Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why not fix Medicare/Medicaid first?

Matt Patterson at the San Francisco Examiner raises a great question, and one that I wish would be addressed by the President and the Democrat leaders. It is a simple question, and a logical one at that.

Why can't we fix the current government run health care programs (i.e. Medicare) before we exacerbate the problem by adding 30 million more people to the rolls?

This is an idea upon which you would think all sides of the debate would agree. It is something that is totally reasonable and would be very good for the country. I'm dumbfounded by the steamroller known as PelosiReid, Co. and their determination to rumble past this one point that would win them a lot of political capital and support from all sides.

Please, the American people are begging you: Address the insolvency and unsustainability of the existing government run health care programs FIRST and then we'll be willing to sit down and discuss some of your other ideas. But you can't really expect us to believe anything you've said about costs and access when your other experiments are about to collapse.

PS: an interesting fun fact - Medicare rejects more insurance claims than any private insurer. Looking at Obama's track record for vilifying private insurance companies (while privately cozying up to them) he'd better get started vilifying the company over which he presides as CEO, i.e. the US Government.


  1. I don't think solving existing problems is their main goal. Their goal is to make every American dependent on the government.

  2. Well, first of all, the new healthcare bill is less about government programs than about fixing the huge degree of incompetency and abuse in the for-profit insurance industry, but the bill does address elements of medicare and medicaid reform and does shore up their solvency. Secondly, it's not so much about how many claims medicare and medicaid reject as to how many valid claims it rejects and to what degree. So, your last point doesn't hold much merit.

    People on them love medicare and medicaid. How many people love their insurance company?

    For-profit insurers should not be able to decrease their costs by finding reasons to throw people off the insurance rolls. If insurance companies are going to do things like that, then why even bother to get insurance in the first place? They'll control costs by kicking you off when you really need it.

    And okay, I realize this doesn't happen in every case, but it happens in enough cases to warrant addressing from Congress. We shouldn't have a system that adds incentive to screw over insurance customers and it's very odd that anyone would argue for such a system.

    As to why not fix medicare and medicaid first, all I can say is why not fix the whole damn system altogether? You've given something that sounds like an argument, but it's not really an argument. Will fixing medicare and medicaid and then going through this excruciating process again to fix the insurance system be a benefit to Americans? Or will we be better off doing everything at once? I think the latter is more likely to be true.

  3. There are many good reasons for NOT enacting "comprehensive" legislation on ANYTHING. The main one is that it is utterly impossible to write, understand, debate, and finally decide on good, solid, smooth functioning procedures when they are part of a bill that impinges on dozens of existing laws. The healthcare bill is the mother of all comprehensive bills and will affect a big swath of our economy.

    Furthermore, if insurance companies are so abusive and greedy, why are most people satisfied with their current coverage? Why do you immediately jump to the conclusion that Medicare rejects only or mostly INVALID claims but Insurance companies reject mostly VALID claims? Please provide the link to this study and evidence.

    Finally, not long ago, one of our family members traveled to another state to donate stem cells to another terminally ill relative. The hospital where it was performed sent the bill for extracting the donor's cells to our insurance company. We called and wrote our insurance company telling them we understood they would not be billed and they should follow up on that. Without delay, our insurance company went ahead and paid thousands. Really abusive and greedy, right?

  4. Assuming that Medicare rejects more insurance claims than private insurers, could this be owing to the fact that it covers mostly the elderly and the infirm, among whom there are always those who want their doctor to fix things that come with age and can't be fixed? Haven't we all known older people like that? My father, a kind and good man, became like that in his later years. I suspect that this, rather than governmental parsimoniousness, is what may be making Medicare have to reject so many claims. My mother-in-law, who recently died at age 94, used Medicare for years and none of her legitimate claims were ever denied.

  5. The comment by "anonymous" at 3:40 am this morning inadvertently demonstrates uncharacteristic candor. Many of those who support a "comprehensive" - "all at once" -"immediate" - "one size fits all" - "government-mandated" approach have a very negative attitude to one of the main consumers of healthcare services.

    Referring to "the elderly and the infirm," our 3:40 am anonymous poster says:

    "there are always those who want their doctor to fix things that come with age and can't be fixed? Haven't we all known older people like that?"

    I think that would be a great slogan for the proponents of Obamacare: "there are always those who want their doctor to fix things!"

    Of course, there are always those who want to break things that don't require fixing.

    And, finally, there are always those who want to expand the reach of governmental power, who want to restrict liberty, and dismiss the legitimate claims of the people (especially the weak, the elderly, the ill).

    How mean, how brutal, how uncompassionate the so-called progressives are shown to be when they are inadvertently candid! Haven't we all known people like that?

  6. I don't think an all comprehensive insurance plan will be in the best iterests of all. Most states' Medicaid programs are already broke. Some have already been bailed out & some bailed out more than once. Are the systems any better? What broke Medicare & Social Security is the past Bush's administration. Including "Daddy" Bush. The money was taken to pay for "the War". Another thing that broke the Medicare, Social Security, & Medicaid Programs are the drug addicts & alcoholics who are immediately eligible for a check. This is a fact. They don't work, they wait for a handout, while the ones that are working are shafted when it's time for them to apply. The government keeps pledging to send millions & billions of dollars to other countries to help them out. The main problem being, the U.S. is in debt up past their ears to China, Japan, & other countries who'd like to take us over. Where is the money supposed to come from???? Sorry everyone, but the U.S.'s time has come for it to go under. It's sad, but true. Right now it will take many, many years to correct this mess, whether it is Republican, Democrat, or whoever. Good Luck & enjoy life, if you can. That's all that's left.

  7. This is Hannah Bevills, I am an editor with Hospital.com. We are a medical publication whose focus is geared towards promoting awareness on hospitals, including information, news, and reviews on them. Given the relevance of what you are offering from your site and what our mission is, I feel we may be able to collaborate in some way or another, I look forward to your response regarding the matter. Thanks!

    Hannah Bevills


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