David Brooks Badly Misrepresents the Romney/Ryan Medicare Plan

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

"The single best augury is to fight for one's country." ~ Homer (800 BC - 700 BC), The Iliad. by eyewashdesign: A. GoldenPOSTSCRIPT: It’s worth repeating my assumption that what we’re really talking about here is Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan. The reason for this assumption is that Mitt Romney, almost literally, doesn’t have a plan of his own. If you read through his description, what you learn is that (a) all seniors will get a voucher to buy health insurance, and (b) that’s it. There are essentially no other details aside from the now pro forma assurance that current seniors won’t be affected. It’s really not even possible to assess this plan, let alone suggest that it shows "surprising passion" about reforming Medicare.
Source: motherjones.com

Video: Best Medicare Advantage Plan | Medicare Advantage

GOP Platform to Back Ryan Medicare Reform Plan

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services culminated two years of research, design and development when they unveiled a website redesign for the Medicare.gov website. The redesign will allow seniors to easily search to see if a specific test, item or service is covered under original Medicare, create customized information for a senior’s specific situation and features expedited methods to replace a lost Medicare card, find prescription drug plans or get help with health care costs. Site visitors can access the yearly handbook “Medicare and You” and find descriptions of Medicare mailings to ensure they are receiving genuine communications from Medicare. In addition, the new design is has been optimized for tablets and smartphones. The previous What’s Happening with Conservatives and the Tea Party: Obama’s Amnesty Means Driver’s Licenses for Illegals The previous What’s Happening with Seniors Benefits: Obamacare Massively Expands IRS   Previous issues of both newsletters.
Source: sixtysecondactivist.com

Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan would ‘pave Paradise’

I believe that there is much that can be improved in the current Medicare program without destroying its basic social insurance framework. There are ways to manage the care of people with chronic illness more effectively; there are a number of ways to pay providers differently so that they are not incented to provide more care instead of better care; there are ways to save money through tougher action on fraud and abuse; and there are options to increase the eligibility age or have higher income seniors pay even more than they do now that could save money for Medicare without changing its basic structure.
Source: healthinsurance.org

Presidential Campaign Keeps Focus On Medicare

The New York Times: Both Campaigns Seize Role Of Medicare Defender  Mr. Ryan, who has proposed a controversial voucher program for Medicare, accused Mr. Obama of being the bigger threat because of savings wrung from the growth of spending in the program contained in the president’s health care overhaul of 2010. … President Obama, campaigning in New Hampshire on Saturday, dismissed the Romney campaign’s tactics on Medicare, saying that it was Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan who threatened the program. “Now you think they’d avoid talking about Medicare, considering both of them have proposed to voucherize the Medicare system,” Mr. Obama said. “They want seniors to get a voucher to buy their own insurance, which would force seniors to pay an additional $6,400 for their health care.” (Gabriel and Cooper, 8/18).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

New study: Cuts to Medicare under Obama plan will result in 6,300 deaths a year

Just one of a number of conclusions from FORBES: Defense #1. Paul Ryan’s GOP budget preserved Obamacare’s Medicare cuts Yuval Levin calls this the “Ryan did it too” defense. It has the merits of being factually accurate, up to a point. As I discussed on Tuesday, it’s true that the House GOP budget preserved Obamacare’s Medicare cuts. But it’s hard to see how “Ryan did it too” allows Democrats to say that Ryan is throwing granny over a cliff, unless they are confessing guilt to the same crime. There are two other points to bear on this subject. The first is that Ryan’s Medicare cuts were solely used to extend the solvency of the Medicare trust fund, and not to fund new spending elsewhere. By contrast, Obamacare cut $716 billion from Medicare in order to fund $1.9 trillion in new health care spending, through the law’s expansion of Medicaid and its new subsidized exchanges. The second point is that Mitt Romney is not campaigning on the Ryan budget. He’s campaigning on his own budget, which fully repeals Obamacare, and eliminates that law’s Medicare cuts. APOTHEFACT CONCLUSION: Romney’s budget doesn’t preserve Obamacare’s Medicare cuts. Simple as that.
Source: allvoices.com

Rep. Allen West “Another False Obama Medicare Claim: The $6,400 Myth”

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Joe the Plumber - To Flush The System ...More scams aim to ensnare Brevard seniors - Their ingenuity is boundless, Archer said. (Jul 2, 2012) ... by marsmet524That structure ensures that seniors would have at least two choices (and likely far more) that they are guaranteed to do better than they do now. The amount of the premium-support subsidy would also be tied to underlying health-care costs, so it would not shift costs to beneficiaries, as Democrats also falsely claim. The very reasonable Romney-Ryan policy bet is that costs could nonetheless fall over time because seniors would have the incentive to switch to the most competitively priced Medicare plan.
Source: wordpress.com

Video: Senator Harkin Addresses False Claims That Health Reform Will Hurt Medicare Recipients

Cutting Waste and Fraud Is Not a Medicare Reform Proposal

Pundits imply that Romney should have picked a VP candidate with no strong positions on Medicare or any other issue of substance, lest he alienate independents. But the opposite will hold true: if any voters truly are undecided, they’re going to be blown away by what Ryan has to say on Medicare and every other budgetary topic he addresses in his upcoming campaign appearances, because it’s so much bolder and more honest than what any other politician has said to date.
Source: redalertpolitics.com

False Claims Act/Qui Tam: Affordable Care Act boosts fight against health care fraud

NPR reported this yesterday morning on the ways the Affordable Care Act helps fight health care fraud. The story noted the difficulty government regulators have in keeping up with the various health care scams that crop up continuously, describing efforts as a “an endless game of Whack-a-Mole.” A very expensive game of Whack-a-Mole indeed, where the government loses an estimated $65 billion per year to health care fraud. The Affordable Care Act could give the government a leg up in the fight by diverting an additional $340 million to anti-fraud efforts over the next decade, and calling for the use of anti-fraud computer systems, which filter through the millions of Medicare claims received daily and identify suspicious or irregular submissions. The new computer system also screens health care providers seeking to participate in Medicare based on their potential to commit fraud, thereby mitigating  risk of fraud in the future, by ensuring that the program admits honest providers. Although the new and more sophisticated technology will undoubtedly benefit anti-fraud efforts, the value of committed individuals, i
Source: blogspot.com

Daily Kos: House Republicans have real reason to fear Paul Ryan

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Source: dailykos.com

Report Links Mental Health Care Centers to Questionable Billings

I’m curious as to whether “fraudulent” includes significantly overpriced and often unneeded devices such as wheelchairs and motorized carts. These are often sold to beneficiaries as “free” and charged to Medicare at vastly inflated prices. It is good to know that the ACA put some teeth in rooting out fraud, though sad to think that it had to get to $65 billion before it was deemed worthwhile!
Source: californiahealthline.org

A Quick Visit Back to the Medicare Dust Up

…it’s possible that the private plans are cheaper because they really do offer the same benefits at a lower cost. It’s also possible that the private plans are cheaper because the insurers are very good at attracting the best risks—that is, the healthiest seniors least likely to run up medical bills—or because they don’t also subsidize other parts of our health care system, such as medical education. In effect, they may be gaming the system. At this point, we really don’t know which answer is correct, although it’s entirely possible all three are true, to an extent.
Source: jaredbernsteinblog.com

Medicare Supplement Insurance Price Games

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

You can partially point back to AARP s original pricing over the past decade. Essentially, AARP would offer a sliding scale discount for new enrollees age 65. The first year might be 30 lower than the eventual price and this percentage would decrease over a period of time. Medicare is confusing enough to someone brand new to it so a new enrollee doesn t necessarily know how this discounted rate works. He or she just sees a rate that is 30 lower than the competitors for essentially the same level of coverage. There are two ways to look at this. One hand, you can say that AARP is providing a discount to new enrollees which they can take advantage of. Or, depending on how their rates match up with competitors 5 years years later (when the discount disappears), it smacks of a bait and switch. We re not here to cast judgement but want people who are comparing medicare supplement insurance rates to not only look at the rate now (presumably at age 65) but over the other age bands. If the rates accellerate as you get older relative to the competition, it s probably not a good deal. Keep in mind that you have a open enrollment window at age 65 (or when leaving group coverage in addition to a few others) so once you ve made a decision, it might be difficult to switch medigap plans later on if health changes. If your discounted medigap plan starts to go up at a faster clip than the other plans in later years, you may be stuck depending on your health. That s the real issue with the discounted rate. That discounted money has to come from somewhere and it s usually recouped on the back end since the underlying risk is the same.
Source: theauthorplace.com

Video: Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan Benefit Comparison California

Compare Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans and View Rates Online

Health insurance is a maze. It is often hard to maneuver and completely understand the ins and outs. With Medicare and available supplemental plans there are many online comparisons available to help individuals select a plan that will work with their situation. Many times people want information on paper and then seek out assistance from an advisor who is able to help them compare the plans and rates with real life examples and situations. These advisors have one sole purpose and that is to match the right Medicare supplement policy at the right price with Medicare eligible participants. To them the company that the individual purchase the policy from is not as big of an issue and they can help you see through the glitz of private insurance companies and keep the focus on coverage and rates. Source: professional-article-marketing.com
Source: medicaresupplementalco.com

