Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The audience at a Fox News town hall erupted in cheers and applause when asked by moderator Bret Baier if they would support Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) "Medicare for All" proposal.

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"I want to ask the audience a question here. ... How many are willing to transition to what the senator says, a government-run system?" Baier asked before the crowd burst into cheers."

#1 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2019-04-15 10:58 PM | Reply


@#1 ... the crowd burst into cheers ...

The insurance-company-run for-profit healthcare system we have is apparently not well-liked by that crowd.

I have to wonder about Pres Trump's plans to change it into the system he promises we all will love.

Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until after he wins the 2020 election to find out.

But I'm sure it will be great. He said so.

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-04-15 11:16 PM | Reply

This is from a different article from HuffPo

"Bret Baier, a Fox News anchor co-hosting the town hall, followed up by asking the audience how many people currently receive health care coverage from private insurance through their job. A majority of people, including Sanders and Baier, raised their hands.

Then, presumably hoping to show that a transition to public insurance would encounter skepticism, Baier asked the audience how many of those people would want to switch to Medicare for All.

Nearly everyone in the room who had raised their hands raised them again."
www.huffpost.com

#3 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2019-04-15 11:36 PM | Reply

twitter.com

If this links work its Bernie getting a loud cheer for his medicare for all at the FOX town Hall to the shock of the fox news people.

What people in the media dont get is that medicare for all is now main stream America, most Dems like most repubs like most independents like it, it is main stream America

#4 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2019-04-16 01:17 AM | Reply

The sad thing is, if anyone could implement such a radical change in such a massively broken system it might as well be Trump.

But it would help the poor so he can't do it.

#5 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-16 01:24 AM | Reply

Who doesn't want Medicare for All? And all we have to do is tax Jeff Bezos and that vampire guy. And we should put import duties on China.

Excuse, there is a knock at my door.

#6 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2019-04-16 03:04 AM | Reply

This doesn't make any sense. GOP keeps winning with promises to kill obamacare.

#7 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2019-04-16 02:30 PM | Reply

Who doesn't want Medicare for All? And all we have to do is tax Jeff Bezos and that vampire guy. And we should put import duties on China.
Excuse, there is a knock at my door.

#6 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT

Why? The amount of money we would each save from insurance premiums, out of plan costs, copays, and deductibles would MORE than cover it.

#8 | Posted by Sycophant at 2019-04-16 05:48 PM | Reply

This is going to screw up Hannity's narrative.

#9 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2019-04-16 05:54 PM | Reply

"The amount of money we would each save from insurance premiums, out of plan costs, copays, and deductibles would MORE than cover it."

You're joking, right?

If not...please show your math.

#10 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-16 05:55 PM | Reply

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Medicare pays 80% of doctor visits and hospital stays. No dental. No glasses.
Many of the poor get medicaid, which pays much more.
So if the mandate is medicare for all, what happens to the medicaid recipients?

#11 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2019-04-16 06:36 PM | Reply

"The amount of money we would each save from insurance premiums, out of plan costs, copays, and deductibles would MORE than cover it."
You're joking, right?
If not...please show your math.

#10 | POSTED BY DANFORTH AT 2019-04-16 05:55 PM | REPLY

The Math is simple. We spent $36 Trillion on Health care in 2018. Medicare for all will cost us $28-32 Trillion INSTEAD. $32 Trillion is less than $36 Trillion

Any questions?

#12 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2019-04-16 06:38 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Any questions?"

Yeah: what's your pitch to folks who currently have plans in the 90th percentile to switch to a plan in the 60s?

Also, how are you going to break the news to the employers giving their workers really excellent health care that you're planning on taking all of the money from them they're currently paying?

There are more; lots more, but start there.

#13 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-16 06:43 PM | Reply

This doesn't make any sense. GOP keeps winning with promises to kill obamacare.
#7 | POSTED BY BRUCEBANNER

Oddly enough. Conservatives love the Affordable Care Act.

Weird how opposed they are to "Obama"care.

#14 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-04-16 07:10 PM | Reply

This doesn't make any sense. GOP keeps winning with promises to kill obamacare.

