Eliminate Medicare? Yes Or No?

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  #1  
Old 05-28-2011, 12:56 AM
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Default Eliminate Medicare? Yes Or No?

The recent back-and-forth on medicare versus private health insurance in recent posts on this forum is kind of entertaining. Laughable really. All the conversation completely avoids the question of whether Medicare-eligible posters would gladly, willingly, enthusiastically...give up their Medicare entitlement and opt for private insurance alone. How many posting here would enthusiastically embrace the Paul Ryan/Tea party plan for Medicare? Basically, that plan eliminates Medicare within ten years.

My guess is that very, very few of us would make that decision. Heck, even an overwhelming majority of Tea Party members have indicated they like their Medicare in recent polls. So I guess they say one thing while on TV, but say what they really believe when participating in a series of poll questions?

What's not funny about this situation is that Medicare does have to be changed, and in a very big way, if this country is to make any progress towards fiscal responsibility. I don't know what the changes will be, but it wouldn't surprise me if the entitlement was aggressively "means tested", the premiums increased dramatically, copays elevated to cause people to think a lot before just running off to the doctor, rules tightened substantially to limit unnecessary tests and treatments (rationing), and tight controls on end-of-life expenditures (death panels or "killing grandma").
Are any of the most conservative members of Congress saying any of this? Even the Tea Party members other than Paul Ryan? No. Are any of the people, including posters on this forum, admitting that these types of things will be necessary? No.

So all this empty bantering calls for the biggest question: is anyone really serious about healthcare reform other than in a "soundbite" way ("kill Obama care", etc.)? Other than Paul Ryan and maybe a few others who have a vote...no, not that I can see.

How many of you embrace the Ryan/Tea Party Plan for healthcare reform? That calls for a simple yes or no answer, not a lot of weaseling around with new conditions on what you feel. Just a simple yes or no. Yes means kill Medicare within ten years. No means keep Medicare.

I'm voting NO.
  #2  
Old 05-28-2011, 02:05 AM
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Default Saying 'No' Means Do Nothing!

VK,

You have carefully constructed a straw man with your assertion that supporting the Ryan plan means that you support killing Medicare in ten years and that no means you mean to keep Medicare. Nothing could line up better with the BS talking points of the Democratic Party.

First, the Ryan plan is the ONLY plan on the table that addresses how to keep Medicare. The Democrats have NO plan but keep screaming that the Republicans want to kill Medicare. Following the do nothing idea of the Democrats will destroy Medicare. It may help them retain seats in Congress at the cost of bankrupting this country. The Democrats seem to believe this is a good deal (at least for them).

You list a series of major changes that you feel are needed. In this way you show that you buy into the Ryan plan. You may want changes to the plan, but agree that Medicare as we know it cannot continue. Does this mean you are voting Yes and want to kill Medicare or voting No and want to keep Medicare as it is?

Your posing of a question equal to, Have you stopped beating your wife? Answer yes or no. seems to support the idea that is being put forward by Democrats that the mean old Republicans that will kill Granny unless you vote to keep them out of office.

Where do I stand? I support the Ryan plan in the absence of anything else. Obamacare does nothing to reform Medicare except to cut its budget that doesnt work. Ryans plan does work to maintain Medicare, albeit in a less generous form than today. Until there is something better available, I will support Congressman Ryan.

BTW, Have you stopped beating your wife yet? Yes or no. Oh, Im sorry. I just noticed your vote was No. Please tell her that she needs to do something about her plight before shes dead. This nation needs to do something about Medicare before its dead. Just say No doesnt cut it.
  #3  
Old 05-28-2011, 07:26 AM
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If it is so important to do this, let's start now! I for one don't want to throw my children under the bus with me keeping all the advantages. Would rather take a hit now and give our children more. This just doesn't seem fair to them.
  #4  
Old 05-28-2011, 07:42 AM
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NO!!
  #5  
Old 05-28-2011, 08:38 AM
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Default Good Objectives...Lousy Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQMan View Post
...You list a series of major changes that you feel are needed. In this way you show that you buy into the Ryan plan. You may want changes to the plan, but agree that Medicare as we know it cannot continue. Does this mean you are voting ‘Yes’ and want to kill Medicare or voting ‘No’ and want to keep Medicare as it is?
I don't buy into the Ryan Plan although I absolutely accept...enthusiastically accept...that major changes to Medicare are needed. Changes along the lines of what I mentioned in my initial post.