Comparing Medical Insurance Quotes

When it comes to your well-being it is best to plan for the future as much as practicable. Although you could be in good shape right now, you never can tell what will happen in the future. Healthcare insurance is a way to help pay for hospital expenses, from preventative care to emergency room benefits. Medicare is one of the most popular programs, run by the US government for subjects over the age of Sixty five. Though the most basic kind of Medicare covers general outpatient and inpatient services, there may be other areas this does not cover.
Source: cuplessjoe.com

Finest Comparison Of Medicare Supplemental With Different Plans

advantage Benefit coinsurance com Complement cost cowl firm health information insurance medical health insurance medical insurance plan Medicare medicare beneficiaries medicare benefit medicare drug plan medicare insurance medicare part d medicare plan medicare protection medicare supplement medicare supplemental insurance medicare supplement insurance medicare supplement plan medicare supplements Medigap medigap plans number person personal insurance coverage plan premium prescription prescription drug coverage private insurance companies Protection provider Safety sixty Social social security administration state supplement website
Source: fluxfeatures.com

Senior Health Direct: Save Your Financial Future By Purchasing Medicare Supplemental Insurance

We provide Medicare Supplemental Insurance to all seniors throughout the United States of America. Use our website to view and compare rates of multiple plans without entering any personal information. Our Medicare Supplemental Insurance comparison chart is a great tool to aid you in identifying the best Medicare Supplemental Insurance carrier to meet your needs.
Source: blogspot.com

The Importance of Comparing Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans

Many Medigap customers think that comparing Medicare supplement insurance is a highly complicated process and that only insurance agents will know how to compare these supplement to Medicare policies. If you too are holding the same view about Medicare supplemental insurance, then you will be surprised to learn that comparing your Medigap plan options need not be a complicated or tedious process anymore. Today, the internet has empowered the customers so much that they can accomplish a lot of time consuming tasks in a matter of just few clicks. This applies to Medicare supplemental insurance price comparison too. You will be able to compare your Medicare supplement plans easily online. You will not have to visit several websites or spend several hours anymore to compare the various policies. You just need to find a reliable Medicare supplemental insurance website such as Lowcostmedigap.com that will allow you to compare Medigap plans online. Using such online services you will be able to make well-informed choices on your Medicare supplement. You will be able to save not only a lot of money but also a lot of time by comparing your Medicare supplement plans online.
Source: medicarequotefinderblog.com

Comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Coverage

For seniors who want supplement insurance, many private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans with low premiums. Eligible seniors include those enrolled in Medicare Part B. Premiums are offered at lower rates because the federal government provides insurance companies subsidies to enroll seniors in the medicare supplement plans. The Medicare Advantage medical coverage is offered by private insurance companies and is an alternative to Medicare. The following types of Medicare Advantage plans all offer medical and drug coverage together, making it simpler to purchase one policy instead of several separate policies. 1)Medicare health maintenance organizations are less expensive, but there are limitations about going outside of the network of doctors and hospitals for medical treatment. 2)Preferred-provider organizations, have a network of preferred doctors and hospitals within a state. They allow patients to see providers out of the network at increased copayments. 3) Private fee-for-service plans allows the most freedom by letting the patient see any doctor of choice that accepts the health insurance. If you already have a doctor, make sure they participate as a provider before deciding on this type of coverage. Many Medicare Advantage plans also include vision and dental coverage and have lower copays than Medicare. Although the co-pays for more expensive services such as hospitilization and surgery tend to be higher. If seniors have had hospitalizations in the past, make sure to check out the limitations on hospital coverage with the Medicare Advantage plans. It is important to understand all the restrictions for Medicare Advantage plans before choosing. Take the time to ask a reputable insurance agent about all the Medicare options available and compare them with other types of supplemental insurance to make an informed decision about your medical coverage.
Source: theinsur.com

Compare Medicare Supplement Plans Side By Side

As you can see, comparing plan benefits from one company to the next is mostly a non-issue. Although some companies such as United Healthcare seem to offer small benefits such as vision and prescription drug discounts, this is actually a benefit of being an AARP member.
Source: alabamamedicaresupplement.com

Low cognitive ability impairs enrollment in Medicare supplemental plans

Because traditional Medicare leaves substantial gaps in coverage, many people obtain supplemental coverage to limit their exposure to out-of-pocket costs. However, some Medicare beneficiaries may not be well equipped to navigate the complex supplemental coverage landscape successfully because of their lower cognitive ability or numeracy—that is, the ability to work with numbers. We found that people in the lower third of the cognitive ability and numeracy distributions were at least eleven percentage points less likely than those in the upper third to enroll in a supplemental Medicare insurance plan. This result means that many Medicare beneficiaries do not have the financial protections and other benefits that would be available to them if they were enrolled in a supplemental insurance plan. Our findings suggest that policy makers may want to consider alternatives tailored to these high-need groups, such as enhanced education and enrollment programs, simpler sets of plan choices, or even some type of automatic enrollment with an option to decline coverage.
Source: pnhp.org

A Road Map to Medicare and Supplements

Sometimes you just need a map. There are hundreds of websites with Medicare and Medicare supplement information with a few provided by the government itself but that can be overwhelming especially if you’re rather new to Medicare itself. It’s bad enough with all the new jargon like Part A or Part B and J plans. We wanted to help simplify things (wouldn’t that be nice for a change) and direct you to the areas for your most common Medicare needs. A Medicare map if you will. So, let’s start with the basics. First of all, the medicare.gov website is the source for most if not all the information you’ll need. When you go to the site, they’ve done a pretty good job of laying out the land but we’re going to make it even easier for you. Let’s go step by step through the main questions that arise. Signing Up for Part A and Part B. This can all be done online now and you will do this at the very beginning when you’re eligible for Medicare. From the home page, although there’s a section to create an account (which you’ll want to do anyway), you’ll see a separate link in the middle for “Apply for Medicare Now”. This is where you want to go and it will redirect you the Social Security website where this is actually handled. Make your Part A is ready to go and sign up for Part B if you haven’t already. These are the two main parts of traditional Medicare. You’ll need these in place to qualify for a Medicare supplement anyway. Signing up for Part D. Part D is the part of Medicare that covers out-patient prescription. The Part D plans are administered or offered by individual carriers (conforming to base level requirements by Medicare) but a good place to look is again on the Medicare website. Again, in the center of the page (current layout), under “Top 6 Services”, you’ll see a link for “Find Health and Drug Plans” . Unfortunately, they now bundle health (medigap) plans and Part D. The Part D plan finder works well since it look at all your existing medications when comparing available plans but Medicare supplements are a little more involved. There’s a question of carrier strength, weird pricing gimmicks that some carriers have up front only to charge you more later on. This is where a licensed professional comes in handy. Part D selection is probably fine right online from this section. You’ll need to answer a few screens of questions to get there. You can always use us as a resource to run your Part D and Medicare supplement quote together. Medicare and You. This is the annual encyclopedia of all things Medicare. If you’re really into knowing the nuts and bolts of the plan itself, eligibility, times and dates, then by all means. Otherwise, you can ask us your particular questions and leave your summer reading to more interesting fare. What is Covered. This, however, is very useful tool on the medicare.gov website since it breaks out how Medicare pays for various services by the name of the service which is intuitively how people think and search. Who wants to read through the entire Part B list of benefits when all you want to know is how a lab will be covered. You can find this listing from the home page or at this link: Finally, as a member, researching a claim is an important and useful tool on the mEdicare.gov webiste. If it’s a more generic question such as whether a certain service is covered, the “What is Covered” link above is better. If you want to research an actual claim you have experienced, you would use the “Appeal a Claim” link at the bottom right side under “Need Help” tab. These are the core questions we get on a daily basis regarding core Medicare. Of course, we’re here to help with any questions pertaining to Medicare supplements and medigap polices as that is our true expertise.Dennis Jarvis is a licensed insurance agent concentrating on medicare supplement insurance.

Center for American Progress

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

20100406boswell_003 by Iowa Democratic Party - iowademocrats.orgWe determined the savings enrollees will realize with the brand-name and generic discounts by first estimating total prescription drug spending for these groups of enrollees in 2011. We assumed that the relationship between total drug spending and the upper limit of the coverage gap would remain constant, using the 2011 thresholds for the Part D program. We then subtracted the initial deductible and beneficiary cost-sharing to calculate the amount of total spending that would occur in the coverage gap. Finally, we applied the 50 percent and 7 percent brand-name and generic discounts to this estimate of spending in the gap, using recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data to allocate total spending across brand-name and generic medications.
Source: americanprogress.org

Video: Medicare Part D Donut Hole

HHS: ‘Obamacare’ saved Medicare seniors $4.1 billion in prescription drug costs so far this year

“There’s no doubt that now and over the longer term we need to deal with the issues of rising health care costs,” said Van Hollen. “Under the President’s approach, as we began in the Affordable Care Act – what we said is we need to move the health care system, especially Medicare, away from a fee-for-service system that rewards the volume of care and the quantity of care over the value of care and the quality of care. We need to move the incentive structure away from that to reduce costs in the health care system…So what’s the Romney-Ryan approach? It’s not to reduce overall health care costs. It’s to simply transfer those rising health care costs from seniors on Medicare – from the Medicare program to seniors on Medicare, which is why the Congressional Budget Office said that under the earlier version of the Ryan plan, 10 years from now seniors on Medicare will pay $6,000 more for the same set of benefits.”
Source: whatthefolly.com

The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty: Medicare and the Triumph of Nonsense over Substance

