We want to Protect today's Medicare Program:
Key Elements of Mitt’s Plan
- Nothing changes for current seniors or those nearing retirement (Untrue, as the existing Medicare Program participation is reduced, less folks are enrolled which means program costs are shared by less people and the costs associated with operating the plan will rise. Meaning higher costs, reduced services or a Republican Party who will use the consequences they created with their policies as an excuse to try to end the program).
- Medicare is reformed as a premium support system, meaning that existing spending is repackaged as a fixed-amount benefit to each senior that he or she can use to purchase an insurance plan (This statement runs counter to the intent and meaning of insurance coverage. Insurance is meant to take a "Large number of similar exposure units" [eg. retired senior citizens]: Since insurance operates through pooling resources, the majority of insurance policies are provided for individual members of large classes, allowing insurers to benefit from the law of large numbers in which predicted losses are similar to the actual losses.Less members higher costs or reduced services!)
- All insurance plans must offer coverage at least comparable to what Medicare provides today (Placing a private for profit insurance carrier between the patient and a doctor is NOT better than having a not-for-profit single-payer system. At the very least, private insurance companies are in business to make a profit for shareholders, policy holders are not for profit insurance carriers primary concern).
- If seniors choose more expensive plans, they will have to pay the difference between the support amount and the premium price; if they choose less expensive plans, they can use any leftover support to pay other medical expenses like co-pays and deductibles (Placing different levels of insurance for consumer choice is not a bad thing. Fact is, today's Medicare Program Standard Service Plan offerings are not available for the dollar value offered by the Romney premium support [VOUCHER Plan Proposed] payment. Vouchers will not buy an equivalent coverage to today's Medicare Insurance. And adjustments for future costs will NOT keep up with Medical Services Inflation. All participants in private insurance plans will likely loose 5% or 6 % of their full premium cost a year.)
- “Traditional” fee-for-service Medicare will be offered by the government as an insurance plan, meaning that seniors can purchase that form of coverage if they prefer it; however, if it costs the government more to provide that service than it costs private plans to offer their versions, then the premiums charged by the government will have to be higher and seniors will have to pay the difference to enroll in the traditional Medicare option (Who negotiates the fee for service payment costs, either the government or a private for profit insurance company. Costs would be dramatically reduced if there was one single-payer Medicare Program. This allows not-for-profit insurance administrators to spread the risk among all participants; therefore lower costs.)
- Lower income seniors will receive more generous support to ensure that they can afford coverage; wealthier seniors will receive less support (I'm from Missouri, the "Show Me State" show me the written legislation so the support structure for all participants can be reviewed and verified)
- Competition among plans to provide high quality service while charging low premiums will hold costs down while also improving the quality of coverage enjoyed by seniors (Unfortunately this is NOT true. Insurance carriers are exempt from some restraint of trade laws allowing them to participate in anti-competitive activities. We know private insurance has done nothing to hold down costs. Witness the private insurance history of escalating costs below).
If we want to protect the Medicare Program as it presently exists, we extend and offer the program to every citizen of the United states of America. This way, the folks can use the free market concepts to choose the best service provider no matter where they are located, no matter whether they belong to one private insurance carrier plan or not.
True free market enterprise in health care is one single insurance payer and unlimited choice to use whatever doctor, hospital or clinic you wish. You choose the best based on the reputation and ability to provide the best health care service.
Republican politicians have it wrong, they'll get over it!
Escalating Health Care CostsFamilies, business, and state and federal budgets are straining under skyrocketing health care costs.
Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have more than doubled in the last 9 years, a rate 3 times faster than cumulative wage increases.
The United States spent approximately $2.2 trillion on health care in 2007, or $7,421 per person. This comes to 16.2% of GDP, nearly twice the average of other developed nations.
Health care costs doubled from 1996 to 2006, and are projected to rise to 25% of GDP in 2025 and 49% in 2082.
The proportion of spending attributable to Medicare and Medicaid in the health system is expected to rise from 4 percent of GDP in 2007 to 19 percent of GDP in 2082, making it the principle driving force behind rising federal spending in the decades to come.
Health care costs add $1,525 to the price of every General Motors vehicle. The company spent $4.6 billion on health care in 2007, more than the cost of steel.
As a result of these crushing health care costs, American businesses are losing their ability to compete in the global marketplace. Health care at General Motors puts the company at a $5 billion disadvantage against Toyota, which spends $1,400 less on health care per vehicle.
The average cost of an employer-based family insurance policy in 2008 was $12,680, which was nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job.
From 2000 to 2008, the percentage of employees with an annual deductible greater than $1000 increased from 1% to 18%. Among small businesses, more than one in three workers must spend at least $1000 out of pocket before their health benefits kick in.
Half of all personal bankruptcies are at least partly the result of medical expenses.
The typical elderly couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not covered by Medicare alone.
Eight in ten Americans are dissatisfied with the total cost of health care, and over half report paying for the cost of a major illness as a major problem.