Sunday, August 17, 2014

Free Market Medicare starting at age 75? You'd have to be crazy...

The message I'm getting from reading about all the brutally draconian health care plans floated by either conservative politicians or right wing think tanks is this; they either don't understand health care or would rather die (likely) than see their own government step in with a solution.

Behold a new embarrassing attempt to seem creditable on health care. Which is it; stay true to ideological purity or face the reality of a failed health care system? Ideology of course.

"The conservative Manhattan Institute fellow and Forbes columnist Avik Roy offered his own plan (Avikcare?) that would supplant the ACA. Roy's 68-page tome (PDF) lays out policies" that will blow your mind. The lesson we should take away from the following "solution" is this; conservatives are completely incapable of solving the health care the rest of the world solved long ago. My answers are in bold
1. Gradually raise Medicare's eligibility age to 75. Is Avik f**king kidding. That keeps retired seniors in the private health care market longer, so they can pay higher and higher premiums, forcing them to blow through their life savings on insurance instead of travel. Breathtaking? Which means…

2. …Shift most Medicare and Medicaid enrollees onto the exchanges. Same answer from above. 

3. Repeal the individual mandate. This would allow freeloaders into the system again, raising health care costs to those who pay for insurance. Wow.

4. Replace the mandate and Obamacare's annual 3 month open enrollment with a 6 week open-enrollment period every 2 years, giving people a strong incentive. “Strong incentive” is conservative lingo for penalty, while being very coercive.

5. Federal premium subsidies would phase out at 317% of the federal poverty level instead of the current 400%. Cost-sharing subsidies would be converted to health savings account contributions. This would decrease the subsidies substantially for those approaching the cutoff point, making insurance unaffordable. When it comes to cost subsidies, this is just ridiculous busy work, since what's done automatically now would have to be manually take that money in their savings and pay down their premium anyway. 

6. Strips down exchange regulations so insurers can create plans that “are more attractive to consumers,” or those that are cheaper, but have fewer covered benefits. This is the creation of junk policies that pay for nothing. Everyone should see that I hope. It also straps customers with uncovered expenses all-the-while paying their monthly premiums to insurers.

7. Insurers would be allowed to charge older Americans premiums six times as high as younger people, compared with the current 3-1 differential. Wow, not a good deal for seniors, while lowering the cost for the young healthy invincible's. It creates two problems.

8. Roy’s plan would save the government $8 trillion over 30 years and increase health coverage by 12.1 million people compared with ACA projections. Impossible for all the reasons above.

9. Roy's proposal almost certainly will not appeal to members of the tea party faction, which vehemently opposes any government involvement in healthcare. Yes, the tea party is a reckless, dangerous gathering of people who either don’t know health cares history, or are incapable of learning from the past and are prone to repeat it. The free market will certainly leave the sick to die, like it did before the Affordable Care Act.

The Problem with the Press: The media will treat this like it’s a serious debatable plan, instead of the predictable nightmare anyone who reads this would see instantly. 


  1. I read the article from you link, and it was just another doom and gloom prediction of social program insolvency that never pans out.

    Having said that, despite both parties borrowing money from out safety net program, Republicans want to walk the check. To pay back the borrowed money, they'd have to break their pledge to never raise taxes. The GOP in not bothered by refusing to pay back what they borrowed. Paul Ryan is the guy with that plan.

    Your answer here suggests you would back any plan that would disappoint a boatload of people. Walk the check? Sure.

  2. Walk the check?

    Is that some leftist lingo?

    Let me ask you something. Do you know the difference between legal tender and money? Obviously not. But you might want to find out.

    Oh taxes are going up. Way up. Expect bail ins of accounts like they did in Cypress and negative interest rates like in Portugal too. The REAL rate of inflation is about 10% right now. Not the fed's 2% inflation target bs number.

    You can keep believing that this can be solved if you want, but reality is that the damage is already done and the debt issues should have been dealt with years ago.

    Forget the problems. You cant solve a problem using the same consciousness that created it as Einstein said. Focus on the solutions. Do what you can to prepare and protect those around you.

    Or vote and see how that works out for you.

  3. Here's another. Try to stay open minded. He gets to the meat of it about halfway through.

    If you can't see the problem after this, you probably won't find any solutions.

  4. Watched the second video, still part of the hopeless and lazy doom and gloomers who won't raise taxes to pay their debt, and choose to do nothing because it's too late. Yikes. Gee, I better get more self reliant, because god knows conservatives haven't been, they're just waiting for the bottom to fall out so they can say I told you so.

    You don't have a solution, just a lot of whining and finger wagging. That's why conservatives can't govern, and won't make the tough decisions. Kick the can down the road is what our current congress and senate minority is doing just to make Obama look bad. Grow up guys, solve problems and stop the "Chicken Little" act.

    "Walk the check" is restaurant lingo for walking the check. Liberal? You got a real problem with your imagined villains. I worked in restaurants, factory's, radio, real need to get around.

    Conservative ideals gave us the Great Recession, wiping out retirements for millions. Thank you. Now go buy some gold like the hucksters demand.

    1. Well said, they really do have nothing that wouldn't screw 90-95% of us....and them. And it'd make us even more if a Third World country than we are today.

      Social Security is TOTALLY FUNDED FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS. Medicare for the next decade. And if the 1%ers paid the same tax rate we did, there's no shortfall in any of our lifetimes for anybody. PERIOD.

  5. Wow you really REALLY don't get it. No wonder this country is in such dire straits.

    You still think it's the conservative or the republicans.

    Democrats have always been the big spenders, but in reality it is ALL of them.

    The guy in the video is anything but lazy as he is clearly taking charge of his future. I'm not sure why you believe that he can raise taxes or why it is his debt, but they could raise taxes to 100% of income and it wouldn't solve this crisis if you do the math.

    And actually I have lots of individual solutions to collectivist problems. I don't make assumptions like you.

    And finally, conservative ideals did not give us the great recession. The Federal Reserve, which is a private bank, encouraged a housing bubble to form by offering cheap money to everyone regardless of whether they could afford it or not. The bubble popped and they've been doing everything wrong again ever since. Only when this one pops, they can't lower interest rates anymore. Well they can.

    You still didn't answer my question. What is the difference between money and legal tender?

  6. Stop the cliches, please.

    I said both parties spent SS surpluses, but the GOP wants to change the rules and not pay what they borrowed. Dems will pay it back somehow. But that won't be easy or popular. Republicans aren't capable of making such decisions, ever.

    The guy in the video wants to say "see ya later" to everybody else, running from solutions, which was my point.

    Yea, poor people strong arming the banks to give them loans. Get serious and think for yourself just once. Having been in real estate and helping people get loans in the early and mid 2000's, Banks were tough on the buyers. Bad loan programs were offered that were dangerous to buyers. But people were taken advantage of, banks didn't even do paperwork, and package their intentionally risky loans with good ones.

    Fuck you idiot question.

  7. Well it does appear as if Americans and the rest of humanity are going through the anger stage of awakening.

    You guys are in for a super rude slap in the face.

    I tried to get through to you a bunch of times so that you might take charge of your own lives and prepare for the collapse of the western financial system but it really is hopeless.

    Good luck. You couldn't be more wrong about well... everything. Hopefully your emotional outbreaks will put food on the table.

  8. If you want to find the solutions, stop looking "out there." The same people who caused this mess are not going to be the ones who fix it. If you want to change the world, change yourself.

    You have to find individual solutions to collective problems. Unfortunately, very few understand the full scope of the problem still.