Saturday, June 11, 2016

Paul Ryan & Dumb Ron Johnson push Vouchers for Medicare so Seniors can finally shop, compare health care prices, read the small print, negotiate, and catch every change.

Either Republicans don't have parents, or they don't give a damn about em anymore.

Anyone who has seen their aging parents mental capacity diminish over time have got to wonder what in gods name are Dumb Ron Johnson and Paul Ryan thinking? It's a difficult part of aging that many of us rarely notice because we're not right there to see it happen to our parents.

The latest check by PolitiFact confirms that Dumb Ron Johnson likes free market vouchers for seniors on Medicare.

But just as important to note is how this plan was hatched and fine tuned by Paul Ryan, who's looking to pad insurer bottom lines over caring for aging seniors.

On the record, Johnson and Ryan own this outrageously bad idea:

Our rating

The state Democratic Party says Johnson voted to turn Medicare "into a voucher program."

To some health policy experts, there are technical differences between voucher and premium supports -- the latter term being preferred by Johnson and other Republicans when it comes to Medicare changes.

But under Ryan’s proposals, Medicare would no longer pay fees to health care providers -- instead, Medicare beneficiaries would get a fixed subsidy to use toward their health care.

We rate the statement Mostly True.
Okay, let's say vouchers become another complicated part of Medicare, and many of the same rules apply in the new free market version. Imagine navigating the following maze of existing rules that has been wiping out senior savings for decades, along with their adult children. I know, I just went through this. You've got to wonder why this has not been talked about:
In just two months, a federal law kicks in requiring hospitals to tell their Medicare patients if they have not been formally admitted and why. The law was a response to complaints from Medicare patients who were surprised to learn that although they had spent a few days in the hospital, they were there for observation and were not admitted. They may pay higher charges than admitted patients and do not qualify for Medicare's nursing home coverage.

The requires that starting Aug. 6, Medicare patients receive a form written in "plain language" after 24 hours of observation care … The information must also be provided verbally and a doctor or hospital staff must be available to answer questions.

But the form does not meet the expectations of Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, who co-sponsored the law. The notice also does not sufficiently explain why observation patients are ineligible for Medicare's nursing home coverage, which under law requires at least three consecutive days as an admitted patient. If Medicare auditors find that hospitals erred by admitting patients who should have been in observation, Medicare pays nothing for their care. The number of Medicare observation patients rose to almost 2 million in 2014, 5% more than 2013, according to government statistics.

The notice’s information on drug coverage has also raised concerns. It reads, "Generally, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including 'self-administered drugs,' given to you by the hospital in an outpatient setting (like an emergency department) aren't covered by Part B." Those "self-administered drugs," usually taken at home for chronic health conditions like high cholesterol, are generally covered by the patient's separate Medicare Part D drug plan but the coverage often doesn’t apply inside the hospital. Most hospital pharmacies do not participate as in-network pharmacies with Part D plans.

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