Thursday, January 12, 2023

Keep Your Government Out Of My Medicare

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The Weird Generational Politics Of Obamacare

Medicare Basics: Parts A, B, C & D

Obamacare is a particularly good deal for older Americans: the law basically forces young people to buy health insurance in order to make premiums affordable for older, sicker folks. Folks like Webb, who mentions hes got some medical problems.

In a crude way, you would expect the fight over Obamacare to feature older Americans advocating for the law and younger Americans fighting against it. But the reverse has been true because the Republican Party broadly, and the tea party specifically, skew older than the country at large, while the Democratic Party skews younger.

There are policy crosscurrents that help make sense of some of this: young Americans, because theyre poorer, get a lot of the laws subsidies. And Obamacare cuts money from Medicare, which angers retirees, and raises taxes on richer people, who tend to be older. So the simple generational analysis only gets you so far. But as Webbs experience shows, it does get you somewhere. Obamacare is an amazing deal for people in their 50s who need health insurance.

The Parts Of Medicare

Social Security enrolls you in Original Medicare .

  • Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or limited time at a skilled nursing facility . Part A also pays for some home health care and hospice care.
  • Medicare Part B helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services.

Other parts of Medicare are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.

  • Supplemental policies help pay Medicare out-of-pocket copayments, coinsurance, and deductible expenses.
  • Medicare Advantage Plan includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B prescription drugs and additional benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental bundled together in one plan.
  • Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.

Most people age 65 or older are eligible for free Medical hospital insurance if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can enroll in Medicare medical insurance by paying a monthly premium. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly Part B premium. To learn more, read .

How Much Do Medicare Part A And Part B Premiums Cost

Most people dont have to pay a premium for Part A if they or their spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years while they were working.

Theres also no premium for Part A if:

  • Youre receiving Social Security.
  • Youve received disability benefits for at least 24 months.

There is a monthly premium for Part B, which is deducted from your Social Security or, for those who receive them, from their Railroad Retirement Board benefits. For 2022, the standard premium for Part B coverage is $170.10 – or higher, depending on your income.1

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What Is The Meme Generator

It’s a free online image maker that lets you add custom resizable text, images, and much more to templates.People often use the generator to customize established memes,such as those found in Imgflip’s collection of Meme Templates.However, you can also upload your own templates or start from scratch with empty templates.

Cobra Coverage From An Employer Plan

Medicare is a US government program that provides access to affordable ...

Federal and state law allows people who leave their jobs to continue their employer-sponsored health coverage for a period of time. Be aware of the following:

  • You have an eight-month period after your employment ends to enroll in Medicare. If you dont enroll during that eight-month window, you might have to pay a penalty when you enroll.
  • If youre in your Medicare initial enrollment period, you must enroll in Medicare during that time to avoid a possible penalty.
  • If you dont buy a Medicare supplement policy during your open enrollment period, youll be able to buy some Medicare supplement plans within 63 days of losing your COBRA coverage.

Talk to your employer about COBRA and Medicare eligibility.

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Hands Off My Medicare

The primary Democratic response to criticism of ObamaCare has been to attack the motives, intelligence, and good faith of the people making the criticism. One of the most common tactics is to highlight those instances when a voter seemingly betrays his or her ignorance of the fact that Medicare is a government program. Heres Obama on July 28:

Heres GOP Rep. Robert Inglis of South Carolina in the Washington Post that same day:

The reaction to Democratic proposals has been strong, too. At a recent town-hall meeting in suburban Simpsonville, a man stood up and told Rep. Robert Inglis to keep your government hands off my Medicare.

And so it goes. Paul Krugman: Medicare is highly popular, as evidenced by the tendency of town-hall protesters to demand that the government keep its hands off the program.

As Bill Kristol noted when Obama first brought up his correspondents letter, This may once have really happened, but its been recycled endlessly in recent years as a liberal talking point about the ignorance of the American people and their silliness in resisting new big government health care schemes. We first started hearing these stories during the fight over Clintons health care bill in 1993.

Its certainly true that plenty of Americans know things that are not so 53 percent of the electorate voted for Obama, after all and that many of them may believe incorrectly that Medicare is not a government program.

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It Is Incredibly Uncomfortable To Be On The Wrong Side Of Your Tribe

Webbs quick reversal is telling. He doesnt walk back anything he said in his first video. He doesnt say Obamacare hasnt been a boon to his life or that he wants it repealed. He just says a lot of people watched the first video. The implication in his astonished chuckle is that hes gotten more and angrier feedback than he expected hes been lashed by the people he thinks of as his allies and praised by the people he considers his enemies.

