyists have written the 1200 page House Bill!

Your parents weren't screwed by hospitals, doctors or the health insurers, they were screwed by the government.

This is NOT a difference in opinion.

Since you cannot back-up your opinion that it was the private sector and not government that screwed your parents, you can't rightly hold an opinion you can't defend.

Likewise, my own assertion that IT WAS government that screwed over people like your parents and NOT any doctors, hospitals, or insurers is backed up by the facts, so it's no mere "opinion," it's a fact.

As I said at the start of all this, the ONLY part of American healthcare that is failing today is the existing "public option," due entirely to government mismanagement and incompetence.

I understand where your coming from. Bitter over your parent's situation (and your own), you SUPPORT rationing and restricted care for anyeone on any "public option."

On that score, I reluctantly agree that some kind of severe rationing and restriction of care MUST BE implemented on ALL "public options." Otherwise, the healthcare costs of the next and much LARGER generation (the baby boomers) will bankrupt this country.

That IS, in a nutshell, the current healthcare debate.

it'sme said...

Great content, JMK...but the way transparency works is summed up with that old addage...

"Give someone enough rope..and they will hang themself."

Isn't transparency wonderful.

You purposely left out, apparently, this...

JMK SAID: Likewise, my own assertion that IT WAS government that screwed over people like your parents and NOT any doctors, hospitals, or insurers is backed up by the facts, so it's no mere "opinion," it's a fact. JMK SAID

...where you "forgot" that the Catastophic LTC Policy written by Louie Loophole for the gentleman in the next room screwed my parents over.

Why would you leave that part out?
I think I know why. Because you could be that hapless gentleman who got "taken" in by Louis Loophole-Policy-writer-profiteer.

When I asked you if that would possibly embarass you, you didn't give me an answer.

Why? Embarassment does silence all of us.

The family of that gentleman in the next room is embarassed and outraged! My elderly WWII Disabled Vet Dad is paying for their father's long-term-care with his lifetime of savings..that was meant for his disabled grandson.

You should be embarassed, too, for defending Louie Loophole.

I think you took enough rope...because I am getting silence from you on this very important fact in your rants.

Isn't transparency wonderful.

JMK said...

Insurance companies provide a necessary service that we ALL rely on.

They are rightfully in business for ONE reason - to make $$$. The money those insurance giants make provides tens of thousands of high paying jobs for many Americans.

I've carefully explained why your parent's plight has NOTHING to do with the current healthcare debate - HINT NO ONE is offering ANY plan that would provide seniors with government-funded long-term care.

To his credit, Barack Obama supports CUTTING Medicare and Medicaid. to pay for covering more people, including illegal immigrants.

Sorry, but neither side, neither Party gives even one whit about the fate of folks like your parents.

That's a shame, but should we "be embarassed to be Americans" because of that???

Simply put, NO.

it'sme said...

Red Shirt

If the red shirt thing is new to you, read below how it went for a man...
Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together.
After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home.
No, he responded.
Heading out I asked?
No. I'm escorting a soldier home.
Going to pick him up?
No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq , I'm taking him home to his family.
The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days.
I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, Thank you! Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.
Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign."
Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American.
So here's a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do.
Red Fridays.
Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority." We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.
Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -- and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that ... Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women a far, will wear something red.
By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.
The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is. "We need your support and your prayers." Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear something red every Friday.

"To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world."

it'sme said...

*********************************
I hope Sergeant Steely doesn't lose his life savings to the nursing home he may need when he's old and gray.

That's what Cheney/Gregg and Louie Loophole-long-term-care policy profiteer does/did to my elderly WWII Disabled Vet parents.

As you keep saying, "Those are the Cheney/Gregg Deficit Reduction Act rules, after all."

Maybe we should trade his service to this country for the cost of his possible long-term care.

Like I said, if my father was charged the $83,000 for the P-47 he crased into the Coral Sea, in exchange for his long-term care, it would have cost his 4 times less...to date.

How proud Cheney/Gregg must be for their clever piece of work...created by two pieces of work themselves.

Wasn't it reported that Cheney profits somehow from the war in Iraq.

We really need to get him in TV for an interview.

it'sme said...

My parent's retirement income should have/could have covered them from the beginning of their nursing home admissions.

Like I keep saying, they are required to keep paying out of that retirement income the premiums for Medicare and Blue Cross they have always paid out...as it should be. Those two private and public policies have to be tapped for whatever they will cover first. That means that Medicaid pickes up none of that medicare care for them...do you get that yet?

In addition, the rest of the retirement income that does and should go to the home is so high that every nine months my parents "get" to pay the Private Pay Fee for one month of care, $9,300, instead of the $6,000 the retirment income normally gets tapped for.

Do the math.

And that "extra" income and the life savings that went to the home previously...taken from the trusts and contracts that were already in place three years prior...

is paying for the man in the next room whose Catastrophic Long-Term-Care Policy duped him.

Maybe Louie-Loophole-LTC-policy writer should be sued by all the elderly people he screwed. Maybe the government should be sued for not stopping these policy writers from making a profit off of WWII Disabled Vets life savings.

Maybe this will happen, still, because of blogs like this and the eye-opener they provide.

I think I will send this updated blog to Sen. Snowe. Maybe she can be embarassed by the DRA and maybe she can ask Cheney/Gregg for a response to the question, "What were you thinking? You reduced the deficit off the backs of elderly WWII Disabled Vets, with the help of profiteering insurance policy writers."

Why aren't you outraged?

That is the problem here; your lack of outrage and your attitude expressed here....

JMK SAID...Look, there's no way (nor any reason) to seek to stop the rich from getting MORE and BETTER healthcare....just as they have access to and get more of the best of EVERYTHING (food, clothing, car, legal and financial advice)....simply put, the rich EVERYWHERE can afford the best of everything. They can afford to opt out and pay for their own healthcare OUTSIDE the restrictions of any given system. JMK SAID
**********************************

Your health-care debate is, in a nutshell..."Let them eat cake!"

OMG...I just remembered what happend to the lovely who said that!

JMK said...

While it is indeed unfortunate that your parents weren't grandfthered in under the new Lookback period, the government does that kind of thing (changing the rules in mid-stream) all the time.

So, AGAIN, your problem is with GOVERNMENT, not with the private insurers.

Barack Obama agrees with ME...his plan (the one he supports - the House Plan) DOES NOT offer long-term care for seniors at government expense...in fact, it would CUT up to (and some say OVER)$500 Billion from the existing public options to pay for its "expansion."

That plan would also ration and restrict access to care as part of that plan...with the option of buying your own insurance to circumvent the rationing and restrictions inherant in the new public option.

If you agree with the Obama-plan and the House plan, that call for a "robust public option," than you agree with ME.

We need to CUT healthcare costs for businesses and government, which between them, now insure over 85% of the American people!

It IS going to cost more for ALL of us down the road for healthcare, but only becausemost of us aren't used to paying much of anything for it.

it'sme said...

My parents got raked over the coals by the, apparently unregulated, Private LTC Policy Writer trying to make his monthly goal.

The main problem is that you continue to refuse to see that, as I have said, your attitude is going the way of the dinosaur. The middle class has gotten screwed one too many times by the government...disproportionately.

You claim to be working class. Apparently, if this is so, you cannot defend what Louie Loophole profiteer did here.

But you do defend this. The sorry part is that you are next in line for the Cheney/Gregg DRA fallout. I only hope that you will just be outraged and mortified when someone else's life savings is picking up your tab in the nuring home.