I buy into the Ryan Plan's objectives, but not the plan itself. My main reason for not supporting the Ryan Plan is that over a relatively short period of time--25-35 years--Medicare would be replaced by private insurance coverage. Medicare would be eliminated and every senior would have healthcare insurance provided by a handful of private insurance companies. Simply put, I do not trust private, profit and bonus-driven insurance companies to provide good and affordable insurance over a long period of time.

The Ryan Plan proposes a $15,000 limit that the government would pay per year for the healthcare insurance of qualifying senior families. The average premiums for family coverage from private insurers is already at 70-80% of that amount right now. How few years would it take for the premiums to increase beyond the permitted $15,000? After premiums increase beyond that level, people would be on their own hook. They'd either have to pay the increased premiums out of pocket, or go without health insurance. Going without health insurance isn't an alternative that should even be considered by a country with the size and resources of the U.S.

If the insurance company executives made coverage decisions to control cost, what would we have to say about them? If they began to "ration" coverage or "kill grandma" by tightening what end-of-life procedures would be paid for, or significantly increased deductibels or co-pays in an effort to keep you from going to the doctor when you thought you needed to, who would you complain to? Would you be happy talking to someone at an insurance company call center?

While I think I've made clear my dissatisfaction with the U.S. Congress and the way our democracy seems to be working these days very clear, at least we have a vote to replace them every 2-4-6 years. What recourse do we have against the corporate bureaucracies of a handful of insurance companies who either increase the cost or reduce the benefits of our health insurance? None that I can think of.

So to me it's the lesser of two evils--rely on greedy, profit-driven corporate executives or depend on what is currently a dysfunctional Congress. I can vote to change the Congress, but I'd have no control or influence whatsoever over a few large insurance companies. That's why I chose to vote NO to the Ryan Plan.

By the way, if that makes me a Democrat or a liberal or a progressive, so be it. I'd choose to say that I'm making a considered decision based on what I think would be best for me and lots of other folks of my age. What I will tell you is that regardless of their party stripe, if they hold federal office, it's unlikely that they'll get my vote in upcoming elections.
  #6  
Old 05-28-2011, 09:41 AM
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If they changed the Ryan plan to 50 and above instead of 55 and above I'd support it.
  #7  
Old 05-28-2011, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
If the insurance company executives made coverage decisions to control cost, what would we have to say about them? If they began to "ration" coverage or "kill grandma" by tightening what end-of-life procedures would be paid for, or significantly increased deductibels or co-pays in an effort to keep you from going to the doctor when you thought you needed to, who would you complain to? Would you be happy talking to someone at an insurance company call center?

While I think I've made clear my dissatisfaction with the U.S. Congress and the way our democracy seems to be working these days very clear, at least we have a vote to replace them every 2-4-6 years. What recourse do we have against the corporate bureaucracies of a handful of insurance companies who either increase the cost or reduce the benefits of our health insurance? None that I can think of.
It is my understanding that the Ryan plan calls for the private insurance companies to be approved by Congress just as the current Congressional health plan is administered. So, if the "rationing" and "killing grandma" occurs, you would complain to Congress just as you would have to if Medicare does these things. So, from that perspective I see it as a wash. The ironic thing is that in arguing for universal healthcare for all, the Dems repeatedly said that all Americans deserved a health plan similar to the one that members of Congress enjoyed. Yet, when Ryan proposes offering a similar plan to seniors, the Dems say he is throwing granny off a cliff. What duplicity!

The encouraging thing is that the use of competing private insurance plans is similar to the use of competition in the prescription drug plan for seniors. The net result of this competition is that the costs for the program are significantly under-running their projections.

What people need to understand is that Medicare is just a specific program that meets a generic need - health care for senior citizens. I'm not all that concerned about whether "Medicare" is continued to meet this generic need or if another, perhaps better, program is instituted - as long as it can provide the generic need of care for senior citizens in a fiscally sustainable manner.

We know that the current manifestation of the Medicare program fails miserably in meeting the above requirement. Paul Ryan and the Republicans should be congratulated for addressing this looming crisis - the Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for demagoguing the issue as a means to gain votes. It is their willingness to kick the can down the road that is the real peril to granny.
  #8  
Old 05-28-2011, 06:04 PM
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It used to be that Conservatives would rail at Democrats insisting that they look at the results of the programs they started to see if there were actually RESULTS instead of only good intentions.

