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2006-2015 estimate of $1.2 Trillion
2007-2016 estimate of "only" $960 Brillion
Of course the original estimate was a paltry $500 Billion- based on a lie.

There is a tremendous amount of intellectual dishonesty in the debate of the health reform legislation... and hypocrisy and blatant concern for big companies v. real American's.  Democrats do a terrible job of pointing this out.  They don't call bull shit.  Essentially they repeatedly bring a knife to a gun fight.  

So- today the discussion is focused on keeping the cost of legislation to less than $1 Trillion (over 10 years) even though this will only reduce the number of uninsured to 30 million from 45 million.  Why is it more important to limit the cost than it is to have real reform and really help the uninsured.

I know it is entirely unrealistic to expect the media and Democrats to point out how the bar for Obama is far higher than for Bush.  Because everyone knows the press was far more critical of Bush and the press is being soft on Obama.

This critical reform is not going to cost any more than Medicare Part D- not that $1 Trillion is trivial and I am not criticizing the benefits of Part D.  It would just be good to put all of this in perspective.  

Of course Obama's legislation has to be paid for- which is a good, but new idea.  Bush funded Part D off of dept and there was no expectation to do otherwise.  

Can we get the debate somewhat close to parity?  

Originally posted to flymice on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:07 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Maybe you can answer this.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    when part D came out, as a medicare user I found it problematic on many levels.  

    I attempted to read the actual bill, using the index of the 800 page tome to find out exactly how the insurers were paid by the governement.

    Is it per capita, based on a portion of revenues, or expenses.  I tried.  I googled.  But I couldn't find anything on it.

    Do you know how the insurance companies get revenues from the federal government?

    •  I don't entirely... will speculate (0+ / 0-)

      I am hardly an expert on Part D- I just thought I would look up its cost.  I had vaguely remembered it was grossly underestimated.  

      People do pay premiums to cover the portion after the donut hole- I am sure this pays for itself + profit.  Pharma makes a lot of $ too since it is illegal for the government to negotiate lower drug costs

      •  Yes, but the government is paying a trillion... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53

        bucks.  There has to be a formula for this payment to the insurers.   It's just not available on the internet, or on the Medicare web sites.

        It's hard to believe that this hasn't been explored.

    •  The govt pays a specific dollar amount (5+ / 0-)

      to each Part D plan for each beneficiary that is enrolled.

      So, if there are 10 plans from 5 different insurance companies and 1000 beneficiaries enrolling in those plans, those companies will get a specific $ amount per month for each bene that's signed up for their plan.

      Now, there's an enrollment period at the end of the year - Nov. 15 - Dec. 31st, but anyone with extra help through Social Security or Medicaid can change plans at any time of the year, so the plans fight over the Medicaid recipients and convince them to switch multiple times throughout the year. The longer they keep them, the more profit they get. Medicare signs up extra help recipients automatically - to the cheapest plan - but the plans then make their moves to switch people.

      I don't know what the exact amount per month is right now, but I can say that insurance companies do their best to milk every single penny and screw the elderly out of their much needed medications.

  •  The purpose of Part D was to insure Pharma's (6+ / 0-)

    most profitable products maintained the highest gross margins possible.

    It only SEEMED like the beneficiary was the Medicare recipient.  

    Cutting Social Security and raising Medicare might appear incongruous but for Bush/GOP it is entirely consistent with rewarding their donor base.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:26:38 PM PDT

  •  Public option is going to be at least $2T (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy

    The Medicare budget for FY2009 is $400b and federal portion of Medicaid is $300b (with States kicking in another $200b for Medicaid).  Even if the public option costs $1.6T over 10 years that is way too low.  It would at least be $200-250b per year. Over 10 years, the public option will be at least $2T and I think that is on the very low side.  All of the numbers people are talking about are not realistic because no one wants to deal with reality.

  •  Medicare part D is more like $8 trillion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy

    http://www.gao.gov/...
    (page 41)

    That's the present value of the expected future benefits paid in excess of revenues collected by the program.

    The original marketing of Part D was fraudlent, as is any current discussion of health care reform plans that measures only 10 years of program expense.

  •  How much of that is the $ 100 B approx give-away (0+ / 0-)

    to BigPharma so they would deign to actually do what they are in business for, you know, sell drugs?

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