Medicare has suddenly become a centerpiece issue in the 2012 election—but not in a good way.  Instead of an informed debate about Medicare’s present and future place in our health care system, the politicians have subjected us to a daily assault of nonsense over substance: Let’s start with the nonsense accusation by Governor Romney that “There’s only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare, $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare.” This charge has been discredited by independent fact-checkers.  “The only element of truth here is that the health care law seeks to reduce future Medicare spending, and the tally of those cost reductions over the next 10 years is $716 billion,” Politifact wrote about Mr. Romney’s charge. “The money wasn’t ‘robbed,’ however, and other presidents have made similar reductions to the Medicare program. We rate this statement Mostly False.”  CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, citing the Congressional Budget Office, www.factcheck.org, AARP, and the statutory language in the Affordable Care Act itself, discredited a similar accusation by former NH governor and Romney supporter John Sunnunu There also is the inconvenient fact that Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate, included the same $716 billion in Medicare savings in the House-passed budget plan, although Mr. Romney has vowed to “restore” them.    Here are the substantive facts behind the charges and counter-charges. It’s true that the ACA makes changes in Medicare payment policies that the CBO estimates will slow Medicare cost increases by $716 billion over the next decade.  (In other words, Medicare’s costs will still increase, but by a lesser amount.)   The Medicare savings come from reducing payments to hospitals, Medicare Advantage plans, and some other non-physician providers. (The ACA did not include any new payment cuts to doctors—rather, it temporarily increases Medicare and Medicaid payments to primary care physicians—but it also did not cancel out scheduled cuts from Medicare’s SGR formula, enacted in 1997.)   But instead of taking money “out” of Medicare, the ACA actually shores up the Medicare Part A Trust Fund, extending Medicare solvency by eight years, according to Medicare’s actuaries.  Without the ACA’s $716 billion in savings, Medicare would go belly up in 2016 instead of 2024. How can this be so?  Well, the Medicare Part A Trust Fund consists of the dollars that are collected from payroll taxes to pay for current and future hospital-related health care expenses.  If Medicare pays the hospitals less, the money in the Trust Fund is drawn down less slowly and it lasts longer—just as if a cut in tuition costs would allow the savings you have set aside for your kids’ college education to last longer.    One could certainly make a substantive argument that the way that the ACA (and Rep. Ryan’s budget for that matter, since it includes the same savings) lowers future Medicare costs increases is unwise, because the cuts in payments to hospitals and Medicare Advantage might cause future access problems.  Or one could make the substantive counter-argument that lowering Medicare payments to hospitals and Medicare Advantages plans is necessary and appropriate–and a better way to achieve savings and efficiencies without harming beneficiaries–than cutting benefits.  One could also have a substantive argument over whether the Medicare savings, if they are to be kept, should be used to finance tax cuts and help lower the deficit, as the Ryan budget proposes to do, or to expand access to the uninsured and improve Medicare benefits (no cost preventive services, phase out of the Medicare Part D donut hole) as the ACA would do. But such substance is lost when politicians blithely try to scare seniors into believing that benefits are being stolen from Medicare to pay for Obamacare, when the facts show the ACA actually improves Medicare benefits and extends the program’s solvency by almost a decade. Which brings me to another nonsense accusation—this one from the Obama camp–which is that seniors will pay $6,000 more under the Romney/Ryan Medicare premium support plan, compared to the current Medicare program.   The journalists at the  www.factcheck.org site report that this is “outdated” claim based on CBO estimate of an earlier version of Rep. Ryan’s premium support proposal, which would have capped the federal government’s premium contributions at a much lower rate of increase than Rep. Ryan’s current plan.  “[The earlier] plan had the premium-support payments, or subsidies, growing with the rate of inflation, and health care costs have risen much faster than that for years” they write, but “Under the new Ryan plan, that premium-support payment would be tied to the second-cheapest health care plan, which can’t grow more than gross domestic product plus 0.5 percentage points. So, Ryan’s plan says the premium support would always be enough to cover the two cheapest plans.”   Plus, the Ryan premium support plan wouldn’t apply to anyone who today is 55 or older, so it is misleading to scare current seniors into believing that they will pay $6000 more for their Medicare.  But www.Politifact says that it is “mostly true” that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to convert Medicare into a voucher program—just not now, not for current seniors, but for future beneficiaries starting ten years from now! Again, there are important substantive arguments that could be made about the wisdom of eventually turning Medicare into a voucher program.  Will limiting how much the federal government contributes to Medicare stimulate cost-savings through competition among insurance plans, or result in cost-shifting to seniors who can’t afford to pay more? Is market competition more effective than the ACA’s approach of squeezing payments and piloting new models of delivery and payment?  Will insurance companies under a voucher system be more or less bureaucratic and transparent than the traditional government-administered Medicare program?  And if Medicare premium support is such a good idea, as Mr. Romney and Ryan maintain, why wait ten years to institute it?  (Read more about my thoughts about the potential impact of Medicare vouchers on my wife’s future Medicare, and the secret truth about vouchers that neither party will admit.) And, speaking of substantive questions, I would ask Mr. Romney, if the $716 billion in Medicare savings from the ACA is to be restored, as you have promised, and Medicare vouchers won’t be implemented for another decade, as you have also promised, then how do you propose that Medicare cost increases be slowed in the meantime to sustain the program’s solvency and reduce its crushing contribution to the deficit?  And I would ask President Obama, if the ACA’s $716 billion in savings are to be kept, along with the rest of the ACA, and you rule out vouchers as an option, what else should be done to sustain Medicare’s long term solvency and reduce its crushing contribution to the deficit, since the current level of savings is clearly not going to be enough? Because, as the National Journal’s Margot Sanger-Katz reports, both the Obama and the Romney Medicare plans fail to solve the cost problem.  “Although they won’t admit it, Romney and Obama have pretty similar visions for how much they think Medicare spending should grow in the future” she writes. “Both have backed plans that would cap per-capita spending at about the same rate, though they would use vastly different means to do so. Neither would come close to eliminating Medicare’s projected long-term deficits.” She hits the nail on the head. How to eliminate Medicare’s projected long-term deficits is one of the most important substantive issues that should be debated by the candidates, but isn’t, since they are too busy trying to discredit each other while reassuring seniors that nothing must change.   Unfortunately, the Medi-scare nonsense being spewed by them will make it even harder to later get the public on board with the tough choices that will need to be made to sustain Medicare while reducing the public debt, which inevitably will involve a combination of reduced benefits, increased cost-sharing, tax increases, and changes in the way that hospitals and physicians are paid. Today’s question: Do you agree that the Medicare debate in this election has mostly been a triumph of nonsense over substance?
Source: acponline.org

The Starting Line – The Huge Impact of the Republican Medicare Plan in the San Diego Area; It Ain’t Pretty

 Data on Medicare enrollment and the number of seniors in the Part D donut hole was obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Data on the age distribution of district residents was obtained from the U.S. Census.  Data on increased costs for Medicare enrollees under the Republican plan was obtained from the Congressional Budget Office and the Medicare Actuary and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.  Data on increased savings needed to pay for health care costs under the Republican budget was obtained from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR and are based on CEPR analysis of CBO data.  The analysis includes data for all Congressional districts either fully or partially in the San Diego metro area.
Source: sandiegofreepress.org

The Lu Lac Political Letter: The LuLac Edition #2166, August 20th, 2012

Republicans are running around the country this election season (some with their moms) saying that the Affordable Health Care Law and by extension President Obama is cutting million of dollars of Medicare for senior citizens. As usual, this is WRONG! That Medicare money is actually going into the Health Care Law as a way of helping seniors. True, the money is being diverted but seniors aren’t going to be losing anything. The money is coming from a program called Medicare Advantage. This was put into operation in 1997 as part of the balanced budget act of 1977. Here’s an overview of what Medicare Advantage is and how it differs from traditional Medicare:  Medicare Advantage subscribers generally pay a fixed amount (a copayment of $20, for example) every time they see a doctor as opposed to meeting a deductible and paying a coinsurance (typically 20%) under Original Medicare. The copayment can be higher to see a specialist with a Medicare Advantage plan. Under Original Medicare the coinsurance remains 20%, but the actual amount out of pocket can be higher since specialists generally charge more for services. The private plans are required to offer a benefit “package” that is at least as good as Medicare’s and cover everything Medicare covers, but they do not have to cover every benefit in the same way. Plans that require higher out-of-pocket costs than Medicare for some benefits, like skilled nursing facility care, can balance their benefits package by offering lower copayments for doctor visits. A private plan may use some of the excess payments they receive from the government for each enrollee to offer supplemental benefits. Many plans use the excess subsidies to offer hearing coverage, vision coverage, gym memberships and other services not covered by Medicare. As with traditional Medicare, private plan members can incur high out-of-pocket costs, however Medicare Advantage plans typically have an out of pocket maximum ($6,700 for example), which can protect individuals against catastrophic medical bills. Once the out of pocket maximum is reached for an individual, the plan will pay 100% of Medicare approved services for the remainder of the calendar year, with no lifetime maximum, so long as individuals use in-network providers. If individuals voluntarily choose to use out-of-network providers, they generally must pay the full cost of their care and there is no out-of-pocket cap on their expenses. This can be a problem for people with Medicare with costly conditions, who need to use out-of-network specialists or who are hospitalized and are forced to use out-of-network doctors while in the hospital. By law, however, if a patient’s in-network physician orders tests or procedures that are not available or provided by any in-network facility or specialist’s office, the Medicare Advantage plan must pay for the patient’s procedures or services at an out-of-network location at no additional cost to the patient, so long as the necessary services are normally covered by Medicare.  The other money coming out of the current Medicare set up is the Prescription Drug Plan that was passed in 2003. This is the plan that gave the seniors “the donut hole”. A simple explanation of the donut hole is this: If you have a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the donut hole is when Medicare temporarily stops paying for your prescriptions. If you are in the donut hole, you have to pay the entire cost of your medications. After a Medicare beneficiary surpasses the prescription drug coverage limit, the Medicare beneficiary is financially responsible for the entire cost of prescription drugs until the expense reaches the catastrophic coverage threshold. With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, people who fall within the doughnut hole will receive a $250 rebate within three months of reaching the coverage gap to help with payments. Seniors in this area already got this. 
Source: blogspot.com

What Is the Medicare Donut Hole?

