Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tomato, Tomahto

From this story about baby boomer fears that Medicare won't be there for them:
Initially, 63 percent of boomers in the poll dismissed the idea of raising the eligibility age to keep Medicare afloat financially. But when the survey forced them to choose between raising the age or cutting benefits, 59 percent said raise the age and keep the benefits.
Am I missing something? Suppose that I live to be 75 and that starting at 65 my Medicare benefit averages $500 per year for a total payout of $5000. If the eligibility age is raised to 70, the payout drops to $2500. How is that not cutting benefits?

The choice offered here is not between cutting benefits or raising eligibility age, it's between cutting benefits and cutting benefits. Medicare is in increasingly desperate need of reform, but raising the age of eligibility in a time of high unemployment and to an age higher than many people can work under any circumstances leaves people desperately hoping that they don't get sick between the ages of 65-69.

Here's a thought: Everybody buys health insurance under the auspices of a single program, with premiums determined by income and community rating, and basic coverage sold on a nonprofit basis. Remove a drag on wages and salaries by eliminating the employer tax exemption (not to mention the subsidy paid by the self-insured and uninsured), and get the government out of the insurance business while retaining its regulatory role.

What the heck:


Foxessa said...

The so-called boomer generation financed the best old-age for the most elderly the world has ever seen.

But we're considered beneath contempt as lazy, self-centered, selfish, etc., and thus we don't deserve to have the same as what we -- YES WE DID! -- finance. And because we did finance that our present generation of older people are living far longer and more healthy lives. They will continue to draw these same benefits as they age, while I will never get any. Since my back condition kicked in I've had no health care of any kind. This year I get some because of the college appointment, but it is also very expensive.

Love, C.

K. said...

The boomer bashing on the comment boards is as ill-informed as the conviction that Ireland is socialist.

Jerry Critter said...

Your solution should have been the healthcare bill that was passed. We are virtually the only country where a profit is allowed to be made off of health insurance.

Private insurance overhead is 30% or more. Medicare overhead is less than 5%. The savings are tremendous by just getting private insurance companies out of the business of providing primary health insurance coverage. Restrict them to providing supplemental coverage only.

K. said...

Especially since the insurance companies don't do their jobs especially well. If they'd put half the effort into refusing to cover unnecessary procedures that they put into denying coverage to people who need, they and we would be better off.

Anonymous said...

K- but if they did that where would the sport be in denying some mother of 4 dying of pancreatic cancer her treatments ? I have to think some of these people actually enjoy screwing us out of our just treatments or their suicide rates should be much higher..