Its an excruciating experience to find yourself at odds with your political tribe. So, for most people, its actually borderline irrational to pick fights with your side. Webbs vote in the 2016 presidential election isnt going to save Obamacare or doom it his vote will have no effect on his life at all. But publicly coming out as a Hillary Clinton supporter when he attends the next meeting of his local Tea Party Patriots chapter? Hell be attacked by his friends, kicked out of a group he loves, smeared on the internet. His public heterodoxy can really hurt his life. Its not rational for him to announce hes voting for Hillary Clinton. Policy interests matter, but theyre much more remote from us than our friends, family, and even our email inbox.

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You Engage In Medicare Fraud Or Disruptive Behavior

If you let someone else use your Medicare card in order to obtain services, or if you attempt to defraud Medicare in any other way, your coverage would likely be taken away from you.

Some Medicare Advantage plans could also potentially take away your coverage if you engage in disruptive behavior. The definition of disruptive behavior could vary depending on your plan provider, but it generally means engaging in any type of behavior that impairs the insurers ability to arrange for or provide care for you or other plan members.

How Much Does Medicare Advantage Cost

2021 How to use Medicare Plan Finder, step-by-step

With Medicare Advantage options, instead of paying your healthcare bills directly, the federal government pays private insurance companieslike Humanato administer your coverage.

While there is a monthly premium for Medicare Advantage options, many private insurance companies choose to offer

As with Original Medicare members, Medicare Advantage members must continue to pay their Part B premium.

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The Third Rail Republicans Cant Stop Touching

Social Security and Medicare are wildly popular. So why do GOP Senate candidates keep talking about privatizing them?

Don Bolduc, New Hampshires GOP Senate nominee, advocated privatizing Medicare during a campaign town hall in early August. | Mary Schwalm/AP Photo

09/22/2022 04:30 AM EDT

For two decades, campaign after campaign, Republican politicians have floated the idea of privatizing government entitlement programs including Social Security and Medicare. And campaign after campaign from Paul Ryan to George W. Bush its been a loser.But for some reason, they keep trying. The latest is Don Bolduc, New Hampshires GOP Senate nominee, who advocated privatizing Medicare during a campaign town hall in early August, according to a recording of the event obtained by POLITICO.

Bolducs comments came in response to a woman who said she was a nurse and complained about Medicare and Medicaid, arguing they were worsening outcomes for elderly patients and hamstringing medical professionals. Bolduc volunteered that he frequently speaks about how major reform is necessary for the government-sponsored health insurance programs for seniors and people with low incomes.

The privatization is hugely important, the retired army general told the audience in the town of Pembroke on Aug. 2. Getting government out of it, getting government money with strings attached out of it.

Thompson added that Bolduc will oppose any effort to privatize these programs.

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If you have Medicare Advantage, you can also use Medicare Advantage open enrollment from Jan. 1 to March 31 each year to switch plans or go back to Original Medicare and sign up for a Medicare Part D drug plan.

CONSIDER PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

If youre on any prescription medications, understand how your current plan will cover them in 2023 and whether another plan might be more affordable.

It can be as simple as putting your drugs into Medicare.gov, says Scott Maibor, a Medicare advisor based in Boston. You should at least verify that This is the plan Im on, this is the plan thats recommended, what are the savings?

Thats because Part D prescription drug plans whether youre with Original Medicare or getting coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan can change each year. You may find that one of your prescriptions will cost more in 2023, or that your plan will stop covering it. Or you may have started a new medication and you can find a plan that charges you less for it.

Dont forget to browse your drug plans preferred pharmacies. Its not even just a matter of cost sometimes, its a matter of location, says Karen Schechter , director and assistant professor of the health care management and health administration programs at Maryville University. If Im a person who needs to refill a prescription once a month, I may not want to go to a place thats far away.

THINK HARD BEFORE GIVING UP YOUR MEDIGAP PLAN

COMPLETE THE PROCESS

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Ask If Your Doctor Accepts Assignment

Assignment is an agreement between doctors and other health care providers and Medicare. Doctors who accept assignment charge only what Medicare will pay them for a service. You must pay any deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments that you owe.

Doctors who dont accept assignment may charge more than the Medicare-approved amount. You are responsible for the higher charges. You also might have to pay the full cost of the service at the doctors office, and then wait to be reimbursed by Medicare.

Use your Medicare Summary Notice to review the charges. You get a Medicare Summary Notice each quarter. If you were overcharged and werent reimbursed, follow the instructions on the notice to report the overcharge to Medicare. The notice will also show you any deadlines to complain or appeal charges and denied services. If you are in original Medicare, you can also look at your Medicare claims online at MyMedicare.gov.

