Alert: Past & Present Privatization of Medicare

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    • #468772
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 11,935

      https://prospect.org/health/dark-history-of-medicare-privatization/

      Medicare Advantage was supposed to be a money-saver. It’s now become a costly, unaccountable cash cow for private insurance companies that is swallowing traditional Medicare.

      The growth of Medicare Advantage is a 35-year-long saga of a program conceived as a cheaper, better Medicare transformed into a behemoth that has not saved one cent nor produced better outcomes. Yet MA has beaten back every attempt to make it accountable for its cost and care.

      Traditional Medicare leaves lots of holes that retirees must otherwise fill out of their own pockets. It does not cover vision, hearing, dental, or long-term care. Beneficiaries are responsible for monthly premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance (known as “cost-sharing”). … The extra cost added up to $6,509 per person in 2018, according to an AARP-commissioned study.

      Twenty-six million people find MA a deal they cannot refuse. They gave up their hard-earned red, white, and blue Medicare card for one supplied by Humana, UnitedHealth, Anthem, Aetna, Kaiser, or another company. Like HMOs, the plans offer less freedom of choice, with limited provider networks and prior-approval requirements in exchange for sharply reduced and capped out-of-pocket expenses, and additional benefits like gym memberships.

      Comment by: Don McCanne of PNHP:  Many of us have had hopes of transitioning our health care financing system into Medicare for All – an efficient, equitable program that would assure affordable access to health care for all of us. Yet under our very eyes traditional Medicare has been transitioning into a cash cow for the private insurance industry and is predicted to be gone by the end of this decade. With it, it is likely that with the private insurance industry being in complete control, our single payer dreams will have gone up in smoke.

      If you read the full American Prospect article by Barbara Caress, you will see much of the damage from Medicare privatization has already taken place without the public understanding the consequences. But if we are to have an ideal single payer Medicare for All health care financing program that will serve all of us, we must immediately realign our policy goals. The first is to protect traditional Medicare as an equitable, public administered and publicly financed health program for all of us, and we do that by eliminating the control by the private insurance industry that is currently changing the mission of Medicare from a program designed primarily to provide health care for the people to a program primarily designed to provide great wealth for its investors.

      The urgency of taking action immediately cannot be overstated. We need to be building our Medicare for All program now, and allowing our traditional Medicare program to wilt away before us could remove the very foundation on which we should build our program. We need to get rid of the Medicare Advantage thieves who are draining the system. Then we need to fill in the holes in the traditional Medicare program and expand it to include everyone. The policy agenda should be pretty straightforward. It’s too bad we have to choose politicians to dictate policy; that has been a major source of our inertia.

      One place to help stop DCEs: PNHP Stop DCEs. https://pnhp.salsalabs.org/DCEpetitionSeptember2021/index.html

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #469051
      D503
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 351

      Medicare Part D is a cash cow for the insurance companies. It also sends customers to private companies because it’s almost a mandate. Meaning: pay now or pay later. When you decide(pressured) into a private company because of the 20%+ cost of today’s healthcare, if you didn’t have part D, you have penalties to pay.

      "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Asimov; "If you push something hard enough, it will fall over." - Fud's First Law of Opposition

    • #469055
      djean111
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 8,714

      gives Medicare Advantage companies a lump sum for each patient, and the companies get to keep whatever they do not spend.  They are starting out by keeping as much treatment in the primary care office as possible, and limiting referrals to specialists.  53 companies signed up for this year.  What could possibly go wrong for patients.  So, IMO, what would be good or nice or whatever is irrelevant to “our” government.  Medicare is proceeding to go private.  IMO, etc.

      In other news, Mark Cuban started a new prescriptions by mail company, it does look less expensive, but I am leery of counting on some of my grandson’s meds coming by mail.

      America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

      "Sometimes when I try to understand a person's motives, I play a little game. I assume the worst. What's the worst reason they could possibly have for saying what they say and doing what they do? Then I ask myself, 'How well does that reason explain what they say and what they do?'" GRRM

      A YouTube comment – we need new conspiracy theories – the old ones have all come true.

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