There are enhanced plans that provide additional benefits to help with donut hole coverage, but everything comes at an additional cost. According to a study done in 2007, premiums for plans offering gap coverage are roughly double those of defined standard plans. The 2010 Health Reform bill (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) attempted to address the coverage gap by creating discounts on brand name and generic drugs purchased within the gap range. By 2020, the changes in the health care reform act aim to close this coverage gap bringing down the enrollee responsibility to 25% of the costs rather than the current 50%.
Source: bradeninsurance.com

Avoiding the (Medicare) “Doughnut Hole”

According to the new study, and sheer intuition, patients that fall within the doughnut hole are associated with a significant drop in medication use – 12% on average. That is always relevant, but perhaps especially so in the case of depression medication. While discontinuing any prescribed medication is never advisable, it is often easier to justify foregoing depression medication than other medications.
Source: tesarlaw.com

The Medicare Part D “Doughnut Hole” & You: How Diplomat Can Help

At Diplomat, we know that no one wants to feel as though they need to choose between  health and money. Our dedicated funding assistance team works with Medicare Part D patients in order to fill out applications for any available and applicable 501c3 organizations; sometimes we can even complete the whole application for the patient. Stephanie Turnbull, one of our knowledgeable staff, says that “these grants are generally offered based on drug and/or disease and may have income limitations.  In the event that there is not a foundation able to assist the patient with their out of pocket costs, our staff would then pursue any available assistance programs offered by the manufacturer or other resources.”
Source: wordpress.com

Healthy Lifestyle: Colorado Health Insurance: Helpful Information

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Who will get What? by sbwoodsideIf you have been denied health insurance coverage in the state of Colorado due to preexisting medical conditions, you may qualify for the Colorado Uninsurable Health Insurance Plan (CUHIP). CUHIP gives uninsurable Colorado residents the ability to be insured through the state-subsidized CUHIP program. However, due to the higher risk levels of CUHIP patients, CUHIP subscribers pay about 30 percent more for health insurance than most healthy people. If you are uninsurable due to a preexisting health condition, you may contact the CUHIP administrator at 1-800-672-8477 for more information.
Source: blogspot.com

Video: Health Care Reform: Health Insurance Information Reporting Requirements

Health Information on the health insurance

The health insurance companies to give details of the medical costs associated with certain types of diseases and their treatment procedures connected. If you or your family member is suffering from such a heath problem and the assistance of an insurance company about the best course of action is the right choice. Health information by health insurance allows you to make a decision about doing decide which policy is best for the treatment of diseases.
Source: saffersunite.com

Visitor Medical Insurance Information

Most comprehensive or fixed benefit visitors medical insurance plans offer a wide array coverage benefits for a reasonable quoted premium cost. For short duration travel outside home country borders, it is best advise to purchase a adequate amount of visitor coverage since the premium cost will be worth every penny paid even if one falls sick with just a routine flu or a fall on the side walk involving just a minor injury. In these situations, the potential benefits outweigh the paid premiums easily as one can claim them against the visitors insurance policy. In more serious health situations, one should not take chances and skipping any visitor insurance purchase as one cannot predict or control when a bad health situation arises or when one is involved in an accident. These serious events could be expensive in terms of medical bills, more importantly, access to the right care at the right time is vital to saving the visitors life or limbs. By learning about visitor’s health insurance, and proactively purchasing a visitor insurance policy, you can help your visitors to travel worry free knowing that it will protect them medically during their stay.
Source: visitorshealthinsurance.com

Health Insurance Information To Keep In Mind

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Source: adem06.com

Shopping For Nike Health Care Insurance Will Be Easier Using This Type Of Advice

Here is some medical insurance information you may have Nike Pas Cher possibly by no means listened to prior to- women that have offered childbirth by caesarian portion are billed better medical health insurance rates and therefore are often turned down for health insurance altogether. Possessing a c-portion after could cause far more c-sections later on births. Insurance firms usually do not wish to spend the money for high price for c-segment births and therefore are researching ways to get free from it. So, if possible, have got an organic giving birth, and you may save on health care insurance expenses.
Source: all-articles-directory.com

Difficult Time Knowing Health Insurance? The Following Information Is Perfect For You!

Hopefully this information has taken away a number of the confusion and problem of health insurance and given you some terrific ideas on which insurance coverage to look out for and what stumbling blocks to prevent. This procedure has become one of the uncomfortable yet essential elements of lifestyle we do not definitely anticipate but actually have not a way about so any manner of making it easier is definitely worth your looking directly into!
Source: cheaplifeinsurancenews.info

The Starting Line – The Huge Impact of the Republican Medicare Plan in the San Diego Area; It Ain’t Pretty

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Bubbles? Take something like 'Not I! ...item 1.. Wakulla Republicans Protest Against Taxes in the County (September 06, 2011) ... by marsmet552 Data on Medicare enrollment and the number of seniors in the Part D donut hole was obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Data on the age distribution of district residents was obtained from the U.S. Census.  Data on increased costs for Medicare enrollees under the Republican plan was obtained from the Congressional Budget Office and the Medicare Actuary and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.  Data on increased savings needed to pay for health care costs under the Republican budget was obtained from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR and are based on CEPR analysis of CBO data.  The analysis includes data for all Congressional districts either fully or partially in the San Diego metro area.
Source: sandiegofreepress.org

Video: Medicare Levy Surcharge 2011/2012: nib Health Insurance Explained

Updated: Bowles once praised Paul Ryan, but called Medicare changes 'pretty radical'

The administration is condemning the Ryan plan saying it will “end Medicare as we know it.” The truth is “Medicare as we know it” is going broke, and when it does (not if, but when) it will take our entire economy down with it. If Obama doesn’t believe this, then let him look the American people in the eye and tell us that “Medicare as we know it” is doing fine. If not, he needs to tell us how exactly how he plans to avert this disaster, or why his option to do nothing. Either way, whether we adopt some kind of reform to transform Medicare as we know it into Medicare as we can sustain it, or whether we simply let the economy be driven off the cliff by unrestrained entitlement spending, Medicare as we know it will end.
Source: newsobserver.com

Understanding Medicare "Cuts"

Medicare Advantage is a 15-year failed experiment in privatization. Running Medicare through private insurance companies was supposed to save money through the magic of the marketplace; in reality, private insurers, with their extra overhead, have never been able to compete on a level playing field with conventional Medicare. But Congress refused to take no for an answer, and kept the program alive by paying the insurers substantially more than the costs per patient of regular Medicare. All the ACA does is end this overpayment.
Source: nytimes.com

Paul Ryan’s 2011 Medicare Plan: A Primer

(WASHINGTON) — Welcome to the next phase of the U.S. presidential campaign: a debate over Medicare. With Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as his vice presidential running mate, conversation will swiftly turn to the proposal that has come to define Ryan’s political career — a plan to reinvent Medicare as a way to limit the growth in taxpayer spending on health care. Ryan has pushed some version of his plan since 2008, but it exploded as a topic of national discussion in the spring of 2011 when Ryan introduced it as part of his 2012 budget outline. President Obama blasted it. Newt Gingrich called it “right-wing social engineering.” House Speaker John Boehner didn’t exactly embrace it. Romney himself has not endorsed it in full, and since its roll-out, Ryan has worked with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, Ore., to modify it. Here’s what you need to know about Ryan’s Medicare plan: HOW IT WORKS If implemented, the government would no longer pay doctors to treat Medicare beneficiaries. Instead, beneficiaries would buy their own private insurance plans, and the government would give people money to pay to buy health plans from an approved list. Critics have called this the “end of Medicare as we know it,” and that’s true. Until now, Medicare has operated as a “fee-for-service” system; under Ryan’s plan, it would operate more like a voucher system, although Ryan and his aides have resisted this term.  Medicare would cease to pay for health services directly, instead operating as a board that approves a menu of health plans for public sale and doles out predetermined lumps of money to people enrolled in Medicare, to help them buy those plans. Ryan’s staff has defended this plan as “progressive,” and it is: If you’re poorer or sicker, you get more money from Medicare to cover your premiums. Think of it like “Obamacare” for seniors: Beneficiaries buy plans listed on a government-approved “exchange” of sorts, with more subsidy payments going to poorer people and those more expensive to cover. Everyone over 55 would be grandfathered into the current Medicare system. So if you’re of Medicare age right now, nothing would change if Ryan’s 2011 plan became law tomorrow. IT SHRINKS THE DEFICIT During the health overhaul debate, much was made of the deficit-neutrality of President Obama’s law, which Democrats achieved, in part, by taking $500 billion out of projected Medicare spending over the next 10 years, even as Medicare spending continues to grow. Ryan’s plan gets more aggressive. Under Ryan’s 2011 budget plan, the CBO projected in 2011 that deficits would be 2 percent of GDP by 2022, compared to 2.75 percent under current law, and compared to 9 percent in 2010. PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO PAY MORE A big part of Ryan’s method for slowing the rapid growth of health-care costs is by shifting incentives. Under his plan, it’s in the best interest of Medicare beneficiaries and health insurers to pay less for health care, avoiding superfluous services and procedures. Under the current system, that incentive doesn’t exist, as the government foots some of the bills. That said, the Congressional Budget Office projected in 2011 that individuals would have to pay more under his plan, with their share of (albeit lower) costs skyrocketing to 61 percent by 2022. The CBO’s preliminary long-term analysis included this chart of findings that drove much of the discussion of Ryan’s plan in 2011: WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS SAID ABOUT THE PLAN Democrats have roundly bashed Ryan’s Medicare plan, even picking up a House seat in a spring 2011 special election largely thanks to their loud campaigning against its recent release. Democrat Kathy Hochul ran ads attacking her opponent’s support for the plan, gaining a GOP-held seat in May of last year. After its release, the president called Ryan’s plan “fairly radical” and posited that it would “change our social compact in a pretty fundamental way,” ABC’s David Kerley reported. “I guess you could call that bold. I would call it short-sighted,” Obama told 500 Facebook employees and 200 other attendees at a town-hall meeting held at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., in April 2011. “Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the backs of people who are poor or people who are powerless or don’t have lobbyists or don’t have clout.” WHAT RYAN HAS SAID ABOUT IT Ryan himself has argued repeatedly that major changes are the only way to save Medicare, that if the cost curve isn’t bent dramatically, Medicare will drive the United States to insolvency, endangering the entitlement altogether. Faced with an onslaught of criticism, Ryan released a pitch for his plan in May 2011:
Source: abcnewsradioonline.com

