Posts Tagged ‘Medicare’
Imagine going to the doctor with the flu and paying $30 for the visit and $10 for the medicine with no further medical bill. Now imagine going to the doctor and finding out you have cancer. You have enough money in the bank to deal with such a medical emergency and whatever you can’t cover, the federal government will pick up. All citizens of the country in these scenarios have the same deal and the government only spends 4 percent of GDP on health care. Sound impossible? Welcome to Singapore.
Touting arguably the best health care system in the world and a per capita income higher than America, Singapore is the answer economists have no doubt been shouting at their televisions during every health care debate the last eight years. The Singapore health care system presents an ideal blend of left and right ideas on health care and still manages to be more free-market than U.S. health care has been since prior to the “New Deal.” Due to the creation of Medicare in 1965, the federal government has been spending more each year on health care; which has brought us to a current rate of 17 percent of GDP on health care.
Read more by Breeanne Howe at FreedomWorks
But the information has no relationship to what government or commercial health plans actually pay
The Obama administration released information on Wednesday on what hospitals “charge” for 100 common inpatient procedures - without mentioning that the information has no relationship to what government or commercial health plans actually pay for the procedures.
Read more by Guy Boulton of the Journal Sentinel
It’s one of the most fundamental political questions of our time: What’s driving the growth in government spending? And it has a relatively straightforward answer: first and foremost, spending on health care through Medicare and Medicaid, and other major social insurance and entitlement programs.
But I thought it was worth reviewing the evidence in a bit more detail. There are a few surprises along the way, some of which liberal readers might like and others of which will please conservative readers.
The Web site usgovernmentspending.com has an abundance of data on federal, state and local spending at different points in time. My focus will be on how government has been spending its money in the present and the past, rather than evaluating any future budgets or projections.
Read more by NATE SILVER at fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com
Surgery center provides free-market medicine.
Three years ago, Dr. Keith Smith, co-founder and managing partner of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, took an initiative that would only be considered radical in the health care industry: He posted online a list of prices for 112 common surgical procedures. The 51-year-old Smith, a self-described libertarian, and his business partner, Dr. Steve Lantier, founded the Surgery Center 15 years ago, after they became disillusioned with the way patients were treated at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, where the two men worked as anesthesiologists. In 1997, Smith and Lantier bought the shell of a former surgical center with the aim of creating a for-profit facility that could deliver first-rate care at a fraction of what traditional hospitals charge.
The major cause of exploding U.S. heath care costs is the third-party payer system, a text-book concept in which A buys goods or services from B that are paid for by C. Because private insurance companies or the government generally pick up most of the tab for medical services, patients don’t have the normal incentive to seek out value.
The Surgery Center’s consumer-driven model could become increasingly common as Americans look for alternatives to the traditional health care market—an unintended consequence of Obamacare. Patients may have no choice but to look outside the traditional health care industry in the face of higher costs and reduced access to doctors and hospitals.
Read more by Jim Epstein at Reason.com
There’s a lot to be said for talking about the Constitution, economic theory and what’s best for the country. However, one place we conservatives have slipped in recent years is framing our policies in a way that answers the very first question on the mind of most voters, “How does this benefit me?”
That needs to change.
Conservatism is an ideology that benefits everyone, but it’s particularly helpful to middle class Americans. If we want to bring more of those voters to the Right, we have to do a better job of explaining to them exactly how we’re going to make their lives better. Happily, if you’re talking to someone with an open mind, it’s an easy case to make.
Read more by John Hawkins at Townhall.com
–SNIP– But if you are an anti-tax conservative who sincerely believes that you have to cut spending and not “feed the beast” with more revenues, then one approach on spending cuts for the super committee to consider is the simple and creative “Penny Plan” introduced by Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla.
Mr. Mack’s bill, H.R. 1848, would cut one penny out of every dollar actually spent by the federal government from year to year for the next six years, from FY 2012-FY 2017.
Beginning in FY 2018, there would be a budget cap of 18 percent of GDP (the average federal revenue as a percentage of GDP over the past 30 years). And by FY 2019, America would finally have a balanced budget — that is, assuming revenues naturally increase from the current 14.8 percent of GDP to 18 percent of GDP by 2019, after which the budget would be in surplus.
There is an automatic spending cut “trigger” under Mack’s plan — one he came up with well before the trigger used in the recently passed national debt ceiling bill.
If Congress failed to enact a budget implementing the 1 percent actual spending cut required under Mack’s measure, then there would be automatic, across-the-board actual cuts in all federal programs to meet the 1 percent reduction, and that means all: in defense, Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, defense, and national security spending. Everything.
Read more by Lanny Davis at NewsMax.com
A decade and a half ago, both of us served on President Clinton’s Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, the forerunner to President Obama’s recent National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In 1994 we predicted that, unless something was done to control runaway entitlement spending, Medicare and Social Security would eventually go bankrupt or confront severe benefit cuts.
Eighteen years later, nothing has been done. Why? The usual reason is that entitlement reform is the third rail of American politics. That explanation presupposes voter demand for entitlements at any cost, even if it means bankrupting the nation.
A better explanation is that the full extent of the problem has remained hidden from policy makers and the public because of less than transparent government financial statements. How else could responsible officials claim that Medicare and Social Security have the resources they need to fulfill their commitments for years to come?
