Op/Ed: Medicare For Bernie and The Absentee Father

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Bernie Sanders, currently third in the 2020 Democratic polls, is strongly promoting "Medicare for All," and claims to be its father, "I wrote the damn bill," he proclaimed to the nation during the second round of Democratic Presidential debates.

 

More like absentee-father. His plan does not look like Medicare at all. It appears that he hardly knows anything about Medicare. He probably has no experience with it. Despite his advanced age, he does not need to depend on it. Members of Congress are allowed to receive Medicare benefits, but unlike most other Americans, they can receive other benefits in addition.


 

Op/Ed: Money Can’t Buy You Health


Sitting members of Congress can get routine examinations and consultations from the attending physician in the U.S. Capitol for an annual fee. And military treatment facilities in the Washington area offer free emergency medical and dental care for outpatient services.

Members are also eligible for the Federal Employees Health Insurance Program, and they won't be kicked off as soon as they reach Medicare age. They do have to go through an ObamaCare exchange, but it is a small one, the DC Health Link, which reportedly functions well. There are 57 gold-tier plans to choose from, not one or two as in many states. Their portion of the premiums could be as little as 25 percent of the total premiums. Apparently, subsidies for senators don't run out just because their salary exceeds 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

Funding for Medicare for All will apparently be vacuumed up from all other sources of payment for "healthcare," and will go into the big collective pot. Then people can get everything without premiums, copays, or deductibles—so they say. This is not at all like Medicare.

Medicare Part A, for hospital care, is funded through the Medicare payroll tax: a 2.9% first-dollar tax—no deductions--on all employment income, half of which is paid by the employer. Seniors believe that they have been funding this through their working years, as they are constantly told. They have indeed paid, but their taxes were immediately used to pay for the care of older retirees.


Op/Ed: Sacrificing Freedom to Vaccination


So, their hospital bill today will be paid from the wages of about 2.5 workers (say the persons pumping their gas, collecting their trash, and repairing their plumbing). Already that is not enough, so the IOUs in the "trust fund" are being redeemed from general tax revenues. That fund will soon be gone, according to the Medicare trustees, as Baby Boomers are flooding into the system. It would vanish in a nanosecond if we loaded in everybody, with or without illegal immigrants.

Medicare has long been implementing ways to curb runaway expenditures. From the mid 1980s comes the Prospective Payment System, or Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs), under which payment has nothing to do with services rendered to a particular patient. According to my 1985 "Ode to DRG Creep":

            "Now the pay's by the head, if alive or if dead,

            Diagnosis determines the money,…

            We need costs less than average, and discharges quicker

            We will get no advantage -- For care of the sicker."

Since "quicker and sicker" discharges might cause a need for readmission, the government penalizes hospitals for readmission. One way to prevent readmission is to discharge to hospice or directly to the morgue. If Bernie were an anonymous Medicare patient, he'd get a consultation on POLST. That's Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, which translates in the Newspeak Dictionary to "Legally Enforceable Orders to Terminate Life-Sustaining Treatment Including Food and Water."


Op/Ed: Mental Health and Kim Jong Un’s Nuclear Button


Bernie might think he had been admitted—say he had an IV in a hospital room. But if he gets discharged before his second midnight, he might be classified as an outpatient, which is covered under Medicare Part B, and get a "surprise" bill for thousands of dollars, because of the "Two-Midnight Rule."

Or Bernie might expect to have a little rehab after an orthopedic procedure, but if he is in hospital for fewer than three midnights, rehab isn't covered. He might have the choice of paying out of pocket, or going home where he will be alone, unable to get out of bed.

Yes, Bernie on Medicare will have free choice of doctors—except for the ones who aren't accepting Medicare patients.

If Bernie himself were stuck on Medicare with no way out, he might think it not so wonderful. Has anyone heard him tell people about these Medicare problems?

Maybe he means the Canadian Medicare system. It does have a way out for non-senators—called the United States.

 

 

Bio: Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. She completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals and then became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital.


Op/Ed - Eugenics, Euthanasia, Infanticide, and Religion


She has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare, and the second through fifth editions of Sapira's Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis published by Wolters Kluwer. She authored books for schoolchildren, Professor Klugimkopf's Old-Fashioned English Grammar and Professor Klugimkopf's Spelling Method, published by Robinson Books, and coauthored two novels published as Kindle books, Neomorts and Moonshine. 

