Monday, December 10, 2012

If Obama Gives on Medicare Age, Let's Hold Another Election

Paul Buckeheit ruminates on a list of items real haters of government should focus on over at Nation of Change. His first item address Medicare and the proposal to raise the age from 65 to 67 which would actually cost more. Instead we should lower the medicare age down to the day you are born.

I reside with no less and expert, a woman who spent her entire working life working in the field of medical billing, dealing with all the thieving private insurance carriers and with the people at medicare, who she says were the most capable and efficient of all. She is not an ideological one-payer system fan, but comes at it from her practical working career.

Now why the Obama administration refuses to make these basic points is beyond me. Or maybe not beyond me.

Here is how Paul opens:

One of the pleasures of a weekend away from the city is visiting people who express points of view that are different from my own. A lot of them hate government. Their comments are sprinkled with colorful references to taxes, waste and socialism.

Countering with facts and statistics doesn't seem to work. Instead, listening to their rants can be educational for a progressive, because the anti-government sentiment highlights the masterful job done by conservatives and the wealthy over the years, as they have basically convinced much of America to argue against themselves on matters of politics and the economy.

It would make more sense to take on the real villains.

1. Medical Providers
They're taking a lot more of our money than Medicare does. According to the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, medical administrative costs as a percentage of claims are about three times higher for private insurance than for Medicare. The U.S. Institute of Medicine reports that the for-profit system wastes $750 billion a year on waste, fraud, and inefficiency. As a percent of GDP, we spend $1.2 trillion more than the OECD average.
That's an amount equal to the entire deficit wasted on private medical care companies. One out of every six dollars we earn goes to doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and insurance companies. All good reasons to redirect our hatred.


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