Center for American Progress

Recognizing the demographic facts doesn’t obviate Medicare’s need to spend federal health care dollars effectively and efficiently to slow the growth of health care costs while improving the quality of care for each and every beneficiary. But arguments that efficiency will come from morphing Medicare into a private insurance market—the conservative “solution” to rising health care costs—make no sense. There is simply no evidence that a private marketplace can match Medicare’s ability to slow spending growth. With Medicare’s per capita cost growth already lower than GDP and projected to diverge increasingly from private health care spending, vouchers for private insurance would actually increase per capita costs.
Source: americanprogress.org

Medicare, Keep it or Chuck it?

By Igor Volsky on Aug 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm The Romney campaign tries to sell its Medicare privatization scheme to seniors by arguing that the controversial premium support structure would only affect future retirees and preserve existing benefits for Americans over the age of 55. But while today’s elderly population would remain in traditional fee-for-service Medicare under the Ryan proposal, they too could be affected by Ryan’s ambitious restructuring scheme. Here is why: As soon as private insurers start offering coverage to future retirees in 2023, they’ll do exactly what private plans are already doing in the Medicare Advantage program: cherry pick the healthiest applicants and leave sicker, more expensive beneficiaries in traditional Medicare. Mechanisms that prevent companies from skimming from the top — what wonks call “risk adjustment” — are imperfect, and so it’s likely that traditional Medicare would have to raise premiums to make up the difference. This is where things can spiral out of control. Higher premiums encourage healthier beneficiaries who are still in traditional Medicare to opt into the private coverage, increasing costs even higher. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ (CBPP) Paul Van de Water observes, “over time, traditional Medicare would become less financially viable and could unravel — not because it was less efficient than the private plans, but because it was competing on an unlevel playing field in which private plans captured the healthier beneficiaries and incurred lower costs as a result.” As the size of the Medicare population shrinks, “administrative costs would rise relative to benefit payments, traditional Medicare’s power to demand lower payment rates from providers would erode, and providers would have less incentive to participate in the program. As a result, people now age 55 and older might well face higher premiums and cost sharing for traditional Medicare, a more limited choice of providers, or both.”
Source: seniorsmagazine.org

The Insider Authority on Florida Gator Sports

With ten returning starters, many positions had already been set in stone heading into the Gators’ 2012 campaign. Gator Country breaks down each defensive unit to see what Gators fans can expect from this veteran-laden unit come Week 1. Full story »
Source: gatorcountry.com

Views On Medicare: Ryan Plan Could Hurt Disabled Americans; Pitting The Poor Against Seniors

The Hill: GOP Has Good Reason To Worry About Paul Ryan On The Presidential Ticket The GOP’s only hope for victory is to distract people from Ryan’s attempt to end the Medicare guarantee by reviving anger among seniors at President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Romney and Ryan have already started by claiming in their campaign speeches, and in a TV ad, that President Obama “robbed $716 billion to pay for ObamaCare.” Never mind that independent fact-checkers, ranging from ABC News to Politifact, have rated this claim as false. Never mind that Ryan’s own budget calls for the same cuts, only he puts the burden on people seeking medical help as opposed to the medical industry. Obama’s plan keeps the Medicare guarantee. And any senior who checks will find that Obama’s plan closes the Medicare donut hole. He also cracks down on Medicare fraud creating more value to Medicare beneficiaries (Juan Williams, 8/20).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Paul Ryan budget outlines drastic changes to Medicare, cuts to Medicaid

This week on the presidential campaign trail, candidates have sparred over different proposals for healthcare, taxes and federal spending. At the center of the debate is the budget plan presented by Congressmember and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. The latest version of the plan is called  “The Path to Prosperity” and lays out sharp reductions to programs designed to assist low income Americans, such as Medicaid, Pell education grants, the food stamp program and job training. The plan would also reduce taxes for wealthy Americans and result in a net tax increase for the bottom fifth of households, according to the Tax Policy Center. Questions have also been raised about corporate tax cuts. According to Ryan’s 2011 financial disclosure report analyzed by The Daily Beast and Newsweek, Ryan and his wife owned stakes in four family companies that could benefit financially from some of the energy tax breaks and subsidies in the budget plan. But one of the areas most affected by the proposed budget is healthcare. For more, we’re joined by Ellen Shaffer, co-director of the Center for Policy Analysis.
Source: fsrn.org

Which Presidential Ticket Will Protect Medicare?

For seniors who are now in Medicare, nothing changes. They can stay with the traditional program as it is. Beginning in 2023, 65-year-olds would have their choice of insurance plans — private and traditional — on a new Medicare exchange. A premium-support payment, like a subsidy, would be sent to the plan of their choice. If the chosen plan costs more than the premium-support, the senior would pay the difference. The Medicare eligibility age would be slowly raised to 67 by 2034. All plans on the Medicare exchange would offer a base level of benefits, and they would be regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The premium-support payments would be tied to the second-cheapest plan, which can’t grow more than gross domestic product plus 0.5 percentage points. If the cost does grow faster, Congress would be required to step in and take some action to keep costs down. CBO didn’t conduct an analysis that shows what seniors might have to spend out of pocket under the latest plan. But it said that “beneficiaries might face higher costs,” adding that there was uncertainty in making such predictions. CBO said that both the Ryan plan and current law could lead to the same consequences — “reduced access to health care; diminished quality of care; increased efficiency of health care delivery; less investment in new, high-cost technologies; or some combination of those outcomes. In addition, beneficiaries might face higher costs, which could in turn reinforce some of the other effects.” And some of the effects would be greater under the Ryan plan because government spending is lower. But there was no estimate of seniors paying $6,000 more, or any other amount, under the latest GOP plan.
Source: utahhealthcareinitiative.com

Why the Medicare Fight Matters to Americans Over 55

Governor Romney’s tax program would intensify the impact of these spending cuts for most older Americans. That tax program includes cuts in tax rates and specific additional breaks for many forms of capital income. He proposes to make up the revenue loss by ‘base broadening’—in plain English, by ending a wide range of deductions, exemptions, and credits. Mr. Romney has not specified which tax breaks he would end. But a recent analysis by the Urban/Brookings Tax Policy Center points out that if rates are cut as Mr. Romney proposes, there is no possible set of changes to the tax base that would avoid shifting tax burdens from those with incomes above $200,000 a year to those with lower incomes. This cross-over point applies to young and old alike.
Source: thehealthcareblog.com

Donna Ehrke to retire as supervising U.S. probation officer for Alpine/Pecos Division

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

111 S. Highland Ave.; PO Box 867 Marfa TX 79843 info@marfapublicradio.org; www.marfapublicradio.org Mission: to provide radio that unites the community and promotes cultural enrichment through presentation and focus on the importance of art, education, quality of life and the local economy. Volunteer Opportunities: Music filing, loading, audio editing, clerical duties, and potential on-air hosting of news programs. Station Director: Tom Michael, 432-386-0601; tom@marfapublicradio.org Programming & Production Manager: Rachel Lindley, 432-729-4578; rachel@marfapublicradio.org
Source: typepad.com

