Hitting hard on Medicare: Romney, Obama go at it

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

In the days leading to Ryan’s selection, opinion polls generally showed a close race with Obama holding a modest advantage despite a sluggish economy and unemployment of 8.3 percent. Romney’s pick for a running mate drew enthusiastic support from conservatives pleased that he had tapped a lawmaker known as an intellectual leader of the effort to rein in big government benefit programs and reduce future deficits.
Source: al.com

Video: Alabama Medicare Supplements

Alabama Medicare Benefits

Apart from the objectives and advantages mentioned above, there are a few more benefits to be gained from the Alabama Medicare system like money for X-Rays, laboratory charges, tests, blood work, and in-home recovery and so on. However these are dependent to a certain extent on the particular kind of Alabama Medicare scheme chosen like Alabama Supplement Plan or Medicare Advantage Plan. Thus the individual must select the health insurance scheme that is the most conducive to his needs and he shall benefit accordingly, and at an affordable rate.
Source: medicarealabama.com

Senior Benefit Services, Inc.

Effective October 1, 2012 on in force business only for United World 2010 Modernized Medicare Supplement plans (Policies effective on or after June 1, 2010) in Alabama and South Dakota and November 1, 2012 in Montana, the rate adjustments will affect plans  A, B, F, G, and M.
Source: srbenefit.com

Bessemer employee’s complaint of “widespread, systematic” Medicare fraud results in $5.4 million settlement

“Carl Crawley was willing to jeopardize his career to safeguard the American health care system and the taxpayers’ trust,” Henry Frohsin, one of Crawley’s lawyers, said in a statement. “This country needs more heroes like Carl who are willing to sacrifice for what they believe. He deserves to be rewarded.”
Source: al.com

Medicare Supplement Insurance In Alabama

Tags: Alabama Medicare, Alabama Medicare Information, Alabama Medicare Supplement Insurance, Alabama Medicare Supplement quotes, Alabama Medigap Information, Alabama Medigap Insurance, Alabama Medigap Quotes, Medicare Standardized Plans, Medigap Plans, Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans Posted in Medicare Benefits, Medicare News, Uncategorized
Source: medicaresupplementsource.com

Medicare in focus as Obama, Ryan trade charges

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Source: alnotes.com

Ohio Medicaid Program Raises Stakes For Nursing Homes

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. GoldenStates such as Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont have tried to change that by awarding a small bonus (from 60 cents to $6.16 per day) if facilities achieve various standards.  But industry representatives say those incentives are insufficient to generate significant enthusiasm for altering the status quo, according to Nicholas Castle, who has surveyed nursing home administrators and is a professor of health policy at the University of Pittsburgh.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Ohioans Want to Know Where Romney and Ryan Stand on Fair Pay, Medicare, and Women’s Health

In Florida and Ohio, seniors back Romney over Obama on Medicare

ACH12-Distribution ACH19-ValueforMoney AHC5-GovernmentRole AHC13-PovertyandHealth Entitlement Reform International Comparisons NN11-Personal-News NN18-Conferences-Meetings NN19-Books NN20-Articles-Papers NN21-Grey-Literature NN25-Videocasts NN27-Blogs PPACA-Constutionality PPACA-EssentialBenefits PPACA-HealthExchanges PPACA-Impact-Access PPACA-Impact-Consumers PPACA-Impact-Costs PPACA-Impact-Employers PPACA-Impact-HealthInsurers PPACA-Impact-HealthProfessionals PPACA-Impact-States PPACA-Medicaid PPACA-Medicare PPACA-PublicOpinion PPACA-Repeal Regulation-FDA Regulation-HealthFacilities UHC12-2012
Source: wordpress.com

Romney Turns To Ohio Amid Series Of Distractions

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney declared Saturday that "women need our help" as he promised to promote women-led businesses should he defeat President Barack Obama in November’s election.     The appeal came as the former Massachusetts governor tried to shrug off a series of unwanted distractions before the Republican convention opens Monday in Florida.     "Just a word to the women entrepreneurs out there, if we become president and vice president, we want to speak to you, we want to help you," Romney said with running mate Paul Ryan at his side during an outdoor rally that drew an estimated 5,000 people to the Columbus area. "Women in this country are more likely to start businesses than men. Women need our help."     The promise comes as Republicans face difficult questions about the party’s position on abortion after a Missouri Senate candidate suggested that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."     It also comes less than 24 hours after Romney raised the discredited rumor that Obama wasn’t born in the United States. The comment, and Romney’s efforts to explain it, overshadowed his economic message as he campaigned near his Michigan birthplace on Friday.     Romney did not repeat the remark on Saturday, but instead assailed the Democratic incumbent for failing to deliver on his campaign promises.     "I can almost read his speech now. It’ll be filled with promises and tell people how wonderful things are," Romney said of the speech Obama will give at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina next month. "It is not his words people have to listen to. It’s his action and his record. And if they look at that, they’ll take him out of the office and put people into the office who’ll actually get America going again."     At the same time, Obama used his weekend radio and Internet address and a new TV ad to highlight Romney’s plans for the Medicare health program for seniors.     Obama doesn’t mention his Republican challenger in the radio address but says the Medicare program is about keeping promises to millions of seniors who have put in a lifetime of hard work.     His new 30-second TV ad says Romney "would break that promise" and replace the current Medicare system with a voucher program that wouldn’t keep up with costs.     "Insurance companies could just keep raising rates," says the new ad, which was airing in Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.     Romney spokesman Ryan Williams called the ad "another false attack from a desperate president." Williams said Romney is the one who would reverse billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare by Obama and protect the program for current beneficiaries and future retirees.     Romney’s Ohio rally is expected to be his final public appearance before the Republican National Convention opens Monday in Tampa, Fla., where the former Massachusetts governor will formally accept the presidential nomination.     While GOP officials suggest the momentum is on their side heading into the crucial period, Romney and his party have faced tough questions in recent weeks on Medicare and abortion.     Now his joking reference to the president’s birth certificate links him to the so-called birther movement and a wing of his party – a combined 25 percent in an April Pew Research Center poll – that says it either isn’t sure or doesn’t believe Obama was born in the U.S.     Romney caused another stir earlier in the week by declaring that big business was "doing fine" in the current economy in part because companies get advantages from offshore tax havens.     Still, polls suggest the presidential contest is essentially a tossup as Obama struggles under the weight of a weak economy.     The president’s re-election campaign has pushed voter attention away from the economy in recent weeks, particularly after Romney introduced Ryan as his running mate. Ryan is the author of a controversial budget plan that would transform Medicare into a voucher-like system for future retirees.     Outside the Ohio rally, protesters heckled the presumptive GOP ticket about its plans for seniors’ health care.     Speaking before Romney, Ryan said one in six Americans lives in poverty. He said the country is done being fooled by Obama’s promises to change Washington.     Democrats also have seized on Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin’s comment about "legitimate rape."     The congressman announced Friday that he would not leave the Senate contest despite overwhelming pressure from Romney and top Republican officials.     Romney made the birth certificate remark at a large outdoor rally in Michigan, where he grew up and where his father, George, served as governor. He told supporters that he and his wife, Ann, had been born at nearby hospitals.     "No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised," Romney said.     The crowd of more than 7,000 responded with hearty laughter.     Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt swiftly denounced the remark, saying Romney "embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them."     Romney later denied that the remark was directed at the president.     "No, no, not a swipe," Romney told CBS News. "I’ve said throughout the campaign and before, there’s no question about where he was born. He was born in the U.S. This was fun about us and coming home. And humor, you know – we’ve got to have a little humor in a campaign."     The authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate has been questioned by Republican critics who insist he is not a "natural-born citizen" as required by the Constitution. Obama released a long-form version of his birth certificate last year as proof that he was born in Hawaii in 1961.     But conservative questions have lingered. And Romney has declined to condemn such questions, particularly from prominent donor Donald Trump.     The Obama campaign released a web video Friday night featuring Romney’s remark and declaring that "America doesn’t need a birther-in-chief." Democrats intend to keep the pressure on as the Republican convention gets under way.     Obama was spending the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, as Republicans began arriving in Tampa for their convention. But Democrats were planning to counter Romney’s message throughout the week.     Reaching out to young voters, a key component of his 2008 election, Obama scheduled stops Tuesday and Wednesday in the college towns of Ames, Iowa; Fort Collins, Colo.; and Charlottesville, Va.     Vice President Joe Biden canceled plans to appear in Tampa on Monday because of Tropical Storm Isaac, but was scheduled to be in Orlando and St. Augustine, Fla., on Tuesday.     After Ryan gives his convention address on Wednesday night, first lady Michelle Obama is set to appear on CBS’ "Late Show With David Letterman."     The high-profile events are paired with a number of smaller gatherings around the country by Democrats aiming to attract female voters and a bus tour with party activists in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.     Obama campaign deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said the president’s team was "not going to cede four days of this campaign just because of a party convention."    
Source: 10tv.com