#7 | Posted by BruceBanner

Yeah but medicare for all doesn't have a black guy's name in the title.

#15 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-16 07:14 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Why? The amount of money we would each save from insurance premiums, out of plan costs, copays, and deductibles would MORE than cover it.
#8 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT

Bernie hit this point out of the park on Fox News, much to the chagrin of Martha.

#16 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2019-04-16 08:10 PM | Reply

My aunt is on traditional Medicare. She pays:

- $180/mo for Medicare (taken out of SS)
- $150/mo for Part G (Medigap - same as F, but with $180 annual deductible and lower premium)
- $49 for Part D.

Total = $380/mo for complete coverage.

Beat that in the private sector!

PS - Seniors can buy dental insurance for about $250 a year

#17 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-16 08:32 PM | Reply

Oops. She's paying $29 a month for Part D

$360/mo for complete medical coverage

#18 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-16 08:34 PM | Reply

what's your pitch to folks who currently have plans in the 90th percentile to switch to a plan in the 60s?

Where's your data on how many of those people actually exist? It matters because if they aren't a large enough group to tank the plan then i don't care about how much they whine.

Alternatively, let them keep their plan until they retire. Their kids are phased into M4A when they get jobs. There has to be some way. I came up with this in 5 seconds.

#19 | Posted by JOE at 2019-04-16 08:53 PM | Reply

This question has been addressed before. People aren't going to give up Better Care for Lesser Care. How many is a guess, but polls say not many.

www.drudge.com

#20 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-04-16 09:06 PM | Reply

"Where's your data on how many of those people actually exist? "

You cannot be serious.

First: macro alone tells us there are 10% of folks covered who have plans in the 90th percentile. No one familiar with both those plans and Medicare would claim Medicare is in the 90th percentile.

Next: Plans cost a wide range of money. When I see numbers under 12 DD on a W-2 (how much the employer pays for that person's health insurance), I ask about the quality of the health insurance. I've seen ranges from $4K to $17K for a single person. No surprise: folks with more expensive plans report having better health coverage than folks with cheaper plans. I've been doing this since they started reporting that stat on W-2s, so about 5 years. It's a decent sample (although not complete, I know) since I have roughly 500 clients, and their incomes range from four figures to seven. Add that to decades of service on health insurance committees, and a stint as a Health Plan Trusttee, and I can guarantee you, these people exist.

"if they aren't a large enough group to tank the plan then i don't care about how much they whine."

You're missing the full equation: You're also going to deal with folks in the 80th percentile and 70th percentile who all will be asked/told to take worse health coverage than they currently have. Those are the best-paid workers in the country, with the deepest pockets, and they'll have the most to lose. So far, you don't know how you're going to address paying more to get less, or how you'll tell the guy paying $17K for his employee that he's going to have to keep paying that $17K, now just to get M4A...since that's the only way Bernie's (or anyone else's) plan adds up.

"There has to be some way. I came up with this in 5 seconds."

And your "plan" shows all the work you put in.

#21 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-16 10:19 PM | Reply

"The amount of money we would each save from insurance premiums, out of plan costs, copays, and deductibles would MORE than cover it."

Provided the employer paying $17K for his worker is willing to keep paying $17K, just to get Medicare.

You'll at least admit that part of the equation, right?

#22 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-16 10:22 PM | Reply

Clarification:

"10% of folks covered". should be "10% of folks covered through an employer-based plan..."

#23 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-16 10:27 PM | Reply

4 pharma companies saved $7 billion from GOP tax law

Four pharmaceutical companies -- Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck and Abbott Laboratories -- collectively kept $7 billion in tax savings in 2018 due to Republicans' 2017 corporate tax overhaul, according to a new Oxfam report.

The bottom line: Oxfam's results mirror our reporting, which shows pharmaceutical companies in particular have benefited from bringing back billions of dollars in overseas profits that have sat untaxed. However, this report says the tax savings have not led to other social goods, like more research investment in new drugs or lower drug prices.

www.axios.com

#24 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-16 10:35 PM | Reply

"However, this report says the tax savings have not led to other social goods, like more research investment in new drugs or lower drug prices."

