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Although chained CPI will not be in the initial White House budget (although the White House is still open to a "grand bargain"), Obama is still pushing for increased cost shifting/means-testing in Medicare. The same AP report that gave us the former information gave us the latter as well.

In Reuters today, Mark Miller discussed what these Medicare cuts would do:

Meanwhile, advocates for seniors are waiting to learn if the Administration - or Republicans in Congress - will again serve up proposals from last year's budget that would shift a greater share of Medicare costs to beneficiaries, including:

- Higher deductibles: The Part B annual deductible, currently $147, would be boosted for new enrollees in three $25 increments, for a total of $75 by 2021.

- Higher home health charges: New beneficiaries would pay $100 for five or more home health visits that weren't preceded by a hospital stay or nursing home.

- Medigap surcharge. New beneficiaries who buy supplemental Medigap policies with first-dollar coverage would face a surcharge equal to 15 percent of the average Medigap premium.

- More high-income surcharges. Wealthier seniors already pay substantially more for Part B and Part D premiums. Last year, President Obama proposed expanding these surcharges, and the idea likely will turn up again in this year's budget, according to advocates with sources close to the White House.

Currently, individuals with income of $85,000 and above ($170,000 for joint filers) pay a higher share of the total premiums. The president's plan would boost some of those fees, and gradually pull in seniors with lower incomes. Research by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates individuals with incomes of $47,000 and higher ($94,000 for joint filers) would be affected.

Whenever Obama has spoken about such cost-shifting, he speaks about asking "wealthy seniors to pay more." Apparently, $47,000 a year makes you rich.

However, when talking about taxes, Obama and the Democratic Party always define "middle-class" up to $250,000. The "fiscal cliff" deal, however, defined "middle-class" all the way up to $450,000.

The best way to create more rich people is to define down the threshold for being rich. Politicians will never do that for taxes, but they all-too-often seem fine (if not excited) about doing that when it comes to cutting benefits. How very strange.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (138+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, jhecht, marleycat, Gooserock, Robobagpiper, Crashing Vor, Dem Beans, Kane in CA, JeffW, zerelda, ferg, Kevskos, TracieLynn, Achillios0311, wenchacha, P Carey, NoMoreLies, NightOwl40, ZedMont, Matt Z, LaFeminista, allenjo, Most Awesome Nana, RFK Lives, tardis10, Hayate Yagami, YucatanMan, puakev, Assaf, hubcap, Habitat Vic, yoduuuh do or do not, wader, VClib, Laurel in CA, Australian2, Simplify, Involuntary Exile, kharma, trumpeter, Statusquomustgo, SuWho, democracy inaction, greenbastard, grollen, Brian B, 420 forever, greengemini, Shockwave, greenbell, Geenius at Wrok, sow hat, Lily O Lady, middleagedhousewife, MPociask, akmk, VirginiaJeff, Buckeye Nut Schell, NBBooks, peacestpete, GeorgeXVIII, PhilJD, triv33, dotdash2u, blueoasis, rbird, prettygirlxoxoxo, leeleedee, ypochris, QuelleC, FogCityJohn, gulfgal98, Just Bob, basquebob, turn blue, anodnhajo, CorinaR, maryabein, alasmoses, WisVoter, peptabysmal, Lefty Coaster, J M F, NearlyNormal, muddy boots, fugwb, JesseCW, BlueMississippi, Danno11, temptxan, pioneer111, devis1, dkmich, roses, FutureNow, 3goldens, psychodrew, Dirtandiron, Chaddiwicker, Youffraita, Willa Rogers, monkeybrainpolitics, Kathy Scheidel, young voter, k9disc, SouthernLiberalinMD, ksp, expatjourno, misterwade, carpunder, Cofcos, Chi, CA Nana, Johnny Q, Laughing Vergil, Alumbrados, alice kleeman, FarWestGirl, SpecialKinFlag, Cassandra Waites, terabytes, xaxnar, tofumagoo, SphericalXS, Bill Roberts, SparkyGump, dconrad, wolf advocate, Lonesome Jeff, vigilant meerkat, SherrieLudwig, Arkenstark, wilywascal, cablecargal, twocrows1023, Lisztman, Team Leftie, groupw
  •  As details emerge, expect the proposal (32+ / 0-)

    to be modified to apply only to future Medicare recipients, the reliable fallback position.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:49:59 AM PST

    •  It is customary (except in the discussion of (22+ / 0-)

      Chained CPI) to exclude those Social Security beneficiaries already in retirement, from cuts in benefits.

      Not as much the case with Medicare, from what I've read.

      Heck, there have been so many cuts to it "in dribs and drabs," that you could take several members of a family and NONE OF THEM would have exactly the same benefit package under Medicare.  

      Many of these cuts are passed under the radar.  Our family found this out several years ago--talk about a confusing benefit system!!!

      As a matter of fact, WHEN THERE WERE ANY LIBERALS IN CONGRESS, those who were very near-retirement age, who would not have sufficient time to mitigate the effects of cuts to our social programs (financially), were usually excluded from the most near-term drastic cuts.

      Since this was done for every generation--for both my grandparents and my parents--it was not "unfair."

      What will be "unfair" is that "this crowd" plans to decimate benefits for today's near-seniors, and even penalize those retired (re: Chained CPI).

      That, after having paid much higher FICA taxes than our predecessors paid, for most of our adult lives (for me, early thirties, for older Boomers, mid-twenties).

