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Passions in Poetry

So... I feel like an idiot

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hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


0 posted 11-25-2003 02:27 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I don't know how to feel about the Medicare reform that NPR tells me is pretty much sure to be signed into law today... because I don't understand the bill. From reading articles online, I've been able to gleen a foggy impression:

-The gov. wants to charge high income seniors more

-Mermbers of the AARP are pissed b/c the AARP apparently supports this bill

-Liberals are pissed b/c it's apparently some Republican sham which caters to big-business drug companies, insurance companies, and doctors

-According to CBS news, "this bill actually makes Medicare less efficient and undermines its long-term financial stability."

-Something about integrating private plans into medicare, or rather medicare-type benefits into private plans?

I don't know, maybe I should have been paying better attention all along, but now I'm trying to play catch-up and I don't understand it at all... is there anyone here who can offer opinions -- or, better yet, a "politics-for-dummies" style explanation.... that'd be great.
jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


1 posted 11-25-2003 03:01 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Amy:

So ... are you really interested in knowing more about the Federal Medicare/Medicaid Program?  I've been up to my chin in it since the end of June and I still find it tremendously confusing.

Conservatives generally believe a key to slowing the increasing cost of medical care is privatization ... let the market be the market and let private insurance remain the payer of first resort.

Because Medicare and Medicaid exist as a secondary insurer to seniors or people with disabilities who have private insurance also, private insurance companies often attempt to save money by denying coverage for certain procedures/services or carrying exclusions for certain conditions (i.e., developmental disabilities) so Medicare/Medicaid picks up the cost.

Hence the liberal mistrust of private insurance companies.

I can understand why some of the interest groups and partisans are either praising or decrying the plan, but I'm a little confused by CBS's position.  I'm no prophet, but I suspect the new prescription drug benefit will reinforce the same behavior I've seen on the Medicaid side ... more denials by the primary insurer with the secondary insuror picking up the tab.

Jim

[This message has been edited by jbouder (11-26-2003 10:08 AM).]

Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


2 posted 11-25-2003 08:52 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

But Jim CBS's position should be clear. After all, CBS is Continuous Bull .... Well, you know the rest
Stephanos
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since 07-31-2000
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Statesboro, GA, USA


3 posted 11-26-2003 07:21 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush,

You're a Nursing Student.  Ever thought of going into Case Management?  You'd learn more about this stuff than you ever wanted to know.  

Stephen
jbouder
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since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


4 posted 11-26-2003 08:16 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Pete:

That would be the knee-jerk conservative response.

Actually, their point is valid, especially if private insurers engage in "patient dumping."  I think what this bill is attempting to do is incentivize primary insurers to continue paying for prescription drugs so the Medicare plan can remain the safety net it was intended to be.  I just think it is journalistically dishonest to only present one side of the story.  The big question is whether Federal regulators can keep the patient dumping at bay.

Stephan:

So are you encouraging Amy to take a job with low pay, overwhelming caseloads, and funding constraints that force her to choose between doing the right thing and jeopardizing her career?

Jim
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


5 posted 11-26-2003 10:07 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Primary insurers won't be able to 'kick' people out, per se, but will be able to limit the specific medications they are willing to cover -- thereby weeding out 'high risk' patients.

There is no question about that point at all from what I can see.

But as I've studied this issue every time I get to the donut hole I get hungry and distracted...

I've never heard anyone propose privatizing the Federal Highway System....

I do favor a privatized approach to the health care problem though -- of sorts -- but I'd favor either letting the government be the primary insurer and then re-insuring to privately held bidders -- or -- making the premium payments via a voucher system like conservatives propose for education.

The current bill purportedly will bring down the costs of medication but I honestly don't see how -- and the markets tend to bear that out -- if it was going to create more competition for pharmacuetical giants and insurance companies why have all their stocks gone UP??????

The bottom line is -- this is just politics 101.  Medicare and prescription benefits is a Democrat issue just like balancing the budget and welfare reform were Republican issues -- so what did Bill Clinton do?  Took the issues off the table by balancing the budget and reforming welfare.  When was the last time you heard a Republican even mention a balanced budget?

Now the Republicans are trying to take the Democrat's big issue off the table -- in the end -- the friends of the powerful get their pockets lined as usual and you and me and the other quarter billion Americans just get screwed.