Welfare was good intentions gone horribly wrong. We all know the saying of what the road to hell is paved with.

What about Medicare/Medicaid? Well, something I heard about a year or two ago, and I'm going to have to try and find something to back it up, was that *if* you lived long enough to qualify for Medicare/Medicaid, THEN you were in the catbird seat as your quality of health care would go up DRAMATICALLY. In other words, the average 65-year-old had a lot to look forward to if they could jsut GET to that point.

It's kind of like how Social Security has all but eliminated abject poverty in senior citizens.

I grant you - the system needs fixing, but you CAN fix things without destroying them (though it's easier to just tear everything down).
  #9  
Old 05-28-2011, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
I grant you - the system needs fixing, but you CAN fix things without destroying them (though it's easier to just tear everything down).
Kind of like Obama Care?
  #10  
Old 05-28-2011, 08:07 PM
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Default No Fix At All

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Originally Posted by dklassen View Post
Kind of like Obama Care?
No, that's no fix at all, and we all know it. That "fix" was the product of a dysfunctional, ideologically stubborn and heavily lobbied Congress outdoing Rube Goldberg in putting that abomination together. The only good part of it is that a significant proportion of the Americans who had no health insurance will have some. There are lots and lots of ways Obamacare could have been made better. One would be that all Americans should have access to affordable healthcare insurance.
  #11  
Old 05-28-2011, 08:13 PM
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Why do you all keep calling the United States a democracy. Actually the United States is a Represeatative Republic. Big difference. Look it up, get educated.

Now, to answer the Medicare question. Stop the fraud and waste and the program could go on for years. Best way to do that is if you catch a doctor cheaping, take away his/her license, house, car and anything else that he/she aquired along with a few years in a federal prison and it would only take one to stop all the BS.

Then have our elected representatives replace all the SS money that they have barrowed and SS will go on for years and years. SS would immeditely be fixed and refunded if the elected officials had to relie on it the same as us COMMON folks do. BTW you do know that when SS first started it was to be NON-TAXABLE since all wage earner have already paid tax on that money while they were working.

Might be time to do as the Constitution allows and dissolve this current government and elect a new crop of crooks. Might just take them another 240 years to mess things up again.
  #12  
Old 05-29-2011, 07:25 AM
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Figmo Bohica your spot on. As usual we demonstrate we are incapable of effectively dealing with our nations issues. Democrats "Mediscare" tactics will result in nothing substantive being accomplished because Republicans will default to worrying how voters will look at them at the next election. It should be obvious to all of us that our spending is "unsustainable" and that our priorities are wrong. Pols have increased entitlement spending to gain votes and decreased defense spending to dangerous levels.

The government is no more serious about stopping fraud and waste concerning our spending programs, which by the way is likely underestimated, then they are about dealing with our devasting drug problems and immigration. Entitlement programs can and will be sustainable with the proper adjutments and controls.
  #13  
Old 05-29-2011, 09:37 AM
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Default No Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon View Post
...As usual we demonstrate we are incapable of effectively dealing with our nations issues. Democrats "Mediscare" tactics will result in nothing substantive being accomplished because Republicans will default to worrying how voters will look at them at the next election. It should be obvious to all of us that our spending is "unsustainable" and that our priorities are wrong. Pols have increased entitlement spending to gain votes and decreased defense spending to dangerous levels.

The government is no more serious about stopping fraud and waste concerning our spending programs, which by the way is likely underestimated, then they are about dealing with our devasting drug problems and immigration. Entitlement programs can and will be sustainable with the proper adjutments and controls.
Sadly, when our freshman Congressman, Rich Nugent, had a town hall meeting at Laurel Maonor Rec Center a month or so ago, he expressed deep frustration with the Congress he is now a part of compared to what he expected. He expressed frustration with the control that the party organizations have over the membership and most importantly, that the left and the right aren't even talking to one another about critical issues like the debt ceiling, the budget (we don't have one), spending cuts and entitlement changes. He related stories of committee meetings he's attended where the exchanges between the Republicans and the Democrats are little more than the types of soundbites you see on TV or on the Sunday talk shows. He explained that everyone in the Congress knows how critical our financial situation really is, and how imminently really major changes will have to happen. But the members on the ideological left and right seem willing to run the country right off the financial cliff and aren't even talking about what changes could be made that might satisfy both sides. He described a complete and total stalemate on fiscal issues.

