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View Diary: Remember the $716B ObamaCare "Stole" from Medicare? Guess what... (86 comments)

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  •  I totally agree that the President and the ACA (13+ / 0-)

    has strengthened Medicare; however, I do not celebrate the increase in Medicare Advantage enrollment. That is the Bush program that is a private insurance alternative to traditional Medicare and which has been subsidized at a much higher rate than original Medicare (though the ACA cuts these subsidies). Not only does the government pay the private insurance companies for MA beneficiaries, they also subsidize gym memberships in many of these policies. Not that I am against gym memberships, but I don't think they should be subsidized when many needed services go unfunded.

    Part B premiums for original Medicare also went down for beneficiaries that entered Medicare in 2011. That I do celebrate.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 04:48:50 AM PDT

    •  Technically (8+ / 0-)

      Medicare Advantage came in under Clinton in 1997, Part-D the Prescription Drug plan that costs twice as much as advertise came in under Bush.

    •  I don't think the gym memberships (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, divineorder, Cordyc

      are a fluffy perk. If anyone better please correct me but in light of the fact that gym memberships can be as little as $10 per month and costs of obesity are soaring, they probably pay for themselves or save money. A patient who keeps fit is less likely to develop diabetes or cancer. And it's hard for many people to exercise outdoors due to safety or climate issues.

      The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

      by emidesu on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 05:57:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Medicare Advantage has no better health results (8+ / 0-)

        than original Medicare and costs the taxpayers about about 14% more, as I recall, or about $15 billion a year.

        If someone needs a gym membership for their health, perhaps that could be prescribed by a doctor under original Medicare, and not just pay the private insurance companies for it for everyone enrolled in MA.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 06:26:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It Can Definitely Be Covered By Some Insurance (0+ / 0-)

          as my wife's was; don't recall if it was her Medicare or the supplemental insurance she carries as state worker retiree.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 06:31:10 AM PDT

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        •  LOL I'm not defending Medicare Advantage (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vyan

          on the whole! I was just addressing the one small point. I think "the market" is a really crappy way to pay for health care.

          The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

          by emidesu on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 12:22:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  MA plans must offer features/benefits (0+ / 0-)

      that are not available from basic Medicare, according to something I recently read. So MA plans bundle various benefits such as gym membership, or dental plans, eyeglasses, or health care classes, and each MA plan might or might not mean a monthly fee in addition to the standard monthly Medicare fees.

      I agree that the additional subsidies to MA plans should be reduced and substandard MAs must improve or dissolve, but I don't believe that all MA plans should be eliminated.

      I'm on a top-rated MA in Southern California, one that I now wish had gym membership benefit, but it doesn't. Access to a treadmill, cycling, and weight training would, I believe, mean that I could drop a prescription for hypertension. Walking on sidewalks isn't an option for me for some health reasons. Getting enough appropriate exercise has been a challenge as I age.

      The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

      by SoCalSal on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 09:42:48 AM PDT

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    •  re: Gym memberships. (0+ / 0-)

      I had an option through my supplemental for a subsidy on a gym membership, with a wide choice of places participating, and still balked at the total cost of it. My cardioterrorist harps on exercise, and I don't mind it, but $40/month sucks. I did what I could, arthritis and all. Comes 2010 and it got MUCH better.

      Now, $25 a year -- a YEAR -- and I'm headed for the Y at least once a week.  Weight goes down, pants size goes down, doctorpeople go quiet.

      They can argue all they want. I know the truth. It works.

      The furnace of Affliction produces Refinement, in States as well as Individuals. John Adams, 1776.

      by semiAdult on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 09:47:13 AM PDT

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    •  Medicare Advantage should be phased out. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy, sewaneepat

      It's an inefficient, wasteful program. The Romney/Ryan/GOP plan is to phase out traditional Medicare through starvation and shift everyone to Medicare Advantage. Give you a voucher and turn you over to the insurance industry.

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