Daily Kos: Reality check: seniors back Romney over Obama on Medicare in Florida and Ohio

This result is not as surprising as it might be once you consider that the only age group supporting Romney in these state is Seniors (Obama leads among under 65 voters but not over 65 voters in these states).  A great number of people reason “backwards.”  In other words, they go with their “gut” on whom to support.  Then, they tend to believe that the person they support also has policies that agree with their personal preferences–even when factually that conclusion is not true.  Everyone thinks he or she does the opposite, i.e., looks at the positions and picks the candidate closest to his or her views.  But it seems obvious that many voters fail to engage in this “analytical” process.
Source: dailykos.com

Oh my: Romney/Ryan lead on Medicare in Florida and Ohio?

Two: Ryan’s message about needing to reform Medicare to save it is penetrating. That would be fabulous if true, as that’s the core benefit of having him on the ticket — driving the idea into Americans’ skulls that if they really love their “social safety net” programs as much as they seem to, they’d better be prepared to tinker with the mechanics soon before the gears start flying off. Even if Obama wins the election, it’ll be a consolation prize that Mitt and Paul were able to sound the alarm about that with the incredible megaphone that a presidential campaign provides. The point here is that if seniors have been convinced by Ryan that it’s fiscally impossible to preserve Medicare precisely “as it is” long-term, then they may conclude that a thoughtful reform plan is the best chance to keep it close to as-is, which in turn explains Florida’s and Ohio’s preference for the GOP on this issue.
Source: ripandreader.com

Charlie Wilson Holding Medicare Forum Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Wilson will follow in Joyce Healy-Abrams’ steps and hold a forum about Medicare in his district. He’ll also have Phillip Rotondi of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare as his guest to discuss protecting the future of seniors and the seniors of the future
Source: ohiodailyblog.com

Obama Leads in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin

New Quinnipiac/New York Ttimes/CBS News polls of likely voters finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney in three crucial swing states. Florida: Obama 49%, Romney 46% Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 44% Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 47%. Key findings: “Roughly 6 in 10 likely voters in each state want Medicare to continue providing health insurance to older Americans the way it does today; fewer than a third of those polled said Medicare should be changed in the future to a system in which the government gives the elderly fixed amounts of money to buy health insurance or Medicare insurance, as Mr. Romney has proposed. And Medicare is widely seen as a good value: about three-quarters of the likely voters in each state said the benefits of Medicare are worth the cost to taxpayers.”
Source: politicalwire.com

New ads up in Ohio questions Brown’s stance on Medicare

Acting like a Medicare IRS, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is a 15-member bureaucratic council that will dictate what constitutes “necessary care” for Medicare recipients as a means to cut costs beyond the half-trillion dollars that was already eliminated through Obama’s government takeover of healthcare. The Board’s so-called recommendations can be fully enacted without Congressional action, allowing them to autonomously ration care for seniors.
Source: conservative-outlooks.com

The Forgotten History of Ryan's Medicare Reform

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

ILGWU senior female members and retirees holding placards urging "fair play for the aged", "hands off social security", "don't mess with medicare", "keep your promises Mr. President", and more. by Kheel Center, Cornell UniversityA panel at the American Enterprise Institute featured Richard Foster, the Medicare actuary who estimates that ObamaCare’s $716 billion in Medicare cuts will cause one of six hospitals to become unprofitable. In the audience was Chip Kahn, the president of a for-profit hospital trade group that lobbied for ObamaCare, who stood up to defend the bargain his industry cut in return for 30 million new subsidized customers.
Source: realclearpolitics.com

Video: A Short History on Medicare

Short history of competitive bidding in Medicare

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Source: wordpress.com

Daily Kos: Obama in weekly address: Republicans do indeed want to effectively end Medicare as we know it

we often negotiated gains earned by increased productivity as a combination of pay raises and retirement benefits. When vulture capitalists bankrupted my steelmill (Kaiser) our retirement benefits were drastically reduced and thrown into the PBGC. And after years of promoting “Buy American Steel”, the principal shareholder renounced his American citizenship to become a Canadian so that he could invest his riches into Canadian shale oil. This all happened after the company had pleaded with us to take a pay cut because they didn’t have the $240 million to invest in a new blast furnace technology that would have made us one of the most modern mills on earth. We conceded. Then the company sold an investment that made them over $640 million in cash. We offered to keep the pay cut for the present contract and the next contract if they would invest it into the new blast furnace. They declined the offer, stuffed their pockets, and shit on several thousand employees. That was during the Ray-gun years. Rmoney is cut from the same cloth. He would like to throw the non profit public moneys of Medicare and Social Security into the risk laden private markets where profit for the private 1% would be the driving motive. That would result in loss of benefits so that the 1% could leech off of the labors and savings of the 99%. We need to keep these social programs from the greedy heartless mitts of Mittens and the like.
Source: dailykos.com

Today in labor and people’s history: Medicare and Medicaid established

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid. It came after decades of struggle. The movement for national health insurance dates back to the struggles of the Great Depression of the 1920s and ’30s, and the New Deal. It was strongly opposed by the medical establishment, including the American Medical Association. A key turning point, according to historian Peter Corning, came in 1957 when the executive council of the AFL-CIO committed the labor federation to an “all-out battle for government health insurance.” “Government health insurance was pressed as labor’s number-one legislative priority, and organized labor became the rallying point for all those who favored the measure,” Corning wrote. Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law in 1965 as an amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935. Medicare provided hospital and medical insurance for Americans age 65 or older. In 1972, eligibility for Medicare was extended to people under 65 with certain disabilities, and people of all ages with kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplant. Medicaid, a state and federally funded program, offers health coverage to low-income people. Some 19 million people enrolled in Medicare when it went into effect in 1966. By 2010, Medicare provided health insurance to 48 million Americans – 40 million people age 65 and older and 8 million younger people with disabilities. Medicare and Medicaid serve a large population of seniors, sick, disabled, and low-income people, most of whom would be unable to afford health care otherwise. Photo: President Lyndon Johnson (right), Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare John Gardner (second from left) and Social Security Administration Commissioner Bob Ball (left) received the first Medicare Part B application from a member of the general public, Tony Palcaorolla of Baltimore, Md., (next to President Johnson), Sept. 1, 1965. SSA History Archives
Source: peoplesworld.org

Obama: Romney/Ryan Plan ‘Voucherizes’ Medicare!

