Archive for the ‘Medicare/Medicaid’ Category

DEMOCRATS – THE INCOMPETENCE PARTY

Monday, February 17th, 2020

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The Incompetence Party

The Democrats’ biggest problem isn’t Bernie Sanders. It’s that many voters doubt the party’s ability to govern anymore.

 
By Daniel Henninger  February 12, 2020
 

Now that Bernie Sanders—once an obscure socialist senator from Vermont—is officially the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, it is time to confront what that means.

It does not mean the U.S. is flirting with socialism. That’s not going to happen. The meaning of Bernie’s ascent is that the Democratic Party, older even than he is, has simply run out of gas.

The Democrats resemble Europe’s aging political parties—Britain’s Labour, France’s Socialists, Germany’s Social Democrats and Christian Democrats. All have simply deflated with voters.

Signs of public fatigue with the Democrats could be seen in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Besides incompetence, the big story out of Iowa was low turnout. In New Hampshire the story was voter indecision. Once past Bernie’s 25% cement-block base, many voters were flipping a coin in the voting booth to pick from the other candidates.

What does it mean that Elizabeth Warren, by now a household name, got dropped to fourth place? Joe Biden’s humiliating fifth is a personal disaster, but what does that say about the party itself?

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ELIZABETH WARREN HAS A PLAN, OH MY !

Monday, December 30th, 2019

 

“Oh My” is right !!!  Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Elizabeth Warren Has a Plan, Oh My

She may not win the nomination, but her ideas show where the American left wants to go

By the Editorial Board,   December 27, 2019

She’s the candidate with a plan for everything: That’s Elizabeth Warren’s brand. But even that sells her ambitions short, as we discovered after a tour of her 60-some policy papers. Ms. Warren is proposing a transformation of American government, business and life that exceeds what the socialist dreamers of a century ago imagined.

Her standing in the polls has fallen after missteps over Medicare, but she is still in the top candidate tier. Her ideas deserve to be taken seriously because they show where the American left wants to go:

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• Wealth tax: Tax net worth over $50 million at 2% a year, and 6% above $1 billion. To prevent the rich from yachting off, add a 40% “exit tax” on assets over $50 million upon renouncing U.S. citizenship. Estimated revenue: $3.75 trillion over a decade from 75,000 households. Most economists, including many Democrats, call that number a fantasy. Courts might also find the tax unconstitutional.

• Medicare for All tax:Charge companies with at least 50 workers an “Employer Medicare Contribution,” equal to 98% of their recent outlays on health care, while adjusting for inflation and changes in staff size. These varying fees “would be gradually shifted to converge at the average health care cost-per-employee nationally.” Estimated revenue: $8.8 trillion over a decade. If receipts fall short, add a “supplemental” tax on “big companies with extremely high executive compensation and stock buyback rates.”

• Global corporate tax: Raise the top business rate to 35%. Apply this as a world-wide minimum on overseas earnings by U.S. companies. Businesses would “pay the difference between the minimum tax and the rate in the countries where they book their profits.” Apply a similar minimum tax to foreign companies, prorated by the share of their sales made in the U.S. Estimated revenue: $1.65 trillion over a decade.

• Corporate surtax: Tax profit over $100 million at a new 7% rate, without exemptions. This would go atop the regular corporate rate. Estimated revenue: $1 trillion over a decade from 1,200 public companies.

• Slower expensing: “Our current tax system lets companies deduct the cost of certain investments they make in assets faster than those assets actually lose value.” Closing this “loophole,” she says, would raise $1.25 trillion over a decade.

• Higher capital gains taxesTax the investment gains of the wealthiest 1% as ordinary income, meaning rates near 40% instead of today’s 23.8%. Apply the tax annually on gains via a “mark to market” system, even if the asset hasn’t been sold. Estimated revenue: $2 trillion over a decade.

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GOOGLE AMASSES PERSONAL MEDICAL RECORDS

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

 

This should be a concern to all of us.  If you think what you are telling your doctor is personal and private, think again !!!  Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Google Amasses Personal Medical Records

Company teams up with one of the U.S.’s largest health systems in ‘Project Nightingale’

BY ROB COPELAND   November 12, 2019

Google is engaged with one of the U.S.’s largest health-care systems on a project to collect and crunch the detailed personal- health information of millions of people across 21 states.