Video: Audio Educator: Medicare Enrollment PECOS And the CMS 855

New PECOS Improvements Prior to Phase 2 of Ordering/Referring

Diamond Level Platinum Level Gold Level rmsource, Inc. Wells Fargo Insurance Services Silver Level Ford & Harrison Medical Protective SunTrust United HealthCare Group Bronze Level Allscripts Apex Technology Bactes Imaging Solution Biz Technology Solutions, Inc. Call-A-Nurse ChoiceHealth, Inc. CNP Technologies Computer Service Partners Coverys DataMax Eastman Kodak Company Fifth Third Bank Healthcare First Citizens Bank Gateway EDI GMK Associates, Inc. Gordon Asset Management, LLC Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc. Henry Schein Medical Humana, Inc. JBA Benefits (Allergy Services, LLC) LabCorp Management Services On-Call Marketing Works McNeary, Inc. Medicus Insurance Company MedLinks Transcription, Inc. MedWaste Solutions NCHA Strategic Partners One Source Document Solutions ONLINE Information Services Physician Discoveries Physicians’ Alliance of America Prince Parker & Associates Professional Recovery Consultants Solstas Lab Partners Stanley Benefits Stern & Associates The Doctors Company TriMed Technologies Corp Virtual OfficeWare, Inc./GE Healthcare
Source: wordpress.com

Important “PECOS” Update…

In 2010, Congress required the use of national provider identifiers for ordering and referring physicians on claims for medical equipment or services from laboratories, imaging providers and suppliers. CMS later issued an interim regulation requiring all physicians who order supplies or refer services, including those from specialists, to be enrolled in PECOS by July 2010, but CMS delayed enforcement of that rule as the agency worked to validate and update enrollment records. Enforcement would have meant that claims for items or services would be rejected unless the ordering or referring physician also was in the enrollment system, not just the physician who provided the care.
Source: vgm.com

Coding Ahead: New Physician Specialty Code for Centralized Flu

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established a new non-physician practitioner specialty code for Centralized Flu effective January 1, 2013. The new non-physician practitioner specialty code for Centralized Flu is C1 and is only applicable to the CMS-855B enrollment application. Make sure that your billing staffs are aware of this change for 2013. Medicare physician/non-physician practitioner specialty codes describe the specific/unique types of medicine that physicians and non-physician practitioners (and certain other suppliers) practice. Physicians self-designate their Medicare physician specialty on the Medicare enrollment application (CMS-855B) or Internet-based Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) when they enroll in the Medicare program. However, non-physician practitioners are assigned a Medicare specialty code when they enroll. The specialty code becomes associated with the claims submitted by that physician or non-physician practitioner. Specialty codes are used by CMS for programmatic and claims processing purposes and the new code for Centralized Flu, C1, will be added to PECOS and recognized as the non-physician practitioner code for Centralized Flu. Reference:
Source: codingahead.com

CMS Releases Updated Information about PECOS

2012 Election Accreditation ACO Affordable Care Act Billing Careers in Home Care care transitions CMS dual eligibles Education Emergency Prep EOEA Face-to-Face Falls Prevention Family Caregiving federal budget Federal Regulations Home Care & Hospice Alliance of Maine Home Care Association of New Hampshire Home Care Careers Home Health Care Home Health Compare hospice House of Representatives innovation Managed Care Massachusetts MassHealth Mass Regulations Medicaid Medicare New England Careers New England Home Care Conference & Trade Show nurse delegation nursing patient choice Patient Satisfaction PECOS PPS Redistricting Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care State Budget telehealth U.S. Congress VNA
Source: wordpress.com

Medical Billing & Coding Reminder: “E” Codes Cannot Be Primary Dx

ICD-9 diagnosis codes that begin with an “E” indicate the external causes of injuries and poisonings, as well as the adverse effects of drugs and substances. For example, E905.3 is used to report a hornet/wasp/bee sting; E880.0 for a fall from stairs or escalator;  E851 for accidental poisoning by barbiturates.  E codes are meant to be used as supplemental codes – never the primary diagnosis – and serve an informational purpose for researchers collecting data on injuries and injury prevention strategies. While E codes are used to track important information, the primary diagnosis code on a claim must fall within the range of 001 – V91 and capture the actual medical indication or health condition for which care is being provided. As an example, if a patient comes to the office with a sprained ankle after an accidental fall from a ladder, the primary diagnosis would be for the sprain (845.00 – 845.09), and the secondary code would report the cause of injury (E881.0).
Source: healthcarebiller.com

Medicare This Week: June 8th, 2012, 4010 Ends July 1st, ePrescribing Hardship Exemptions, Improvements to PECOS

Effective July 1, 2012 only ASC X12 Version 5010 (Version 5010) or NCPDP Telecom D.0 (NCPDP D.0) formats will be accepted by Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS). Providers that are still conducting one or more of the Version 4010 transactions electronically, such as submitting a claim or checking claim status, or rely on a software vendor, billing service or clearinghouse to do this on their behalf, are affected by this change. Now is the time to contact your software vendor, billing service or clearinghouse, when applicable, if you have not done so already to ensure you are ready. Transactions conducted by Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), fiscal intermediary (FI) or carrier telephone interactive voice response (IVR) systems, Direct Data Entry (DDE) and Internet Portals, for those contractors with Internet Portals, are not impacted.
Source: managemypractice.com

CMS Responds to Inquiry on HHA PECOS Status

In its final question, NAHC asked whether, once initiated, the edits would be applied to the date an episode starts (i.e. any episodes that start on or after the activation date) or be applied to all RAP and claims submitted to Medicare on or after the edit activation date. In its response, CMS stated that: “We will not be retroactively denying claims. We will deny from the dates of service on or after the implementation of the denial edits.” This response suggests a lack of understanding of home health episode billing which could include visit span dates prior to and after the edits are initiated. NAHC will work with CMS to resolve this concern and share any new information with members.
Source: hcafnews.com


This fact sheet is designed to provide education on how physicians and non-physician practitioners should enroll in the Medicare Program and maintain their enrollment information using Internet-based PECOS. It includes information on how to complete an enrollment application using Internet-based PECOS and a list of frequently asked questions and resources.
Source: codingahead.com

Save Time – Submit Your Medicare Enrollment Application through Internet

Any Organizational Provider applications that are submitted via internet-based PECOS will require the user completing the application to provide an email address for the authorized official/delegated official (AO/DO) of the application as part of the submission process. The AO/DO can then follow the instructions in the email and electronically sign the application. This applies to Institutional Providers; Clinics, Group Practices, and Certain Other Suppliers; and Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Suppliers.
Source: wordpress.com

CMS Posts Medicare Learning Network Enrollment Fact Sheet to Help Educate Ordering Physicians

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued new educational materials for physicians and other ordering and referring practitioners. This fact sheet provides education on the enrollment requirements for eligible ordering/referring providers. In the fact sheet CMS spells out who the requirements apply to as follows:
Source: hcafnews.com

Medicare Provider Enrollment Toolkit and PECOS help

Medical practices have long suffered with a cumbersome Medicare provider enrollment process. As an alternative to the paper enrollment form (CMS-855), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) developed the Internet-based Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS).
Source: mgma.com

Meaningful use attestation tips

All providers attesting to receive an EHR incentive payment for either Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs should retain ALL relevant supporting documentation (in either paper or electronic format used in the completion of the Attestation Module responses).  Documentation to support the attestation should be retained for six years post-attestation. Documentation to support payment calculations (such as cost report data) should continue to follow the current documentation retention processes.
Source: ehrintelligence.com

Aetna Acquires Additional Stake In Medicare And Medicaid Business

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Denied coverage because of a pap smear by Paul SchreiberThe Washington Post: Aetna To Buy Bethesda-Based Coventry For $7.3 Billion Aetna announced Monday plans to acquire Bethesda-based Coventry Health Care in a deal valued at $5.7 billion, part of the managed-care giant’s effort to beef up its Medicare and Medicaid programs. The purchase comes as insurance companies race to position themselves for a broad expansion of health-care coverage slated to take effect in 2014, following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the comprehensive reforms supported by the Obama administration (Bhattarai, 8/20).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program

The Delusions in Ryan's Medicare Vision

But the likelihood that Americans born in 1957 or after are going to accept a two-class deal in which they have to pay for older peoples’ generous benefits while expecting far less for themselves is about zero. As time goes on, there will be progressively more voters born after 1957 and fewer born before. Thus, the politically numerous would either demand that older Americans’ Medicare benefits be dragged down to their promised levels or that the whole voucher business be dropped. And who could blame them?
Source: realclearpolitics.com

People with Medicare Save Over $4.1 Billion on Prescription Drugs Thanks to the Health Care Law

The health care law also makes it easier for people with Medicare to stay healthy. Prior to 2011, people with Medicare had to pay extra for many preventive health services. These costs made it difficult for people to get the health care they needed. For example, before the health care law passed, a person with Medicare could pay as much as $160 for a colorectal cancer screening.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many preventive services are offered free of charge to beneficiaries, with no deductible or co-pay, so that cost is no longer a barrier for seniors who want to stay healthy and treat problems early.
Source: pittsburghhealthcarereport.com

Economist’s View: ‘Patients Would Pay More if Romney Restores Medicare Savings’

Patients Would Pay More if Romney Restores Medicare Savings, Analysts Say, by Jackie Calmes, NY Times: Mitt Romney’s promise to restore $716 billion that he says President Obama “robbed” from Medicare has some health care experts puzzled, and not just because his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, included the same savings in his House budgets. The 2010 health care law cut Medicare reimbursements to hospitals and insurers, not benefits for older Americans, by that amount over the coming decade. But repealing the savings, policy analysts say, would hasten the insolvency of Medicare by eight years — to 2016, the final year of the next presidential term, from 2024. While Republicans have raised legitimate questions about the long-term feasibility of the reimbursement cuts, analysts say, to restore them in the short term would immediately add hundreds of dollars a year to out-of-pocket Medicare expenses for beneficiaries. That would violate Mr. Romney’s vow that neither current beneficiaries nor Americans within 10 years of eligibility would be affected by his proposal to shift Medicare to a voucherlike system in which recipients are given a lump sum to buy coverage from competing insurers. For those reasons, Henry J. Aaron, an economist and a longtime health policy analyst at the Brookings Institution and the Institute of Medicine, called Mr. Romney’s vow to repeal the savings “both puzzling and bogus at the same time.” Marilyn Moon, vice president and director of the health program at the American Institutes for Research, calculated that restoring the $716 billion in Medicare savings would increase premiums and co-payments for beneficiaries by $342 a year on average over the next decade; in 2022, the average increase would be $577. …
Source: typepad.com