I only hope you will sue Louie Loophole on behalf of those picking up you tab, too.

I only hope you will use all your knowledge gained from this to make everything more equitable...and not just for promoting good, affordable healthcare for the rich...as you stated before.

Even you cannot truly believe that.
: )....although it does bring attention to your cause....great work.

When you tell a conservative these days that, "You're sensational!" they think it is a compliment.

The GOP's Health Care debate is only, "Let them eat cake."

...and that will not bode well for them....at election time.

JMK said...

Your blaming insurance companies for our own ignorance it'sme.

For instance, the fact that somewhere around 65% of Americans DON'T know that their homeowners insurance will NOT cover them in the event of a flood, s NOT the insurers fault...it's the fault of those who are too ignorant to read and understand their own insurance policies.

Homeowner's insurance NOT covering flood victims is NOT a "loophole" it's sound business on the part of insurance companies.

They also sell flood insurance separately.

Long-term care insurance will shield a sizable portion of one's assetts from the government even if one does eentually need Medicaid, but it will keep MOST of the insured from ever needing it.

Again, you're avoiding the most basic and obvious FACT...the Obama-plan, the Congressional Democrats Plan DOES NOT offer government-funded long-term care for all...it DOES CUT Medicaid and Medicare and it WILL result in a tightly RESTRICTED and severely rationed bare bones "expanded public option."

I SUPPORT that and I've painstakingly explained WHY I do.

You obviously haven't lost anyone close to you.

I have.

When my father was dying of cancer, after the experimental treatments they tried as a last result failed, his life wound down stage by stage....from homebound, but mobile, to bound to a single room, to bedridden, to death...after one's vitality is gone, you're already, for all intents and purposes "dead," at least in the sense that you no longer have anything close to the LIFE you had reason to cherish.

There are worse things than death it'sme...there are far worse things....

JMK said...

As to the GOP's stance - ironically enough, tort reform is supported by over 80% of Americans, while an expanded public option is opposed by over 60%!

It's the Democratic plan that will result in a severely restricted and rationed public option that will limit advanced and expensive care to those unable or unwilling to purchase the private insurance needed to circumvent all that rationing and all those restrictions.

Those without that gap insurance, under the Congressional Democrat's plan would "eat pain pills," not "cake," and instead of having access to the most advanced and more expensive care.

I support that because it is fundamentally NON-dysgenic, in that it will negatively impact the poorest, the least productive and the most reckless and irresponsible among us the MOST, which would be an overall net gain for the economy - in effect, "ADDITION by SUBTRACTION."

it'sme said...

Consentrate of one thing at a time here...you cannot make a valid point in this manner...

you cannot keep making your solution to the Health Care Debate be "Let them eat cake," if you want conservatives to have any viability.

This attitude is going the way of the dinosaur.

I am glad that those with this attitude are becoming transparent. I only wish Sen. McCain would distance himself from the GOP...he's a great guy and his party is pulling him down...

and I think he is embarassed by what Cheney/Gregg did to the elderly WWII Disabled Vets with reducing their deficit off the back of these dwindling citizens. He need to come out in the media and say so....

maybe he will...

JMK said...

My position on healthcare is NOT "let them eat cake" UNLESS you're calling Obama's the same thing!

I support a tightly RESTRICTED and heavily rationed PUBLIC OPTION, with private insurance necessary to avert that rationing and restricted care, for those who wish to pay for that...

So does Barack Obama.

I support CUTTING Medicaid and Medicare by over $500 BILLION...

So does Barack Obama.

You're the selfish, self-cenetered one here.

You're bitter because you and your folks sought to "game" the system, as Americans have been doing with those programs for eons.

You folks sought to shield your parents savings and home value from the government confiscation that is legislated to come with such a person's applying for Medicaid...unfortunately, you guys got caught on the bubble of an extended Lookback period that was implemented to CUT DOWN exactly the kind of fraud you all were engaged in.

Yeah, hiding/protecting one's assets prior to applying for a means-tested, anti-poverty program, like MEDICAID is fraud.

Your selfish, self-centered position on this is, in effect, "All those other people got away with "gaming" the system, so why not us?"

That five year Lookback is an improvement but it was hardly ENOUGH of one to fully avert the disaster caused by Americans, like you folks "gaming" the system, by transferring their savings and their homes prior to applying for Medicaid.

That's what you're so passionate about....your own personal loss, NOT any higher principle.

I'm with Barack Obama, I want Americans to start paying MORE for the incredibly expensive healthcare we've all taken for granted for so long.

it'sme said...

What you are upset with is the fact that.. The pendulum always swings...to correct itself...

You're melting like the witch who had a pail of water thrown on her....

Don't worry...don't be afraid...have faith...because the pendulum always wants to remain in the middle of the arc..

Whatever happens now is only because of the right-wing extreme swing....

remember that.....

it'sme said...

Doesn't the memory we all have today make you seem completely insignificant with your rants?

Maybe we all need to just remember......

Joe Fireman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JMK said...

"What you are upset with is the fact that.. The pendulum always swings...to correct itself..." (it'me)
<
<
You're not making any sense.

As I've shown from the start, I AGREE with the bulk of the current House Plan...the one Barack Obama says he supports.

The stated GOAL of the Democrats is to CUT healthcare expenditures. What some in the GOP, ironically enough, are FIGHTING, among other things the called for $500 BILLION in cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.

The "expanded public option" WOULD, (1) free businesses and government from the exploding expense of providing employee health insurance...making both American industry AND the American workforce more competitive on the global market virtually overnight and (2) would tightly restrict and severely ration care to all who wouldn't pay the extra or supplemental insurance to circumvent all the rationing and restrictions of he public option.

Ideally, with the American workforce in higher demand, wages would go up and more people would be able to pay the premiums for the supplemental insuance needed to avert the rationing and restrictions of the public option.

Right now, Americans have a 100% survival rate for early-detected prostate, breast, colon and skin cancers, England has a 77% survival rate, France's and Germany's are even lower.

The only "good news," if you want to call it that (and from your responses here, I'd figure YOU would), is that the vast majority of those who'll go without the needed supplemental insurance are he poorest, the most reckless and irresponsible and the least productive among us...THAT is typically called a "eugenic policy," as its intent seems to be to harm the poorest and weakest.

From my first response here, I've careully explained what an expanded public option is and how it will effect us. I've also stated that like Barack Obama, I reluctantly (due to budgetary reasons) suport such a plan.

Why you seem to oppose the Democratic plan is unclear to me.

JMK said...

"Doesn't the memory we all have today make you seem completely insignificant with your rants?

Maybe we all need to just remember......" (it'sme)
<
<
Funny story....or not so funny, depending entirely on your perspective....I lost 48 friends that day and have wholeheartedly supported America's subsequent necessary wars against the global jihad ever since.

While I was initially distressed by the Democrats doing what he GOP is now doing with healthcare (politicizing it for personal gain), I'm releived that the Obama administration has apparently come around to the Bush position - the NSA Sureillance program is still in full effect and the Obama administration has gone to court TWICE to keep that program and its records private, and we have NOT stood down in Iraq (the last troop reduction was completed in he summer of 2008), Afghanistan has been ratcheted UP and the Rendition Program (where we send prisoners to foreign locales for "interrogations under duress") has also been ratcheted up...and Gitmo remains open.

I've wholeheartedly supported Obama's CONTINUATION and protection of the NSA's Surveillance Program, where they can listen in on calls (without warrant) both TO & FROM "suspect foreign portals."