More than 100 of her papers have been published in the scientific and popular literature on a variety of subjects including risk assessment, natural and technological hazards and nonhazards, and medical economics and ethics. She is the editor of AAPS News, the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter, and Civil Defense Perspectives, and is the managing editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Haute Tease

  • Brian Banks Review - Gripping, A Rare Exoneration Highlights Shocking Injustice

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Brian Banks, from Bleecker Street films, brings to the screen the story of the Long Beach football star, who spent eleven years fighting a wrongful conviction, and his story from USC committed to convicted rapist to free man.

     
  • Wolfgang Puck Previews The Governors Ball Food & Beverage Menu

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Governors Ball, hosted by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, recently held its Food and Beverage Preview steps away from the red carpet entrance to tonight’s Academy Awards ceremony.

     
  • The Islamic State and The Façade of Civility

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The attack perpetrated in the spring by a Chechen-born French confirms ISIS's ability to adapt to our vigilance by being able to strike anywhere, at any time and via individuals sometimes on the sidelines of the networks terrorists.

     
  • Money News: DOW, S&P Close Down, NASDAQ, Up; World Markets Split

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Dow Jones and S&P500 closed down on a short holiday week, with the majority of the ten most watched global markets also operating on a abbreviated trading week with the exception of the Nikkei, the markets split evenly.

     
  • Mystery Buyer, In Dramatic Fashion, Purchases Beverly Hills Mansion of Late Steamy Queen of Romance Novelist Jackie Collins

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Queen of Hollywood romance, steamy sex and scandal novels, author Jackie Collins, took her readers to Hollywood behind the scenes, even if fictionalized. Though born and raised in London, Jackie followed her older sister, actress Joan Collins, to Tinseltown in the 1960s.

     
  • Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel Review – A Multi-Million Dollar Makeover Adds a Gem to a Jeweled Skyline

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the United States fifth largest city, more than 22 million visitors flock to metropolitan Phoenix annually. With a bustling downtown quadrant comprised of 100 square blocks, this section of town is teeming with fun and excitement.

     
  • Beltway insider: Sequester Furlough Prompts Give Backs; March Job Numbers, Assad Alive; North Korea Issues Warnings

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Sequester furlough notices were sent out this week to federal employees as the government begins to tighten its belt in the wake of the effort to cut 1.2trillion dollars from the deficit over the next ten years.

     
  • From CANNES: Wonder Woman And Monster Filmmaker Patty Jenkins To Receive The 2018 Women In Motion Award

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Patty Jenkins is a writer and director, best known for directing Warner Bros. Wonder Woman, her debut Oscar-winning feature Monster and helming the pilot and finale episode of AMC's The Killing. She began her career in painting after studying at Cooper Union.  

  • Beltway Insider: Government Shutdown Ends; Obama Nominates New Homeland Chief; Al Shabaab Strike; Kennedy Confirmed

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama signed into legislation a bill that reopened the government, sent furloughed employees back to work, and ended the looming threat of default and the first United States government shutdown, in seventeen years.

     
  • Home Entertainment Review: Independence Day Resurgence Prepares For The Home Invasion

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Independence Day: Resurgence, the epic sequel from disaster virtuoso Roland Emmerich and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, is preparing a mass invasion and global takeover when the summer blockbuster releases into the home market October 2016.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Iran, Impeachment, Ukraine, Economy, Election 2020: Iowa

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump, who has officially been impeached, is beginning the year with his lone wolf style of terrorist hunting against a third world nation so he can show the American people his steel determination to make America great again.

     
  • Billy Graham, Christian Evangelist, Has Died

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Reverend Billy Graham, the Christian Evangelist who for more than fifty years preached the same message of God's Love and Redemption to President's, royalty and the world, often drawing millions in his global crusades has died. He was 99.

     
  • HL Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Ziad Nakad Spring/Summer 2017 Couture Collection – Butterfly of Paradise

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ziad Nakad, for his second Couture collection presented at the Westin hotel in Paris, offers his own vision of a universal garden where butterflies, flowers, and the beauty of a perfect garden are the main symbols of his inspiration.

     
  • Updated: Coordinated Terror Attacks Devastates Paris; Hundreds Dead; Scores Injured; State of Emergency Declared

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Parisians are waking this morning, Saturday, to the sickening news of yet another mass casualty terrorist attack that killed nearly two hundred and injured countless more plunging the nation into a State of Emergency and closing the borders.

     
  • Celebrity Attorney Mark Geragos Joins National Family Law Trial Institute Faculty, Offering Advanced Cross-Examination Expertise

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The National Family Law Trial Institute in Houston, Texas, today announced celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, will join its faculty in May 2016.  Geragos will teach Advanced Cross-Examination (May 21 - 22, and again onMay 23 - 24, 2016).