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Thread: Republican Senators Propose Medicare Changes

  1. #1
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    Republican Senators Propose Medicare Changes

    [URL="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/republican-senators-propose-medicare-changes/?scp=2&sq=medicare&st=cse"]http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/republican-senators-propose-medicare-changes/?scp=2&sq=medicare&st=cse[/URL]

    IMHO, the new standard definition of "A Snowball's chance in Hell" has been established.


    [QUOTE]

    Four conservative Republican senators kicked off a conversation Thursday on changes to Medicare, releasing a proposal that would end the federal fee-for-service insurance program in 2014 and enroll all recipients into the health insurance plan now offered to federal employees.

    The proposal establishes a right flank for the coming debate over the benefits program, which is expected to begin in earnest on Tuesday when the House Budget Committee, led by Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, unveils the Republicans’ plan. This proposal is expected to embrace ideas that Mr. Ryan wrote with Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, which would give seniors and other recipients a menu of health insurance plans to choose from, including the existing fee-for-service program. Seniors would be given a fixed subsidy to buy an insurance plan.

    But on Thursday, the four Republican senators — Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah — said offering recipients a choice of options would do nothing to lower the long-term costs of Medicare, the biggest driver of the nation’s debt. Under their plan, the menu would include all of the options available to members of Congress and federal workers, but fee-for-service would end.

    The senators offered additional details of their plan, which [B]provides a sliding scale for payments. The cost of seniors’ health care would generally be subsidized to cover 75 percent of premiums, but seniors with annual incomes of $100,000 to $200,000 would have 30 percent of their costs covered. Seniors with annual incomes of $200,000 to $1 million would have 15 percent of their costs covered, and those with at least $1 million in annual income would get no subsidy.
    [/B]
    Eligibility for the program would also slowly rise by three months a year for 20 years, going from age 65 to 70.

    “This will be the new Medicare,” said Mr. Paul, an ophthalmologist who is in his first term. “Medicare will be the federal employee health care plan.”

    The senators were well aware that Democratic lawmakers anticipate attacking any lawmaker who proposes such a sweeping change. But they said that Democrats who suggest that the current system could be saved were not being honest. They said their proposal would save the government more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

    [B]“The president and Harry Reid have been licking their chops for three years, waiting for Republicans to do something about the nation’s problems, like Medicare. So this is the moment they’ve been waiting for,” Mr. DeMint said, referring to the senate majority leader. “But I think if Americans can actually find out the truth about what we are doing, it will be a very big positive for Republicans in the fall.”[/B]

    But their plan was a significant break from earlier Republican proposals, which emphasized that retirees and those nearing retirement would not be affected. Asked what they would tell older Americans who expected access to the existing Medicare program, Mr. Graham responded: “Trust me. It’s a good deal.”

    The senators were also asked why it was a good deal for seniors to have a subsidized choice of private health plans when Republicans were pushing for the repeal of Mr. Obama’s health care law, which will offer a similar choice to all Americans. At first, they demurred. Then Mr. DeMint took the microphone to say that “beginning to privatize” an existing government program was very different from increasing government reach into the private health care market.

    [/QUOTE]

  2. #2
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    [QUOTE]The senators offered additional details of their plan, which provides a sliding scale for payments. The cost of seniors’ health care would generally be subsidized to cover 75 percent of premiums, but seniors with annual incomes of $100,000 to $200,000 would have 30 percent of their costs covered. Seniors with annual incomes of $200,000 to $1 million would have 15 percent of their costs covered, and those with at least $1 million in annual income would get no subsidy.[/QUOTE]


    Does anyone think this is good policy?

    I'm positive it is bad politics.

  3. #3
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    I don't know enough about Medicare, but I know that all the selfish old people freak out over it. Just die already and make room for the next generation. Who's with me?

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=Sharrow;4401574]I don't know enough about Medicare, but I know that all the selfish old people freak out over it. Just die already and make room for the next generation. Who's with me?[/QUOTE]

    Liberals that support death panels...

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=AlwaysGreenAlwaysWhite;4401580]Liberals that support death panels...[/QUOTE]

    But they are all liars

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=AlwaysGreenAlwaysWhite;4401580]Liberals that support death panels...[/QUOTE]

    My grandmothers private insurance company refused to provide her life saving care. She died as a result of not receiving a life saving procedure.

    Republicans supported the death panel that killed her. ;)

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=Buster;4401560]Does anyone think this is good policy?

    I'm positive it is bad politics.[/QUOTE]

    It looks like a move in the right direction to me. Means testing for the wealthy alongside a raise in the starting age should make the program solvent. I'm sure that democrats will demagogue the plan though and scare the seniors. Any plan that doesn't give away new freebies is "bad politics" in this sad state of affairs.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=Buster;4401560]Does anyone think this is good policy?

    I'm positive it is bad politics.[/QUOTE]

    Means testing medicare and social security is absolutely good policy. There's no reason Warren Buffet needs or should be getting government subsidized healthcare

  9. #9
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    Depending on what kind of loopholes they allow...

