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Will Seniors pay more under the Democrat fix? 30 April, 2007

Posted by stoptaxing in federal.

If Republicans did it, it must be broke or corrupt.  The new Congress must therefore fix it.   Why let people suffer while we wait for the evidence?

Back in the first Bush term, the Congress added a prescription drug option to Medicare.  It cost only 75% of the Democrat proposal and cost seniors less in comparison premiums.  It used private insurers and pitted them in competition with one another.  According to the evidence so far, everyone benefits.  The insurers are making money, seniors have some of the best coverage in America, costs are lower than projected to the taxpayer, and customer satisfaction is high with the program.

That’s the rub.  According to today’s Wall Street Journal, the Congress is threatening to make the same mistake the Republican Congress did in the 90’s; cut the payments to the insurers.  Remember the HMO program which gave prescription coverage?  It actually saved money, but the feds wanted more and squeezed the insurers.  Once the profits disappeared, the corporations left. 

Profit is good.  It is the marketplace rewarding good service.  The current Congress sees that as money they could be spending on new programs.  Profit from service is seen as wasteful or a corrupt giveaway to big insurance companies.

The problem is if the federal payments are cut, the seniors will pay higher premiums or lose service.  Simple formula.  If you combine this with the other reforms proposed, medicare would be in the same sad situation as the unreformed medicaid.  Doctors would suffer from lower payments.  Seniors would suffer from a lack of new medications.  Taxpayers would be told to have compassion and ante up for the expensive program the Democrats really want.   

Appearances say house Democrats are willing to destroy lives to consolidate power and in the process stick all of us with higher taxes and another expensive boondoggle.



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