I also support eradicating the current "employer paid healthcare" system that 85% of Americans now enjoy (actully it's 288 MILLION out of 300 million, since the estimated 15 million illegal immigrants don't count and the 19 MILLION people who CHOOSE to opt out of their employer plans to keep their share of the premiums are "uninsured by personal choice"), as it (1) amounts to untaxed compensation AND (2) harms both American industry and the American worker by making both far more expensive and less competitiv globaly than they would otherwise be.

A tightly restricted and heavily rationed public option WITH available supplemental insurance is a far more fair and efficient model...so I've supported that, as well.

I've actually had a very civil and rational (from my end) discussion with you here.

I haven't posted even a single "rant."

I have called you on your blatent self-centeredness in your trying to defend your family's attempts to "game the system" on the basis that "Hey! They allowed lots of other people to do the same thing, why not us?"

Medicaid came with 3-year Lookback and that was still "gamed" by millions of Americans who transferred their holdings (savings and homes, etc) before applying fo Medicaid - a program intended for the destitute.

You don't seem to be able to defend your position....again, for a self-proclaimed Liberal and anti-Republican you don't seem to be on the same page with your own chosen Party.

Again, I don't know why you don't support the Democrat's House healthcare Plan, as I don't know why, IF you ever really opposed the "Bush wars," now seem to support the continuation and ratcheting of them UP by his Democratic successor...

it'sme said...

Sad.....but you truly are revealing......

it'sme said...

We're watching the pendulum swing today, 09/12/09...and the greed that caused this needs to be discussed by all....not swept under the rug...

isn't transparency wonderful....

it'sme said...

it'sme said...
What you are upset with is the fact that.. The pendulum always swings...to correct itself...

You're melting like the witch who had a pail of water thrown on her....

Don't worry...don't be afraid...have faith...because the pendulum always wants to remain in the middle of the arc..

Whatever happens now is only because of the right-wing extreme swing....

remember that.....
*********************************


JMK SAID: Look, there's no way (nor any reason) to seek to stop the rich from getting MORE and BETTER healthcare....just as they have access to and get more of the best of EVERYTHING (food, clothing, car, legal and financial advice)....simply put, the rich EVERYWHERE can afford the best of everything. They can afford to opt out and pay for their own healthcare OUTSIDE the restrictions of any given system.JMK SAID.

You're helping the pendulum swing even more in the other direction...don't you get it yet?
Isn't transparency wonderful!

it'sme said...

Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent regarding long-term-care policies.

Is the coverage comprehensive--meaning it includes all levels of care: in the home, assisted living, board & care, and nursing/dementia facilities?

What is the daily benefit?

Is there 5% annually compounded inflation protection?

What is the elimination period?

Is it a lifetime benefit period or a limited time benefit policy?

Is there a spousal discount?

Can you hire caregivers privately as well as from an agency?

Is the home care benefit based on a daily, weekly or monthly maximum, and if the benefit is not used, can it be used in the future?

Does it cover home care coordination of services?

How many ADL's (Activities of Daily Living) does it take to trigger a claim?

Is there a time limit for filing a claim?

Does it cover the cost of Adult Day Care & Adult Day Health Care, hospice and respite programs?

Is it a tax-qualified plan?

Is the company highly rated and have they ever raised premiums?

Can you see the company's
published annual audit to check their track record for paying claims?

This is an enormous amount of detal to leave to Louie Loophole-make-a-profit-off-the-elderly. He teamed up with Cheney/Gregg...

Just ask the gentleman in the next room who my parents are paying for now because of their $66,590 retirement income to offset him with fee-sharing...
because Louie Loophole duped him.

His family is outraged and embarassed because we have had this conversation with each other.

You should be, too...

it'sme said...

Providers Deny Long-Term Care Insurance
Coverage to Qualified Policyholders

Some of the nation’s largest long-term care insurance providers have found themselves embroiled in litigation surrounding their failure to payout a significant number of valid claims. Although a number of insurance companies have come under scrutiny, much of the litigation has been focused on John Hancock, Penn Treaty, Conseco and Banker’s Life.

Wrongly Denied Long-Term Care Insurance Claims

A large number of the wrongly denied long-term care insurance claims have involved aged, frail, policyholders, raising suspicions as to whether, or not the denials are mistakes or reflect a conscious effort to defraud certain policyholders. Sources investigating the wrongly denied claims are of the belief that many insurance companies make it so hard for aged, frail policyholders to access their coverage so that they either give up and accept the denied claim, or die before a resolution is reached.

Elderly patients suffering from diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can cost long-term care insurance providers a great deal of money; more than was initially forecast by provider projections. Elderly patients receiving long-term care have a tendency to survive longer than the insurance companies expected, resulting in significantly-higher annual payouts over a longer period of time. With regards to Conseco, their long-term claim payouts actually exceeded premium revenue by 2002.

Insurance providers got into the multi-billion dollar long-term care insurance business because of the potential profitability. Once the realization set in that long-term care insurance was not the goldmine that it initially seemed, insurance providers sought to substantially increase premiums to help cover their costs. Many people believe that delaying policy payouts and wrongly denying valid claims represents another way through which such companies have sought to limit their costs and maximize their profits.

Long-Term Care Insurance Fraud

Many of the long-term care insurance providers claim that their occasional failure to accommodate valid policyholders is an unfortunate reality in an industry rife with fraud. The insurance providers in question have stated that they are committed to providing policyholders with fair and satisfactory service. Conseco have made the case that their overall number of insurance department complaints actually decreased by 20 percent from 2005 to 2006.

However, employees representing all the insurance providers in question have provided sworn depositions regarding deliberate attempts to slow the payout process to a near halt in certain cases. Ignoring policyholders, providing them with incorrect paperwork to fill out, requiring paperwork not specified in the policy, rescinding claims without due cause, and denying coverage for certain state-licensed assisted-living facilities, are just a few of the many bureaucratic obstacles that have been implemented in effort to avoid claim payouts for as long as possible. Policyholders are now fighting back by taking their insurance providers to court.

JMK said...

All good and valid questions.

Too many people assume and don't know...

The problem coming down the pike for most people is going to be the heavy rationing and tight restrictions on the coming expanded public option.

Alexander said...

JMK, don't allow the pendulum to swing so far to the right...and this mess will not repeat itself....

If you are a workingclass conservative I only hope you will see that greed will make you next in line to be duped...

it'sme said...

Understand this...the public option "rationing" you describe is becoming the lesser of the two evils...

because the pendulum swung too far to the right...

Protestors of the public option need to look into a mirror to see who is to blame....

JMK said...

I SUPPORT a heavily rationed PUBLIC OPTION....that way, those who can least afford the costs will bear the most dire circumstances, as they're the ones who can't or won't pay the premiums needed to maintain the supplemental private insurance necessary to circumvent that rationing.

In places where they have such "single payer" plans, like England, France and Germany, they not only ration, BUT care is doled out via VALUE....a 57 y/o chemical engineer is worth a lot more than a 31 y/o mother of 4 on public assistance, who just completed her GED and is "getting her life together"...a 44 y/o nurse and mother of two is more valuable than a childless 37 y/o secretary and so on.

Such systems are faced with such "value considerations" all the time and you CAN'T simply base care on a ridiculous "first come first served" basis.

A cousin of mine is a thoracic surgeon. When he just finished his internship, he residencied in a busy Bronx Emergency Room. Even our own doctors deal with that kind of "value considerations" regularly.

