What’s the strategy here?

I am talking about Medicare and what the democrats are basically doing about the fact that the most recent report by the trustees claiming Medicare was going to run out of funding 5 years earlier, contains the following bombshell of a revelation on page 265:

In past reports, and again this year, the Board of Trustees has emphasized the strong likelihood that actual Part B expenditures will exceed the projections under current law due to further legislative action to avoid substantial reductions in the Medicare physician fee schedule. While the Part B projections in this report are reasonable in their portrayal of future costs under current law, they are not reasonable as an indication of actual future costs. Current law would require a physician fee reduction of an estimated 29.4 percent on January 1, 2012—an implausible expectation.

The near term assumptions made here by the trustees are ludicrous, and this revelation frankly invalidates everything on the previous 264 pages IMO. That kind of a reduction is simply not doable. We aren’t going to even get 10-20% of that number, because doctors would basically decide Medicare was a waste of time for them. But it doesn’t end there, and adds even more gasoline to the fire by pointing out the following:

Without major changes in health care delivery systems, the prices paid by Medicare for health services [under the cuts required in the new law] are very likely to fall increasingly short of the costs of providing these services. By the end of the long-range projection period, Medicare prices for hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, hospice, ambulatory surgical center, diagnostic laboratory, and many other services would be less than half of their level under the prior law. Medicare prices would be considerably below the current relative level of Medicaid prices, which have already led to access problems for Medicaid enrollees, and far below the levels paid by private health insurance. Well before that point, Congress would have to intervene to prevent the withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market and the severe problems with beneficiary access to care that would result. Overriding the productivity adjustments, as Congress has done repeatedly in the case of physician payment rates, would lead to far higher costs for Medicare in the long range than those projected under current law.

Basically this makes the point that Obamacare, because it is premised on the notion that government will enact across-the-board sweeping cuts – to the tune of some half a billion dollars – in Medicare funding, yet does not put in place any kind of market mechanisms that would provide or encourage higher healthcare productivity to off set these cuts, meaning serious and disastrous problems for Medicare providers, and as a result of that, for Medicare recipients. Conclusion?

For these reasons, the financial projections shown in this report for Medicare do not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in either the short range (as a result of the unsustainable reductions in physician payment rates) or the long range (because of the strong likelihood that the statutory reductions in price updates for most categories of Medicare provider services will not be viable).

For those that are financially challenged this means that Medicare will die much, much sooner than any of the worst case scenarios they have already put out there. And just taxing the shit out of everybody to cover the shortfall isn’t going to solve the massive chasm between the current fictitious policy projections and reality. It means Medicare is going to implode and have to be terminated.

And that’s where I realized the democrats have abso-freaking-lutely no reason or desire to fix Medicare at all. They just don’t feel that doing nothing and letting Medicare go will help them come the 2012 elections, but worse, they also believe that if it dies, then the massive vacuum it will create will basically force public opinion to shift and everyone to demand massive socialized healthcare. Obamacare will not be enough of a healthcare takeover by government by the desperate, and that single payer system the left so wants will suddenly look awesome to hordes of people. That’s why democrats keep pretending Medicare is not just fine & dandy, quite viable, if government was to just take a little more money from those evil greedy rich people, but also that the people saying that Medicare can not survive as it is now structured, needs some massive overhaul to make it viable in the long term, are all lying shysters hell bent on pushing those dependant on Medicare for their services under the bus.

Yes, to me it is now obvious that there are politicians that are pushing people under the bus, but contrary to the spin by the left and their MSM parrots, this is being done by the democrats, whom must be thinking that a Medicare collapse will benefit them far more than a fix of the system, and certainly far more than letting republicans fix in a way that is certain to minimize the political gravy train they have so far enjoyed from it. Either that, or democrats are such incredibly insane and stupid fiscal dimwits, that facts, logic, and reality are being ignored because it doesn’t fit the ideological narrative. And neither reason makes their current lack of action or working strategy good for the country, and certainly, what they are doing jeopardizes not just the viability of Medicare for its users, but healthcare in general for everyone.

At least it looks like all republicans are realizing this has to be the strategy as the gang of 6 disintegrated recently, but how are we going to communicate to the public at large what the left has decided to do to Medicare in their grand strategy of completely socializing healthcare and straddling the nation with a disastrous single payer system?

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  1. Seattle Outcast

    Either that, or democrats are such incredibly insane and stupid fiscal dimwits, that facts, logic, and reality are being ignored because it doesn’t fit the ideological narrative.

    I tend to think this the case for most libtards.

    The rest of them are looking for a collapse of the system so they can attempt a complete government takeover of health care.

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