      [I'm not sure how the cut to CPI (2%) under President Clinton was applied.  There is a C-Span video of the Chief Actuary of SSN explaining this CPI cut during a progressive seminar (which included Dean Baker), but Mr. Goss did specify that I recall, if it was applied to those already retired.  I will try to check this out, and add it to this discussion, later.]

      But not with this crop of Democrats, some of whom appear to want a "Grand Bargain" on the backs of seniors!

      Let me emphasize this paragraph from the AP piece:

      While Earnest and other officials said that trims in benefit cost-of-living adjustments remain on the table should Republicans choose to bargain, Democrats cheered the decision to keep them out of the budget.
      Never mind that a 85-year old retired brick mason who carefully planned for his retirement BASED UPON HIS PROMISED BENEFITS, (and could no longer even perform his trade) could now be forced out of retirement.

      That would be unconscionable, IMHO.

      The progressive community needs to be flooding the White House switchboard, and Senators and Congressperson of both parties with phone calls demanding that they leave our social insurance programs intact!

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

      by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:20:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you LEFT, for this excellent diary! ;-) N/T (7+ / 0-)

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

        by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:21:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Time to mitigate"? What the fuck does that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask, dkmich, Johnny Q

        even mean?

        It's not like most workers have financial planners and a big pile o extra cash each check.

        Ever reducing benefits for younger workers eventually end with no benefits at all - which seems to be the goal.

        It really doesn't matter for 80-90% of the public whether we get one years warning or ten.

        "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

        by JesseCW on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:05:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I believe your anger is "misplaced." In no way (3+ / 0-)

          am I advocating for cuts for anyone.

          They are totally unnecessary and unjustified, IMO.

          You need to address that grievance to your lawmakers and the Administration.

          If you read the Fiscal Commission's report, you will probably see that indeed it appears that their (The Powers To Be in both parties) intention is to destroy the social safety net, as we know it.

          But that's not my fault.

          Instead of railing at me, I'd suggest that you organize, and join me in attempting to raise the level of consciousness regarding these cuts.  

          BTW, I'm blogging practically everyday at my blog, or one of eight other blogs, to get this information out--and have been for over two years.

          Look back at my almost 2400 comments, here--95% are probably on this topic, for cryin' out loud.

          But, do I want to be treated as fairly as my parents and grandparents were, if cuts are coming down the pike?

          You betcha!

          The best course of action, though, is to fight these cuts, collectively.

          And one way to achieve this, is to do what we're doing now--share information and vow to spread the word.

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

          by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:41:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "It really doesn't matter ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... for 80-90% of the public whether we get one year's warning or ten."

          Come on, Jesse, there HAS to be some period of time within which one CAN reasonably be expected to be able to make some changes in one's retirement plans.  1-5 years is, without question, too near-term.  10-15 years is somewhat more reasonable, but still not ideal.  I'd probably put it at 20 or 25 years ... at age 40 or 45, I'd say one SHOULD have sufficient time to modify one's retirement savings plan.

          The above assumes, however, that one actually HAS a retirement savings plan, and doesn't simply expect that Social Security and Medicare will provide for them from age 65 to the grave, however long that may be.  Is it really the case that "80-90% of the public" is that clueless?  I sure hope not!  I'm 60, and my wife is 57, thus we are approaching that nirvana known as retirement, and we've have sacrificed over the years to build up a decent nest egg for ourselves (will it be "enough"?? ... who knows?)  But, those who've failed to heed the old story about the Grasshopper & the Ant are neither the government's problem, nor mine.  I DO consider myself a progressive, but at some point, one must also accept some level of personal responsibility, don't'cha think?

          OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

          by mstaggerlee on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:50:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not the best assumption (0+ / 0-)

            "The above assumes, however, that one actually HAS a retirement savings plan"
            Many of us have been responsible, getting an education, saving for our futures. Those savings go away once your, "job of the future," goes to some Chinese farm girl or Indian code writer.
            I've had one real pension. That went away when the company ceased business. Enrolled in a couple of 401k funds. The jobs didn't last long enough for them to become vested. Now, nothing pays enough to save for retirement. All our production bonuses go to some guy who has nothing to do with production.
            The private sector has failed us, and now our, "representatives," want to take any other retirement security we may have from us in order to pay for tax cuts for the ones who wrecked our plans.
            No, I didn't plan for this.

            "To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence." - Mark Twain

            by CaptainAnalog on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:46:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Apparently the wealthy, (3+ / 0-)

        politicians and all, agree on only one thing: If you are poor, die quickly.

        Whether by forcing us to work our entire lives during which we were unable to save enough because we never made enough, or by penalizing us financially on decent healthcare that we will not be able to afford to use, the message is the same from both parties.

        Life ain't like a box of chocolates. You pretty much do know what you're gonna get.

        by Nodin on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 10:10:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why is it fair to penalize ANY age group? (4+ / 0-)

        It's a shame that politicians (who always seem to end up wealthy after their term(s) are up) will never have to face the same financial pressures as average Americans.  Perhaps they'd have more compassion then.

        •  Sadly, LJ, the only constituents that "most" pols (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Damaged262, enufenuf

          care concerned with are the top One-Five Percent, whom they aspire to be like, one day.

          But you're right--none of us should have to suffer a cut in benefits, for any reason.

          Much less because "the wealthy" loathes paying their fair share of income (and other) taxes!