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=doggin94it;4401697]Means testing medicare and social security is absolutely good policy. There's no reason Warren Buffet needs or should be getting government subsidized healthcare[/QUOTE]

    Do you find it odd that liberals would try to deamonize a gop plan which contrary to their false narrative of "Republicans only protecting the rich" does exactly the opposite?

  11. #11
    It's good policy coupled with theft of funds. If they want to scrap the idea of ownership and turn Medicare into a welfare program it's a great idea. That's effectively what it is now based on the mismanagement of the programs. I prefer maintaining the concept that we all pay in and our elected officials have a fiscal responsability to maintain the programs solvency instead of repackaging it as welfare.

    We let both parties steal our benifits through mismanagement. I don't think it will sell politically.
    Last edited by Winstonbiggs; 03-18-2012 at 09:00 PM.

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=chiefst2000;4401979]Do you find it odd that liberals would try to deamonize a gop plan which contrary to their false narrative of "Republicans only protecting the rich" does exactly the opposite?[/QUOTE]

    Why should Republicans be praised for turning a paid in retirement program into welfare. I think it's odd that Republicans are supporting a huge new welfare program that's means tested, it's so odd I believe they are doing it to dismantle it all together not preserve it.

    They are hitting the third rail of politics when the demographics are decidely against them. Could be the end of the Republican party as we know it. Why would I support any politician stealing money from me?

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=Winstonbiggs;4402098]Why should Republicans be praised for turning a paid in retirement program into welfare. I think it's odd that Republicans are supporting a huge new welfare program that's means tested, it's so odd I believe they are doing it to dismantle it all together not preserve it.

    They are hitting the third rail of politics when the demographics are decidely against them. Could be the end of the Republican party as we know it. Why would I support any politician stealing money from me?[/QUOTE]

    This and the future war on Porn if Santorum wins! :D

    Does it matter anymore the lined is so blurred between the two parties, they are one and the same.

  14. #14
    it doesn't sound like it would go over well.

    isn't this the "wealth redistribution" people don't like?

    does it include a sliding scale for what you put in? If you are wealthier and get less out shouldn't you put less in?

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=Winstonbiggs;4402098]Why should Republicans be praised for turning a paid in retirement program into welfare. I think it's odd that Republicans are supporting a huge new welfare program that's means tested, it's so odd I believe they are doing it to dismantle it all together not preserve it.

    They are hitting the third rail of politics when the demographics are decidely against them. Could be the end of the Republican party as we know it. Why would I support any politician stealing money from me?[/QUOTE]

    The amount that goes in is not enough to cover what goes out. The simple reality is that we can not pay for it anymore. It is basic math. There isn't enough money to go around and the Medicare trust fund will be broke in a few years. The alternative is to let the country default and descend in to chaos. All of these programs need to be adjusted to make them sustainable. The question is how many of the sheeple actually understand this reality.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=piney;4402155]it doesn't sound like it would go over well.

    isn't this the "wealth redistribution" people don't like?

    does it include a sliding scale for what you put in? If you are wealthier and get less out shouldn't you put less in?[/QUOTE]

    This is essentially a tax on the rich without actually enacting a tax on the rich. Something that democrats and Republicans can get behind without compromising principals. SS and Medicare are not retirement programs they are a safety net. People making 200K+ per year in retirement are not retired or do not require a safety net. If they make less money in the future their benefit is there waiting for them. It is a clean scenario. Those that have some income can buy supplemental insurance to cover the gaps.

    It is worth noting that the plan Ryan is pushing is a mirror of the Federal Health Plan that Federal workers get.

  17. #17
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    How many people that qualify for Medicare make over $1,000,000 in [B]income[/B] anyway? How much would this really save in the long run? Most people that qualify are retirees aren't they?

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=doggin94it;4401697]Means testing medicare and social security is absolutely good policy. There's no reason Warren Buffet needs or should be getting government subsidized healthcare[/QUOTE]

    With that said, means testing of old-age benefits (medicare, social security) further turns the system from one of equality to one of direct wealth redistribution.

    Another penalty for making oneself a success.....while you have to pay for yourself and all your own costs all down the line, others get the same things for free, paid for by your contributions. A common theme.
    Last edited by Warfish; 03-19-2012 at 10:34 AM.

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=Trades;4402383]How many people that qualify for Medicare make over $1,000,000 in [B]income[/B] anyway? How much would this really save in the long run? Most people that qualify are retirees aren't they?[/QUOTE]

    I would say its likely that many millions of people on medicare make over 100K per year in income. Its likely that a few million make over 200K. This would save money for sure. The REAL meat of the savings however comes from raising the age from 65 to 70.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=chiefst2000;4402371]This is essentially a tax on the rich without actually enacting a tax on the rich. Something that democrats and Republicans can get behind without compromising principals. SS and Medicare are not retirement programs they are a safety net. People making 200K+ per year in retirement are not retired or do not require a safety net. If they make less money in the future their benefit is there waiting for them. It is a clean scenario. Those that have some income can buy supplemental insurance to cover the gaps.

    It is worth noting that the plan Ryan is pushing is a mirror of the Federal Health Plan that Federal workers get.[/QUOTE]

    this. Common sense, FTW! :yes:

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