One event that seemed to bother him was when two teens were brought in with "sucking chest wounds due to gunshot"....he began prepping one of the teens and was ready to open him up when a cop who was shot was wheeled in.

He was ordered to stop work on the teen to attend to the cop, a decoarated officer, with three kids at home.

He said, "I would've done that even if they hadn't ordered it. That cop's life was simply far more valuable than the other."

I don't know why that bothered him (yes, the kid died....and YES, they both turned out to be the thugs who'd gotten into a gun battle with the police, wounding that officer), I guess he saw that teen as "jut another life" having GREAT value because he IS.

I never shared such a "reverence for life" myself, though I can begrudgingly admire folks like Stephen (my cousin) who do.

BUT in all such systems priorities must be made and care must often be doled out on the order of "value to society."

I'd prefer the simpler "ability to pay" under a truly Capitalist system, but I don't think ANYONE can deny the NEED for "value based" rationing, under a "shared system" or "public option."

it'sme said...

The pendulum swings.....because of the greed we have been subjected to, to date...

Thank you for demonstrating this in this blog.

it'sme said...

This is one of the many reasons why the pendulum is swinging to the left now....

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Wells-Fargo-fires-exec-over-rb-2618426157.html?x=0&.v=2

JMK said...

Actually it'sme, "GREED" is looking for something for nothing, NOT looking to keep as much of what you produce as you possibly can.

Wall Street, for instance, represents the antithesis of actual "Greed."

There, stocks are traded based on the speculated future valuation of various companies, based on things like new products being brought to market, productivity reports, major inroads in international markets, commodity prices of the commodities used by those companies, and a host of other indicators.

Wall Street and ALL those publically traded companies are the ONLY reason for America's prosperity. Government can only get out of the way....hardly something one could CREDIT with "improving the economy," even though higher taxes and more regulation DO harm the economy.

"Greed" is not the productive person glomming the huge bulk of the rewards for what they produce, "greed" is actually the poorer man, the man/woman with few marketable skills looking to be taken care of by the government at the expense of the most productive among us.

And that's just what we had under G W Bush!

The top 10% of income earners (and there is very little, if any overlap between the top 10% of income earners and the top 10% of the wealthiest Americans, BECAUSE the truly wealthy DO NOT rely on income for wealth) paid over 70% of the income taxes, while accruing just 47% of the agregate income!

You could argue that the top 10% of income earners in America were over-taxed under G W Bush. Under Clinton, the top 10% of income earners paid around 65% of all income taxes, so Bush's policies were as Keynesian as Carter's and Obama's.

It's said that Barack Obama greatly admires Jimmy Carter.....well, I wish the same for him as Carter's policies brought down upon the President he so admires.

JMK said...

Whoa there it'sme!

The "example of Corporate greed" you gave - Wells Fargo Bank firing a lowly VP (there are over 500 VPs at Wells Fargo) for violating their policies (having parties in a bank-owned property) is actually an example of the REVERSE....a company getting rid of a reckless and irresponsible employee, which is VERY SOUND Corporate policy and GOOD Corporate citizenship.

This Cheronda Guyton (Hmmmmm, I wonder why it's been so hard for me to find a picture of this woman???....Anyone care to guess?) was fired because she selfishly and self-centeredly violated corporate policy. She must be a Lib.

At any rate, GOOD JOB Wells Fargo!

BAD GIRL Cheronda Guyton!

Think it over and I'm sure you'll agree.

it'sme said...

All that matters is this...''To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction....

You can't stop that...no one can...

it'sme said...

Where is Sen. McCain? Wish he would lose the GOP and stand on his own....stand up for the Disabled Vets of WWII...make a statement that Cheney/Gregg's reducing the deficit off their elderly backs right when they might need a nursing home... was wrong...

If he doesn't address this on his own, someone in the media will be bringing this up.

I would only hope he would make a statement before this comes out in the media...in the Health Care Debate/Let Them Eat Cake GOP stance.

We are all watching and waiting for him.

it'sme said...

The pendulum swings....

it'sme said...

My 91 and 88-year-old parents pay $571.00 per month for their health insurance coverage. Part of that is the Blue Cross Premium they are required to pay, which included prescription coverage.

They got caught in the headlights of the Deficit Reduction Act and had their Trusts and Contracts voided out..to the extended look back Cheney/Gregg orchestrated to reduce the deficit (2006).

They lost their life savings to long-term care. Now they applied for Medicaid coverage. They are approved for this now. They get no state $$$ to supplement their nursing home care because their retirment income is such that it is over the amount Medicaid would pay the home.

The overaqe is tallied each month and when it equals the total amount of one month of the Private Pay Fee they have to pay that amount, too. For them this happens every eight or nine months.

So now, get this. They pay a total to the nursing home each year $66,555. They are required to also pay for their Medicare and Blue Shield premiums $571/mo. as mentioned above.

Because they are "on" Medicaid (but get no $$ benefit out of that) they are forced to go on Medicare D for their medications. They have perfectly good prescrition coverage already, and they are required to pay for it with Blue Cross premium.

Nursing Home = $66,555
Ins. Premiums = $6,852

each year.

Before this formula was in place they paid the nursing home out of pocket/life savings a total of $300,000....taken from a trust fund for their grandchildren, one of which is disabled.

They have paid a total to date to nurisng home care over $400,000, and counting.....

The fee sharing model gives them the privilege of paying for the gentleman in the next room who got duped by his LTC policy written by Louie Loophole policy writer.

They are picking up the tab of all the others in that home who create a deficit for their care.

And they have to still pay for Medicare and Blue Shiled out of pocket...The Medicaid office in this state expends not one dime in their behalf!!! and never will!!!!

Thank you Cheney/Gregg! Who is paying Cheney's bill for his hospital care he is getting as we speak....

I hope he sends a thank you note to my parents who are WWII Disabled Vets with Two Purple Hearts...because they are paying for him...and so are all of you...disproportionately....
wake up!

it'sme said...

http://sickforprofit.com/ceos/

This is why the pendulum swings to the left at the present time....

it'sme said...

The GOP is sinking into the tarpits of extinction, like the dinosaurs....

because they made the pendulum swing much too far to the right...and they want to blame everyone else for this...

they need to look into the mirror...

wake up!

it'sme said...

Medicare should be paying for long-term-care to prevent private policy writers from frauding the elderly...

This fraud is happening because of the Cheney/Gregg Deficit Reduction Act's extended look-back period to 60 months...which spawned the long-term care insurance industry.

I wonder how much of a bonus these insurance companies' CEO's are getting...and if Cheney/Gregg is in on it....off the backs of these WWII Disabled Vets, like my parents....

Thank you Cheney/Gregg for this shameful piece of legislation...and for all you other pols who remain silent...all of you!!!!!

it'sme said...

The pendulum swings to the left...equally opposite to where it began on the right....

It's the Golden Rule...."Do unto others.....etc.

it'sme said...

Google News Alert for: Long-Term Care Insurance Polilcy Fraud

Minn. Sues Over Alleged Health Insurance Fraud
WCCO - Minneapolis,MN,USA
Read more in our Privacy Policy Lori Swanson will name the companies and offer ... companies is also offering what's described as long-term care insurance. ...

Labor News - August 2009
Linex Legal - London,UK
The charges include racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud, deprivation of honest services, ... across all industries, threatening their long-term viability. ...