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

          by musiccitymollie on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 04:25:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  "Fuck your kids, save yourself". It's worked (9+ / 0-)

      for 35 years in union contract negotiations.

      Keep your benefits, fuck the new people.  Some contracts have 4-5 tiers now.

      And then the people who voted to screw the young get all shocked when current workers don't care about protecting a defined pension system younger workers never got in the first place.

      "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:02:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am a future Medicare recipient (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dconrad, Calamity Jean, Damaged262

      and I am not amused.

      I really wish there was a third party to vote for at this point.

  •  With all the many Federal tax and benefit programs (2+ / 0-)

    having different cut-off points is a result of the politics of government decisions.  It is also best that different cut-off incomes be used to avoid massive transitions in taxes and benefits from only a small change in income.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:11:42 AM PST

    •  Not difficult to set up a function (12+ / 0-)

      that gradually phases out a tax or benefit program gradually, rather than abruptly as some of them do. Such programs to benefit lower and middle income people should be be capped at an income of around 75,000, adjusted for inflation, for a family of 4. The health care benefit, at 100,000 since health care can be extremely expensive.

      OTOH, since Medicare is an earned benefit, means testing and dropping income levels as low as $47,000 it is the first step towards calling it a "welfare program".

      •  "Entitlements" v. "Earned Benefits" highlights (26+ / 0-)

        core problem here.  One will never see a Gooper go on TV and talk about the "estate tax"--it's always the "death tax."  I never see Dems, however, talk about "earned benefits," it's always "entitlements."

        One party always does its best to move the Overton Windows, but the other doesn't.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:34:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Move the Overton window? (13+ / 0-)

          Ha!  I've been banging that drum for a while.  The current administration is not only incapable of moving the Overton window to the left - they happily talk about "the art of the possible" while reinforcing Republican framing, thereby ensuring that only Republican goals are possible.  So I guess, in fact, they are very capable of moving the Overton window - to the right.  Always to the right.

          •  Feature... Not a bug to them! (13+ / 0-)

            They want more democrats elected so their strategy is to overtake the center.  Because the center has moved so far to the right, the left is now where the right used to be.  

            So, when we elect democrats, we now effectively elect the position of the republicans back when they were the somewhat rational opposition party and the Republicans call the democrats socialists for it.  Today, Reagan's positions would be considered by the rightwing to be to the left Karl Marx.  Benito Mussolini would be considered a centrist.

            "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

            by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:55:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Spot on, BNS! Good to see you, again. ;-) N/T (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Buckeye Nut Schell

              Mollie

              "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


              hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

              by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:28:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is always my pleasure. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musiccitymollie

                We must have been traveling in different circles lately...

                I hope the weather down the road has been kind to you.

                "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:51:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks, BNS. We've had one of the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Buckeye Nut Schell

                  coldest winters here (just like everyone, I'm sure) that I recall.

                  Single-digits a couple of times, and teens on several occasions--with sustained subfreezing temps for several days--which is fairly unusual for this neck of the woods, as you know.

                  Funny thing is, Mr M and I don't mind the weather, particularly.  We lived over a decade in Alaska, and loved it.

                  But we always worry that "the pipes" won't be able to handle it, in spite of our precautions.

                  Bracing for 14 degrees tonight.  Wish you luck as well, this evening.

                  Mollie

                  "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                  hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

                  by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:46:36 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  14 is a heat wave. We're approaching 50 nights (4+ / 0-)

                    below zero. I can't remember a winter as relentlessly awful as this one.   We're not supposed to see 14 in the next week.  

                    And yes, seniors still do have to pay for natural gas to heat the house and it's not getting cheaper.

                    •  Good luck to you, gb. I'm guessing that you're (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      greenbell, Buckeye Nut Schell

                      in Minnesota, or one of the northern tier states.

                      Have a friend in PA, who is sick and tired of the snow accumulation this year.

                      Like I said, I don't particularly mind the cold weather--like it much better than weather in the 90's or low 100's!

                      ;-)

                      Mollie

                      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                      hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

                      by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:56:55 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, being an Ohio native, I grew up in the cold.. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    musiccitymollie, NoMoreLies

                    but we were much better equipped to deal with it there (back in the early 80s and before).  Our town had adaquate snow removal equipment and we all had wood burning stoves and warm winter clothing and snow tires so we were all set.

                    Around here, an inch of snow causes the grocery stores to run out of stock, people to either drive 25 MPH in a 70MPH speed zone or 70MPH in a 25 MPH zone and trying to navigate in between them is nerve wrecking.

                    Looks like we are going to get another round come Sunday night and possibly Monday but I do not expect much. I hope you and Mr. M stay warm and safe!

                    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:26:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  You see it too, don't you? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Buckeye Nut Schell, NoMoreLies

              The Tyranny of the Center coming down the pike...

              It's coming. We're going to get kicked to the curb, and so are the Libertarians and the social cons. The only 'respectable' decision will come from the Center.

              It freaks me out, largely because I think it can be pulled off. I think the brutalization and systemic disempowerment we've experienced for the last 40 years has made us not only dependent upon corporate, but slavishly dependent upon them: we love our captors.

              The Center will keep a majority safe and secure and will do so at the expense of 'undesirables'. Undesirables will be picked off one by one or en mass in response to tumultuous   events.

              Lovely, right?

