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View Diary: Rep. Jeb Hensarling to Super Congress Democrats: Privatize Medicare, then we'll talk (82 comments)

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  •  That's the only way they could get anyone to (0+ / 0-)

    accept this.

    •  There's another way ... (0+ / 0-)

      In fact we're seeing the beginning of it in Medicare Advantage and  "wraparound" products.

      Traditional medicare as it now stands works just fine for people with no assets to speak of.  Eighty percent of your bills are paid ... and the care providers' collection agencies can just whistle for the balance.

      But, if you have modest assets on which you depend ... that 20% that isn't covered is a serious Sword of Damocles -- a case of cancer or a triple bypass operation can tip you from "barely getting by" to "desperately poor".  

      If you want to leave an estate to your children (so that hopefully you will not need professional long term custodial care in the event of a stroke or early onset Alzheimer's) well, you have a strong motivation to pay for "protection".

      (You remember "protection" ... well, it's not just for restaurants and nightclubs any more.")

      So, a voucher plan might work like this.  The poorest (and sickest) people remain in "Traditional" Medicare and the medical industry will care for them at a loss.

      Everyone else will take their vouchers and buy the Protection they can afford.  Some more ... some less.
      And that will be Just Fine for those people with paid off homes,  income annuities, and children already educated and well established.  You know:  AARP's target constituency.

      And what percentage of retirees do we think THAT is.

      •  Health Insurance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AdamSelene

        As a person already on Medicare a/b, Part D and Care First BSBS Medigap I can tell you that first off, with the new healthcare law Advantage Plans are being eliminated starting in 2014.

        I have Medigap which pays all co-pays, deductibles.  With Medicare Advantage the patient STILL has to pay co-pays and deductibles in exchange for flimsy and rotten eyecare insurance and dental care.

        I would guess that less than 40% of retirees.  The thing is, AARP gives me a sizable discount on renter's insurance and Medicare Part D.

        •  Yes ... I'm in exactly the same boat (0+ / 0-)

          and I don't see that it makes a world of difference if the cost of upgrading my Medicare coverage so that a single serious illness does not wipe out the savings of a lifetime,  is paid for by Medicare plus out of pocket, or Medicare plus whatever private for-profit "wrap around"  insurance I can afford ...

          What I am sure of is that under a "voucher" plan we can certainly expect that the private insurance premium will rise to reflect the augmented ability of insurees to pay for minimal coverage ... while driving up the price for adequate coverage, beyond the reach of most working people.

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