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Democrats organize to fight back
#61
Progressives don't agree with you, Warren. Are you so sure you are right?

Republicans want to charge seniors a lot more for inferior health coverage.
https://thinkprogress.org/the-republican....rdnoflk2s

Again, it’s impossible to know exactly how much more seniors will pay for inferior health coverage under the Republican Medicare plan, because Paul Ryan hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with figures like how much the vouchers will be worth or how much he expects his proposal to cost. In 2011, however, Ryan did provide enough information to allow researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to calculate how much costs would increase for seniors. Their conclusion was grim.

There are two reasons why moving more seniors into private health plans will jack up the overall cost of care. One is that private insurers simply have far more administrative costs than a government plan. The other is that traditional Medicare has far more power to bargain down health costs than private insurers.

One of the most important mechanisms for keeping down health care costs is a bargaining process that takes place between insurers and health providers.

When a large health insurer is confronted with a six figure bill for a lung transplant, or even a three figure bill for a patient’s anti-fungal drugs, they are typically able to bargain these prices down because they speak on behalf of thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of patients. If a particular hospital refuses to bargain, an insurance company can threaten to cut that hospital out of their network, so the hospital will come to the negotiating table out of fear that it will lose a large chunk of its patients.

An insurer’s power in this negotiation, however, is directly related to the number of patients it represents. A hospital may be able to afford to lose business from a small insurer, and thus is more likely to drive a harder bargain with such an insurer than it would with a larger insurer that can speaks on behalf of many more patients. And the biggest insurer of them all, at least in the United States, is Medicare.

In 2010, seniors accounted 34 percent of health care costs in the United States, despite making up only 13 percent of the population. Mortality being what it is, people will unavoidably spend more on medical care as they age, so a health plan that covers the bulk of America’s seniors will command significant bargaining power against hospitals. Few health providers can afford to simply give up payments from Medicare patients, so they need to agree to the prices that Medicare is willing to pay.

What Paul Ryan wants to do is divide up the powerful bargaining unit of seniors currently covered by traditional Medicare into dozens of smaller private health plans. That leaves each of these health plans with far less power to drive a hard bargain. The result is more money for hospitals and higher out-of-pocket costs for seniors.

Republicans, in other words, want to charge seniors a lot more for inferior health coverage.

Phasing out Medicare

An open question is whether Ryan intends to simply charge seniors more for inferior coverage, or if he will actually phase out Medicare itself — leaving seniors with an increasingly worthless voucher in lieu of the robust health coverage they currently enjoy.

During the debate over Obamacare, the phrase “bending the cost curve” was frequently tossed around. This refers to the biggest long-term problem facing health policy makers: for most of the last four decades, health care costs have grown faster than wages. Indeed, the numbers here are quite stark. Between 1960 and 2012, health costs grew from 5.2 percent of GDP to 17.9 percent. One of the primary reasons why so many Americans haven’t felt any real wage growth for decades is that their raises are being eaten up by higher insurance premiums and doctors’ bills.

Bending the cost curve meant reducing the rate of health inflation so that it no longer consumed a larger share of Americans out-of-pocket costs every year. And there are early signs that this cost curve did begin to bend downward under President Obama.

Ryancare, by contrast, risks shifting this curve upward for the reasons explained above — it diminishes Medicare’s ability to bargain prices down.

Ryan has taken conflicting positions on whether his new voucher program will account for the cost curve. In 2011, Ryan’s original health plan provided that the new Medicare vouchers would gain value each year at a rate that was slower than the rate of health inflation — effectively causing them to lose value with each passing year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, “by 2080, Medicare would be cut 76 percent below its projected size under current policies” if Ryan’s 2011 plan had become law. A child born in 2015 would receive less than a quarter of the resources provided to today’s seniors when that child became eligible for a voucher.

By contrast, the most recent version of Ryan’s Medicare plan provides that the value of the voucher should be determined “based on the average bid of participating plans.” So the voucher would be indexed to something that is likely to rise at close to the rate of health inflation. The latest version of Ryancare would charge seniors a lot more for inferior health coverage, but it doesn’t appear to phase out Medicare in the same way that the 2011 version did.

