run75441: This is the first in a series of 3 posts written by Maggie Mahar discussing Medicare, what it covers, and what it lacks in coverage. Maggie touches on the Public Option and Medicare. I start to get edgy when people talk about the Public Option, Universal Coverage, Single Payor, Medicare-For-All, etc. as they do not really define it and who will control its funding. We have a Congress which is intent on cutting the PPACA/ACA/Obamacare, which many take offense to today, and leave us with far less. I am not so sure we can trust Congress and politics to insure our healthcare.
On Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 1:47 PM, Dan <firstname.lastname@example.org> emailed:
Rortybomb, New Piece on Where the ACA Should Go Next Rorty touts the 2009 House Bill which calls for a Public Option and described here To improve ‘Obamacare,’ reconsider the original House bill
Maggie Mahar replies:
Originally I favored a public option, but in fact, at the time, no one really spelled out who would run the public option–or how it would be run.
One of the best things about the ACA is that lets both HHS and CMS make end-runs around Congress. I would never want a public option that was run by Congress.
Here is the comment I just posted in reply to the post “Where the ACA Should Go Next”
I would need to know far more about the public option—and how it would be different from Medicare– before voting for it.
Medicare is extraordinarily wasteful– 1/3 of Medicare dollars are squandered on unnecessary treatments that provide no benefit to the patient. Why? Because Congress is Medicare’s board of directors, and lobbyists representing various specialist’ groups, hospitals, device-makers and drug-makers control Congress.
Meanwhile, Medicare does not cover much needed care, ie. vision checks are just one example. This is why the vast majority of Medicare beneficiaries must buy separate private insurance (MediGap or Medicare Advantage) to supplement what medicare doesn’t cover.
Finally, I favor narrow networks. They keep costs down. The doctors and hospitals that are not included in the networks are those that refuse to negotiate prices. By excluding them we remind doctors and hospitals that we can no longer afford letting providers charge whatever they wish. No other developed nation allows doctors and hospitals to simply set prices.