Tuesday, September 18, 2012

12. History of Medicare

When Medicare became law in 1965, very few Americans lived to the age to 65,
let alone 20 years beyond that. At that time, the government estimated that
about $9Billion would be spent on Medicare by the year 1990. The real costs
were $63Billion, or 7 times that. So the government hasn’t been very good at
estimating the cost of Medicare. During that same time, the reimbursement to
hospitals and doctors went down markedly and the amount of paperwork and
regulation skyrocketed. That’s why doctors and hospitals frequently lose money
on Medicare patients. Many physicians can’t afford to take care of Medicare
patients anymore, and these patients are having a hard time finding doctors.

Now we have about 10,000 “baby boomers” going onto the Medicare rolls
each year. Even though these patients have paid into Medicare for many years,
they typically cost the system about 2 ½ times what they’ve paid in. The entire
Medicare system is estimated to be completely bankrupt by 2024 at the latest. At
that point, none of us will get Medicare. Something has to be done.

So President Obama’s healthcare plan includes $716 Billion in cuts to Medicare.
He claims that this will save Medicare, but he’s not using those “saved” dollars
to shore up Medicare costs…he’s using those dollars to help pay for other
parts of Obamacare!! Some of Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare patients will
include cuts to hospice, home health care, outpatient surgery, outpatient lab
tests, outpatient imaging…a long list of services that currently help to keep our
parents and grandparents healthy and active. Not anymore. Obamacare is the
only healthcare reform plan that actually cuts benefits to current Medicare
recipients!! None of the other plans do that—including the plan from Vice-
Presidential candidate Paul Ryan! When the Democrats aired that TV commercial
showing a Republican politician pushing “granny” off a cliff, it wasn’t just in bad
taste…it was a lie. Obama is the one really holding the handles, and it’s the
Democrat party leading us all to the edge.

(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)

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