JAMA Forum: Time for a Serious National Debate About Medicare Reform

Although there will be loud arguments about the pace at which a controlled budget should be allowed to grow over time, the differences are small. The real dispute is over how to enforce a Medicare budget. Currently, the method used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to control spending by Medicare on physician services is called the Sustainable Growth Rate. President Obama would enforce a budget ultimately through the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), created as part of the Affordable Care Act. This board would cut payments to hospitals and doctors until spending hit the target—an approach some call the “Sustainable Growth Rate on steroids.” The Romney-Ryan Republican approach would maintain the budget by sending a “premium support” payment—a defined contribution—to the plan of each senior’s choice or to existing fee-for-service Medicare.
Source: jama.com

The Wyden & Ryan Bipartisan Medicare Plan

“Ron Wyden has been a consistently strong leader on market-based health insurance reform and a true fighter when it comes to protecting seniors, so it was only natural that we should work together on a plan that saves Medicare from fiscal threats, strengthens the program through expanded choice, and guarantees that all seniors will have the means and the freedom to purchase coverage that is tailored to their needs. I am also proud to support Sen. Wyden’s efforts to empower small businesses and their employees, so that Americans under 65 can find better health care options that they can carry with them into retirement.
Source: sweetness-light.com

Daily Kos: House Democrats spell out Medicare, Medicaid impact of Romney/Ryan plan

I have a relative who is 91 and has been in a nursing home for 3 years.  She is totally out of it – dementia – and  we’re just waiting for the end.  Her husband (no children) has a small home and some savings; she used up all of her Medicare benefits more than 2 years ago and now the $5,700 nursing home fee is paid from their savings each month, and is not going to last forever. Her doctor visits are still covered and a physician sees her three times a week.  This means a doctor – whose last name is 23 letters long and for the life of me I am unable to understand a word he says – first talks with the head nurse and checks the charts of each of the 20 (mostly dementia) patients in the wing of  his visitation route and then proceeds down the hall. While I was visiting her one morning, he came to the doorway – not to her bed – said hello to me and asked (I think) how she was doing.  I said simply “no change” he said goodbye and left.  And he bills Medicare $270 a week, for her, for these three visits. – Multiply that by by the 20 patients in the wing and you get his weekly payout at $5,400, monthly, $21,600.  There are 5 other wings in this facility and those fees bring doctor costs up to $500,000 a month.  This is just one nursing home in one county, in one state, so you can just imagine the numbers extended out  – some nursing homes less, some more, but THIS is a big part if what is wrong with the system as it is being utilized now. I don’t have the an solution, but it would be impossible and morally wrong to take away late-life health care for the elderly, or healthcare for anyone , for that matter.  Other countries, the UK, Skandinavia, for example have more efficient systems and they seem to be working much better than ours.  I think we just need to re-vamp the system to eliminate the “money-suckers” who get rich off of it.
Source: dailykos.com

Why Protecting Medicare Matters

In the early years, it was clear the benefit of Medicare because, at that time, a higher proportion of people in their late 50s or early 60s were in poverty, and therefore lacked health insurance. As such, there was a significant impact from Medicare because people suddenly had access to quality insurance and health care they had not had before. Those impacts of Medicare are no longer as noticeable because other government programs, employer-based health insurance, etc. mean that far fewer people in their late 50s or early 60s lack insurance today than they did in the early 1960s. However, if people over the age of 65 suddenly started lacking the access to quality health insurance provided by Medicare, negative health impacts would almost certainly return, especially given that more and more people are losing the guarantee of health insurance previously provided by employers and pensions.
Source: addictinginfo.org

Experts debate future of Medicare in AARP event

In the videoconference, Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation and Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution agreed on at least a couple of points: that Medicare beneficiaries should have a cap on their out-of-pocket spending, and that high-income seniors should pay higher premiums than lower-income people.
Source: georgiahealthnews.com

David Brooks Badly Misrepresents the Romney/Ryan Medicare Plan

POSTSCRIPT: It’s worth repeating my assumption that what we’re really talking about here is Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan. The reason for this assumption is that Mitt Romney, almost literally, doesn’t have a plan of his own. If you read through his description, what you learn is that (a) all seniors will get a voucher to buy health insurance, and (b) that’s it. There are essentially no other details aside from the now pro forma assurance that current seniors won’t be affected. It’s really not even possible to assess this plan, let alone suggest that it shows "surprising passion" about reforming Medicare.
Source: motherjones.com

Dems Unprepared for Medicare Debate

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

In the wake of Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, conservatives and liberals seemed almost equally happy. To the right, the pick represented a bold decision to make a forthright case against President Obama’s vision for the country and to champion solutions to the problems that the president has only made worse. Romney had put his party’s best policy thinker and one of its best communicators on his ticket and was raring to make his case to voters. To the left, it seemed like a sop to conservatives that would force Romney to defend a policy vision the public would not buy. Romney had put his party’s most controversial budget cutter on his ticket and ran the risk of being tagged with Ryan’s parsimony.
Source: realclearpolitics.com

Video: How to Understand Medicare Plans

Daily Kos: The 2012 election: Sex and Medicare

the teachers scale was based on years teaching and credits beyond the batchelors degree.   However it was pretty much the norm outside of teaching, and in many cases still the same now.  The Lilly Ledbedder case is not an isolated one.    The idea is you could pay women less because 1. it was considered a temporary job until they started their families and /or got married,  2. Because you would consider the men staying around  3. because you could because the salaries were pretty much kept confidential, only those in public service jobs (like teaching) were published where all could see them.   However men did get extras when they coached a team or gave driving instructions, which I honestly never saw a woman do when I was in school years ago.
Source: dailykos.com

Medicare Will Go Broke in 2016, If You Exclude Obamacare’s Double

At MediBid, we restore market forces to medical care. Doctors get to set their own rates based on their training, experience, and outcomes, and patients get to shop for medical care across state lines and international borders. Many times with MediBid, you will find procedures that are more effective than procedures allowed, or covered by health plans. Transparency and competition are the only way to achieve reasonable costs. Many of our employer clients offering group health insurance through MediBid save $5,000 per employee per year. Those are substantial savings. Patients are saving an average of 48% vs. insurance discounted rates, or 80% vs. retail. Contact us for more information.
Source: medibid.com

Paul Ryan and the Future of Medicare

The truth of the matter is that Ryan’s budget is far more radical than Obamacare, and also proposes changing Medicare to a voucher based program. Under the voucher system, beneficiaries would receive a fixed sum to buy private insurance. The price of the voucher would be tied to the rate of inflation, which is a slower growth rate than the rate at which medical care grows, which is usually 5 percent higher than the rate of inflation. In the long term the idea is to privatize health care, with the goal of increasing efficiency through greater economic competition according to free-market economic theory. The risk is that in the future, the government would no longer be guaranteed to provide affordable Medicare. It comes down to the age old question of markets vs. government. On the one hand, Mr. Ryan’s plan ends the government’s open ended commitment to Medicare and this does help to address the core unsustainable costs of Medicare, but it relies on free market mechanisms to lower costs and deliver care, which are far from guaranteed. In the short term however there is no question, Obamacare expands coverage to more people and makes healthcare more accessible. While Republicans attack Obama for the same cost reductions in Medicare as they themselves propose, and wage a campaign against the Affordable Care Act without clearly presenting an alternative plan beyond general free-market mechanisms, Obama and the Democrat’s proposal is clearly the stronger of the two.
Source: cornellsun.com

Looking to cut Medicare? Just get folks to die sooner

In broad economic terms, the problem with senior citizens is that they’re retired. Just idle mouths to feed, collecting governmnt benefits and spending down wealth accumulated in the past. In terms of per capita GDP, the quicker they die the better. But it sounds perverse to say that the goal of our Medicare reform policy should be to kill the elderly as quickly as possible. Indeed it sounds perverse because it is perverse. But again the question is what are the “costs” of Medicare that we’re worried about? If we’re not worried about the impact on economic growth, then it isn’t obvious why high levels of Medicare spending is a problem. But if we are worried about the impact on economic growth, then the biggest problem with Medicare isn’t that it’s wasteful it’s that it may be succeeding in its policy objective of keeping retirees alive and healthy.
Source: laobserved.com

David Brooks Badly Misrepresents the Romney/Ryan Medicare Plan

POSTSCRIPT: It’s worth repeating my assumption that what we’re really talking about here is Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan. The reason for this assumption is that Mitt Romney, almost literally, doesn’t have a plan of his own. If you read through his description, what you learn is that (a) all seniors will get a voucher to buy health insurance, and (b) that’s it. There are essentially no other details aside from the now pro forma assurance that current seniors won’t be affected. It’s really not even possible to assess this plan, let alone suggest that it shows "surprising passion" about reforming Medicare.
Source: motherjones.com