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2009
Linex Legal - London,UK
Plaintiff Jerry Rice was a participant in the long-term disability benefit plan administered by the defendant Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance Co. ...

Minn. Sues Over Alleged Health Insurance Fraud
WCCO - Minneapolis,MN,USA
Read more in our Privacy Policy ST. PAUL, Minn. ... He says one of the companies is also offering what's described as long-term care insurance. ...


Are Insurers Exploiting Health Care Debate To Mislead Seniors And ...
TPMMuckraker - New York,NY,USA
Manry is the Seattle branch manager for Connecticut-based insurance company Futurity ... Among these choices are fixed annuities, long-term care protection, ...


Google Blogs Alert for: Long-Term Care Insurance Polilcy Fraud

Becoming Who You Want To Be » Beware Reverse Mortgage Scams
By Terry Stanfield
Before you go out and buy a policy go to Long Term Care Insurance, ask questions and request a long term care insurance quote. We represent 20 of the top LTCi providers. This gives you tremendous options. Related posts: ...
Becoming Who You Want To Be - http://becomingwhoyouwanttobe.com/
Long Term Insurance Fraud Reviews & Guide | Dave Anthony
By David Anthony
After you decide on a long-term care insurance policy, make sure you obtain the policy when you meet by the insurance broker. When you obtain a policy, you are asked for a month's premium up front to process the application. ...
Dave Anthony - http://www.daveanthony.co.za/
United HealthCare's Death Panels; I don't Want to Die for your ...
By SJones
But then, it seems “profit” is often seen a s short-term concept at United, and not a long-term, sustainable concept of good, conservative business practices. An issue for your shareholders to take up with United, should they ever care to question the Death Panels that feed ... So, the head of a major insurance company disagrees with reality? Color me shocked! Do y'all play here every Tuesday, or just Death Panel Friday? Of course you don't want to interfere in my care… ...
Politicususa.com - http://www.politicususa.com/
Notoriously Conservative: What's Hiding in the Health Care Bill?
By Nifty Nick
Further, the bill's long-term deficit-reduction plans depend on cuts to Medicare — year after year — that Congress seems unlikely to support once Baucus's bill is passed. Even when the Congressional Budget Office tallied up the costs of the bill based on the assumption that these .... The lawsuit industry annually imposes costs on the U.S. health-care system that run into the hundreds of billions, estimates Jim Copland of the Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy. ...
Notoriously Conservative - http://www.notoriouslyconservative.com/



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google.
Remove this alert.
Create another alert.
Manage your alerts.

it'sme said...

The pendulum swings...the results of the Cheney/Gregg Deficit Reduction Act that targeted elderly WWII Disabled Vets disproportionally...so any $$$ that they would have given over to inheritance for family members would disappear.

Thank you Cheney, Gregg. What great civil servants you are. We are all watching you and your voting record.

JMK said...

“The pendulum swings...the results of the Cheney/Gregg Deficit Reduction Act that targeted elderly WWII Disabled Vets disproportionally...so any $$$ that they would have given over to inheritance for family members would disappear.

“Thank you Cheney, Gregg. What great civil servants you are. We are all watching you and your voting record” (it’sme)
<
<
That’s a ridiculous viewpoint and one unsupported by fact.

One of the BEST things Congress DID in recent years was to increase the “look-back” period for Medicaid from 3 to 5 years. There really SHOULDN'T BE a period where middle class seniors can hide or transfer their accrued wealth.

Too many Americans were doing just what you wanted your parents to do, “game the system,” by transferring their accrued wealth within a relatively short (36 month) time span, so they could BOTH be eligible for an anti-poverty program they had no business mooching off, while leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars in accrued wealth to their kids.

That “gaming the system” IS stealing. You’re somehow outraged that YOUR parents didn’t get away with what you perceive “everyone else was doing.”

Notice, NONE of the Healthcare overhaul Bills would reset that “look back” period.

Notice also that ALL of them are targeting the elderly for further cuts in care, in order to insure more Americans.

Right now, even without any healthcare overhaul in place, the current administration has effectively rationed care for seniors by targeting Medical specialists, especially cardiologists and oncologists for cuts in their payment schedules and draconian fines for those in the top 10% of expenditures (those that order the most tests and expensive procedures). All of that will drastically cut medical specialty services offered by these specialists to the elderly.

Is that a bad thing?

I don’t think so. Seniors CAN get a variety of supplemental insurances to cover more extensive testing and simply put, we just can’t afford to give away advanced medical care for free any more.

People who aren’t able to care for their most basic needs (ie. nursing home residents, etc.) hardly need free advanced care at that point in their lives! Not to be blunt about any of this, but they’re on their way out already, so why prolong the agony, and at great expense to boot?

But please, stop arguing IN FAVOR of people being able to “game the system” and get over, by stealing (benefitting from anti-poverty programs) they really don’t qualify for.

In FACT, there should NEVER have been any such thing as a “look back” period. ALL seniors should’ve been given a one-time assessment at age 65 and told which programs they currently were eligible for and to become eligible for any others, like Medicaid, they’d have to run through all their personal funds, NOT allowing for any illicit transfer of those funds to their offspring.

The abuses of such middle class people mooching off a welfare program (Medicaid) has cost this country hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars over the years!

Linda said...

Well, I've read these arguments back and forth, but I am confused about extra health care. We are on Medicare and have a 2ndary policy, and we also have a cancer policy that has about 4 more years on it. I'm wondering about extra care policies that you are talking about. With all the insurance people I've talked to over the past couple of years, not one has shown me any policy that would pay in addition to Medicare/2nd. I don't know a DR around here that doesn't accept Medicare, so, what are you talking about?

If we were to need a cardiac specialist for a heart problem, are you saying, at our ages, 66, and 67, we should just die? Do we no longer have anything to offer society at that age? Who is going to make that decision?

I do agree with the 'look-back' time frame for medicaid. Of course, I might change my mind about that the closer I get to the day I go into a home, but I probably won't be aware of it anyway.

JMK said...

"With all the insurance people I've talked to over the past couple of years, not one has shown me any policy that would pay in addition to Medicare/2nd. I don't know a DR around here that doesn't accept Medicare, so, what are you talking about?" (Linda)
<
<
Medicare and Medicaid are changing, or about to change, Linda. And they're changing out of necessity.

Both those programs are going broke and the wave of "Baby Boomers" hasn't even hit them yet.

Medicaid is already over $7 BILLION in debt right now and a LOT of that is due to middle class people "gaming the system," by transfering their assets to their heirs and then claiming "destitution."

Those people have been stealing money.

The rest of us will face a VERY different healthcare system.

The ONLY reason America's healthcare expenses are exploding is because we're giving away too much advanced care for free.

Healthcare is a commodity and a very expensive one at that because healthcare professionals are and HAVE TO BE paid very well.

Who would argue that a thoracic surgeon or an oncologist isn't worth $3 million to $5 million a year? What with ten or more years of post-graduate education, almost a million bucks in student debt, some $800,000/year or more in malpractice premiums and a skill set that is extremely rare and hard to master.

So there's no way to bring down healthcare costs by looking to cut the pay/compensation of all kinds of well-paid healthcare professionals. That ain't gonna happen.

The ONLY other way and the RIGHT way to do it is to force US (the people) to pay MORE....ideally NOT more in taxes, although that'll happen too, BUT, an old time "switcheroo" to a very heavilly rationed public options (the expanded public option for the currently uninsured, Medicaid and Medicare)...that means these public options might allow only say four or so visits per year and allow treatments only up to a certain value amount, beyond which the patient would HAVE to either BUY private supplemental insurance to cover all "excess costs" OR pay out of pocket for the additional expenses incurred.