Nevertheless, given the increasing vagueness of Ryan’s plans, the speaker’s oft-demonstrated innumeracy, and the fact that he can’t seem to settle on the details for how he plans to voucherize Medicare, it remains an open question whether the vouchers would lose value over time.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#62
[Image: 10704083_734710573288666_821133477225853...e=588F1205]
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#63
(11-16-2016, 06:04 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: How are vouchers going to work in medicare? Also, isn't it easy just to cut them, so that we who paid for it don't get much coverage?

They're likely to work similarly to existing Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans.

Medicare is going to get cut any way you slice it - or rather, is going to grow at the normal rate of inflation instead of the rate of medical inflation - it's just that vouchers give you more of a choice in how it works.

As for what you paid for, ever since Bush added prescription drug coverage, Medicare has cost about three times as much as what gets paid into it.

(11-16-2016, 06:12 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Progressives don't agree with you, Warren. Are you so sure you are right?

I'm much more sure now that I know progressives don't agree with me, since they're almost always wrong.
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#64
(11-16-2016, 08:43 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(11-16-2016, 06:04 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: How are vouchers going to work in medicare? Also, isn't it easy just to cut them, so that we who paid for it don't get much coverage?

They're likely to work similarly to existing Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans.

We'll have to pay the premiums for Advantage/Part D, including Part B, and also Part A. Which will all be more expensive. And you trust Ryan to raise the amount of these vouchers to cover all this, and to cover the steeply-rising costs of all these parts? If so, I've got some ocean front property in Miami Beach to sell you.

Quote:Medicare is going to get cut any way you slice it - or rather, is going to grow at the normal rate of inflation instead of the rate of medical inflation - it's just that vouchers give you more of a choice in how it works.
It takes away bargaining power for prices, and leaves you to the mercies of small insurers, who will raise your premiums and deductibles (or should I say mine). Small insurance companies are inefficient and eat up our steeply-rising payments to pay their rising profits.

Quote:As for what you paid for, ever since Bush added prescription drug coverage, Medicare has cost about three times as much as what gets paid into it.

Because the advice of progressives has not been followed, and the monopoly of American drug companies has been maintained.

Quote:
(11-16-2016, 06:12 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Progressives don't agree with you, Warren. Are you so sure you are right?

I'm much more sure now that I know progressives don't agree with me, since they're almost always wrong.

The article posted was right. Your ideology is not.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#65
(11-16-2016, 05:42 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: Yesterday, I picked, of all years, 2001. Yep, I'm now actually nostalgic about 2001, warts and all.

Exclamation

Wow, that's some big warts on that one you like.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#66
Robert Reich discusses how to resist:



"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#67
(11-16-2016, 06:21 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: [Image: 10704083_734710573288666_821133477225853...e=588F1205]

That "new leadership" included the Dems, not just the Reaganite GOP.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#68
(11-17-2016, 01:58 AM)Eric the Green Wrote:
Quote:Medicare is going to get cut any way you slice it - or rather, is going to grow at the normal rate of inflation instead of the rate of medical inflation - it's just that vouchers give you more of a choice in how it works.
It takes away bargaining power for prices, and leaves you to the mercies of small insurers, who will raise your premiums and deductibles (or should I say mine). Small insurance companies are inefficient and eat up our steeply-rising payments to pay their rising profits.

To the contrary, private insurance is far more able to negotiate for lower prices.  As you point out, government is subject to lobbying from the suppliers, keeping prices high; private insurance doesn't have that problem.
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#69
(11-17-2016, 08:00 AM)Odin Wrote:
(11-16-2016, 06:21 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: [Image: 10704083_734710573288666_821133477225853...e=588F1205]

That "new leadership" included the Dems, not just the Reaganite GOP.

Indeed, that 30 years includes 16 years of Democratic administrations and only 2 years of Reagan - notably the last two years when the Bushies were starting to get their way.
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#70
It is 36 years now, with the next 4 to be added on. Enough Republican and Democratic-lite power to stop or reverse every progressive proposal and institute regressive proposals instead. No progressive administration and congress in all that time; even since 1966. A sane nation would not tolerate a leadership such as we have had for 54 years and counting.

