Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sherrod Brown & The Truth

When I got home from work, I checked my email. I found the following:

You can click on the image to see a larger image.

When Brown says he will "Discuss Protecting Medicare for American Seniors," Will he talk about the $500b in cuts to Medicare in Obamacare?

Will Brown talk about The Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, which is a United States Government agency created in 2010 by sections 3403 and 10320 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which has the explicit task of reducing the rate of growth in Medicare without affecting coverage or quality. What that means is that doctors will get even lower payments. To paraphrase the President, "If you like your doctor, he might not like you because Medicare will pay him less than Medicaid doctors.

Or, will Brown talk about the mean Republicans and their evil child Paul Ryan?

Obviously, this is a trick question. Liberal Democrats seem to have a problem with telling the truth, but that might be due to the sheer volume of goodies buried in Obamacare. Nancy Pelosi was right when she said "You have to pass the bill to see what's in it."

I hope the seniors who attend this "discussion" will hold Browns feet to the fire. If seniors are to decide between the future of Medicare under Obamacare vs. the future of Medicare under Paul Ryan's plan, they need the truth, not lies.


  1. So apparently, Duke, you have a problem with cutting Medicare to make it solvent... when it's only Democrats doing it. Seriously, what's your point?

    The fact is that EVERYTHING you listed in the health care reform bill will still not be as harmful for seniors collectively than what the Paul Ryan privatization plan would do, according to the CBO.

  2. Apparently, Modern, you only have a problem with cutting Medicare if the cuts aren't dedicated to an even-less-sustainable entitlement program. Startling.

  3. Modern, I say let the seniors decide. To do so, they need to know the truth. The can stay in Medicare and run the risk of not having access to doctors, or they could support the Ryan plan and have access to doctors via Managed Care. What you have not considered is that without reform (not blunt cuts) the Medicare program will be broke in 2024 per the Medicare trustees.

  4. What Modern is ignoring is the track record of the Medicare HMO's.

    Obama, ever the uber liberal, went after these firms because, well, because they are successful. Liberals simply despise success.

    the $500 billion that Obama talked about taking from the advantage program was designed to drive these HMO's away.

    The advantage program, however, clearly demonstrates how private enterprise beats the gummint every time.

    Here's how it works: The Medicare program's actuaries develop an "area average per capita cost" or AAPCC. This is there estimate of what the program would spend on beneficiaries in a given county. The HMO's gamble that they can deliver care, at or better than the standards spoken to in both the enabling legislation for Medicare and the current regulations at total cost that is LOWER than the AAPCC.

    they have done so. The HMO's performed remarkably well.

    Perhaps the AAPCC is too sweet, but hey, if Modern is an actuary I'd be interested in his opinion.

    And did the HMO's do this by living up to the reputation that our leftwardly biased media sought to impose on them?

    NO, and here's proof. In virtually every market the penetration of Medicare Managed Care programs is increasing. Medicare patients are signing up in droves for the manage care programs. They are still getting the care they require and the cost is, as I've demonstrated, far lower than the un managed Medicare programs estimate.

    Liberals consistently rely on self created boogey men when the "argue" a policy change. Here, for example, we have modern saying that everything in the Ryan plan would be harmful to seniors. Really? Can you quote chapter and verse from a CBO report?

    I doubt it.

  5. "Having access to doctors through managed care" is a contradiction in terms. Forcing them into managed care, as the Ryan plan does, does more to limit their ability to see the doctor of their choice than Obama's health care plan does. Regardless, Ryan doesn't give them that choice.

    I love how you presume that just because I oppose the Ryan plan it means I haven't considered what the trustees have said. They didn't say that Medicare would be insolvent UNLESS we adopt the Ryan plan.

    The reality is there are far less drastic ways to do it. You omit the recommendations that have been made that are far less drastic than what Ryan proposes, which actually creates a problem for seniors as it causes their out of pocket medical expenses to skyrocket.

  6. Hey, Anonymous:
    "To summarize, a typical beneficiary would spend more for health care under the proposal
    than under CBO’s long-term scenarios for several reasons. First, private plans
    would cost more than traditional Medicare because of the net effect of differences in
    payment rates for providers, administrative costs, and utilization of health care services, as described above. Second, the government’s contribution would grow more
    slowly than health care costs, leaving more for beneficiaries to pay."

    CBO analysis, pg. 23.

    You're welcome.

  7. The reality is there are far less drastic ways to do it.

    Ok lets hear them! What is Sherrod's plan?

    In his letter to VP Biden, Sherrod demands NO CHANGES be made to Medicare AT ALL.

    He demands that Medicare as we know end in 2024, just like the trustees have testified.

    Don't pretend that Dems are offering alternatives, Modern. They are offering ZERO effort to fix the problem, because they want to take advantage of the crisis by running a scare campaign against the GOP, who is trying to avoid involvency.

    The GOP is trying to fix the problem, and risking political capital to do so by telling the hard truth. The Dems are playing pure politics, and couldn't care less that the program will be bankrupt in 13 years.

  8. That's weird, my comment giving the CBO page and quote link has mysteriously disappeared here.

    You can fix Medicare and keep it as an entitlement program. The Ryan plan creates more problems than it solves. That's why it will never be law and no '12 GOP Presidential nominee will run on it.

  9. As long as they don't contain profanity or slurs, we don't delete comments here, Modern. Not even yours.

  10. Modern, you are simply wrong about the relationship between patients and physicians in the Medicare Managed care business model.

    Again, look at the facts. Medicare patients are signing up for managed care plans in droves, and of their own volition. Clearly they know something you don't know. If the HMO's were as you described, their market penetration would not be so robust. Honestly, you have to do better than this if you expect to fool more voters next election day.

    Further, it is clear that you really don't have a lot of insight into the specifics of how health care finance works.

    After thirty years in the biz, I do. And I am stating, without equivocation, that you are just. plain. wrong.

    As I envision the market under the Ryan plan folks would have choices concerning the type of HMO they wanted to work with. Some, like Kaiser, are very focused on a few providers. They inspect them regularly and to a great extent stake their outcomes and reputations on the quality of the limited number of providers in their network.

    Others, and Medical Mutual is a good example, market themselves based on offering a wide variety providers and granting access to almost anyone with a shingle hanging out front. There are trade offs for patients and insurers in both choices and contrary to what the American left fervently believes, the people can and do make good selections.


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