The Republican Party has long opposed nearly all government run or guaranteed benefit programs; Medicare, Medicaid and – indeed – even Social Security, as most recently seen when George W. Bush tried to privatize Social Security with a risky Stock Market-based savings option, an idea he was forced to abandon amid nationwide public criticism. It is reported that 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate, Arizona Senator John McCain, would have attempted a similar plan. We have seen the “wisdom” of such a plan with the 2008 Stock Market Crash, which would have devastated Social Security benefits and threatened the solvency of the now nearly 80-year old retirement safety net, the most successful government benefit progam in history.
Source: addictinginfo.org

Econbrowser: Federal receipts and expenditures

Exactly. And while we’re at it, let’s name names. Krugman has called for defense cuts, tax increases and cuts in the growth of Medicare/Medicaid. So has Mark Thoma. So has Brad DeLong. And so have James Kwak and Simon Johnson in their book “White House Burning.” And Menzie also called for defense cuts, tax increases and entitlement cuts in his book. There are plenty of people calling for defense cuts, tax hikes and entitlement cuts. The problem is that none of them are right of center. The “trade space” between those in the center and those on the left is really not very large. Centrists believe government spending should be something like 22%-22.5% of GDP. Those on the left believe government spending should be something like 23%-23.5% of GDP. So we’re not talking about irreconcilable differences here. But those on the right and hard right are all talking about 17%-18% of GDP. A few of the more moderate ones might be willing to go as high as 20%, but no more. Those folks are living in another universe.
Source: econbrowser.com

On This Date in History: Medicare signed into law in 1965

One possible fix nobody really wants to think about is the use of the word “cost” in the statute that gave rise to Medicare. As many know, the government lost badly in the lawsuit of Hays v. Leavitt, and Hays v. Sebelius didn’t go much better if I’m not mistaken. Would the Independent Payment Advisory Board recommend that Congress allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to use cost as a factor in coverage decisions? It’s hard to say, but we do know one thing: That rail has more juice to it than most third rails available to Congress, so only IPAB could get away with even saying such a thing.
Source: medicaldevicedaily.com

Astounding Development: Post Columinist Discovers the Problem Is the U.S. Health Care System, Not Medicare | MyFDL

The next question is whether we can talk about some measures to address the problem. My favorite starting part is some free trade in health care: allow Medicare beneficiaries buy into the more efficient programs elsewhere and split the savings in the government. Unfortunately the Post is probably too ideologically committed to protectionism to ever allow an idea like this to appear in the paper.
Source: firedoglake.com

What Happens to Your Medicare Benefits When You Move Abroad?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

ROBERT L. HUFFSTUTTER'S HEALTHCARE PLAN FOR AMERICA by roberthuffstutterLuckily, plans that offer medical insurance abroad are tailored to permanent and part-time residents of international locations, offer some portability for retirees who wish to travel and are both affordable and flexible. These plans allow a retiree to not only select a limit and deductible that is reasonable for their budget but also to choose coverage options that go well beyond just providing medical treatment. Some plans allow benefits for repatriation of remains and emergency medical evacuation as well as providing the usual overage for prescriptions, hospital stays and more.
Source: nyig.com

Video: Understanding Medicare Advantage Plans

Who invented Ryan’s Medicare Plan?

A new paper from the Heritage Foundation runs down the history of premium support and addresses some of the criticisms of premium support as it relates to Medicare. Currently, Medicare consists of four parts: Part A is hospitalization; Part B is physician and outpatient services; Part C is Medicare Advantage and Part D is the prescription drug program. Parts A and B operate as a traditional defined benefit program, that is Medicare taxes were collected throughout a worker’s working life and Parts A and B are the promised medical benefits. Parts C and D, however, were enacted much later and are both premium support programs. This means, instead of delivering promised benefits, Medicare gives seniors a stipend or voucher to purchase private insurance. In Part D, it is for prescription drug insurance and for Part C it is for plans that cover different services than the traditional Medicare insurance package. In essence, Medicare is already half premium support and half defined benefit. The report looks at the charge that offering seniors choice in their health benefits would result in massive premium increases. In 2012, average monthly premiums for Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) fell from $39 a month to $35.  For Part D, the monthly average premium also fell from $31 to $30. Over time, Medicare Part D premiums have remained relatively flat as the plans have passed on savings gained by moving toward more generic drugs. Another charge leveled at supporters of premium support plans is that seniors would be subject to all sorts of scams and would not be able to make rational choices regarding their own health care. The report quotes Henry Aaron of the left-leaning Brookings Institute:
Source: sixtysecondactivist.com

Conservative News from Conservative Bloggers

Here’s what one viewer had to say about this movie- “The Lamp is an inspiring story about the power of the human spirit to create from within. Trost Moving Pictures does an amazing job of winding the story line through each character. An excellent and inspiring message for viewers of any age. Great message!!! Enjoy!!!”Lynne J Baecker
Source: americanconservativenews.com

Daily Kos: BREAKING: Obama goes on Offense on Medicare with attack ad

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Source: dailykos.com

Medicare Part D Coverage Gap

Gary Phillips is a licensed insurance agent based in western North Carolina. He specializes in the senior market and is knowledgeable in multiple insurance lines including Medicare, Medigap, Long-Term Care, Part D Prescription Drugs, Part C Medicare Advantage, Health, Life and Final Expense insurance. He also enjoys writing and helping others. www.bizpartner.homestead.com
Source: seniorliving.net

Strengthening and Protecting Medicare for Older Women through the ACA

You’ve probably heard that the ACA cuts $500-$700 billion from Medicare to pay for the law. Not true.  The independent Politifact has rated this claim many times, as false or mostly false. It’s mostly false because the law both adds money to Medicare to cover some holes, like the donut hole and preventive care without co-pays (see more on this below), and slows the growth of Medicare spending in the future. It does that in many ways: by incentivizing value and care coordination by providers, eliminating waste, fraud and abuse, and lowering the subsidies to private insurance through Medicare Advantage Plans (which are now about 12-18%) to incentivize competition and lower the overall growth in Medicare spending. This helps the Medicare trust fund remain solvent longer. There’s still work to do to slow health care spending, but Medicare reforms in the ACA will do a big part to help shift our system to providing better value for our dollars.
Source: wordpress.com

Freedom Home Health and Hospice: What is the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?

Rehabilitation Care can occur in a Hospital or Skilled Nursing Facility, also known as a Nursing Home.  Medicare offers 100 days of rehabilitation by paying 100% for days 1-20 and 80% for days 21-100.  This can get a little complicated for patients who get discharged from care before they have utilized their 100 days.  Medicare will continue to pay for Rehabilitation Care as long as the patient is participating AND making progress in therapy.  Once the patient has peaked on improvements, Medicare will have the facility give you a three day notice of
Source: blogspot.com

Daily Kos: Did Obama Cut $716b from Medicare?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Lyndon B. Johnson by cliff1066™It seems the $716B is a made up number. It was originally about $500B when the ACA was passed. But what the Rs are doing is not comparing the ten years starting in 2010 but using a period starting in 2013 but including in it as part of the baseline the three years between 2010 and 2013, which is why their number is so much larger and harder to figure out. They are looking for medical inflation to make up the difference. Thirteen years of expense is always going to be larger than ten years. And of course harder to match against the donut hole narrowing and the additional now free and once charged for Medicare services some of which are already taking effect.  And of course they do  not bother to explain how they did it. This is US. We Republicans know our money.
Source: dailykos.com

Video: Guide to Medicare Part A and Part B

What Happens to Your Medicare Benefits When You Move Abroad?