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:42:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Some Benefits are Earned, others are not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Coastrange

          Social Security can be said to be an earned benefit as one needs to pay into it to get benefits, and the benefit received varies with what one put in but this is not the case for other well known "entitlements."

          Medicaid, energy assistance, housing assistance, SNAP, etc. however have no paying into requirement to get benefits.  While there is a Medicare tax on income, there is no requirement that one has ever paid Medicare tax to get the benefit.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:57:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But one must meet be eligible for Social (6+ / 0-)

            Security benefits or Railroad Retirement cash benefits.

            So there is (in a roundabout way) a minimum work requirement.

            Congress approved Medicare in 1965 to pay some of the cost of health care services for the aged.

            In order to receive this assistance with the current cost of health care, a person must be 65 years of age or older and entitled to Social Security retirement insurance or Railroad Retirement cash benefits.

            A person who has received Social Security disability benefits or Railroad Retirement Disability Income for 24 months or longer is also entitled to receive Medicare assistance regardless of his or her age.

            However, an application to enroll in Medicare must be filed. An application for Medicare can be filed after receiving 21 months of disability benefits.

            As far as I'm concerned, this is a benefit that deserves to be protected, the same as Social Security.

            If one does the math, I imagine that some of the proposed benefit cuts to Medicare and Medigap will be as costly to seniors as the toxic cuts proposed by Bowles-Simpson in their Fiscal Commission's Chairman's Mark.

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

            by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:41:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Please check out "The Moment Of Truth," below. (9+ / 0-)

        This is exactly what they prescribe for ALL our social insurance programs.

        They are a bit behind schedule, but it would not surprise me if the PtB manage to accomplish most of these cuts by the end of this term (beginning immediately after the midterms, whether Dems are shellacked or not).

        The Moment Of Truth

        Actually, unless they raise taxes on the wealthy (which won't happen), and PBO is on record (I posted this last Spring from the Financial Times) saying that "corporate tax reform" will be "revenue neutral"--what options are there other than "means testing?"  (for Medicare, anyway)

        So those folks who want to NOT see cuts to Medicare and Medigap (and Social Security) need to start aggressively pushing for a tax increase on the wealthy.

        Oh, and the Administration just issued a "rule" this past Friday imposing more cuts on Medicare Advantage, which insurers say will raise the cost of premiums (since they will pass on the cut).

        I believe the "comment period" closes in April.

        So the progressive community has its work cut out for it, if it wants to see lower and middle class Americans avoid suffering harsh cuts to their social safety net.

        The Chained CPI is not listed under the Social Security, Section V.

        It is under Section VI. "Process Reform."

        Gotta love it, LOL!

        ;-)

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

        by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:41:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  SS Treasuries are redeemed ahead of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musiccitymollie, NoMoreLies

          Treasuries sold to finance tax cuts for the wealthy, the bloated MIC, oil wars, oil subsidies etc....

          That is a situation that the oligarchs want changed; that the Change They Can Believe In.

          “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

          by ozsea1 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:22:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your comment made me think... (0+ / 0-)

          What if we went for a Flat Tax?

          Now before you get all pissed off...

          What if it were of 30% excluding a universal base income.

          How would tax revenue change?

          Anyone with a calculating type brain got an answer for that?

          Political ideas on it?

          Such a sad state we're in. Great comment.

          The, "Settle down, nothing's happened yet," schtick from the center here is just political disempowerment.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:48:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You'd have a net spike (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Damaged262

            Provided it didn't exclude the current incomes your millionaires use to avoid taxes ie investment dividends. But then without those damn loopholes you wouldn't be in the crap you are now with them dodging paying income tax.

    •  I just met with my CPA... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell

      He said we got nailed by the ObamaCare tax, and it upped my taxes by 10% or 10K.   I am not good with this stuff.  I could have asked him to explain, but why?   It wouldn't change a thing; and bottom line, I'm still netting 60%.  

      What pisses me off is that Romney is paying 15% while I work my way into the 39% tax bracket with  a combined income that isn't anywhere near 250K.  

      Obama is just a liar.  

      I will not vote for Hillary. What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

      by dkmich on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:59:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rec'd and tipped after reading only the title. (6+ / 0-)

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:22:16 AM PST

  •  What does this mean? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catwho, PsychoSavannah
    New beneficiaries who buy supplemental Medigap policies with first-dollar coverage would face a surcharge equal to 15 percent of the average Medigap premium.

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:23:42 AM PST

    •  Sounds to me like a clawback (25+ / 0-)

      that forces medicare beneficiaries to pay higher out of pocket costs that will negate the advantage to their medigap insurance that offers superior coverage. My understanding is that "first dollar" coverage is such that every dollar not covered by medicare is covered under the Medigap policy, with no deductible.

      Seems like the thrust of this is they want people to pay deductibles; for them to have "skin in the game", and paying deductibles is a way to increase the financial pain of the healthcare; therefore consuming less healthcare, and having the government spend less on it.

      •  Thanks. (10+ / 0-)

        I don't see how this is going to reduce usage.  You're not paying the extra 15% because you are actually using Medicare.  You're paying it as a surcharge on the premium up front, not on individual instances of care.

        You're going to pay it whether you use it or not, so it's actually an incentive to use it even more, to justify the extra cost.

        What it actually does is give the Medigap policy provider an excuse to have you pay a deductible, because, see, we're helping you avoid the 15%.  In that case it might be a disincentive to use Medicare, but not much of one.