All that rationing and those restrictions would be enforced the way government enforces all such things, by punishing physicians/providers (not paying them OR possibly pulling their licenses) should they offer more care than is allowed under the rationed plan.

Of course the government could just print more money, but we're NOT going to do that. THAT would punish EVERY American with huge inflation that would erode purchasing power.

So, here we are, we're not going to cut healthcare professional's compensation and we can't raise taxes enough to provide even the current level of free healthcare, so we HAVE TO ration our public options and allow those willing and able to buy their own supplemental insurance (insurances that aren't and haven't been needed up to now because we haven't rationed care YET).

That rationing and restricting is clearly what Obama meant when he said, "...it's saying that no one else is going to carry your burdens for you any more..." a virtually Reaganesque statement that I wholly agree with.

JMK said...

"If we were to need a cardiac specialist for a heart problem, are you saying, at our ages, 66, and 67, we should just die?" (Linda)
<
<
No, UNLESS even at that age a person isn't able to take care of their most basic needs. As I said, "People who aren’t even able to care for their most basic needs (ie. nursing home residents, etc.) hardly need free advanced care at that point in their lives!" One of the things that's killing us is that over 85% of the average American's lifetime healthcare costs come within the last 8 to 16 months of life. Simply put, dying shouldn't be so expensive. Yes, our lifetimes are finite...at some point, once a person can no longer feed themselves, get around on their own, etc. we need to let them transition more easily, rather than to continue this absurd "spare no expense to preserve every second of life we can" approach that's driving us to bankruptcy.

We've been foolish and reckless to do it as long as we have, and NOW, with the Boomers aging, we just CAN'T afford it...at long last it seems some very harsh realities are about to be foisted upon us.

I just hope people take all this the right way...it's really the way things always SHOULD HAVE been.

Linda said...

JMK,
I agree with you...the system is broken, but what are you going to do with those of us who have Medicare and a 2ndary already, and are not able to buy more insurance?

My MIL is in the home now, and she has had a few episodes of 'fainting' and going unconscious. The first time it happened they took her to the hospital via ambulance. The bill was atrocious, and I told the home I didn't want her taken to the hospital for that anymore. She's had some more episodes, but comes around when they lay her down. I think it is her blood pressure. She has signed a DNR, and is 88 years old. I don't want her to suffer, so if she breaks a hip, I want it fixed, but no heroic measures. I will sign a DNR when I enter a home too. My husband will too.

I don't know what the answers are, but with retired folks who don't have the ability to make any more money, and are relying on Medicare and their 2ndary for health care, what are they to do?

For those out there who think we don't pay for the Medicare, we do. It comes out of our SS each month. We also have to pay for our 2ndary, and the prescription plan.

So far we are fortunate because we are healthy, but who knows what will happen as the years pass?

JMK said...

“I agree with you...the system is broken, but what are you going to do with those of us who have Medicare and a 2ndary already, and are not able to buy more insurance?

“My MIL is in the home now, and she has had a few episodes of 'fainting' and going unconscious. The first time it happened they took her to the hospital via ambulance. The bill was atrocious, and I told the home I didn't want her taken to the hospital for that anymore. She's had some more episodes, but comes around when they lay her down. I think it is her blood pressure. She has signed a DNR, and is 88 years old. I don't want her to suffer, so if she breaks a hip, I want it fixed, but no heroic measures. I will sign a DNR when I enter a home too. My husband will too.” (Linda)
<
<
Linda, these are NOT my policies. I don't like the prospects we face either, but the reality is, we've been spending way too much on healthcare and the ONLY reason for that is because we've been GIVING AWAY too much advanced and expensive care for too long.

I’m merely stating what our problem is – we currently spend more on healthcare than we can sustain...and the only possible solutions are all draconian.

Tax rates WILL rise and they’ll rise across the board, they always do and they have to. The top 10% of income earners already pay over 70% of all income taxes while they earn about 42% of all the aggregate income. When tax rates are lowered, these people take more of their compensation upfront and taxed, when tax rates rise, they defer more of that compensation in tax-deferred vehicles (like 401-Ks, 457s, etc.) and revenues FALL, that’s why the lower income earners always get socked, “that’s where the bulk of the money is anyway.”

But even that won’t allow us to keep giving away free advanced care as we do now.

The cost/incomes of the various healthcare professionals are not going to go down either, no matter what government does, they’re only going to go UP.

All that’s left is rationing, or if it sounds any better “managing” care. What I see coming is an expanded “public option” that will be quickly melded into Medicare and Medicaid (Medicaid is on life-support right now), and then once they’re all safely under government control they can be rationed/managed, which is what Obama, Reid, and YES it’sme, Cheney and Gregg and all the rest all wanted in the first place – a manageable centralized “bare bones public health system.”

JMK said...

The healthcare landscape is going to change dramatically. We can’t afford to keep giving away what we do now, and we’re looking at the BIGGEST generation to ever hit America (the Boomers) washing up onto this already over-burdened system.

People with employer-driven healthcare will ultimately find themselves on the public option as their companies and local Municipalities cut costs. Those folks are going to HAVE TO PAY more (to buy private supplemental insurance) just to stay where they are.

They’re going to say, “That’s not fair.” I’m among that group. So what would I tell my fellow workers who’ll soon be paying more (maybe lot more) just to avoid the rationing and restrictions of the free public option, to basically “stand pat?” I’d honestly say, “We’ve gotten over for a very long time and all this time we were only getting over on ourselves. Now we can’t pay these Bills and this is the cost of that. We’re all going to have to start paying our share.” It’s not going to be pretty, but it’s going to come...and SOON.

Seniors will be in much the same boat. Just to stay even, right where they are, they’re going to have to pay more, or take their chances on a rationed public option.

Medicaid is over $7 BILLION in debt right now! And that number only grows daily.

Medicare is also in severe fiscal trouble.

Politicians fear being honest about all this because they think people will get mad and take it out on them the next election. What they need to do, is what I’d do, have a bi-partisan group address the American people and explain the dire fiscal realities to us and why BOTH Parties are going to deliver the SAME thing, rationed care, coupled with supplemental insurance for those who can and will pay the premiums for it, and no one new will change a thing because the books won’t balance any other way.

My tag line would be, “I know y’all heard there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and there ain’t, well, now we’ve found there ain’t no such thing as a free triple bypass either.”

For too long we’ve conned ourselves into thinking we “deserve and SHOULD get whatever we need,” especially when it comes to our health. That was childishly unrealistic. We CAN’T deliver free advanced care ad infinitum without it literally devouring our entire budget and strangling our government and killing off any hope of continuing life as we’ve come to know it.

My Dad died of cancer. People die. It’s a natural part of life. As uncomfortable as that seems, it’s the truth.

We should see it as an abysmal waste that 85% or more of our healthcare dollars go to people in the last 8 to 16 months of their lives. Seriously, I know it sounds harsh, but in most cases, it’s just prolonging the agony all around.

We HAVE to cut costs and that’ not going to be pretty or easy. I think the politicians have put this off as long as they possibly could.

it'sme said...

You are watching the pendulum swing.....and your views are helping it swing more and more to the left....

you have been given enough rope and you have hung yourselves with it....

so talk into the mirror......

it'sme said...

Isn't it revealing when all the smoke and mirrors are removed....