The initiative, code-named “Project Nightingale,” appears to be the biggest effort yet by a Silicon Valley giant to gain a toehold in the health-care industry through the handling of patients’ medical data. Amazon. com Inc., Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are also aggressively pushing into health care, though they haven’t yet struck deals of this scope.

Google began Project Nightingale in secret last year with St. Louis-based Ascension, a Catholic chain of 2,600 hospitals, doctors’ offices and other facilities, with the data sharing accelerating since summer, according to internal documents.

The data involved in the initiative encompasses lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, including patient names and dates of birth.

Neither patients nor doctors have been notified. At least 150 Google employees already have access to much of the data on tens of millions of patients, according to a person familiar with the matter and

the documents.

In a news release issued after The Wall Street Journal reported on Project Nightingale on Monday, the companies said the initiative is compliant with federal health law and includes robust protections for patient data.

Some Ascension employees have raised questions about the way the data is being collected and shared, both from a technological and ethical perspective, according to the people familiar with the project. But privacy experts said it appeared to be permissible under federal law. That law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, generally allows hospitals to share data with business partners without telling patients, as long as the information is used “only to help the covered entity carry out its health care functions.”

(more…)

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ELIZABETH WARREN’S FANTASY PLAN

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Warren Has a (Fantasy) Plan

Her financing and savings ideas for Medicare for All bear no relation to reality.

By the Editorial Board    November 4, 2019
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  There’s a reason every government-run health system in the world rations care. Ms. Warren won’t admit this explicitly about her brave new health world, but she comes close. If U.S. health-care spending exceeds GDP growth, she says, “I will use available policy tools, which include global budgets, population-based budgets, and automatic rate reductions, to bring it back into line.”

In a word, rationing. And that’s no surprise, since she credits the advice for developing much of her plan to Donald Berwick. He was an advocate for ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board—known uncharitably as the death panel—that Congress repealed last year in a bipartisan vote.

Now we know why Elizabeth Warren took so long to release the financing details of her Medicare-for-All plan. The 20 pages of explanation she released Friday reveal that she is counting on ideas for cost-savings and new revenue that are a fiscal and health-care fantasy.
You certainly can’t criticize the new Iowa Democratic caucus front-runner for lack of ambition. Despite criticism from fellow Democrats, she is sticking to her plan for a government takeover of American health care, including the elimination of private insurance that 170 million or so Americans now have. She continues to claim that this will cost “not one penny in middle-class tax increases.” She walks on water too.

Start with the overall fiscal math, which by itself is staggering. She concedes that her plan will cost only “slightly” less than the $52 trillion that the U.S. is expected to spend on health care in the next 10 years. She deducts from that what the feds now spend on Medicare and Medicaid, plus $6 trillion that the states contribute to Medicaid, the state-federal children’s health program and government worker benefits.

That leaves $30 trillion to finance, but Senator Warren waves her wand and says the bill will really be $20.5 trillion. She makes the rest vanish by positing magical savings from things like “comprehensive payment reform.” One of her ideas is the hardy perennial known as “bundled payments,” which have failed to reduce costs as promised by Obama Care.

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‘MEDICARE FOR ALL ‘ EXPLAINED

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

 

THE DAILY SIGNAL

HEALTH CARECOMMENTARY

‘Medicare for All’ Actually Isn’t Medicare at All

Kevin Pham  / Kevin Pham, a medical doctor, is a contributor to The Daily Signal and a former graduate fellow in health policy at The Heritage Foundation.   October 28, 2019  

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was recently on comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show to discuss, among other items on his agenda, his vision for health care in America.

In one interesting statement, Sanders described the rollout of his plan: “I want to expand Medicare to include dental care, hearing aids, and eyeglasses, and then what I want to do is lower the eligibility age the first year from 65 down to 55, then to 45, then to 35, then we cover everybody.”

There is a sleight of hand here.

What Sanders seems to be describing is the gradual expansion of the existing Medicare program, which currently covers Americans 65 and over, to include everyone eventually. In reality, Sanders’ signature bill, “Medicare for All,” is anything but Medicare.

The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>

Medicare comes in several forms, including Parts A and B, which pay for inpatient and outpatient visits along a fee schedule with premiums and deductibles, and Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage.

This is the system that covers 60 million Americans and enjoys high satisfaction ratings.

Medicare for All would scrap all of this.

One of the most misleading aspects of Medicare for All is that it is not Medicare at all.