And we have paid for it with ballooning inequality, increasing poverty, and becoming an immobile class society in a banana republic, which imposes mounting climate change on the rest of the world, not to mention creepy, deadly wars and invasions, and a skyrocketing national debt whose sole and deliberate purpose was to shrink government to fit into a bathtub, as one of our leaders put it.

No progressive presidents, and only two Democratic-lite administrations in all that time, and even the two Democratic-lite administrations had their proposals blocked in congress virtually their entire time in office. All in obedience to the Reagan false and deadly ideology of free-market trickle-down economics, and resentment of "top down" government policies which might "use my taxes for freebies for lazy people; you know, those weird folks in the cities who got all that civil rights help, and all those illegals; you know those folks I mean....."
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#71
(11-17-2016, 12:01 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(11-17-2016, 01:58 AM)Eric the Green Wrote:
Quote:Medicare is going to get cut any way you slice it - or rather, is going to grow at the normal rate of inflation instead of the rate of medical inflation - it's just that vouchers give you more of a choice in how it works.
It takes away bargaining power for prices, and leaves you to the mercies of small insurers, who will raise your premiums and deductibles (or should I say mine). Small insurance companies are inefficient and eat up our steeply-rising payments to pay their rising profits.

To the contrary, private insurance is far more able to negotiate for lower prices.  As you point out, government is subject to lobbying from the suppliers, keeping prices high; private insurance doesn't have that problem.

No, they have no problem just jacking up prices to give themselves as much profit as they want. The largest health insurance company is Medicare, and it alone has the power to negotiate for lower prices.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#72
(11-17-2016, 08:00 AM)Odin Wrote:
(11-16-2016, 06:21 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: [Image: 10704083_734710573288666_821133477225853...e=588F1205]

That "new leadership" included the Dems, not just the Reaganite GOP.

No disagreement there; the New Democrat-lites may have been better than the GOP, but they did not stray too far from the Reagan Ranch, even when they were allowed to do anything worthwhile, which was seldom. Instead they often went along with the program.

And the voters who wanted "change" last Tuesday, and before, seem unable to grasp that there are 3 branches of government. Imagine that, allegedly voting for Trump because he promised change, better trade deals that would bring jobs back, so what do they do? Vote for Pat Toomey and Ron Johnson, the most typical GOP Republican stooges imaginable who don't care a thing even about better trade deals? Anyone in the right mind call THAT "voting for change?" How many GOP congress-critters were thrown out? Just 6; is that "voting for change??" NO, it isn't!
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#73
(11-17-2016, 03:10 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: And the voters who wanted "change" last Tuesday, and before, seem unable to grasp that there are 3 branches of government. Imagine that, allegedly voting for Trump because he promised change, better trade deals that would bring jobs back, so what do they do? Vote for Pat Toomey and Ron Johnson, the most typical GOP Republican stooges imaginable who don't care a thing even about better trade deals? Anyone in the right mind call THAT "voting for change?" How many GOP congress-critters were thrown out? Just 6; is that "voting for change??" NO, it isn't!

Uh, no. The upside of Nov 8th is that I finally got the forest fire for the Democratic party which burned out all of that nasty "New Democrat" underbrush.

[Image: high-res-photo-of-a-forest-fire-in-progr...d470437144]




Just for old time sake Eric.  Burn! baby, Burn! Big Grin   Yeah, I remember those fires as well as a kid. Cool



---Value Added Cool
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#74
(11-17-2016, 12:01 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: To the contrary, private insurance is far more able to negotiate for lower prices.  As you point out, government is subject to lobbying from the suppliers, keeping prices high; private insurance doesn't have that problem.





Whatcha talkin' about Warren?   Health insurance companies are useless intermediaries , man. Cool

The money going to them is utter waste. Just think about all the money going to them that could just go to health care providers directly.  Like, I'll take the Medicare starts at age 0 over the crap we had before Obamacare and the  sort of messed up stuff with Obamacare.  Health care does not work under free enterprise do to a mismatch in  the ability to afford what is actually needed.
---Value Added Cool
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#75
CNN is covering Obama's visit to Berlin, Despite reassurance, Obama warns Europe of a 'meaner world'  

One paragraph in particular raises some of the same themes we've been discussing here.