        I think it's just a well-disguised sop to the insurance industry.

        Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

        by ZedMont on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:46:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's lemon socialism. These deductibles (7+ / 0-)

        won't cause a moments hesitation in seeking care for anyone in the top 50% or so.

        But for those at 120-200% of FPL, these are massive amounts of money.  It will stop people from seeing doctors.

        The rich, btw, live a lot long and go to the doctor a lot more.  They already get a lot more of our Medicare dollars.

        This is intentionally designed to widen that gap.

        "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

        by JesseCW on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:11:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The cynicism of it infuriates me (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, JesseCW, Johnny Q, NoMoreLies

          They keep dangling little benefits in front the poor and the young while they gut the benefits of the middle class and without a strong, stable middle class there is nothing for the poor or the young to aspire to achieve.   Unions, pensions, Social Security, Medicare - they go after every pillar for sustaining a middle class and they have the gall to tell us they're going to do something for immigrants.  

          I mean if they're betraying the folks who've voted for them for 40, 50, or more years, don't tell me they're going to keep any commitment to immigrants or young people!

          •  Actually, this is one "cut" that much more (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell, k9disc, JesseCW, NoMoreLies

            directly impacts the poor--not vice versa.

            That is because, instead of carrying a Medigap policy to idemnify themselves against loss (which is one has very little, is not necessary), lower income Medicare beneficiaries are carrying the first dollar policies because they can't afford to come up with the deductibles--especially the Part A (Hospital) deductible.

            Clearly, if this proposal goes through, millions will probably lose decent access to Medicare benefits, for all practical purposes.

            Almost every program for "the poor" (Medicaid, SNAP, LIHEAP, is being cut, every year, more and more deeply).

            What is happening is that the neoliberal "agenda" calls for massively paring back all "transfer programs" for the aged--and especially poor adults--in order to fund new programs for children.

            On this point, you are correct.

            This is due to the DLC/Third Way/No Lables neoliberal agenda, refereed to in left-leaning think tanks as:

            "Predistribution, Instead Of Redistribution."
            I've heard several talk shows (NPR) about this neoliberal (Third Way) philosophy, which of course, is rarely openly discussed with "the American People."

            IOW, instead of ending military adverturism and empire building, OR, sufficiently raising the federal income taxes on "the wealthy" to fund programs like "Pre-K," the PtB are going to slash all the federal transfer programs for the elderly.

            You see, American citizens are now considered to be little more than "a commodity," by the One Percent.

            And they believe that the best "investment" is in young people, not those who are no longer actively in the workforce.

            IOW, retirees are now "a drag" on society--not an asset.

            As a aside, I didn't hear the details, but AP News announced that "some lawmaker(s)" is proposing tax reform that would have just "two brackets," lowering the "top" marginal tax rate to 25%.

            Of course, I've been hyperventilating about this issue since Bowles-Simpson released "The Moment Of Truth."

            Hopefully, progressives will take up this issue, before it is too late!

            (Rushed--please excuse typos, etc.)

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

            by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:17:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And it spills over in other ways to middle class (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musiccitymollie, k9disc, JesseCW

              seniors because as it becomes riskier for physicians and hospitals to accept Medicare patients the harder they try to get rid of them. They don't want to get stuck with costs if the patient can't pay.  I've seen that with my mother who could afford to pay but that doesn't even matter sometimes.  They're so risk averse they're all about getting rid of the patient.  I can just see that getting so much worse.  

            •  The failure to understand the exponential function (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, musiccitymollie, NoMoreLies

              is a major hindrance of mankind, and it's at play here.

              I saw a guy who does a talk on this and it's pretty breathtaking.

              Apparently a 7% increase yearly means a doubling of principle every 10 years.

              When asked what a good population growth rate for Boulder, CO would be the city government officials offered 7-20% as a figure.

              7% for 40 years and Boulder is bigger than LA, or some crazytown figure like that.

              I would imagine that a similar shocking result happens on the -7%.

              Great post.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:56:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The dirt poor are mostly Medi-Medi (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musiccitymollie, NoMoreLies, tardis10

              dual eligibles so this doesn't impact them much.

              The goal doesn't seem so much to be to deny all treatment as to make sure that they get their hands on everything you have and reduce you to losing all assets.

              As much as anything, I think it's about making sure the bottom 80% leave nothing our kids and grandkids.  The affluent are terrified of having to compete with us at any level, and this is just one more means to lower the odds that any of us make it out of poverty

              "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

              by JesseCW on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:53:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, that's yet another topic (MERP, or Medicaid (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW, NoMoreLies

                Estate Recovery Program) which I blog on quite a bit at another blog, and can't get started on this evening.

                THAT one really makes my blood boil.

                If enough of the folks up to 137% or 138% (I can never remember which it is) starting raising sand, maybe we can get rid of this inhumane program, altogether.

                But you're right, that the lowest (or quite poor seniors) have a different situation.  (The ones that qualify for "dual eligible" status wouldn't have the need to purchase Medigap insurance.)

                I was referring to those who are a bit better off, but would still be "asset restricted" (cash-wise), and who would likely not have access to some of the care that they require, if they were forced to fork over money for the higher deductibles, such as the Hospital Deductible.

                They are certainly more than a few elderly who own a home, but who are "cash poor."

                I sure hope people wake up, 'cause you're right--the PtB are about impoverishing most Americans.

                Somehow, we have got to stop this effort!

