It’s official: Just about everybody in the US is confused. Let me get this straight: We’re going to save money by expanding Medicare, which—PS—is almost broke. Sally Pipes has some good stats on Medicare:
…it is important to remember that the program today is already costing over $400 billion a year and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected it will be bankrupt in 2017 when it will cost in excess of $700 billion. This year, one in three new people eligible for Medicare is having a difficult time finding a doctor. This is because of the low reimbursement rates paid by the federal government to doctors. As a result, many physicians have decided not to take these patients.
Pipes also has some frightening thoughts on what it will mean to have the Office of Personnel Management be in charger of the bigger-better-cheaper system:
The idea of establishing a type of Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan managed by OPM where individuals, families, and small businesses can buy insurance from non-profit insurance entities in exchanges is giving government more power and control. There is also discussion on mandating that insurance companies spend 90 percent of the premiums they collect on providing health services. This will have a negative effect on their ability to earn a profit. And, if insurance companies do not offer the plans deemed appropriate by the federal agency, then the trigger will kick in for the public option. In other words, the public option is not dead yet.
Pipes believes that the price tag will be $2 trillion and that the plan will put us on the road to a single-payer system (aka: the public option).
Don’t Get Sick If This Passes: The solution may be to cover us all—but not to give us much coverage. But, hey, if you can get 60 votes…