JMK said...

"You are watching the pendulum swing.....and your views are helping it swing more and more to the left...." (it'sme)
<
<
You're not watching very closely.

The Obama/Baucus plan does what I say needs to get done....it's focused primarily on cutting costs.

Already they've slashed payout rates that Medicare and Medicaid pay to cardiologists and oncologists a move designed to cut back on the number of tests those doctors mandate for the oldsters and the poor who are gravely ill.

My own mother is 78 y/o and she's painfully aware of the Bill's cutting some $500 BILLION from Medicare, basically eliminating the supplemental insurances it now covers.

I believe you and I agree that "We just can no longer afford to give away health care free."

But as for "the political pendulum swinging to the Left," no such luck.

Turns out that most Conservatives sat on their hands last election over McCain's running a G W Bush II campaign and Independents votd heavily for Obama based on his promises to (1) cut taxes, "I'll CUT taxes on 95% of Americans" and (2) eradicate the the excessive government spending and rein in the federal government that had bloated under Bush-Pelosi-Reid.

Independents are now tracking better than 2 to 1 Right or Republican because, instead of any cut in spending, the deficit has been quadrupled in the first eight months of this administration, the National Debt has risen AND the percentage of debt to GDP has risen from near 60% of GDP to over 70% already...and BOTH Cap & Trade and healthcare appear to be set to add a huge tax-whallop to all Americans ESPECIALLY those earning less than $150,000/year.

In the most recent Gallup Poll the number of Americans self-identifying as Conservative is up to 40% (from a low of 37% in 2007 & 2008) compared to those self-identifying as liberal at 21%....a nearly 2 to 1 advantage.

In fact, according to that Poll Conservatives outnumber Liberals in all 50 States.

SEE: http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/Conservatives-Single-Largest-Ideological-Group.aspx?version=print


I know, many counter that "many of those Conservatives are also Democrats and Independents....YES, that's right, I'm ONE!

I've been a life-long registered Democrat, today I call myself a "Zell Miller Democrat," and I vote Independently. The fact that the Independents that tracked heavily Left in 2008 are now tracking heavily Right today seems to bear out that they voted in favor of tax and spending cuts, NOT "more government" and more "free stuff."
<
<
As for, "Isn't it revealing when all the smoke and mirrors are removed...." (it'sme)


Actually, there's LESS transparency than there ever was and less openness to the political process.....the haze has gotten so thick that apparently some folks think the new even inkier darkness is an improvement.

Sadly not.

it'sme said...

JMK, I think they all know we all are watching them and making them show their true colors.....evidenced in how stupid they sound whenever they get up to a microphone....all of them....

it'sme said...

JMK SAID: Look, there's no way (nor any reason) to seek to stop the rich from getting MORE and BETTER healthcare....just as they have access to and get more of the best of EVERYTHING (food, clothing, car, legal and financial advice)....simply put, the rich EVERYWHERE can afford the best of everything. They can afford to opt out and pay for their own healthcare OUTSIDE the restrictions of any given system.JMK SAID
*********************************
I can only assume that you want poor people to get a free swine flu shot...pregnant women and children first.....or will you go to the head of the line for yours..?

JMK said...

"I think they all know we all are watching them and making them show their true colors.....evidenced in how stupid they sound whenever they get up to a microphone....all of them...." (it'sme)
<
<
The unfortunate thing about this Bill is that the GOP is in the same position Democrats were in on National Security issues a fewe years back.....there's NOTHING for them to gain politically and possibly a LOT to lose by going along with or even just NOT politicizing the issue.

Just as the Democrats chose to politicize National Security (ie. opposing the NSA Surveillance Program before supporting it once they were in power), the GOP has NOTHING to gain by helping forge a better Bill, in fact, through efforts made to reach out to them, they've brought in the AMA and the insurance industry to "tweak" this Bill.

Is it disappointing?

To me? No.....that's politics.

I believe Obama had his heart in the right place, supporting a plan that "would NOT add a dime to the Deficit," and supporting a heavily rationed, bare-bones expanded public option that would require those who could afford and want to avoid that rationing to buy their own supplemental insurances....his statement, "...it's saying that no one else is going to carry your burdens for you any more..." certainly seemed to suggest that.

The WORST aspect of rising healthcare costs is what they're doing to American industry's ability to compete globally.

A bare-bones, strictly rationed and restrictive public option would eliminate that drag on American competitiveness AND put the burden of the costs of healthcare back where it belongs...on the people's shoulders.

What's going to happen is that a very flawed Bill will pass and the GOP will claim they "did their best" to oppose it and warn the public...and when it raises an already staggering Deficit (already at $1.6 TRILLION for this year....four times what it was in '08) and that adds to an already groaning National Debt, already approaching $12 TRILLION and soon to top $15 TRILLION or 90% of our GDP, the GOP will have an issue far bigger than Iraq was, to club Democrats over the head with.

I'm a Conservative Democrat, so I don't like that prospect much at all.

I'd prefer the Democratic party just jettisoning its Liheral-wing in an attempt to get back all the ethnic working-class voters it's ceded to the GOP since the late 1960s.

Sadly, the former scenario seems much more likely.

JMK said...

"I can only assume that you want poor people to get a free swine flu shot...pregnant women and children first.....or will you go to the head of the line for yours..?" (it'sme)
<
<
I've never gotten a flu sot and I'm not about to start now.....I haven't ever gotten the flu either.

The "swine flu shot" poses an interesting dilemma, IF government controlled healthcare, would women and children come first for heart and liver transplants?

The answer, looking at other government-run healthcare systems is a resounding NO.

In most places the very wealthy and the very well -politically connected are able to jump ahead of poor people and even children....which is, in my view, a VERY good and very reasonable format.

Who moves America forward more, 68 y/o Warren Buffet or a 9 y/o from Appalachia?

Easy question, with an easy answer....Save Warren at ALL costs!

That's how such things work...and what's more, it's the way they probably SHOULD work!

it'sme said...

it'sme said...
JMK SAID: Look, there's no way (nor any reason) to seek to stop the rich from getting MORE and BETTER healthcare....just as they have access to and get more of the best of EVERYTHING (food, clothing, car, legal and financial advice)....simply put, the rich EVERYWHERE can afford the best of everything. They can afford to opt out and pay for their own healthcare OUTSIDE the restrictions of any given system.JMK SAID
*********************************
I can only assume that you want poor people to get a free swine flu shot...pregnant women and children first.....or will you go to the head of the line for yours..?


What would you do about poor people getting treated for cancer, heart and liver disease,as an example, if it were contagious?

it'sme said...

You have made the term "workingclass conservative" an oxymoron.

JMK said...

"What would you do about poor people getting treated for cancer, heart and liver disease,as an example, if it were contagious?" (it'sme)
<
<
You get what you earn....and can afford. That's what freedom IS.

Either you believe in freedom (Capitalism, private property rights and individualism) or you don't.

Conservatives DO.

And to my reckoning, the vast majority of workingclass people are indeed Conservative.

The "best" argument I ever heard in favor of socialism (that idiotic "we're all in this together" communalism) was, "Why would a working/regular guy want a "fend-for-yourself," free market-based system which delivers a game set to where he has maybe, MAYBE a 1 in 10 chance of beating those better educated, more experienced and more clever and ruthless?"

With that, the naive questioner dares to insinuate that the "average person" stands little or no chance of "winning big" in the free-for-all of an open market.