The wise men who designed our system of government are rolling over in their graves!
  #14  
Old 05-29-2011, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Villages Kahuna View Post
The recent back-and-forth on medicare versus private health insurance in recent posts on this forum is kind of entertaining. Laughable really. All the conversation completely avoids the question of whether Medicare-eligible posters would gladly, willingly, enthusiastically...give up their Medicare entitlement and opt for private insurance alone. How many posting here would enthusiastically embrace the Paul Ryan/Tea party plan for Medicare? Basically, that plan eliminates Medicare within ten years.

My guess is that very, very few of us would make that decision. Heck, even an overwhelming majority of Tea Party members have indicated they like their Medicare in recent polls. So I guess they say one thing while on TV, but say what they really believe when participating in a series of poll questions?

What's not funny about this situation is that Medicare does have to be changed, and in a very big way, if this country is to make any progress towards fiscal responsibility. I don't know what the changes will be, but it wouldn't surprise me if the entitlement was aggressively "means tested", the premiums increased dramatically, copays elevated to cause people to think a lot before just running off to the doctor, rules tightened substantially to limit unnecessary tests and treatments (rationing), and tight controls on end-of-life expenditures (death panels or "killing grandma").
Are any of the most conservative members of Congress saying any of this? Even the Tea Party members other than Paul Ryan? No. Are any of the people, including posters on this forum, admitting that these types of things will be necessary? No.

So all this empty bantering calls for the biggest question: is anyone really serious about healthcare reform other than in a "soundbite" way ("kill Obama care", etc.)? Other than Paul Ryan and maybe a few others who have a vote...no, not that I can see.

How many of you embrace the Ryan/Tea Party Plan for healthcare reform? That calls for a simple yes or no answer, not a lot of weaseling around with new conditions on what you feel. Just a simple yes or no. Yes means kill Medicare within ten years. No means keep Medicare.

I'm voting NO.
The answer is simple and like cancer treatment, miserable but necessary. The spending must be reduced and capped because if not, the problem gets worse and the country will be financially broke and collapse. Do you want to stop the madness now and HOPE it is not too late.. 14.3 trillion (interest on the debt right now is the fastest growing part of the budget going up), or do you want to stay on the present course of spending and putting out phoney plans that only delay the collapse. Those hundreds of billions we spend each year to service the debt could be used to pay for programs or reduce taxes.. and soon it will be so large, we cannot pay the interest or the debt. I am disgusted with anyone who says the debt or deficit do not matter.
The budget (we spend too much) needs to be capped immediately and reduced. Across the board cuts every year for 6 years until it is balanced and the debt is gradually paid off.
Medicare and medicaid (we spend too much) .. limited health care coverage; (no medicare medicaid transplants or expensive procedures. if you want more, you buy insurance to cover that or you or your family pay for it.
Social security (we spend too much): You get back gradually what you paid in with interest, like an annuity. You can pay into SS more than required just like and IRA. Raise retirement age very gradually. If you die before you collect your investment back, it is paid to your estate.
Prescription Drug benefit: Cancel. Bush created this budget buster with no funding.
  #15  
Old 05-29-2011, 10:17 AM
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Default Hi VG

I feel your frustration and Rich Nugent's, what a Catch 22, and electing new representatives doesn't seem to be the answer because every congressman has his/her OWN agenda and lobbyist.....



Quote:
Originally Posted by Villages Kahuna View Post
Sadly, when our freshman Congressman, Rich Nugent, had a town hall meeting at Laurel Maonor Rec Center a month or so ago, he expressed deep frustration with the Congress he is now a part of compared to what he expected. He expressed frustration with the control that the party organizations have over the membership and most importantly, that the left and the right aren't even talking to one another about critical issues like the debt ceiling, the budget (we don't have one), spending cuts and entitlement changes. He related stories of committee meetings he's attended where the exchanges between the Republicans and the Democrats are little more than the types of soundbites you see on TV or on the Sunday talk shows. He explained that everyone in the Congress knows how critical our financial situation really is, and how imminently really major changes will have to happen. But the members on the ideological left and right seem willing to run the country right off the financial cliff and aren't even talking about what changes could be made that might satisfy both sides. He described a complete and total stalemate on fiscal issues.

The wise men who designed our system of government are rolling over in their graves!
 

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