Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Medicare Sleight of Hand

The New York Times has a nice article about the fraud in Medicare savings the new health care bills in Congress are perpetrating. Medicare will cut reimbursements to doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes by $500 billion over the next ten years. In addition, they plan on raising taxes on the wealthy and medical device makers, taxing expensive health care plans, or raising Medicare withholdings from your paycheck.

Together this is supposed to "save" Medicare by delaying its date with bankruptcy court by all of nine years. But wait. Since this is the federal government, they can't have all this extra money sitting around waiting to be handed out in the future. So using the same savings they are trumpeting, they are going to use it to subsidize health insurance for 30 million people.

So this is the conundrum Medicare and Congress are dealing with. You can't use the money to save Medicare in the future if the money is being spent today to pay for health insurance for the uninsured. Try explaining that to the voters back home. Of course by the time Medicare is truly in trouble, most of the current members of Congress who voted for these "reforms" will have passed on or retired (synonymous with Congressmen).

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