Luckily, plans that offer medical insurance abroad are tailored to permanent and part-time residents of international locations, offer some portability for retirees who wish to travel and are both affordable and flexible. These plans allow a retiree to not only select a limit and deductible that is reasonable for their budget but also to choose coverage options that go well beyond just providing medical treatment. Some plans allow benefits for repatriation of remains and emergency medical evacuation as well as providing the usual overage for prescriptions, hospital stays and more.
Source: nyig.com

After 40 Years, Medicare Still Not a Strong Issue for Republicans

I’ve read a bunch of brave chatter from conservative writers suggesting that the "Medicare issue" is working in their guy’s favor. I guess anything’s possible, but I sure doubt it. The idea that Medicare is going broke probably seems like a fairly distant prospect to most voters — isn’t everything always going broke? — and in the meantime why take chances? My guess is that people responding positively to the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan are either (a) stone partisans or (b) not really aware of what the Romney/Ryan plan is. Nobody cares about group A, and a few million dollars of targeted attack advertising will take care of group B nicely. If Medicare stays in the spotlight, Paul Ryan’s plan will most likely be a smoking crater by election day.
Source: motherjones.com

Aetna To Buy Coventry for $5.7B, Expand Work in Medicare, Medicaid

The Hartford, Conn.-based company said the deal would help it push further into government-financed programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Specifically, it will expand Aetna’s Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug business.
Source: californiahealthline.org

Experts Question Vow by Romney To Reverse $716B in Medicare Cuts

Who are these “policy experts” and “health care analysts”? I agree with Ms Svorny that most people, other than the afformentioned wonks, could not identify a premium support program if it landed on their nose. I was at a senior’s meeting once where the audience was against any government tampering or involvement with the Medicare program. Indeed, our “non-system” of healthcare is so complicated and costly that more bandaids (AKA, the Affordable Care Act) won’t help it.
Source: californiahealthline.org

Ask The Experts: Retirement

First, please review previous Q&As to see if your question already has been answered. If you cannot find the answer, submit your question to our Retirement expert at fedexperts@federaltimes.com PLEASE NOTE! Do not submit ANY questions via the Comments form. Questions submitted via the Comments form will NOT be answered!
Source: federaltimes.com

Tricare Help – I’m on Medicare disability and TFL; do I have to buy Part B?

15 percent age appeal catastrophic cap child born out of wedlock claims continued care cost share death DEERS dental dependent disabled divorce doctor doctors FEHBP handbook health care reform hospital ID card marriage maternity care Medicare military treatment facilities other health insurance outside the U.S. parents Part A Part B pharmacy pre-existing condition pregnancy reserves secondary insurance social security spouse supplements surgery Tricare For Life Tricare Prime Tricare Standard Tricare Young Adult Program VA widow
Source: militarytimes.com

Hype Aside: Medicare as We Know It

- $294 billion payment cuts to hospitals – $156 billion cuts to Medicare Advantage affecting 25% of seniors nationwide – $39 billion cuts to skilled nursing – $17 billion cuts to hospice care – $66 billion cuts to home healthcare – $33 billion cuts to other providers – $11 billion cuts resulting from the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB, 15-member panel of unelected government bureaucrats making Medicare price control decisions).
Source: clashdaily.com

CBS News: Obama’s $716B cuts good for Medicare, also Paul Ryan did it too and GOP are hypocrites

The “Ryan did it too” defense is perhaps the most amusing of the three, as it succeeds in being simultaneously untrue, irrelevant, and an admission of the basic charge against the Democrats. Even as they call Paul Ryan a cruel and merciless budget cutter who cares not for the weather service and would gladly see children exposed to E. coli, the Democrats justify their taking $710 billion out of Medicare and spending it on Obamacare over the next decade by pointing out that Paul Ryan didn’t put that money back into Medicare in his budget. So if he had, would that have made their cuts unjustifiable? Well it so happens that he did. By repealing all of Obamacare’s spending, the Republican budget does not spend the money Obamacare took out of Medicare and thus those funds are used to extend the Medicare trust fund.
Source: therightscoop.com

What Happens to Your Medicare Benefits When You Move Abroad?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Medicare, Part D by ellenmac11Luckily, plans that offer medical insurance abroad are tailored to permanent and part-time residents of international locations, offer some portability for retirees who wish to travel and are both affordable and flexible. These plans allow a retiree to not only select a limit and deductible that is reasonable for their budget but also to choose coverage options that go well beyond just providing medical treatment. Some plans allow benefits for repatriation of remains and emergency medical evacuation as well as providing the usual overage for prescriptions, hospital stays and more.
Source: nyig.com

Video: Guide to Medicare Part A and Part B

Prescription Drug Life Cycle: Delivering Medicare Part D Savings [VIDEO]

Specifically, IMS examined the innovative medicines covered under Medicare Part D from 2006 to 2010. It found that a group of brand-named (patented) medicines representing 28% of the all Part D 2006 spending lost patent protection during this period. At the same time, generic versions of those medicines became available to patients. This inevitable generic competition with brand name drugs helped save Medicare $8.1 billion. According to IMS, if you project patient spending on these medicines out through 2014, we’re likely to see savings of $28.5 billion alone on the medicines whose patents expired during the period studied.
Source: phrma.org

Medicare’s ‘Piggy Bank’

As we’ve said before, both the Romney and the Obama campaign propose cutting the growth in Medicare spending over the long run, and both would have to find ways to reduce spending or increase revenues to extend the trust fund in the near future. Obama has done so mainly by reducing the growth in payments to hospitals, but the Medicare trustees have said that many experts believe the “price constraints would become unworkable and that Congress would likely override them.” The Romney campaign says its health care proposals — which include limiting medical malpractice damages, promoting “alternatives to ‘fee for service’ ” and allowing the sale of insurance policies across state lines — would lower health care costs in the country in general, so Medicare costs would come down, too. That also remains to be seen.
Source: hrsoluzioni.biz

Medicare Part D Coverage Gap

Gary Phillips is a licensed insurance agent based in western North Carolina. He specializes in the senior market and is knowledgeable in multiple insurance lines including Medicare, Medigap, Long-Term Care, Part D Prescription Drugs, Part C Medicare Advantage, Health, Life and Final Expense insurance. He also enjoys writing and helping others. www.bizpartner.homestead.com
Source: seniorliving.net

What Is Not Included In My Medicare Part A Coverage?