Read more By CHRIS COX AND BILL ARCHER at WSJ.com
If you doubt there’s an American welfare state, you should read the new study by demographer Nicholas Eberstadt, whose blizzard of numbers demonstrates otherwise.
A welfare state transfers income from some people to other people to improve the recipients’ well-being. In 1935, these transfers were less than 3% of the economy; now they’re almost 20%. That’s $7,200 a year for every American, calculates Eberstadt.
He says that nearly 40% of these transfers aim to relieve poverty (through Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and the like), while most of the rest goes to the elderly (mainly through Social Security and Medicare).
Read More by Robert J. Samuelson at IBD
If we look at what’s skyrocketed in price (healthcare, college tuition), we find they are government funded and supported. This is not a coincidence.
Inflation is generally viewed as a monetary phenomenon (print money excessively and you get inflation), but let’s use a very simple definition: any loss of purchasing power. If your income buys fewer goods and services, for whatever mix of reasons (geopolitical, weather, monetary, fiscal, etc.), that’s inflation “on the ground.”
–SNIP– What differentiates medical and college costs from everything else? The Federal government’s direct role in these markets. The Central State directly spends over $1 trillion a year on Medicare and Medicaid, and controls private spending with rules and regulations.
As for college costs: could their incredible expansion have anything to do with the Central State backing $1 trillion in student loans?
Read more by Charles Hugh Smith at charleshughsmith.blogspot.com
TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO:
“We’re going to be gifted with a health care plan we are forced to purchase, and fined if we don’t, which purportedly covers at least 10 million new people without adding a single new doctor, but…….
- provides for 16,000 new IRS agents,
- written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it,
- passed by a Congress that didn’t read it but exempted themselves from it, and
- signed by a President who smokes,
- with funding administered by a Treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes,
- for which we will be taxed for 4 years before any benefits take effect
- by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare,
- all to be overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by a country that’s broke.
So what the **** could possibly go wrong?”
The president’s apologists correctly sense peril for their favored candidate.
Paul Ryan’s speech accepting the Republican party’s nomination for vice president was everything that could have been hoped for by the Romney campaign and more. It made the case against President Obama in devastating terms — using humor and memorable line after memorable line to drive home the main point that the president has been a miserable failure in office. The speech is likely to have lasting impact in this campaign.
Which perhaps explains the panicky reaction of the mainstream press and Ryan’s liberal critics. Almost from the moment Ryan finished his speech, apologists for the president (including the Washington Post) have come out swinging, quite plainly indignant that Ryan landed so many punches when the usual media filters couldn’t stop him.
Read more by James C. Capretta at National Review
The website PolitiFact is going to be truth-squadding the Republican convention speakers this week, delivering verdicts on which claims are “mostly true” and which deserve a “pants on fire” rating. Our advice: Pay no attention to those ratings. PolitiFact can’t be trusted to get the story right.
Read more at National Review
–SNIP– Have you seen the latest Newsweek magazine cover out this week? Ultra-left Newsweek’s cover story features a photo of Obama and the headline: “Hit the Road Barack, Why We Need a New President.” My, how the mighty have fallen! Is it possible the mainstream media are finally starting to grasp what I predicted three months ago: that Obama will lose in a landslide? Has the first domino fallen? As the media realize that Obama will not only lose, but lose big, I predict this will be the first of many negative headlines for Obama. After all, no one likes to bet on a lame horse.
Why the change of heart? The latest Gallop Poll has Romney up by 2 points. That’s before the GOP Convention. Rasmussen (my most trusted pollster) has had Romney up by 3 to 4 points most days for a solid month. Rasmussen also has Romney winning Indiana, North Carolina, Florida and dead even in Wisconsin (all States Obama won in 2008). Obama is in deep trouble and that’s before America gets to see Paul Ryan debate Joe Biden and realizes that Biden is a worn-out union hack with no knowledge of facts whatsoever.
What if the media actually try playing fair and balanced and telling the truth? Here is what they’d report:
Read more by Wayne Allyn Root at Personal Liberty Digest
Not only did the President and his partners in Congress take $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare, but they also raise taxes by $836.3 billion to pay for it, with $36.3 billion hitting Americans in 2013 alone. Here’s the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation‘s (JCT) updated cost of the Obamacare tax hikes and penalties.
To read about more of Obamacare’s negative effects, click here.
Read more by Alyene Senger and John Fleming at Heritage.org
Vice presidential picks are always judged by their effect on the coming election. They rarely have any.
This time could be different. The Democrats’ Mediscare barrage is already in full swing. Paul Ryan, it seems, is determined to dispossess grandma, then toss her over a cliff. If the charge is not successfully countered, goodbye Florida.
Republicans have a twofold answer. First, hammer home that their plan affects no one over 55, let alone 65. Second, go on offense. Point out that President Obama cuts Medicare by $700 billion to finance ObamaCare.
It’s a sweet judo throw: Want to bring up Medicare, supposedly our weakness? Fine. But now you’ve got to debate ObamaCare, your weakness — and explain why you are robbing granny’s health care to pay for your pet project.
Read more by CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER at Investors.com