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An Easier Fix for Medicare
International Business Times, by Joanne Butler

Original Article

Posted By:JoanneButler, 3/10/2013 5:09:54 PM

The latest Republican pronouncements on saving Medicare, via Rep. Paul Ryan’s upcoming budget plan, reminds me of a Roger Rabbit cartoon -- characters careening around, some just missing the vat of acid, others not. Last year, certain Republicans told us if you were 55 or older, your Medicare benefits would be “safe,” but today’s rumors revise that age to be upward of 57. I can smell that vat of acid getting closer. But there’s a much easier way to reduce Medicare costs. Honestly, it won’t hurt a bit.

Comments:
A Jimmy Carter-era fed. district court injunction keeps investigative journalists from examining Medicare payments for fraud -- this is costing us $44 billion a year!

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: CleanhouseinDc, 3/10/2013 5:23:23 PM     (No. 9218326)

No one in DC actually wants to fix anything, they simply want to use it for political and financial advantage. They´ll talk about things till we are blue in the face, but nothing will be done to upset the donkey cart.



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Reply 2 - Posted by: steveW, 3/10/2013 5:33:55 PM     (No. 9218342)

As long as Republicans endeavor just to "fix" Democrat big government schemes like Medicare, instead of abolishing them, they will lose the in arena of ideas - because they have accepted all the Democrat premises at the start.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Gagolfer, 3/10/2013 5:49:39 PM     (No. 9218353)

Does anyone really believe Medicare will be totally abolished? Not going to happen.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: saguni, 3/10/2013 6:09:51 PM     (No. 9218371)

They could practically eliminate fraud if they wanted to...simply by enforcing penalties on every entity caught committing fraud. Today, many "companies" that commit fraud just rent a storefront in a strip mall under one name and start billing medicare, as soon as they are "caught," they move to another mall, change their name and start over...no one goes to jail.

A quick, easy way to accomplish this is by converting "regular" Medicare into a voucher program. Currently, Medicare Advantage works similar to a voucher program, each retiree chooses an insurance provider for their policy. Every time a participant obtains a medical service the bill goes through the fraud department of the insurance company servicing the MA plan before payment.

Most of the fraud is caught there, before the fraudulent bill is paid. With "regular" medicare, the bill is paid immediately (by law, they only a certain number of hours to pay) then checked for fraud which is bass-ackward.

This plan would also act as check against the practice in the article, of multiple doctors popping in for a minute and charging for a full "visit" to a patient.

Capitalism and competition is always more profitable and efficient than the government. Insurance companies "compete" by offering slightly different Medicare Advantage policies, and they would also compete for "regular" Medicare policies.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: JimS, 3/10/2013 6:31:05 PM     (No. 9218390)

Maybe if they eliminated the 3-million illegal immigrants who are collecting medicare, there´d be dome left for the rest of us.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: LanieLou, 3/10/2013 7:23:35 PM     (No. 9218420)

I agree with poster #1... All they´d have to do is set a hi limit in the computer to spit out names of excessive claimants.

Soon this won´t be a problem as many docs are turning Medicare patients away.

I´d rather be on Medicaid... They have their own dedicated health centers & get better coverage, ie., low/no co-pay, dental & eye care.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: jeffkinnh, 3/10/2013 10:15:34 PM     (No. 9218574)

Here´s the problem with this "solution". The reason doctors carry out these type of practices is not because they are bad people trying to cheat the government. It is because the government reimbursements are so pitifully low it is the only way to make a reasonable income from Medicare patients. Doctors go through at least 10 years of graduate and post graduate education. It is ridiculous to think they are going to treat patients for the 7-11 clerk wages that the government decrees.

So you close this immunity from disclosure loophole and you shut down the profitability from Medicare patients. Want to know what the response will be? Doctors will simply stop seeing Medicare patients because they cannot make a reasonable income from them. Then there will be either an increase in the reimbursements to entice doctors back into covering Medicare patients, thus increasing costs to their fair and correct levels. Or Medicare patients will end up being seen and treated by second tier medical staff, reducing the quality of care.

The problem with Medicare is that unrealistic assessments have been made as to the costs of treatment and NOWHERE near enough money has been set aside to deal with those costs. The goobermint has totally mismanaged the program and costs are either explode to real levels or quality of care is going to go down, or a mixture of both.

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An Easier Fix for Medicare
International Business Times, by Joanne Butler    Original Article
Posted By: JoanneButler- 3/10/2013 5:09:54 PM     Post Reply
The latest Republican pronouncements on saving Medicare, via Rep. Paul Ryan’s upcoming budget plan, reminds me of a Roger Rabbit cartoon -- characters careening around, some just missing the vat of acid, others not. Last year, certain Republicans told us if you were 55 or older, your Medicare benefits would be “safe,” but today’s rumors revise that age to be upward of 57. I can smell that vat of acid getting closer. But there’s a much easier way to reduce Medicare costs. Honestly, it won’t hurt a bit.

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