Republicans, Aiming to Kill Health Law, Also Work to Shore It Up By Robert PearThe New York Times, February 12, 2017 After denouncing the Affordable Care Act as an abomination for seven years, Republicans in Congress, working with the Trump administration, are urgently seeking ways to shore up health insurance marketplaces created by the law.…
Proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher system would take health care in precisely the wrong direction — pushing up costs for current and future retirees, and eroding protections that Americans have earned through many years of hard work and taxes.
Just because the Senate voted to make Tom Price the nation’s top health care official doesn’t mean that the debates that flared over his nomination should end. This fight is just beginning. The Senate confirmed Price as secretary of Health and Human Services in the middle of the night in a straight 52-47 vote along…
With the confirmation of Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary, the United States Senate confirmed a person who has publicly stated his desire to dismantle health care as we know it. Price’s intention for Medicare will no doubt be costly for seniors and the disabled. Insurance companies and the extremely wealthy will be the biggest beneficiaries of Price’s leadership, not to mention the drug companies. As a member of Congress, Price sponsored legislation that benefited companies in which he owned stock. His concern is obviously for himself and his wealthy benefactors, not the working class people of America.
51 votes will ensure confirmationYes52No47Not voting: 1
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D Claire McCaskill Mo.
“Subsidizing the health care costs of working-class people is expensive, and while Democrats want rich people to pay the freight for doing it, Republicans do not.”
FACT: Medicare is not facing a financial crisis. Politicians pushing Medicare reforms often claim that the program is teetering on the brink, but the NASI researchers conclude otherwise.
Let us start with the basics on how Medicare’s various “parts” are funded. Part A (hospitalization) is funded mainly by a 2.9 percent payroll tax split by employers and workers. For Parts B (outpatient services) and D (prescription drugs), 75 percent of funding comes from general federal revenue, with the remainder funded by enrollee premiums.
The Hospital Insurance trust fund that finances Part A can meet all its obligations through 2028, according to the program’s trustees. At that point, incoming revenue would cover 87 percent of expected costs, so there is a need to close the shortfall with additional revenue, less spending or a combination of the two.
Medicare demonstrates that there are some services that the federal government provides better than the private sector. The mere existence of Medicare (and Social Security) puts the lie to the claim that everything should be privatized. For that reason, today’s Republicans, who hate government and want to privatize everything, are determined to end Medicare as we know it.
One of those anti-government zealots, Representative Tom Price (R-GA), has been nominated by Donald Trump to be the fox in the Medicare hen house — Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Department responsible for the administration of Medicare. He has made his antagonism to Medicare clear.
Against all evidence, Price claims that “nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of health care than the federal government’s intrusion into medicine through Medicare.” Of course, the exact opposite is true. Medicare saves lives. It allows seniors and people with disabilities, those with the greatest health needs, to obtain life-saving health care.