                Mollie

                "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

                by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 04:45:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I worked for a few years delivering oxygen (3+ / 0-)

                  and maintaining respiratory equipment.

                  I had patients who died because they wouldn't sign their houses over.  Some let their disease take its course and some killed themselves.

                  People who worked their entire lives to buy that house, who sacrificed everything for years after losing a spouse, ect.  No matter what, they were leaving something for their kids.

                  The suicide rates of our elderly ought to be a source of international humilitation.

                  "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                  by JesseCW on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:26:19 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I couldn't agree more, JesseCW. At one time, I (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JesseCW

                    believed in "karma"--that "what goes around, comes around."

                    Anymore, I'm not so certain.

                    Seems like corporatist Dems and Repubs have learned to defy what I once believed was a "law of nature."

                    I do know that we can't (collectively) give up.

                    Before I began blogging, I called in to all kinds of progressive radio shows, and C-Span programs.  

                    Eventually, I became convinced that the written word might reach more people.  

                    But sometimes, I wonder . . .

                    Mollie

                    "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                    hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

                    by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:48:58 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Skin in the game is a nice meme. Real visceral. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musiccitymollie, NoMoreLies

        It's a good thing that corporations don't have any skin to worry about, right?

        I wonder if there is some hay to make with that frame. It's already got legs. Seems to me that it's really tin eared given the current political situation.

        It's rather too close to the 'health' frame which is reserved for markets and industry due to it's empathetic and emotional power.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:51:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  My take (3+ / 0-)

      If you buy a med support plan that pays 100% of what would otherwise be your cost share ("first dollar"), you will pay a 15% tax on the medigap premium that will go to Medicare, not the seller of the gap policy.  I would imagine the theory is that first dollar coverage on the gap will increase utilization of the underlying Medicare benefit, and this is a way of paying for that underlying increased utilization from the folks who will presumably be driving that increased utilization

      •  I don't see it as a disincentive to using Medicare (7+ / 0-)

        You'd be paying what, $30 in lieu of the $147 Medicare deductible?  You're just going to be paying more up front to still be covered from the first dollar.  Not much of a disincentive.  In fact as I stated above it might be an incentive to use it more, you know, to "get your money's worth."

        But insurance companies are not going to stand by and watch your $30 go to Medicare.  They're going to charge you a deductible.  Cha-ching!

        Oh, the beauty of a private insurance-based healthcare system.

        Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

        by ZedMont on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:59:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Monthly vs. yearly (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, PsychoSavannah, Johnny Q, ZedMont

          The $30 tax is on the monthly premium, the $147 deductible is yearly.  So it would cost $360 per year in taxes.

          Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

          by Leftleaner on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:41:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Correct. So, insurance companies are going to (0+ / 0-)

            charge you a deductible and you won't have to pay the $360 per year surtax.

            What a setup.

            Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

            by ZedMont on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:53:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  So if you can do the math to compare $30/month vs (0+ / 0-)

            $147/year and have the self-discipline to set aside $30/month in a savings account (most banks will gladly set up a savings account tied to your checking account and an automatic monthly transfer from checking to savings) you can escape the tax and have the money to cover the deductible on hand when you need it.

        •  Not sure I follow this.... (0+ / 0-)
          But insurance companies are not going to stand by and watch your $30 go to Medicare.  They're going to charge you a deductible.  Cha-ching!
          The extra "tax" is just on plans that are first dollar coverage, thus by definition, no deductible or co-pay.

          Or did I miss something?

      •  That's the theory, alright. Problem is, many of (7+ / 0-)

        seniors who carry Medigap policies in the first place, live on the margins, financially.

        Medigap policies serve to idemnify many well-heeled or even middle class seniors against loss.

        But, for many lower income seniors, a Medigap policy may serve more as the only mechanism that a very low income senior has that allows him or her to even access" the Medicare system, period.

        For instance, a quick search shows that in 2013, the PER ADMISSION deductible for Part A (Hospital) is $1184.

        This covers up to 60 days hospitalization.

        For very chronically ill elderly who are low income, and who require several hospitalizations per year, a fee or deductible of this magnitude could mean that they'll forego a surgery or hospitalization, at some point.

        So the "net effect" (and intended one, IMHO) is that many lower income seniors may not be able to receive any or adequate health care, if this toxic and unnecessary proposal is enacted.

        Again, low income seniors scrap together the monthly premium because it is THE ONLY WAY that they can meet the Medicare deductibles--not to idemnify their assets.

        This has to be one of the most cruel proposals of all the ones that are under consideration, at this time.

        It's truly a sad day, when it comes to this . . .

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

        by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:18:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Doesn't that make up the difference between (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        medicare's cost and the profit allowed in for profit healthcare?

        Medicare's overhead is 2% right? Add 15 and you get 17%.

        Isn't that exactly what the profit margin is allowed to be in the ACA?

        Does this just uncompete Medicare and destroy public healthcare?

        Sounds an awful lot like what's happening to the post office - hamstrung so UPS and Fed Ex become a viable competitor.

        Oh, and BTW, somewhat OT:
        I see Fed Ex and UPS trucks at the post office all the time. Seems to me the post office is so cheap that the shipping companies use it in lieu of their own supply chain at times.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:02:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you misunderstand the math (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc

          First, the 2% number reflects overall admin costs across ALL recipients for Part A and Part B, which together probably totals over $1000 per month, or $20.  The 15% surcharge is ONLY on a) the Medi-gap premium of b) medigap policies that have ZERO deductible or co-pays.  According to the Medicare Rights webpage, 25% of seniors have a gap plan, and of those, slightly over half (54%) choose first dollar coverage.  Those same policies, according to that same site cost between 161 and 213 dollars in "most states."