That's because the new tax code made reinvesting less incentivized, and taking profits out of the business cheaper.

It's like turning up the heat, and being surprised it's somehow hotter: you have to be unaware of how the dials work to be that clueless.

#25 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-16 10:42 PM | Reply

"First: macro alone tells us there are 10% of folks covered who have plans in the 90th percentile. No one familiar with both those plans and Medicare would claim Medicare is in the 90th percentile."

For it to work, those people should be allowed to spend extra (or have their employer spend extra, whatever) to get Cadillac plans.

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-16 11:06 PM | Reply

Trump should easily win in 2020 if he just copies Bernie's plan.

#27 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-16 11:18 PM | Reply

Take it from an economist, Medicare for All is the most sensible way to fix health care

As an economist who has spent decades studying our health care system, I can tell you that Medicare for All advocates are the only ones who are being reasonable, because theirs is the only plan that will control health care costs while finally achieving universal coverage.
Insurance companies are middle men

The problem with incremental plans, whether they are public options, buy-ins to Medicare or Medicaid, or pumping more money into subsidies in the Affordable Care Act's individual marketplace, is that they preserve the private health insurance system weighing down our health care.

This may be why pundits and centrist politicians view those plans as "reasonable," but it means that they are leaving the main reason for our system's dysfunction in place: the multipayer, for-profit financing model.

Commercial insurance companies are nothing more than middle men. They add no value to our system, but they do drive up costs with their bloated claims departments, marketing and advertising budgets and executive salaries. We pay for all of these things before a single dollar is spent on the delivery of care.

They also create extra costs for providers who need large administrative staffs to deal with billing systems, accounting for as much as $100,000 per physician.

Any plans short of Medicare for All leaves these costs in place. In other words, they leave hundreds of billions of dollars a year in savings on the table.
Medicare for All attacks costs

The waste goes beyond administrative savings. While pharmaceutical companies and hospital groups are consolidating and forming regional monopolies, our fragmented, multipayer system leaves no one insurance plan with a large enough share of the market to negotiate effectively. That allows these companies to essentially set their own inflated prices and bilk the public for hundreds of billions of dollars.

Is it any wonder that they oppose Medicare for All?

If we're talking about which health care reform plans are serious about attacking cost, providing universal coverage and making sure everyone has access to health care, Medicare for All is the only reasonable answer. No other plan does this effectively, which is why I suspect that the Center for American Progress has not come out with spending estimates. Basic economic tenets tell us that their plan will not reduce health care spending as effectively.

Is Medicare for All bold? Absolutely. Is it reasonable? You bet. It is time to accept that Medicare for All is the practical alternative.

Gerald Friedman, a health care and labor economist, is an economics professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst and the director of The Hopbrook Institute. F

www.usatoday.com

#28 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2019-04-16 11:36 PM | Reply

"So far, you don't know how you're going to address paying more to get less, or how you'll tell the guy paying $17K for his employee that he's going to have to keep paying that $17K, now just to get M4A...since that's the only way Bernie's (or anyone else's) plan adds up."

Personally, I have great healthcare insurance. I was hospitalized for three days last year and it didn't cost me a dime. I have my regular health insurance and then a supplemental plan to deal with deductibles. So why could a person, under Medicare for all take the Medicare plan and then buy a supplemental plan? Seems to me that customer would save quite a bit and end up with basically the same coverage he has now.

#29 | Posted by danni at 2019-04-17 06:53 AM | Reply

No one familiar with both those plans and Medicare would claim Medicare is in the 90th percentile.

I didn't make that claim, but in your frothed up state you may not have noticed that.

I can guarantee you, these people exist.

I never denied that they exist. I'd simply like to know how many of them there are, since your shtick is to rely on their existence to aegue against M4A. We can't understand how to address your supposed problem without knowing how big the problem is. But you prefer to keep it nebulous because a moving target lets you keep arguing.

You're also going to deal with folks in the 80th percentile and 70th percentile who all will be asked/told to take worse health coverage than they currently have.