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STATE MEDICAID TAX TRAP

Saturday, May 4th, 2019

 

For those of you who live in North Carolina, scroll down to read the second article on how our Democrat Governor is planning to veto a bill that does not include Medicaid expansion.   Nancy

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

State Medicaid Tax Trap

The bill for expansion hits business in Rhode Island.

May 3, 2019

Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare was sold as a free federal lunch for the states, but the bill is now coming due. Witness Gov. Gina Raimondo’s plan to tax businesses that employ low-income workers to fund Rhode Island’s booming Medicaid case load. Look for this soon in a state near you.

Ms. Raimondo has proposed a 10% payroll tax on businesses with more than 300 workers for each employee who enrolls in Medicaid. ObamaCare requires businesses with more than 50 full-time workers to offer health insurance and duns employers $3,750 for each employee who purchases a plan on the exchanges with a federal subsidy.

But many low-income private employees sign up for Medicaid because they pay nothing. By contrast, the average family earning below 200% of the poverty line with employer coverage will pay about 14% of income on premiums and out-of-pocket costs, according to the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker. More workers also qualify now because ObamaCare’s expansion increased Medicaid eligibility to 138% of the poverty line.

Medicaid enrollment in Rhode Island has increased 63% since 2014. In 2013 the state projected about 40,610 low-income childless adults would become eligible, yet 119,754 have since signed up. While the feds have picked up most of the tab, state Medicaid spending has also increased by more than 25% since 2013.

Last year 6,428 more people enrolled in Medicaid than Rhode Island estimated and spending tracked nearly $20 million above budget projections—about as much as Ms. Raimondo’s new employer tax would raise. “The biggest part of our budget is Medicaid, over $1 billion a year,” Ms. Raimondo said recently. “The reality is this is a growing cost and you are getting the benefit of an employee with health insurance. To pay a small piece of our cost, I think, is reasonable.”

Another reality is her Medicaid tax would discourage businesses from hiring low-income workers and prompt many to shift jobs to other states or automate work where possible. Employers won’t know whether their workers enroll in Medicaid until they get the state’s tax bill, and some can’t afford to provide even low- or no-cost plans.

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DEMOCRATS HAVEN’T TURNED BACK FROM 1968

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

 

A very interesting article written by a long-time Democrat, analyzing what has been happening in his party.  Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Democrats Haven’t Turned Back From 1968

The politics of identity and attack have supplanted the old liberal tradition, which favored national unity.

Democrats Haven’t Turned Back From 1968
PHOTO: CHAD CROWE

America is polarized in many ways, but one of the most significant is between generations in the Democratic Party. Coming out of the Great Depression and World War II, we present-day seniors saw liberalism as the promise of racial and social justice and broadly shared prosperity. We also saw it as a defender of civil liberties against abuses such as those that took place in the 1950s McCarthy era. Abroad, we supported a strong United Nations and other multilateral institutions to reduce conflict but had no illusions about the expansionist ambitions of totalitarian states.

In other words, the dwindling number of Greatest Generation and Depression-born Democrats came of age with a liberal tradition that is increasingly marginalized in today’s party. That was evident in Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight and in the party’s use of race, sex, ethnicity and other identity markers in politics more broadly.

The best example of the old Democratic Party’s aspirations was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which provided that no citizen should receive favorable or unfavorable treatment based on irrelevant factors such as race, sex, national origin and religion. Our domestic agenda was further realized in President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society: the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, the War on Poverty, federal aid to education and other measures designed to create greater opportunity for all, underwritten by a safety net for those who needed it.

You could feel the first big change in 1968 as a new generation in the West rebelled against established institutions and leaders. In the U.S., protest formed around opposition to the mistaken Vietnam War. I experienced this rebellion first as Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s assistant in the Johnson White House, then as a vice president of Columbia University during the disorders there, and later as an active member of the antiwar movement and George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign.

 

There was idealism in the protests but also cynicism and a touch of totalitarianism. “We Demand!” often preceded the protesters’ list of objectives. You could have a discussion with them over coffee or in small groups, but when an audience was present, a professor, speaker or political candidate expressing a contrary opinion would often be shouted down, sometimes with obscene chants. “Never trust anyone over 30,” the slogan went (or, as I often thought silently, no one under 25). Those in established positions were usually judged reactionary no matter the substance of their views.