Medicare Part A coverage includes inpatient care, up to 100 days of nursing facility care of your choice, hospice care and even some home health care expenses. However, there are some expenses that are not encompassed by medicare Part A coverage. These includes outpatient care, office visits, occupational therapy, additional home healthcare, etc. If your needs are not covered by medicare Part A coverage, you can still find financial aid from other medicare parts.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Conservative News from Conservative Bloggers

Here’s what one viewer had to say about this movie- “The Lamp is an inspiring story about the power of the human spirit to create from within. Trost Moving Pictures does an amazing job of winding the story line through each character. An excellent and inspiring message for viewers of any age. Great message!!! Enjoy!!!”Lynne J Baecker
Source: americanconservativenews.com

Brad DeLong: Ed Gillespie: Romney Would Rapidly Remove 65 and 66 Year Olds from Medicare

Aviva Shen: Romney Adviser Says GOP Would Extend Medicare’s Solvency By Raising The Eligibility Age: Earlier this week, Mitt Romney pledged to restore Obamacare’s savings in the Medicare program — a move that would move up the insolvency date of the program’s trust fund from 2024 to 2016. On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie how the campaign would extend the life of the program if the Romney-Ryan reforms won’t kick in until 2023, long after Medicare reached insolvency. Gillespie replied by insisting that a Romney administration would raise the age eligibility to 67:
Source: typepad.com

Ask The Experts: Retirement

A: As you’ve concluded, there aren’t any easy answers. Such decisions are personal. However, a few generalizations can be made. First, each of you will be first eligible for Medicare parts A and B at age 65. Second, if you choose to be covered by Tricare, you must be enrolled in parts A and B. Third, if your choose Tricare, you can suspend FEHB coverage and, if things with Tricare don’t work out, reactivate that enrollment. Finally, any decision you make needs to balance cost with current and expected need. If you can’t project your needs far enough, think about the worst things that could happen to you and see which combination of benefits would give you the best protection at the lowest cost.
Source: federaltimes.com

How’s Medicare Playing In The Florida Senate Race?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

George W. Bush by cliff1066™Politico: Medicare Shaping Tight Florida Senate Race Rep. Paul Ryan didn’t just inject Medicare smack into the presidential race in swing-state Florida. He also created a new dynamic in the contest between Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Connie Mack — a race that could help determine who controls the Senate. … It’s a tight race and it’s in flux. Florida campaign consultants from both parties agree that the undercard race depends largely on whether Floridians choose Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. And that in turn may hinge on who wins the Medicare messaging war in a state with one of the biggest senior populations in the country (Norman, 8/18).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Paul Ryan Addresses The Villages With His Mother / Full Speech

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

Daily Kos: Reality check: seniors back Romney over Obama on Medicare in Florida and Ohio

This result is not as surprising as it might be once you consider that the only age group supporting Romney in these state is Seniors (Obama leads among under 65 voters but not over 65 voters in these states).  A great number of people reason “backwards.”  In other words, they go with their “gut” on whom to support.  Then, they tend to believe that the person they support also has policies that agree with their personal preferences–even when factually that conclusion is not true.  Everyone thinks he or she does the opposite, i.e., looks at the positions and picks the candidate closest to his or her views.  But it seems obvious that many voters fail to engage in this “analytical” process.
Source: dailykos.com

In Florida and Ohio, seniors back Romney over Obama on Medicare

ACH12-Distribution ACH19-ValueforMoney AHC5-GovernmentRole AHC13-PovertyandHealth Entitlement Reform International Comparisons NN11-Personal-News NN18-Conferences-Meetings NN19-Books NN20-Articles-Papers NN21-Grey-Literature NN25-Videocasts NN27-Blogs PPACA-Constutionality PPACA-EssentialBenefits PPACA-HealthExchanges PPACA-Impact-Access PPACA-Impact-Consumers PPACA-Impact-Costs PPACA-Impact-Employers PPACA-Impact-HealthInsurers PPACA-Impact-HealthProfessionals PPACA-Impact-States PPACA-Medicaid PPACA-Medicare PPACA-PublicOpinion PPACA-Repeal Regulation-FDA Regulation-HealthFacilities UHC12-2012
Source: wordpress.com

Ryan's Medicare Plan: How Big a Factor in Florida?

As Obama for America’s Florida press secretary, Eric Jotkoff, put it: “If the headlines don’t tell the story, then certainly Floridians can say that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are simply out of touch and have no idea what’s important to the people of Florida. Whether it’s a budget that could end Medicare as we know it forcing Florida seniors to pay $6,350 a year out of their pockets or a tax hike which would burden hard-working middle-class families, Romney and Ryan’s campaign is toxic in the Sunshine State, and they will have a hard time convincing voters to choose them in November.”
Source: realclearpolitics.com

Ryan Vows to Protect Medicare at Florida Retirement Community

Betty Ryan Douglas was on stage with her congressman son Saturday at the world’s largest retirement community as the Republican campaign tried to blunt withering criticism from President Barack Obama and his allies. The Democratic team charges that presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Ryan would gut programs for older people.
Source: theroot.com

Paul Ryan Delivers Medicare Reform Speech to Florida Seniors With His Mom By His Side

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan held a rally at The Villages, Florida. He was joined by his 78-year-old mother, Betty Douglas, as he delivered as speech on Medicare reform to the retirement-age community. Ryan told the crowd, “You learn a lot about life, you learn a lot about you elderly seniors in your family, you learn a lot about Alzheimer’s. Medicare was there for our family, for my grandma when we needed it then and Medicare is there for my mom while she needs it now, and we have to keep that guarantee.”
Source: foxnewsinsider.com

Ryan’s Medicare Rhetoric Could Hurt in Florida

Start with a person who was born in 1944, began work at age 21, retired at age 65 and enrolled in Medicare. Over the course of his life he paid the Medicare tax out of his wages. According to the 2009 Medicare Trustees Report, the average Medicare benefit per person in 2008 was $11,012. We subtract the average Medicare premium of $1,288 to produce an average net benefit of $9,724. I’ll assume that this person collects the average Medicare benefit from age 65 through age 83 (his life expectancy as of age 65).
Source: thetakeaway.org

