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November 08, 2013

Comments

Dear Mr. Hines

Given other statements you made in your post, you'll probably be terribly disappointed -- if not outright apoplectic -- to find that you were not getting an annual Medicare preventive visit. You were either getting a "George W. Bush Medicare exam" or a "Newt Gingrich Medicare exam." (But if you prefer, you can think of it as your "Bill Clinton Medicare exam.") I suspect it was a "Newt Gingrich."

Original Democratic Party Medicare -- the Medicare you want to foist on everyone in the country as Medicare for All -- did not include the sort of physical exam you described, particularly the "small fingers" part. But it also did not include simple things like listening to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope.

Getting a true physical was added to Medicare -- one time in your life only, not annual -- under Bush II. The wording is a little unclear (that happens with 3000 page laws and tens of thousands of pages of regulations) but the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) may have taken that Bush benefit away for Original Medicare beneficiaries.

But it does not matter. You say you are a subscriber to the public Part C Medicare Advantage health plan by Regence. That is your supplement on top of Original Democratic Party Medicare. Over 95% of us Old Farts get a supplement of some type because Original Medicare, the thing you want to turn into Medicare for All, is so bad. Part C was added by the Republicans but signed into law by President Clinton in 1997.

It is your public Part C Medicare Advantage plan that provides the full physical you described (and with no co-pay--sounds like a good plan), not what you call Medicare for All. Part C also provides the vision and dental benefits you describe, not Medicare for All.

Part C also provides an annual out of pocket (OOP) limit of $3400 (or less-don't know which plan you have), something Medicare for All would not include. You might be able to thank PPACA for that benefit. Most Part C plans, all the way back to Gingrich/Clinton days, have always had an OOP limit but PPACA made them mandatory.

So congratulations on the good health and say thanks each night to Newt.

Dennis, I'm not sure what your point is. The Affordable Care Act has strengthened Medicare. That's a fact:
http://www.medicare.gov/about-us/affordable-care-act/affordable-care-act.html

I've never heard anybody who has Medicare, conservative or liberal, say they didn't like it. Medicare is hugely popular. Even clueless Tea Party types say "government, keep your hands off of my Medicare," not knowing that Medicare IS a government program.

So if Medicare works so well for so many people, why wouldn't it work well for everybody? Medicare for all. The Affordable Care Act is a step in that direction, but is unduly centered on private insurance plans.

Anyone with an individual health insurance policy, such as my wife and I have had for many years, knows that private insurers like Regence Blue Cross cancel policies every year or two. They also raise premiums and reduce benefits like clockwork.

Worst of all, until Obamacare saved us, it wasn't possible to switch insurance companies because of the pre-existing condition exclusion. So even though I favor a single payer plan like Medicare, introducing some much needed competition into the insurance market is a good thing.

In a few years this country will wonder what the big fuss over the Affordable Care Act was, once the benefits become even more obvious than they are now. Likewise, Republicans screamed about socialized medicine when Medicare was passed, and now it is accepted as a great social policy.

Having also just entered geezerhood I like my Medicare plan F supplement insurance I recently got, so far, on paper. No co-pay, no deductible, no co-insurance, any doctor I want (that wants me) anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare. $140 per month. It is much cheaper than my former high deductible/co-insurance individual policy I just canceled.

One little bitty problem. Medicare is insolvent. This is a Sword of Damocles hanging over us.

I don't know why people think this reckless, dysfunctional government will be able to pull off Obamacare and regulate healthcare successfully. They've done a swell job so far, right?

I don't think anyone has a problem with receiving Medicare benefits. I felt threatened that Medicare would be taken away if I didn't answer their questions.
I think their rediculous questions undermine my doctor's abilities and are an invasion of privacy. So this guy has a throw rug on the floor, what will Medicare's plan of action be for that since the guy said he had some loose rugs? Who is paying to have this info recorded in Government charts? Tax payers? I think this country could save so much money if common sense was used.

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