First, that's untrue, as creativity stems from the imagination NOT from mere education and inside connections, SECONDLY and perhaps most importantly, that's immaterial as it's unimportant whether any given individual, any one of us gets to "win big." What's important is that the new ideas and new products that can ONLY derive from the churning, bubbling mass of millions of those anybody's come to the market and enrich and improve all our lives and create ever more opportunities for ever more entrepreneurial somebodies.

The Left is driven by envy and a lust for personal power over others and (thankfully) NOT by any interest in improving the lot of others. If they were driven by the latter, they'd be much less transparent in their naked self-interest and somewhat more difficult to "get a bead on."

JMK said...

"You have made the term "workingclass conservative" an oxymoron." (it'sme)
<
<
As last night's election returns seemed to show very clearly, the overwhelming majority of workingclass people ARE Conservative (and by Conservative, I mean putting freedom over blindly perceived self-interest)..nah, I think anyone who works for a living and is Liberal is either unthinking or emotionally unbalanced.

In your case, YOU are NOT a "liberal."

You are merely, according to your own arguments, a spoiled, self-centered, "me-firster."

Your outrage is over the government finally doing the correct thing and keeping scumbag get-overs from divesting of their homes, cash and other assets before sliding onto the government dole (Medicaid) in their a-hem "Golden Years."

That was the crux of your argument IN FAVOR of the current Oba...I mean Pelosi-Care.

Funny story there.....within the 2,000 pages of that monstrosity, there's absolutely NOTHING that would undo what the Deficit Reduction Act did!

What it would do, would be shift more of the burden for paying for healthcare onto America's YOUNG.

FROM Michael Gerson of the Liberal Washington Post; "As I was talking recently with the founder of a large American corporation, the conversation turned (inevitably) to health-care reform. His employees in their 20s, on average, cost the company about $1,500 a year in health bills. Those in their 50s cost at least 10 times more. The effect of proposed health-care reform -- which limits the ability of insurers to charge higher premiums for older adults -- would be, he said, a large shift of America's health-care burden to the younger generation.

"This is not an unintended consequence of reform; it is the whole purpose. It is not a side effect; it is the main funding mechanism.

"Precisely because younger people have lower health costs, reformers want to draft them into the broader health insurance system so their premiums can subsidize the health expenses of older, sicker consumers. Thus, in every version of reform, the young are required to purchase coverage.

"This mandate explains the political coalition behind health-care reform.

"Insurance companies are willing to accept tighter government regulation on matters such as the coverage of preexisting conditions - but only if they are given guaranteed access to millions of younger, healthier premium payers. Congress gets additional resources from the young to expand insurance coverage, with less need to raise taxes overtly. Advocates for the elderly welcome an inter-generational subsidy that reduces premiums for older Americans.

"Amazingly - out of idealism, ignorance or both - people in their 20s remain the strongest supporters of health-care reform. They are also the group most likely to wake up the day after passage of Obamacare with a health-reform hangover - forced to buy coverage at higher premiums to reduce the cost of someone else's health insurance."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/03/AR2009110302625.html?wpisrc=newsletter

I have a better....a MORE Conservative idea....let's all start bucking up and fending for ourselves a little more and stop looking to make the young and naive pay for the whole party!

Let's be a little more "fair"...and a little LESS "me first," about all this.

it'sme said...

Watch how many wealthy people will push aside pregnant women and little children to get their swine flu shot...it's already starting to happen...

only now the world is watching them...

but like you get paid to say JMK,(with no shame at all) there is no reason why the wealthy should not get better health care...

JMK said...

“Watch how many wealthy people will push aside pregnant women and little children to get their swine flu shot...it's already starting to happen...” (it’sme)
<
<
As an emergency service/public health worker (we respond to medical emergencies and do CFR-D) I am offered the flu shots EVERY year.

I DO NOT take them. I don’t believe in them and I’ve never gotten the flu.

I believe that those shots are frought with their own risks, so I DO NOT take them. I believe that because I believe in myself and I believe that few of those touting those shots are smarter...hell, even as smart as I am.

“Many health care professionals believe that the dangers of flu shots are not limited to pregnant women and young children and that thimerosal use as a preservative should be banned by the Food and Drug Administration. Thimerosal is mercury based and is a known neurotoxin, meaning it is a poison that damages or destroys nerve tissue. So, concerns about flu shot risks are similar to concerns about unsafe levels of mercury in the fish we eat and in our environment.

“Other concerns about the dangers of flu shots stem from the fact that many people in the general public may wrongly believe that an annual vaccine will protect them from all strains of flu viruses and therefore take no other precautions to protect themselves. The annual influenza vaccine contains three strains of dead viruses, the three that are believed to be the most common in the United States at that time. Therefore, any number of flu viruses could still make a person sick. In this case, the flu shot risks have to do with a possible misunderstanding.”


So that’s ONE.

SECONDLY;

The same idiots who believe “the poor should get their healthcare at the expense of others,” are the SAME idiots who claim things like, “Healthcare, like FOOD, CLOTHING and SHELTER are 'basic human rights,' and as such, no one should make money of those things.”

The FACT IS, that healthcare, like FOOD, CLOTHING and SHELTER is a COMMODITY and as a commodity, it is produced by people and those people MUST BE paid for their labors and healthcare workers are relatively HIGHLY PAID workers. NO ONE has a right to any commodity at the expense of another person, as THAT'S called SLAVERY (one person being entitled to the fruits of another’s labor is SLAVERY).

This is really important;

PLEASE DON’T OVERLOOK this basic TRUTH;

You are at your core, according to your own arguments, a spoiled, self-centered, "ME-FIRSTER."

Your outrage is over the government finally doing the correct thing and keeping scumbag get-overs from divesting of their homes, cash and other assets before sliding onto the government dole (Medicaid) in their a-hem "Golden Years."

That was the crux of your argument IN FAVOR of the current healthcare reform.

Ironically enough, within the 2,000 pages of that monstrosity, there's absolutely NOTHING that would undo what the Deficit Reduction Act did!

The Pelosi Bill was written almost ENTIRELY by lobbyists, including the INSURANCE Co lobbyists.

Those insurers want all those younger LOW-COST customers, paying HIGHER premiums, to pay for the older, more expensive customers.

YOU want others to pay for your “free stuff,” and as such you’re a SLAVERY-supporter...and that’s disgusting to me.

Like I said, I really do have a better....MORE Conservative idea....Let's all start bucking up and fending for ourselves a little more and stop looking to make the young and naive pay for the whole party! Let’s be MORE FAIR and LESS “Me-FIRST” about this issue.

Come on, reclaim your humanity and disavow slavery and embrace a more fend-for-yourself ethos.

it'sme said...

JMK...you are very, very sad to me......

but you do draw attention to yourself...so good job there!

JMK said...

The only surprising thing to me is that you're STILL not embarrassed to have based your support for government-healthcare on your supporting a scam and a theft.

Yes, people who divest themselves of their homes, cash and other assets before going on the dole (Medicaid) are scammers, fraudsters and get-overs.

They're STEALING from their neighbors.

But you still think that's just fine.

Thankfully NO ONE in the current administration nor Congress does since there is absolutel NO provision in the either the Senate or House Bills that would roll back the extended Lookback period.

There was NOTHING stopping them, so they just DIDN'T want to!

Like I said, I agree with Barack Obama's sentiments on that, "It's saying that no one's going to carry your burdens for you any more."

How can you stand that guy?

I mean, he's sounding more and more like ME!

American Ideas Click Here!