Medicare has a directory of doctors, hospitals, and suppliers that work with Medicare. The Physician Compare directory also shows which providers accepted assignment on Medicare claims.

Cost Savings Through Medicare Advantage

When your government is more willing to support authoritarian rule than ...

The ACA gradually reduced costs by restructuring payments to Medicare Advantage, based on the fact that the government was spending more money per enrollee for Medicare Advantage than for Original Medicare. But implementing the cuts has been a bit of an uphill battle.

In 2011, the law froze the benchmark amount at 2010 levels for the maximum amount paid for MA plans in each county. Then, in 2012, the government began phasing in payment reductions to Medicare Advantage in an effort to bring Medicare Advantage spending in line with the fee-for-service program , although benchmark amounts could also increase based on plan quality.

For 2021, Medicare Advantage plans saw an increase in their reimbursement rates, as was the case in 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017. And these increases came on the heels of similar increases in 2014, 2015, and 2016 despite the fact that in all three years, payment cuts had been proposed and then essentially reversed or off-set with payment increases.

However, insurers said that their average payment amounts decreased by about 6% in 2014, and by about 3 or 4% in 2015 clearly, not everyone agrees on the impact of the budgetary changes from one year to the next. And for 2020, the amount that Medicare Advantage plans received was based more on patient encounter data, which is a rule change that insurers did not want.

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‘keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare: ‘ A Prescription That Progressives Should Fill

The state has consistently been displaced by individual initiative and market mechanisms in personal and collective memory and, more often than not, scholarly interpretations as well. Progressives, however, would do well to embrace rather than deride this pattern. More importantly, they should design legislation that capitalizes upon the long-standing preference of Americans for government that is hidden in plain sight. This article explores that history. It identifies the ways in which Americans learned to govern less visibly during the nineteenth century and the ways in which these patterns were reinforced during the twentieth. In the process, it also addresses the prevailing assumption that Americans did not govern at all for much of their history. Indeed, it is that mythical stateless past that those who have already secured their state-subsidized benefits deployed in order to deny prospective public support to others.

Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare: A Prescription That Progressives Should Fill

The state has consistently been displaced by individual initiative and market mechanisms in personal and collective memory and, more often than not, scholarly interpretations as well. Progressives, however, would do well to embrace rather than deride this pattern. More importantly, they should design legislation that capitalizes upon the long-standing preference of Americans for government that is hidden in plain sight. This article explores that history. It identifies the ways in which Americans learned to govern less visibly during the nineteenth century and the ways in which these patterns were reinforced during the twentieth. In the process, it also addresses the prevailing assumption that Americans did not govern at all for much of their history. Indeed, it is that mythical stateless past that those who have already secured their state-subsidized benefits deployed in order to deny prospective public support to others.

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How Obamacare Reduces The Labor Supply

A while back, the Congressional Budget Office caused some controversy by estimating that Obamacare would lead to fewer jobs by reducing the labor supply. This led a lot of people to call Obamacare a job killer, but what it really meant was that Obamacare was a retirement encourager. Or, in budget language, workers will choose to supply less labor.

Webb is one of those workers choosing to supply less labor. Obamacare is making it possible for him to retire early, so hes retiring early. In some kind of narrow economic view, this is a bad thing. But in a broader view of human flourishing, its a very good thing. The point of life isnt just to work. The point of living in a rich country isnt just to make it richer.

As Webb says in a video response to a YouTube commenter telling him to get off your lazy ass and work,Who the heck are you to decide whether 50 is acceptable? Like I said 100 times before, you might want to work until you die, or until youre 70, but Im not going to be one of those people that retire in a nursing home while somebody spoon-feeds you applesauce and theyre getting your retirement to pay for it all. Im not going to do it.

This is a great quote to think about when you read people proposing to raise the Social Security retirement age.

By Stephen Soltys M.D.

Dr. Stephen Soltys is a retired professor emeritus who still teaches at SIU School of Medicine on a volunteer basis.

As Republicans Pursue One Of The Most Unpopular Programs In Recent Memory Progressives Have An Opportunity To Reset The Terms Of The Debate

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Its been a common refrain of politicians in Washington for as long as the capitol has been unpopular: Its good to get outside the Beltway, good to go get back to the real America. But in recent days that cliché might feel a bit stale for Republican House members, who voted last month for Representative Paul Ryans budget proposal. Inside the Beltway, Ryan is called courageous, a visionary, a serious man, for having the bravery to put forth a budget that pays for tax cuts for the wealthy by ending Medicare as we know it. Back home in his district, hes becoming known as the leader of the most serious assault on seniors since President Bushs attempt to privatize Social Security.

In the words of President Obama, yes, yes we can.

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