Obama Wrote:In an age of social media where so many people are getting their information in sound bites and snippets off their phones, if we can't discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems," he said. "If people, whether they're conservative, liberal, left or right, are unwilling to compromise and engage in the democratic process and are taking absolutist views and demonizing opponents, then democracy will break down.

Now, is he talking about this forum specifically, or the world in general? That's my problem with extreme partisans in a nutshell.
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#76
(11-18-2016, 04:16 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: CNN is covering Obama's visit to Berlin, Despite reassurance, Obama warns Europe of a 'meaner world'  

One paragraph in particular raises some of the same themes we've been discussing here.

Obama Wrote:In an age of social media where so many people are getting their information in sound bites and snippets off their phones, if we can't discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems," he said. "If people, whether they're conservative, liberal, left or right, are unwilling to compromise and engage in the democratic process and are taking absolutist views and demonizing opponents, then democracy will break down.

Now, is he talking about this forum specifically, or the world in general?  That's my problem with extreme partisans in a nutshell.

Basically, Stresemann meets Hoover. Nice talk, but now largely irrelevant.

This forum is something of a microcosm, if somewhat selective in its left-right composition.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#77
If the Dems want to fight back and win they need to adopt the model of "alt-left" parties like the Scottish National Party in the UK and Podemos in Spain. The main problem with the mainstream Center-Left parties through much of the Western World is that they have completely ignored the rising tide of anti-globalization and anti-technocratic sentiment among the working class, dismissing it as the "stupid plebs not knowing what is best for them". This has given an opening for the Far Right and now the Far Right are reaping the fruits of wooing the working class and riding the wave of anti-globalism and anti-technocratic elitism.

Those on the Left who defend Free Trade and Globalization, you have a choice to make. What do you care about more, your own ideological purity, or fighting off the rising tide of the Far Right?
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#78
(11-17-2016, 04:59 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote:
(11-17-2016, 12:01 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: To the contrary, private insurance is far more able to negotiate for lower prices.  As you point out, government is subject to lobbying from the suppliers, keeping prices high; private insurance doesn't have that problem.





Whatcha talkin' about Warren?   Health insurance companies are useless intermediaries , man. Cool

The money going to them is utter waste. Just think about all the money going to them that could just go to health care providers directly.  Like, I'll take the Medicare starts at age 0 over the crap we had before Obamacare and the  sort of messed up stuff with Obamacare.  Health care does not work under free enterprise do to a mismatch in  the ability to afford what is actually needed.

Of course you'll take a system that allows you to spend other peoples' money as freely as you want.

For those of us who care about societal efficiency and the financial stability of the health care system, though, private insurance does a very good job on cost controls.  Perhaps you don't look at your insurance statements, but I do, and typically private insurance pays about 1/3 of the health care providers' "normal" rates.

There are absolutely problems with employers making decisions on employees' health care, but for medicare that permitted the individuals to choose their insurers, that problem would be ameliorated to a great extent.
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#79
(11-18-2016, 04:16 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
Obama Wrote:In an age of social media where so many people are getting their information in sound bites and snippets off their phones, if we can't discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems," he said. "If people, whether they're conservative, liberal, left or right, are unwilling to compromise and engage in the democratic process and are taking absolutist views and demonizing opponents, then democracy will break down.

Now, is he talking about this forum specifically, or the world in general?  That's my problem with extreme partisans in a nutshell.

Pretty clear he's talking about himself, even if he doesn't realize it.  No one took absolutist views, demonized opponents, and refused to compromise more than Obama.
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#80
(11-18-2016, 11:42 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(11-18-2016, 04:16 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
Obama Wrote:In an age of social media where so many people are getting their information in sound bites and snippets off their phones, if we can't discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems," he said. "If people, whether they're conservative, liberal, left or right, are unwilling to compromise and engage in the democratic process and are taking absolutist views and demonizing opponents, then democracy will break down.

Now, is he talking about this forum specifically, or the world in general?  That's my problem with extreme partisans in a nutshell.

Pretty clear he's talking about himself, even if he doesn't realize it.  No one took absolutist views, demonized opponents, and refused to compromise more than Obama.

Are you accusing Republicans of being imbeciles? I thought you were a Republican.
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