DownWithTyranny!: This Morning President Obama Talked About Saving Medicare

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

What's In My Bag... by Amy DiannaPresident Harry Truman first proposed Medicare in 1945. Republicans and conservative Southern Democrats fought it bitterly for two decades before President Lyndon Johnson signed it– and Medicaid– into law on July 30, 1965, part of the Great Society. Harry Truman was the first person to enroll. It finally passed because the Republicans were allowed to water it down but even then only 13 Republican senators voted for it. 17 voted NO and 2 didn’t vote. 7 Democrats also opposed it but 57 voted YES. In the House half the Republicans voted YES (70) and 68 voted NO and 2 didn’t vote. 237 Democrats voted YES and 48, mostly southern racists who soon joined the GOP, opposed it. Almost 50 years have passed since then and the Democrats are still trying to improve it and make it more accessible– while the GOP is as determined as ever to destroy it. This morning, President Obama addressed the nation and talked exclusively about Medicare, primarily because the Republicans have been making a lot of false accusations, as always, and he was concerned that there’s a lot of “misinformation flying around.” This week, we found out that, thanks to the health care law we passed, nearly 5.4 million seniors with Medicare have saved over $4.1 billion on prescription drugs. That’s an average of more than $700 per person. And this year alone, 18 million seniors with Medicare have taken advantage of preventive care benefits like mammograms or other cancer screenings that now come at no extra cost.   That’s progress. It means that seniors everywhere are getting the care they need for less. And if you have questions about what benefits you’re entitled to, you can go to medicare.gov to find out.   This news is also a reminder of what’s really at stake when we talk about the future of Medicare. It’s not about overheated rhetoric at election time. It’s about a promise this country made to our seniors that says if you put in a lifetime of hard work, you shouldn’t lose your home or your life savings just because you get sick.   Over the last 47 years, millions of Americans have worked for that promise. They’ve earned it. And for many seniors, the care they’ve gotten through Medicare has made all the difference in the world.    Growing up as the son of a single mother, I was raised with the help of my grandparents. I saw how important things like Medicare and Social Security were in their lives. And I saw the peace of mind it gave them.    That’s why, as President, my goal has been to strengthen these programs now, and preserve them for future generations. Because today’s seniors deserve that same peace of mind. And the millions of Americans who are working hard right now deserve to know that the care they need will be available when they need it.   That’s why, as part of the Affordable Care Act, we gave seniors deeper discounts on prescription drugs, and made sure preventive care like mammograms are free without a co-pay. We’ve extended the life of Medicare by almost a decade. And I’ve proposed reforms that will save Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system and reining in insurance companies– reforms that won’t touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Not by a single dime.   Republicans in Congress have put forward a very different plan. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program. That means that instead of being guaranteed Medicare, seniors would get a voucher to buy insurance, but it wouldn’t keep up with costs. As a result, one plan would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year for the same benefits they get now. And it would effectively end Medicare as we know it.   I think our seniors deserve better. I’m willing to work with anyone to keep improving the current system, but I refuse to do anything that undermines the basic idea of Medicare as a guarantee for seniors who get sick.   Here in America, we believe in keeping our promises– especially to our seniors who have put in a lifetime of hard work and deserve to enjoy their golden years. That’s what Medicare is all about. That’s why we need to strengthen and preserve it for future generations. And as long as I have the honor of serving as your President, that’s exactly what I’ll do. Blue America has endorsed four physicians running for Congress this year, Dr. Syed Taj (D-MI), Dr. Matt Heinz (D-AZ), Dr. David Gill (D-IL) and Dr. Lee Rogers (D-CA). On Friday Lee’s opponent, anti-health care fanatic Buck McKeon addressed seniors in Santa Clarita and spread around more of the lies and misinformation President Obama was alluding to. Lee, a distinguished surgeon at Valley Presbyterian Hospital, one of the largest acute care hospitals in California, had a different way of addressing the issue from the president. He looks at it, first and foremost as a doctor who deals with patients– and with insurance companies. “Right now Congressman McKeon is addressing local seniors at the Santa Clarita Senior Center about Medicare. Let’s hope he’s apologizing for voting multiple times to end Medicare as we know it. Those are strong words, but they’re true. McKeon supports a plan to replace automatic enrollment in Medicare at age 65 with a voucher that forces seniors into the private market at the mercy of private insurers. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the plan McKeon voted for would cause seniors to spend $6,400 more per year out of pocket on their health care. Nearly half of America’s seniors live on less than $18,000 per year. We can’t expect seniors to be able to afford this drastic change. The reason why we started Medicare was because private insurers were taking advantage of seniors. McKeon talks about death panels, but there would be no greater death panel than a private insurer throwing up roadblocks and delays for seniors’ health care. Medicare doesn’t do this.   “McKeon criticizes the Affordable Care Act for reducing Medicare costs by $716 billion over 10 years. But there are absolutely no cuts to seniors’ benefits. McKeon’s criticism is disingenuous because the plan he voted for called for many of the same reductions. Much of these savings would come from reducing overpayments to private insurers participating in the Medicare Advantage program. Taxpayers spend about 14% for health services when they are covered by Medicare Advantage, as opposed to traditional Medicare. McKeon supports a plan that restores these overpayments to insurers.   “The difference is that President Obama’s plan uses the savings to strengthen Medicare by closing the prescription drug donut hole and waiving co-payments for preventative services, like mammograms. The plan McKeon supports would increase costs to current seniors immediately by making them pay more for their medications and restore co-payments for preventative services. That’s not a change for people younger than 55, that’s an increased cost for beneficiaries now. “I’m a doctor. A majority of my patients are on Medicare. I know what it’s like to suffer, waiting for private insurers to authorize services. Medicare provides needed health care to seniors who don’t have time to wait. Budgets have a lot of numbers and are confusing, but they represent priorities. McKeon’s votes indicate his priorities are to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires while seniors pay more for their health care. Instead, I will prioritize our seniors, by keeping their costs low and strengthening Medicare by reducing waste. Supporting Medicare is not a partisan issue. I call on Representative McKeon to denounce the Romney-Ryan plan to dismantle Medicare just like his Republican colleague, Congressional candidate Tony Strickland, has done in the neighboring Ventura County district.” Let me just end this post with part of a memo from Carville-Greenberg, a Democratic consulting firm, which asserts that Ryan’s Medicare plan imperils congressional Republicans. Even before Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan to the ticket, our Battleground polling results indicated an erosion of support for Republicans, largely based on Paul Ryan’s plans for Medicare and entitlements. The advantage Republicans held among seniors in 2010 has been completely decimated. Across these Republican districts, incumbents now hold just a two-point lead with voters over age 64– a group Republicans won by 18 points in 2010. Not surprisingly, the leading factor in this shift away from the GOP is Paul Ryan’s war on Medicare. By a decisive six-point margin, voters in these districts now say they trust Democrats more than Republicans when it comes to Medicare. Among voters in the 27 most competitive Republican battleground seats, Democrats now hold an 11-point advantage on Medicare. We are in the business of predictive politics, so you’ll forgive us if we pause for a moment to say… we warned them two years ago. Immediately following the 2010 election, we offered our analysis of the “shellacking” suffered by Democrats at the midterm ballot box. We acknowledged the wounding outcome but– after careful analysis of our own poll results– we saw a broader and more important message in the midterm: Democrats did not lose because voters wanted to move in the direction that Paul Ryan and the House Republicans have since tried to take the country. Back then we wrote: There is no evidence that this was an affirmative vote for Republicans. Their standing is no higher in this year’s post-election polls than it was in 2008 and 2006. There is a lot of evidence that voters do not share Republicans’ priorities, particularly on Social Security and Medicare, and voters did not mandate a consuming focus on spending cuts and deficit reduction…[the results do] not translate into a mandate for Republicans to slash spending… and squander the next two years trying to repeal health care. We do not yet know the outcome of the 2012 election and we’re certainly not calling it now– the Congressional ballot remains tight and there are still more than two months of tough campaigning to go.  But at this moment, our latest battleground survey in the 54 most vulnerable Republican-held districts– many of the same Republicans who “shellacked” us in 2010– shows that GOP incumbents are paying a heavy price for misreading the 2010 election results and overreaching on a conservative Paul Ryan agenda that voters did not mandate.
Source: blogspot.com

Video: Medicare

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

Daily Kos: Did Obama Cut $716b from Medicare?

It seems the $716B is a made up number. It was originally about $500B when the ACA was passed. But what the Rs are doing is not comparing the ten years starting in 2010 but using a period starting in 2013 but including in it as part of the baseline the three years between 2010 and 2013, which is why their number is so much larger and harder to figure out. They are looking for medical inflation to make up the difference. Thirteen years of expense is always going to be larger than ten years. And of course harder to match against the donut hole narrowing and the additional now free and once charged for Medicare services some of which are already taking effect.  And of course they do  not bother to explain how they did it. This is US. We Republicans know our money.
Source: dailykos.com

After 40 Years, Medicare Still Not a Strong Issue for Republicans

I’ve read a bunch of brave chatter from conservative writers suggesting that the "Medicare issue" is working in their guy’s favor. I guess anything’s possible, but I sure doubt it. The idea that Medicare is going broke probably seems like a fairly distant prospect to most voters — isn’t everything always going broke? — and in the meantime why take chances? My guess is that people responding positively to the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan are either (a) stone partisans or (b) not really aware of what the Romney/Ryan plan is. Nobody cares about group A, and a few million dollars of targeted attack advertising will take care of group B nicely. If Medicare stays in the spotlight, Paul Ryan’s plan will most likely be a smoking crater by election day.
Source: motherjones.com