Ryan in Florida: 'Medicare should not be used as a piggy bank for Obamacare'

The Obama campaign appears to have been caught completely flat-footed by Romney and Ryan’s aggressive stance on Medicare reform.  Obama’s hapless deputy campaign manager, documented liar Stephanie Cutter, was reduced to contradicting her own statements from just one week earlier about the ObamaCare raid on Medicare funding.  As the Romney campaign was happy to point out, Cutter was describing the Medicare raid as an “achievement” in cost-cutting on last weekend’s talk-show circuit, but now she’s singing from her panicked campaign’s new “math is hard” playbook:
Source: humanevents.com

Experts debate future of Medicare in AARP event

In the videoconference, Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation and Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution agreed on at least a couple of points: that Medicare beneficiaries should have a cap on their out-of-pocket spending, and that high-income seniors should pay higher premiums than lower-income people.
Source: georgiahealthnews.com

David Brooks Doesn’t Have Access to the Medicare Trustees Report 

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Bubbles? Take something like 'Not I! ...item 1.. Wakulla Republicans Protest Against Taxes in the County (September 06, 2011) ... by marsmet552This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance civic rights and social action on national and international legal, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues. We believe this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond “fair use,” you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Source: nytexaminer.com

Video: Healthcare Takeover – Up Taxes, Debt, and Cut Medicare

Under Obamacare, Medicare Double Taxation Begins in 2013

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Source: wordpress.com

Obama slams Romney, Ryan on tax rates, Medicare in stops in New Hampshire

“But I guess they figure the best defense is to try to go on offense,” Obama said, adding that the Romney-Ryan plan undoes the Medicare guarantee. “So here is the bottom line: My plan saves money in Medicare by cracking down on fraud and waste and insurance company subsidies. And their plan makes seniors pay more so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires.”
Source: financialpress.com

Why Romney’s Medicare Taxes Are So Low

How did he manage this trick? The key is that investment income, which made up 97% of Romney’s total income in 2010, is not subject to payroll taxes that pay for Medicare or Social Security. That means he only paid Medicare taxes on his speaking and directing fees. If Romney had paid the full Medicare tax rate on all of his income, he would have paid about $628,000. Instead he paid $15,908.
Source: progressivepolicy.org

Presidential Campaign Keeps Focus On Medicare

The New York Times: Both Campaigns Seize Role Of Medicare Defender  Mr. Ryan, who has proposed a controversial voucher program for Medicare, accused Mr. Obama of being the bigger threat because of savings wrung from the growth of spending in the program contained in the president’s health care overhaul of 2010. … President Obama, campaigning in New Hampshire on Saturday, dismissed the Romney campaign’s tactics on Medicare, saying that it was Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan who threatened the program. “Now you think they’d avoid talking about Medicare, considering both of them have proposed to voucherize the Medicare system,” Mr. Obama said. “They want seniors to get a voucher to buy their own insurance, which would force seniors to pay an additional $6,400 for their health care.” (Gabriel and Cooper, 8/18).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Daily Kos: Romney camp admits Medicare cuts will hit current seniors

Angie in WA State, Mimikatz, Sylv, Bill in Portland Maine, ferg, TrueBlueMajority, mimi, hyperstation, jdld, eeff, devtob, recentdemocrat, freelunch, RFK Lives, SallyCat, Matilda, exNYinTX, niemann, concernedamerican, cskendrick, brillig, Ian S, mkfarkus, Aquarius40, chimpy, denig, retLT, bincbom, fumie, artebella, revsue, Getreal1246, psnyder, emmasnacker, Dr Colossus, duncanidaho, bwintx, Diana in NoVa, zerelda, bobnbob, tomjones, Emmy, Vyan, sb, Julie Gulden, davidincleveland, Los Diablo, ExStr8, kbman, maybeeso in michigan, bloomer 101, Tinfoil Hat, Unit Zero, alaprst, kitchen sink think tank, dewtx, ChemBob, sandrad23, stagemom, Brooke In Seattle, EJP in Maine, reflectionsv37, boofdah, bleeding blue, GreyHawk, Tool, SBandini, Cory Bantic, coloradorob, Ekaterin, Box of Rain, Alan Arizona, accumbens, third Party please, redcedar, althea in il, BachFan, tonyahky, Gorette, kestrel9000, zesty grapher, blueoasis, StrayCat, JVolvo, bleeding heart, profh, BB10, Lovo, MadMs, nannyboz, kurious, AllanTBG, Aaa T Tudeattack, Cronesense, Loudoun County Dem, gloriana, gustynpip, terabytes, NoMoJoe, Templar, jedennis, SeaTurtle, millwood, gchaucer2, uciguy30, leonard145b, madgranny, skod, BasharH, A Person, trueblueliberal, South Park Democrat, TomP, JeffW, Captain C, HappyinNM, wayoutinthestix, OleHippieChick, Sixty Something, bythesea, elwior, Laughing Vergil, Akonitum, Its any one guess, mikeconwell, Lujane, tofumagoo, bluesheep, TokenLiberal, catly, mofembot, Gemina13, Horsefeathers, JamieG from Md, dmhlt 66, shortgirl, RWN, clent, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, J M F, greengemini, hummingbird4015, be the change you seek, pvlb, notrouble, bamjack, aunt blabby, elziax, MKSinSA, papahaha, Shelley99, sfarkash, Tortmaster, jfromga, BlueOak, brentbent, coppercelt, marabout40, marcus38, eXtina, estreya, gramofsam1, Tea and Strumpets, Interceptor7, Crabby Abbey, CrissieP, womankind, ItsSimpleSimon, nickrud, mideedah, elengul, ericlewis0, USHomeopath, fiercefilms, stevenaxelrod, cany, Actbriniel, no way lack of brain, Onomastic, Mike08, kerflooey, spooks51, Catherine R, bgblcklab1, jardin32, vahana, freesia, asterkitty, mikejay611, Philip Vincent, Nicci August, deeproots, marleycat, Jasonhouse, thomask, BarackStarObama, Grandma Susie, MRA NY, createpeace, Marihilda, Vatexia, jolux, just another vortex, thejoshuablog, googie, Auriandra, No one gets out alive, hulibow, clubbing guy, StonyB, a2nite, Farkletoo, Trotskyrepublican, JGibson, CA ridebalanced, Darryl House, Mr Robert, geojumper, MartyM, pittie70, doroma, avsp, arizonablue, Victim of Circumstance, Kinak, databob, ShoshannaD, CalBearMom, nomandates, The grouch, Late Again, poopdogcomedy, weck, Dewstino, Icicle68, Smoh
Source: dailykos.com

d r i f t g l a s s: Niall Ferguson, David Brooks and Genital Herpes: One of These Does Not Belong

A word here about friendship and public debate. Many of my peers regard me as unfriendly because I often criticize their arguments with as much aplomb and effect as I can. But I really do not see public debate between public actors as being in the realm of friendship, a subject I take seriously enough to have written a book on the subject. Friendship, for me, has never rested on a shared ideology or politics. I’m actually a little uncomfortable around people who agree with me. I grew up in a family that never stopped arguing, and no one took it personally when it was about a subject like politics or even religion. I take the Westminster view that you can verbally lacerate an opponent in the House of Commons and still have a few beers with him afterward. I mean absolutely no personal animus. Same with Goldblog.
Source: blogspot.com

Financial Management Professionals Blog

Here are a few examples to illustrate how the Medicare tax will apply to unearned incomes. A single person with $300,000 of earned income and $25,000 of unearned income would pay 3.8% of Medicare taxes on $25,000 of unearned income because his unearned income is less than his total income above the threshold. A married couple with $150,000 of earned income and $150,000 of unearned income would pay 3.8% of Medicare taxes on $50,000 of unearned income because their total income above the threshold is less than their unearned income. A married couple with $25,000 of earned income and $200,000 of unearned income would not pay Medicare taxes on any unearned income because their total income is below the threshold.
Source: fmprofessionals.com

Pinnock Robbins Posey and Richins, Tax Update Blog: Increased 0.9% Medicare Tax Rate on Employee Compensation and Self

Jim Beaudoin writes the Tax Update items, and his opinions expressed or implied are not necessarily shared by anyone else at Pinnock, Robbins, Posey & Richins, P.C. He welcomes your questions or comments about information on the Tax Update.
Source: blogspot.com

Medicare: Democrats’ Perpetual Scam

The genius of Medicare – from the point of view of progressives and Democrats – is how quickly and irrevocably it ensnared the generations in government dependency.  The elderly immediately began receiving subsidized health care and were immediately grateful to Democrats.  Those who were working and paying the bill might have been more resistant except they were told they were buying “insurance” that would care for them in retirement – and it was amazingly cheap insurance.  More from Johnson’s speech of 1965
Source: libertyworks.com

New Medicare Tax Under The Healthcare Reform Law

No Notification Required Note that an employer is not required to notify an employee of the additional withholding requirement that may apply on account of the Additional Medicare Tax. Also, an employee may not request additional withholding specifically for the Additional Medicare Tax even if the employee expects to owe an Additional Medicare Tax liability (for example, if the individual earns less than $200,000 but, together with her or his spouse, the couple will earn more than the $250,000 joint filer threshold). An employee may, however, adjust her or his income tax withholding amount by filing a new IRS Form W-4, and any excess withholding will be applied toward the individual’s overall federal tax liability, including the Additional Medicare Tax.
Source: huckstep.com