Friday, September 4, 2009

The Ugly Truth About Medicare

Day after day, we hear the drone of those that tell us that Medicare works and we should accept that as proof that national (government) health care will work.

Medicare is NOT a success story!

There is no doubt that Medicare provides quality and timely (usually) care to those that use it. That care comes with a price tag that is not paid by Medicare.

Medicare comes in two parts, “A” and “B”. Part “A” comes with the territory, part “B” is optional and costs about $100 per month. With both parts (A and B) Medicare will pay about 80% of the ALLOWED cost on your medical billing. To cover the additional 20% you need to purchase a “Supplemental” insurance, which costs in the neighborhood of $175 per month. Then there is Part “D” the prescriptions program which runs close to $35 per month (plus co-pays). So the “FREE” Medicare coverage costs a typical user around $4000 per year. No argument, it is a bargain; especially if you suffer a major illness.

The major failure of Medicare is found in term “ALLOWED Cost”. For example: You have procedure that typically costs $6,000, Medicare may ALLOW $4,000 for that procedure so they pay $3,200 (80% 0f $4,000) which leaves a balance of $800. That $800 is paid by you or your supplemental insurance. So what happens with remaining $2,000? By law, any medical provider that accepts Medicare payments must agree not to bill the patient more than the allowed amount for the service provided. So in effect, the service provider eats the amount that exceeds the allowed charges.

The fees allowed by Medicare do not cover the cost of maintenance or replacement of equipment (MRI or X-ray machine, etc.) and certainly there is no money for new technologies like digital X-rays. Operating expenses are not covered and there is nothing that reassembles profit, let alone money to pay for insurance.

Medicare survives because it rides on the back of private payers! That’s right! Private payers like insurance companies and cash customers pay the cost of underwriting Medicare and Medicaid. If you are not on Medicare or Medicaid, you will, either directly or through your insurance, pay for those expenses not covered by your tax dollars.

A National Health Care program is most certainly not going to pay fees any higher than they now pay. As a result, doctors and other health care providers will be paid less, there will be no money to replace worn-out diagnostic tools, no money for new technologies, hospitals will close do to bankruptcies, and doctors offices/diagnostic facilities will have to relocate to low rent areas. There will be severe shortages of medical personnel, including doctors. Who in his/her right mind is going to spent 8 to 12 years in school to perform in a salary capped job? Many, if not all, doctors will pay more for insurance than they receive as take-home pay.

If you don’t believe it, just look at our neighbor to the north, Canada. That’s not enough proof? Look at Great Britain and the rest of the EU.

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Fox Lady said...

But, but ....but we are so much smarter than those people, has to be better here.

Clearly, without the private payer, which the libs want to eliminate, the whole system is domed to failure.

Idiots, each and everyone.

Why be shocked? It's what the Marxist in the White House wants!

Lil said...

This puts the healthcare issue in a whole new light for me.

If they made NO direct chsanges to Medicare, it would still lose a huge amount of funding that comes from private and self insured sorces, which they want to kill.