Carrie’s Bar & Grill: What Is Medicare? Read Steve Benen’s Thorough Commentary

All I’m suggesting is that a little critical thinking on the part of the electorate and the political world can go a long way.Well, in today’s false equivalent world, that suggestion will fall on deaf ears. Still, the piece by Steve Benen is a good read. Given how critically important this is in the presidential election, let’s pause for a moment to consider the bigger picture. [snip] What is Medicare? It’s a massive, government-run system of socialized medicine. It’s wildly popular, very successful, and one of the pillars of modern Democratic governance. This government-run system of socialized medicine was created by Democrats against the opposition of conservative Republicans, and it’s Democrats who’ve fought to protect it for more than a half-century.
Source: blogspot.com

Medicare Takes Center Stage In Close Pennsylvania Races

The campaign jockeying over Medicare comes at a time when the program represents a huge fiscal challenge to both parties. With almost 50 million beneficiaries — and growing at the rate of 10,000 baby boomers every day — the entitlement program is one of the fastest-growing portions of the federal budget. Both parties acknowledge the need to curb its growth; both have also used the issue for political gain, casting themselves as the program’s protectors against what they portray as rivals’ threats.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

The Definitive Guide to the Medicare Debate

Very, very distant future generations who are always going to turn out to be a little bit further out in the future than they were last time. It seriously blows my mind that the Ryan budget which is supposed to be so hardcore and deficit-hawkish doesn’t try to balance the budget until 2040 but was still taken seriously. Why do people fall for this from the Republicans again and again and again? Guess what they were promising thirty years ago – that they were the party of small government because "government is living too well" and the number 1 priority would be to reign in the apocalyptic insanity of our national debt, which we all need to be terrified of, and balance the budget if the American people would just turn over power to them. (Well, technically as far as priorities Reagan said that "true peace is our dream", but that’s even more laughable.) And now, and continuously over the last three decades, they say "Well shucks, guys, we could swing getting Mitt Romney’s taxes down to 13% and deregulating the banking system so that our financial apparatus could play the economy like a pinball machine, but we just weren’t quite able to manage the whole balancing the budget thing or reducing the national debt, much less the deficit, this time around. But we are totally the party of fiscal responsibility and small government and all that. You betcha." And the conservative base just laps it up and signs up for more and seems to unskeptically believe that it’s not that they’re being used and the Republican establishment doesn’t actually give a crap at all about reducing the budget or any of the other "little people" concerns that are used to stoke the base up and get them to vote as needed, it’s just all those nasty Democrats’ fault. And you can have things like this, the guy who promises to balance the budget thirty years in the future and cross my heart this time we are totally going to do it for realz and not at all putting it so far in the future so that we can just blame it on any handy thing the Democrats do in the intervening three decades when it doesn’t actually come to fruition. And they still cheer for him. Not that I think either party in a two-party system is going to be fundamentally different and less manipulative than that in the end, it’s just so ridiculous that the Republicans can pull the exact same trick again and again and again and it’s like their voters are all infants with no object permanence or something.
Source: metafilter.com

The GOP's Medicare Advantage

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS MEDICARE ADVANTAGE INSURERS’ HIGHER ADMINISTRATIVE SPENDING by Leader Nancy PelosiPredictably, Democrats went after Mitt Romney’s new running mate immediately, describing Paul Ryan as a “certifiable right-wing ideologue” whose views are “extreme” and “radical.” They focused on Medicare, warning that Republicans “would end Medicare as we know it,” making it “a voucher system” that costs seniors “thousands of dollars in health care costs.”
Source: realclearpolitics.com

Video: What Is Medicare Advantage?

Theo Spark: MEDICARE ADVANTAGE you’ll be surprised……………..from Rico

Gee, what a COINCIDENCE! A boondoggle expenditure to shift the Medicare Advantage CUTS most do not know about yet FROM happening 2-weeks before the Nov election until AFTER the election. What voters do not know (especially seniors) CAN hurt them. – Better to know now than find out later (when it’s too late). Short but impressive video. Well worth watching. – I try to stay on top of stuff like this, and I was surprised. Are you?
Source: theospark.net

Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans: SNP Enrollment Grows to 1.4 Million in 2012

ACA Affordable Care Act AHRQ ARRA CBO CER CMS Communications Comparative Effectiveness Research Compliance Drugs Dual Eligibles Employers FDA Fraud and Abuse GAO Health Health Care Spending Health Costs Health Coverage Health Insurance Health Plans Health Reform HIT HIX Hospitals Medicaid Medicare Medicare Advantage MedPAC MedTech Obamacare OIG Part D Payment Pharma Pharmacies Physicians Prevention Program Integrity Providers Quality Research Safety Waivers
Source: piperreport.com

An Itsy Bitsy $716 Billion Medicare Q&A

Probably not. It’s possible that the cuts to providers could lead to slight cuts in quality or even, via some unintended backdoor mechanism, to some doctors dropping out of Medicare. And the cuts to Medicare Advantage might prompt insurance companies to reduce some of the extra benefits they’ve provided. That’s all speculative, but it’s possible. There’s no way to cut a bunch of money out of anything and guarantee that it will have no effect whatsoever.
Source: motherjones.com

Medicare Advantage Recipients After the Election, Obama Want's You

The free stuff people are the radicals. Kids if the writer was to leave you with one gem it comes from Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind and it is a quote from Edmond Burke concerning the reckless blood shed during the French Revolution. Edmond Burke stated: “Radicalism at the end of the eighteenth century expressed its case in terms of “natural rights.” Paraphrasing Burke, he believed that because of Thomas Paine’s bookRights of Manthat people were confused: Burke believed, “…the notion of inalienable natural rights has been embraced by the mass of men in a vague and belligerent form, ordinarily confounding “rights with desires.” Russell remarks: this confusion in definition plagues society today, notably in the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” drawn up by the United Nations Organization” (p. 47). Kids the above is very important, because you will deal with many ideologies in your lifetimes, but always remember that Conservatism is not an ideology it is the world’s reality, God’s world and we as His children.
Source: nolanchart.com

Medicare Advantage Plans With Prescription Drug Coverage: Better Than The Rest

Having health insurance coverage has put my mind at ease. Although preventing diseases is always a top priority in our family, I also make it a point to have immediate assistance should any unforeseen event occur. Compared to other private plans, my parents opted for a Medicare Advantage Plan under the Health Maintenance Organization. In this type, though there is a limited list of accredited physicians only, they are still ensured that those who gave them the much-needed services would be covered with their insurance. What amazed was that the company has continued to improve as time passed by. Their services were notably way better than before. Also, they have expanded benefits and coverage for all their members and beneficiaries. While my parents have chosen HMO, my other siblings went for PPO or Preferred Provider Organization because they could make their own list of network of doctors. However, any incident that involved physicians outside the said network would possibly require higher out-of-pocket expenses for the member and his family.
Source: enviro-center.org

Paul Ryan Medicare Vouchers Vs Medicare Advantage Plans: Which Is Better?

I have no expertise regarding Medicare plans so I will only mention the three basic types. First is the PFFS or Private Fee-for-Service which gives the member the freedom to choose his/her own doctor. However, the said doctor should concede and accept the terms and conditions set by the company and should agree to the specific fees covered by the plan. Second is the HMO or Health Maintenance Organization which only allow their list of accredited doctors and specialists to address the health concerns of the member. Third is the PPO or Preferred Provider Organization wherein, contrary to HMO, the one making the list of chosen physicians or specialists is the member himself. Our plan is HMO but we have no qualms about the list since there are plenty of accredited doctors in our area.
Source: ophiusa.info

Daily Kos: Did Obama Cut $716b from Medicare?