          So, we have a 15% tax on about $200 = $30, but only on about 1/8th of the populations using Medicare, or about $3.75 across 100% of the Medicare population, which equates to an additional 0.375%.  And for the 12.5% using Medicare A+B+Gap, the $30 additional cost represents about 3% additional "premium" to Medicare to attempt to address the presumed impact of increased utilization associated with first dollar coverage.

          As to your OT comment.  Did you notice whether or not there were UPS and/or FEDEX pick-up boxes in front of the P.O.?  Several P.O.s I frequent have such.  In addition, you can now have FEDEX deliver to a Post Office Box address.

    •  It means that they will be forced to pay a higher (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, Willa Rogers

      surcharge (translate tax, or additional premium) equal to 15% of the "average Medigap premium" IN ADDITION TO PAYING HIGHER DEDUCTIBLES, ETC.

      What is not perfectly clear (to me) is whether this is tacked onto their actual Medicare premium (the additional 15%), or if it is a surcharge paid on top of their Medigap premium.

      It would seem that it would have to be the government who actually levies the surcharge or tax.  But who knows?

      If anyone has more specific info on this specific issue, please post it.

      Thanks!

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

      by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:48:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm an Obama fanboy. (6+ / 0-)

    But that is one damn good point. Recommended.

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:29:12 AM PST

  •  Can you clarify? The raise in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, blueoasis

    Part B premiums above seems to scoop up the first tier of "wealthier" retirees, not the vast majority I think?
    In any case,this will result in making Medicare less robust,less protected as a program. Closely mirrors Paul Ryan's plan in that.
    Wrong politically,morally and just plain bad policy-wise.  

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:52:21 AM PST

    •  tardis, currently Medicare means testing "scoops (9+ / 0-)

      up" approximately 5% of today's seniors.

      The proposed cut is described in the 2014 Budget.

      There will be a mechanism that will skew the COLA adjustment so that eventually 25% of seniors will be "hit" by this increase (that is, as far as this Administation goes today--who knows what the future will hold?)

      If I understand it correctly, they will simply not adjust for inflation, of something like that.  

      So in effect, we'll have a result similar to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)--it will on autopilot "scoop up" more millions of seniors, over time, until it hits the President's target of 25% of seniors.

      A PDF version of last year's Budget is available at whitehouse.gov.  (If I weren't so pushed, I'd provide the link, which I've many times, but just don't have the time, today.)

      Oh, and Kaiser Health News has an excellent article on this proposed cut, as well.

      ;-)

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

      by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:00:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  See also, (13+ / 0-)

    PPACA taxes on "Cadillac" health care plans. People shouldn't be penalized for getting the best coverage the can afford.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:57:20 AM PST

  •  Obviously (10+ / 0-)

    The more money you make, the less rich you are.  This is why billionaires bellyache about taxes.  Add to the Orwellian trilogy: "Poor is Rich."

  •  $47,000/year in Los Angeles and you live... (8+ / 0-)

    ...paycheck to paycheck like 2/3 of all Americans, if you manage your finances.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:21:27 AM PST

  •  I will not vote for any candidate supporting this (6+ / 0-)

    except I might vote for Republicans out of pure unmitigated spite.  

    I vote on this issue.  Don't tell me you a
    are the party that supports women when you want to impoverish elderly women!

    Don't give me that bullshit.  

    As anyone approaching retirement knows, you have to make your assets last as long as you live and if you require people at the lower end of the middle class to spend down their assets by screwing them on their healthcare and Social Security next no doubt, they become destitute before they die.  

  •  $147 annual deductible ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musiccitymollie

    I am not at all familiar with the details of Medicare.
    Is $147 the complete annual deductible?
    Does that mean you pay $147 and the rest of everything is picked up by Medicare for the year ? Or does medicare pick up a percentage ?

    •  Oh, no, my mom pays about $300 a mo to BCBS (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musiccitymollie, JesseCW, Johnny Q

      for her plan B and this is in addition the amount deducted from her Social Security for plan A.  That has given her very good coverage though I've had to fight some battles after surgery when they wanted to release her without rehab so there are loopholes you have watch for but the deductible is not the whole cost of plan B.  And her plan doesn't cover dental and of course prescription drugs are in plan D.

      So when you think about someone with $47K income, they've still got costs if they want coverage greater than just the hospitalization covered in plan A.

      It's complicated.  I don't understand it all yet, but there's lots of room to be screwing people in the fine print and I am no longer convinced the Democratic Party is on our side.

    •  That's the deductible for Part B only. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musiccitymollie, JesseCW, devis1, 3goldens

      Part A is $1216 for every benefit period. "A benefit period begins the day you're admitted as an inpatient in a hospital or SNF. The benefit period ends when you haven't received any inpatient hospital care (or skilled care in a SNF) for 60 days in a row. If you go into a hospital or a SNF after one benefit period has ended, a new benefit period begins. You must pay the inpatient hospital deductible for each benefit period. There's no limit to the number of benefit periods." that's from Medicare site.

      Here's a little chart http://www.medicare.gov/...