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SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE IN CANADA

Monday, January 29th, 2018

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Single-Payer Health Care Isn’t Worth Waiting For

An orthopedic surgeon challenges Canada’s ban on most privately funded procedures.

January 22, 2018
  By

Sally C. Pipes   Ms. Pipes is president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute and author of “The False Promise of Single-Payer Health Care,” forthcoming from Encounter.
 
When Brian Day opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996, he had a simple goal. Dr. Day, an orthopedic surgeon from Vancouver, British Columbia, wanted to provide timely, state-of-the-art medical care to Canadians who were unwilling to wait months—even years—for surgery they needed. Canada’s single-payer health-care system, known as Medicare, is notoriously sluggish. But private clinics like Cambie are prohibited from charging most patients for operations that public hospitals provide free. Dr. Day is challenging that prohibition before the provincial Supreme Court. If it rules in his favor, it could alter the future of Canadian health care.

Most Canadian hospitals are privately owned and operated but have just one paying “client”—the provincial government. The federal government in Ottawa helps fund the system, but the provinces pay directly for care. Some Canadians have other options, however. Private clinics like Cambie initially sprang up to treat members of the armed forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, those covered by workers’ compensation and other protected classes exempt from the single-payer system.

People stuck on Medicare waiting lists can only dream of timely care. Last year, the median wait between referral from a general practitioner and treatment from a specialist was 21.2 weeks, or about five months—more than double the wait a quarter-century ago. Worse, the provincial governments lie about the extent of the problem. The official clock starts only when a surgeon books the patient, not when a general practitioner makes the referral. That adds months and sometimes much longer. In November an Ontario woman learned she’d have to wait 4½ years to see a neurologist.

 

Single-Payer Health Care Isn’t Worth Waiting For
PHOTO: ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
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VIDEO – ENEMIES WITHIN: HEALTHCARE AGENDA

Monday, August 7th, 2017

 

VIDEO

THE ENEMIES WITHIN : HEALTHCARE AGENDA

“Government-run heathcare is great as long as you don’t get old or sick.” – Trevor Loudon
Published on May 2, 2017

Trevor Loudon’s was forced to cut this clip about Obamacare from his

documentary film, the “Enemies Within.” 

Watch this exclusive clip about Obamacare – which proves beyond a

 shadow of a doubt – that the Affordable Care Act was “designed to

 fail.” 

Obamacare was intentionally set up to pave the way for the long-time

 socialist vision of a “Single Payer” system, or as Bernie Sanders

 euphemistically puts it, as “Medicare for All.”

www.trevorloudon.com/2017/06/e

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MEDICAID EXPANSION – CALIFORNIA STYLE

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

 

The expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare  has become a major sticking point in the senate’s attempt to craft a bill to replace Obamacare because many states have taken the Obamacare bait to increase their Medicaid roles.  The following article on California’s Medi-Cal program shines a bright light on how the expansion of Medicaid is endangering  our health care system.     Nancy 

Medicaid’s Potemkin Health Coverage

California is a case study: One patient suing the state says she went to Mexico to get her gall bladder out.

July 19, 2017  by Allysia Finley  Ms Finley is a editorial writer for the Journal

If ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid were measured merely by growth in enrollment and spending, California’s Medi-Cal program would rank as a huge success. Since 2012, Medi-Cal has added six million beneficiaries, primarily able-bodied adults of working age. Covering them last year brought California nearly $20 billion in additional federal funds. If Medi-Cal were a state, its population of 14 million would make it the fifth-largest in the U.S. The program’s $103 billion budget is about three times the size of Illinois’s general fund.

But despite the surge in enrollment and spending—or perhaps because of it—Medi-Cal has failed to fulfill its stated goal of improving health-care access for the indigent and disabled. A recent report from the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury highlighted the conundrum many of the state’s Medicaid enrollees face: “You’ve Got Medi-Cal, but Can You Get Medical Care?”

By extending Medi-Cal to younger, healthier people—many of whom could be better served by the kind of bare-bones private insurance that ObamaCare outlawed—California has made it harder for those who most need low-cost care to get it.

Medicaid operates as an open-ended entitlement, meaning the federal government covers a predetermined share of state spending, regardless of the total cost. Traditionally, the feds have matched California’s outlays dollar for dollar. States where the per capita income is lower receive a more generous match. Nevada, for example, receives about two federal dollars for each one it spends.

(more…)

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