At least there will be some decent reforms from what I can tell along the lines of allowing preventive medicine.

I'll never forget my Dad's PSA tests WEREN'T covered if they came back NEGATIVE -- but then again on the private side we've all seen the absolute nightmare of HMO's.... right?

Is the private solution really a panacea?
hush
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


6 posted 11-27-2003 08:22 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Okay, I didn't know Medicare was actually intended to be a secondary insurance (is that why it kind of sucks?) But Jim, what you're telling me then is that Medicare was intended for people like my father, who retired from Jeep and has a pension and primary Family Health plan coverage... and less so for people like my mom, who had to quit working because of a debilitating disease process and was left high and dry for medical coverage while she continuously applied (and was denied) for SSI and Medicare. (sorry, a little bitter there as you can see...)

All I know is that since that time, my mom has gotten shafted into whipping her credit card out for precriptions, because Medicare doesn't cover them. When I was reading about this, I read about two different versions of coverage- a house version and a senate version, which both proposed to cover prescriptions in different ways.

I still don't understand the role of private insurance here, though. Are you guys saying that making medicare better will push private insurers to make their coverage better in order to keep patients from switching over to medicare as a primary insurance?

*sigh* I'm so confused...
Tim
Senior Member
since 06-08-99
Posts 1801


7 posted 11-27-2003 09:29 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

any proposal that has the liberal left and conservative right both up in arms can't be all bad.  With the largest entitlement program since FDR, one would think the liberals would be in donkey heaven.  The conservative right is philosophically opposed as would be expected. The Democrats have the small problem in that it was proposed and pushed by Bush. Thank goodness, arch conservative Feinstein was able to carry the day.  If your primary source of news is NPR and CBS, I suggest you try to broaden your horizons and get a slanted view from the other side, you just might end up somewhere in the middle.
In any event, in poli sci 101, entitlements are opposed as an unnecessary waste by those who do not receive them.  If you are part of the targeted population, the entitlement is a right, but clearly underfunded.  What Bush did is called triangulation, and as pointed out, the master was former President Clinton.
Being the treasurer of the board of a nursing home, and having a wife who is a nurse, I believe I have a fair to middling grasp of the concept of medicare. I personally think reform in medicare is necessary, and taking a step is better than letting the issue be used as a scare tactic by far left and far right to further alienate the general public, including the senior population.
Believe it or not, occasionally government can do things of a positive nature, although naysayers both in and out of the government; politicians, media and members of the public would not admit the fact if their lives depended on it.
Not A Poet
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since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


8 posted 11-27-2003 10:35 AM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Jim, my appraisal of CBS was independent of their statement on the Medicare bill. It was intended in the completely general sense

Both Rebel and Tim have pretty well nailed down politics in general, I think. As an outsider, it is hard to believe that our elected officials have our best interests in mind. Their real concern is the advancement of their own political parties. Sadly, this is all too often at the expense of the other quarter billion.

On another note, if Medicare is secondary coverage, why is it that all the private insurance companies either drop you automatically at age 65 or at least convert your coverage to a Medicare Supplement?
hush
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


9 posted 11-29-2003 12:14 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'If your primary source of news is NPR and CBS, I suggest you try to broaden your horizons and get a slanted view from the other side, you just might end up somewhere in the middle.'

Actually, Tim, the whole point of me posting this was that I don't understand the bill, and all I have heard about it is generally liberal complaint. That doesn't mean I'm complaining about it... rather, I'm trying to understand it. Do you have any suggestions for a good starting point for that?

Any bill that potentially stands to provide my excessively ill and increasingly indebted mother prescription coverage is an improvement, in my book.

And, actually, when I have time to watch TV, I watch a lot of Fox News... it's my guilty pleasure.
Tim
Senior Member
since 06-08-99
Posts 1801


10 posted 11-29-2003 12:50 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

for a variety of views you can google on the internet.  Your congressman or congresswoman probably has a local number to secure services.  They would be more than willing to supply an overview of the bill.  There are local depositories for federal enactments available where you could obtain a copy of the bill itself.  Your local government may well have a department on aging.  They would keep up todate on such issues and would have gotten updates.  
 
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