Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hard Working Americans, your Retirement Nest Eggs next Republican Target of Medicare Reform.

As we've discussed before, Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act because it eliminates its funding source; a tax on the wealthy. Bingo! In other words, another tax cut for the rich. 

You're about to discover another trick for redistributing wealth upward. I know, who can keep up with all of them.  

Now it may sound cruel, but that's what it is; Republicans now have their eye on wiping out every Americans retirement nest egg. Trump's pick to oversee HHS and Medicare is Rep. Tom Price, who wants to bring "balance billing" to Medicare reform. Right now it's forbidden, and for good reason:
The most monstrous thing about the American medical system is predatory billing. A great many medical providers adjust their prices based on how defenseless the patient is, and bleed the weakest ones for every last red cent…this practice is something called "balance billing."

It's the practice of billing the patient for the difference between the sticker price and what insurance will pay. So if a hospital visit costs $1,000, but your insurance will only cover $300, some providers will "balance bill" you for $700. For unscrupulous providers (they’ll) take a rough estimate of the absolute maximum the patient can pay, and jack up the price so the "balance" hits it.

Price wants to allow it — thus allowing doctors and hospitals to devour the nest eggs of thousands of American seniors.
Balance billing will be waiting to snatch away your lifetime savings:
Out-of-network care — increasingly common as insurance networks get narrower and narrower — can still be balance billed even if it is for an emergency. People being blindsided by immense out-of-network bills — going to an in-network hospital that employs an out-of-network surgeon they conveniently failed to tell you about, for example — is an increasingly common experience.

Permanently obliterating the financial security of helpless families with no or bad insurance as a loved one dies slowly and painfully of a chronic illness is a nice little profit center for providers. But it pales in comparison to the gravy train they might get if they can bring balance billing to Medicare.

Physicians would still have to set up contracts beforehand setting an agreed price...(but) vastly higher than what Medicare pays now. It will be akin to seeing an out-of-network provider on private insurance now, something that causes thousands of bankruptcies today.

But allowing balance billing in Medicare is a straight-up evil policy. Republicans will attempt to camouflage it as allowing "free contracts" between patients and doctors or similar nonsense. Don't believe a word of it, seniors. They want your retirement money.

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