• Deathaid The Looming Disaster of "Medicare for All"

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    America’s Left/Liberals,
    and their spokesman Barack Obama, insist that everything about health
    care would be wonderful if only the government would take it over.
    Their preferred plan, embraced by Obama, is to throw Medicare open
    to everyone, and then over time force everyone into it. They say
    if you have employer-provided insurance, you can keep it. But that
    choice will be up to the employer, not you. As the government forces
    costly regulatory burdens, like guaranteed issue and community rating,
    onto private insurance, employers facing the soaring premiums will
    just dump their workers into Medicare. These costly regulatory burdens,
    plus the taxpayer subsidies for Medicare, will eventually drive
    out all private insurance alternatives.

    This is what
    the left has been proposing for many years now. They have called
    it "Medicare for All." No point in denying that now, when
    they have got the President and Congressional majorities to pass
    it. The question to consider is, "Is Medicare for All a good
    idea?"

    Medicare
    Is Already Bankrupt

    The Medicare
    Board of Trustees released their latest annual report earlier this
    month. It shows that Medicare is already hopelessly bankrupt. We
    don’t know how we are going to pay for all the Medicare promises
    we have already made.

    The Trustees
    Report estimates that the unfunded liability for Medicare alone
    is $89 trillion. Social Security adds another $15.1 trillion in
    unfunded liabilities, for a total of $104 trillion. And that doesn’t
    even count Medicaid. The entire American economy right now only
    produces about $14 trillion a year.

    By 2018, less
    than 10 years from now, Medicare Part A alone will be running a
    deficit of close to $100 billion. General revenue contributions
    for Medicare Parts B and D that year are now projected to be $364
    billion. Consequently, the deficit for Medicare alone that year
    will be close to $500 billion. And this assumes a scheduled reduction
    in doctor and hospital reimbursements under Medicare of over 20%
    starting in 2010.

    Medicaid will
    also be costing the federal government close to $500 billion per
    year by then, with another $300 billion spent on the program by
    the states. That is a total burden on general taxpayers for these
    two programs alone of $1.3 trillion by 2018, in addition to payroll
    taxes and Medicare premiums. Medicare premiums by 2018 are projected
    to be about $750 per month per beneficiary, covering only 14% of
    expenditures. Medicare will be spending by that year close to $17,000
    per beneficiary.

    Medicare Part
    A will run out of funds to pay promised benefits by 2017, with a
    20% shortfall in revenues. Paying all promised benefits for Part
    A alone over the long run would require raising the total Medicare
    payroll tax from 2.9% today to 12%. That is in addition to the Social
    Security payroll tax of 12.4% today, which would have to increase
    to close to 18% to pay all promised benefits for that program. That
    would result in a total payroll tax rate of 30%.

    Given this
    overwhelming financial disaster, does it make sense for the government
    to take on even more financial burdens through Medicare? Medicare
    is supposed to be for retirees. What would all these new financial
    burdens for everyone do to the program originally intended for them?

    Indeed, one
    has to ask, do the Medicare for All nuts even understand numbers?
    Or are they what they appear to be, numerically illiterate?

    Government
    Health Care Rationing

    Medicaid, which
    pays for health care for the poor, shows where Medicare for seniors
    is headed. Medicaid promises free health care for the poor, but
    then refuses to pay the doctors and hospitals for it, or at least
    pay them enough to provide quality health care for the poor. As
    a result, about 40% of doctors and hospitals already refuse to take
    Medicaid patients.

    This translates
    into real suffering for the poor on Medicaid. They have to scramble
    to get appointments with the doctors who will see them, and the
    doctors give them shorter appointments and less attention to fit
    what the government is willing to pay for them. They have to wait
    longer to see the essential specialists or for admissions to the
    hospitals willing to take Medicaid patients. The end result studies
    show is that the poor get less adequate health care, and suffer
    worse health outcomes, including more and earlier deaths from heart
    disease and cancer. This should be no surprise, because it is the
    inevitable result of all government-run health care throughout history
    the world over.

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    the rest of the article

    May
    28, 2009

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