It seems the $716B is a made up number. It was originally about $500B when the ACA was passed. But what the Rs are doing is not comparing the ten years starting in 2010 but using a period starting in 2013 but including in it as part of the baseline the three years between 2010 and 2013, which is why their number is so much larger and harder to figure out. They are looking for medical inflation to make up the difference. Thirteen years of expense is always going to be larger than ten years. And of course harder to match against the donut hole narrowing and the additional now free and once charged for Medicare services some of which are already taking effect.  And of course they do  not bother to explain how they did it. This is US. We Republicans know our money.
Source: dailykos.com

Providers clash with Medicare over readmission measure

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center of Medicare at CMS Jonathan Blum visits Christiana Care to speak about accountable care organizations by Christiana Careaccountable care organization ACO Adventist Health System Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice architecture biotech Blood Center Cerner China coding community health EHR EMR Epic Systems FDA Food and Drug Administration GE Centricity Greater Hazleton Health Alliance Health Authority healthcare health insurance health IT health plans health reform Health System HIPAA compliance Hospice hospital hospital M&A hospitals ICD-10 Information Technology Julie Shackley Long-Term Care Organization Medicaid Medicare Microsoft Mike Choo Non-For-Profit Nursing Home pharma pharmaceuticals premiums Rehab Center Treatment Center
Source: healthcareix.com

Video: Medicare Physician Feedback Program: Payment Standardization and RIsk Adjustment

Couldn’t it be better?: Romney on Medicare

What a mess. Imagine that you are a Medicare provider. You’ve already billed Medicare and received your payment. You’ve billed the patient. And because senior citizens are such great bookkeepers, you’ve received the patient’s portion and closed the claim. Along comes an additional check from Medicare for $12.00. You have to reopen that claim and balance bill the patient, who will be mighty angry not only at Medicare, but you, the provider, too. Meanwhile, the cost of doing Medicare patients just went up, billing department salaries and bookkeeping isn’t free or cheap. Thanks, President Romney, but no thanks. The amount that the government reimburses on Medicare claims are some of the lowest reimbursements in the land. Most private insurance reimbursements are calculated by adding a percentage onto Medicare rates. Most private insurers would be laughed right out of a sales meeting if they offered pure Medicare rates for claim reimbursements, nevertheless this is what a physician or hospital gets paid for seeing a senior. This is the reason that some physicians choose not to see Medicare patients. Why do the same procedure for $40 when you can do it for $100? And fewer doctors willing to handle Medicare patients is the reasoning behind Romney wanting to return the Medicare reimbursements to the providers; a valid point, but a bit more research would have revealed that maybe this is something that shouldn’t be done retroactively. Couldn’t it be better?
Source: blogspot.com

Laura D'Andrea Tyson: Evidence vs. Ideology in the Medicare Debate

Both Governor Romney and Representative Paul D. Ryan have promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act and with it the reforms behind the $716 billion in Medicare savings (although Mr. Ryan duplicitously counts the savings from these reforms in his deficit-reduction plan). Medicare beneficiaries would be the losers. They would lose the benefits of better care at lower cost. They would lose the plan’s expanded Medicare coverage for prevention benefits and prescription drugs, and they would be forced to pay higher premiums and co-pays as a result of faster growth in Medicare costs.
Source: nytimes.com

ANNOUNCEMENT! Stage 2 Final Rule

Electronic Exchange of Summary of Care Documents. To spur provider commitment to electronic exchange, CMS had initially proposed two ambitious measures for this objective in Stage 2. The first measure required that a provider send a summary of care record for more than 65 percent of transitions of care and referrals. In the final rule CMS is reducing the first measure to a lower threshold of 50 percent. The second measure required that a provider electronically transmit a summary of care for more than 10 percent of transitions of care and referrals, and that the summary of care be electronically sent to a provider with no organizational or vendor affiliation. The intent of this second measure was to foster electronic exchange outside established vendor and organization networks. CMS is finalizing the 10 percent threshold for electronic transmittal, but eliminating the organizational and vendor limitations. Instead, CMS is requiring at least one instance of exchange with a provider using EHR technology designed by a different EHR vendor or with a CMS-designated test EHR.
Source: healthcaremgt.net

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

Center for American Progress Action Fund

The House Republican premium support plan would adjust the voucher for health status—redistributing payments from plans with healthier enrollees to plans with less healthy enrollees. This “risk adjustment” mechanism would certainly help, but current risk-adjustment methods are still far from perfect. Current methods tend to overpay plans with healthier enrollees and underpay plans with less healthy enrollees. As a result, premiums for traditional Medicare would likely rise and enrollment would likely decline over time. This outcome is even more likely because the House Republican premium support plan would not require private plans to provide a standard set of benefits—allowing them to design benefits that attract healthier beneficiaries.
Source: americanprogressaction.org

Robert’s Stochastic thoughts

I kinda sorta semi disagree.  I mean I agree that “nothing to worry about” is implausible (never say “never” and most claims including “nothing” are worth approximately that). But your discussion overlooks a key difference between the Medicaid stinginess which hurts the poor and the ACA stinginess.  the ACA squeezes hospitals nursing homes and home health care agencies not doctors with office practices. I think this distinction is fundamental.  The argument that squeezing providers will hurt patients always includes the key word “doctor” which means office practices (which means Medicare plan B not Medicare plan A).  The ACA totally absurd forecast of labor productivity growth equal to that of the economy in general (which is really just a way to say we will squeeze you) applies only to plan A not plan B. So the question I asked myself is are there any hospitals who refuse to see Medicaid patients (note this means they get no money for taking care of Medicare patients either — the deal the CMS offers is take all of them or leave all of the cash with us).  I googled for about half an hour and found nothing (except a decade old claim about an un-named hospital somewhere in I would guess Rochester NY). I will link only to my google self search because I have made this claim so many times http://bit.ly/SybVmC Basically even if silly accounting (which distributes sunk costs over procedures) says hospitals will lose money taking care of Medicare patients, they won’t be able to turn them alll away without laying off half of their staff, selling half of their equipment and renting out half of their rooms as apartments.  In contrast the decision to sink costs (build new hospitals and wings of hospitals) depends on overall returns where the Medicare cuts are balanced by the reduction is losses from care of the uninsured. Also hospitals have to provide emergency care.  If an elderly person shows up in  non-Medicare participating hospital’s emergency room, he or she can’t be released until he or she is stabilized.  Then he or she can’t be billed.   If Mitt Romney shows up with an emergency in the emergency room of a hospital which doesn’t participate in Medicare, that hospital would have to give him care for free (no matter how little he likes that). And nursing homes come on, they get most of their income from the CMS.  They aren’t refusing Medicaid patients. I think the ACA was written with full consideration of the doctors not taking Medicaid patients problem and designed so that it would lead to almost no refusals to see Medicare/aid patients.  If there are any, they will be the very top hospitals without active emergency rooms who can fill their beds with patients with private insurance (as in the Mayo Clinic, Stanford U Medical center and *not* the MGH or Johns Hopkins).
Source: blogspot.com

Are All Physicians Considered Medicare Providers?

When it comes to Medicare, it is important to find a primary healthcare physician who is consider a Medicare provider. However, you probably are wondering if all physicians are medicare providers. The simple answer to this is no. Not all physicians are Medicare care providers. Many physicians actually choose not to work with the government health insurance, due to a variety of reasons. However, it is not difficult to find Medicare providers in the area. Medicare is essentially a form of insurance, and like some forms of insurance, not all providers and physicians accept certain kinds of insurance. Due to this, you just need to find someone in the area who is able to accept Medicare.
Source: seniorcorps.org