      As to what,in toto, is covered...let's just say it is complicated. And changes.

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:02:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, it is not. As I mentioned after searching, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, JesseCW

      in 2013 the PER INCIDENT Part A (Hospital) Deductible alone was just under $1200.  

      (It is only "good for" hospitalizations that don't exceed 60 days--not that most would.  What that means, I don't know, unless it means that you must meet an additional Hospital Deductible on Day 61.)

      Certainly, chronically ill seniors who are hospitalized repeatedly, are required to cough up that deductible on the occasion of EACH hospitalization.

      Apparently, tardis10 has updated my earlier 2013 Medicare Part A quote.

      It is $1216 in 2014.

      Thanks, tardis.

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

      by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:32:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This story on (6+ / 0-)

    Alternet shows how this government shell game is played resulting in the poverty level being artificially low.

    http://www.alternet.org/...

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:49:16 AM PST

    •  Can't wait to read that. I've been beating this (3+ / 0-)

      drum for a long time.

      Poverty was like $11000 per year in the 90s. That's INSANE.

      And the inflation adjusted crap they're doing these days for ALL economic measurements is INSANE as well.

      Did you know the median income in the 90s $50K per year?

      I actually found a link that showed both nominal and inflation adjusted side by side, which I think is perfectly cool, and I know that inflation adjusted dollars are important for many calculations, but for our understanding, I think nominal dollar equivalents are a minimum requirement.

      And of course, inflation must be calculated correctly, which I don't think has been happening for about 30 years now. And given that now food and fuel are not included...

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:14:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Typical Obama. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, Johnny Q, dconrad
    Whenever Obama has spoken about such cost-shifting, he speaks about asking "wealthy seniors to pay more." Apparently, $47,000 a year makes you rich.
    Contemptible.

    Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

    by expatjourno on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:00:59 PM PST

  •  I thought the middle class cutoff was $450, 000 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dconrad

    I know there was a plan to introduce a sub 200K tax cut for the middle class, but Obama went another direction and made the Bush Cuts permanent.  Owning them for all time.

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 04:11:50 PM PST

  •  I don't see the problem. (0+ / 0-)

    When you retire, ostensibly your income goes to $0. People who are still making $47K in post-retirement income are being paid interest and dividends, not working.  In order to be paid that much in interest and dividends, you either need bonds or dividend-paying stocks in the amount of $1-2 million, or a bank savings account in the amount of (...checks own bank's rates...huh, industry leaders, too...) $10-100 million.

    So, yes, someone with a retirement income over $47K is rich, literally a millionaire (which used to be a bigger deal, granted), not just "middle class".

  •  So out of the average SS check of $1000 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dconrad

    by 2021 when I retire, Part B will cost $222, I'll have to pay $100 if I need home health visits plus a Medigap premium + 15% surcharge. And that's after the SS money was taxed. Plus the cost of any prescriptions you may need.

    So what's left? Not enough for rent, food, utilities much less the niceties like cable, phone, etc. Does anyone see a problem with this?  As a future retiree, I'm not asking for a luxurious living but just not having to choose between medicine, food or a roof over my head.

    How are people supposed to save money to have $47000/yr in retirement when we have to pay $10000/yr for health insurance now?

  •  If not one, then the other (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dconrad

    Now that Obama was forced to lay off Social Security for the time being, he'll go after Medicare.  

  •  Make-believe paraphrase by Lloyd Benson on Obama (0+ / 0-)

    "Barrack Obama, I have KNOWN real progressives, I have worked beside real progressives, and I have been honored to call Progressives my friend -- but YOU are NO progressive."
    (apologies to Senator Benson's delicious rant against Dan Quail).

    This President has the weirdest combination of arrogance with conciliation that I've ever witnessed in public office. He blew off liberal causes for the first two years (when he had a Democratic majority in both houses) -- because he was arrogant (and dumb) enough to think HE, the Master of Conciliation, could bring the Republicans to the table for "fair compromises."  Can't call that a learning curve, because this President has proven his inability TO learn.

    Despite his surprising support of LGBT rights (after a suitable period of "Evolving" -- i.e., lengthy wind direction testing),  this President has repeatedly shafted the middle class, unions and seniors.

    Like all the cynical parasites inside the Beltway, Obama "has his" for life, so why should he care about protecting old people who worked all their lives to pay into the social contract.   I can't wait to get this unprincipled twit out of the White House.

    PS:  I AM a senior, watch continual assaults on my PITIFULLY small Social Security, and my husband and I pay over $500 a month for all the things that so-called "Medicare" don't cover.   The whole thing is a disgrace; the "I've got mine screw you" Republicans won all these battles long ago, with the help of equally arrogant Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama.
    Ugh.

  •  in 2013 (0+ / 0-)

    My medicare included dental and vision last year. When I went to the dentist last week I found out I no longer had dental or vision coverage,,, yet my premium didn't change. Blue Cross never notified me of the change, I had to find it out AFTER an office visit to my dentist. If I want  the added coverage it's going to cost me. I do so wish the majority could see the advantages of a single payer system.

  •  Must have been a deal with the DEVIL!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Seems that you lose all your morals and ethics when you get super rich OR work for them.

  •  EXCELLENT! (0+ / 0-)

    This is an EXCELLENT point!  They need to REVERSE this and it would level the playing field!  

  •  If $47,000 makes you rich, then.... (0+ / 0-)

    it must be 1939.

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