Then they can buy a supplemental plan, like they do in Canada. Taking into account the projected savings from our curent system where Americans pay $3.5 Trillion/year for healthcare, perhaps it's a wash or a slight increase. In exchange for everyone in the country having access to quality healthcare? Again, if these people are going to bitch about that i just don't care.

Those are the best-paid workers in the country, with the deepest pockets, and they'll have the most to lose.

That lie again? Some of the people with the best insurance are the highest earners, but many of them are police, firemen and other government or unionized workers who are not necessarily the highest earners but simply get insane benefits as part of being in government in a strong connunity or being unionized. The fact that you only work with high net worth individuals does not mean they are the only people in the country.

#30 | Posted by JOE at 2019-04-17 07:21 AM | Reply

"I didn't make that claim, but in your frothed up state you may not have noticed that."

I never said you made that claim, but in your frothed up state you somehow need to pretend.

"Then they can buy a supplemental plan, like they do in Canada. "

So both your first, and now your second reaction to those who will have to take lesser health insurance is F you. Duly noted.

"if these people are going to bitch about that i just don't care."

That is EXACTLY what the opposition wants you to conclude. If your first step is writing off the folks most affected negatively, you're going to lose.

"That lie again? "

That folks with the best insurance plans DON'T EXIST?!? You don't understand macro concepts, I get it.

"many of them are police, firemen and other government or unionized workers who are not necessarily the highest earners but simply get insane benefits as part of being in government in a strong connunity or being unionized"

And they'll be forced to take lesser insurance, while being told "tough nuts" by you. Some success plan.

"The fact that you only work with high net worth individuals does not mean they are the only people in the country."

What are you talking about? As I stated above, my clients range from four figures to seven figures. If you didn't understand, that means less than $10,000 of income, to more than $1,000,000 in income. The folks with higher incomes, generally speaking, have higher quality health insurance. Not all the time, just as a macro whole. That said, your point is well taken: income or net worth isn't the barometer; it's that tens of millions of folks with better insurance will be told to take lesser insurance. Your answer seems to be either pretend they don't "exist", or write them off as step one.

My central point is: that is a fatal position to take, if you want to pass M4A.

#31 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 12:55 PM | Reply

Joe,

I've followed these debates with Danforth before, so I'll help you out.

Danforth is a strong proponent of single payer and it's what he wants for this country.

Given the various boards and whatnot that he's served on, he's had a ton of time and resources to really think about this question, "OK, how do we get there and what public and political hurdles do we face toward achieving our ultimate goal?"

Those hurdles are MASSIVE. Just look at the pushback you are getting from someone who is essentially on your side on this issue. He's trying to get you to better understand just how difficult those hurdles are, Overton Window and all that.

Tons of blue collar folk would be told to pay more and get less. This wouldn't just affect the upper echelon of the economic scale. We are talking about tens of millions of people. Do you remember how intense and protracted the battle for ACA was? How even with strong majorities in both chambers plus the WH they were just barely able to drag it across the finish line, and because of the special election of Scott Brown to replace Ted Kennedy, the House and the Senate were never able to go to committee and clean up the bill - the House had to pass the Senate version. All of that was Romper Room compared to what some presidential hopefuls are currently suggesting.

I don't mean to come across as condescending and I certainly don't mean to speak for Danforth's views. I've seen him go round and round with a number of single-payer opponents on the issue of political feasibility and thought it may come across a bit easier coming from someone who is observing this discussion.

#32 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-04-17 01:21 PM | Reply

opponents = proponents in my last paragraph.

#33 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-04-17 01:22 PM | Reply

How even with strong majorities in both chambers plus the WH they were just barely able to drag it across the finish line, and because of the special election of Scott Brown to replace Ted Kennedy, the House and the Senate were never able to go to committee and clean up the bill - the House had to pass the Senate version. All of that was Romper Room compared to what some presidential hopefuls are currently suggesting.
I don't mean to come across as condescending and I certainly don't mean to speak for Danforth's views. I've seen him go round and round with a number of single-payer opponents on the issue of political feasibility and thought it may come across a bit easier coming from someone who is observing this discussion.
#32 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

This is a different time, IMO. The idea the healthcare should be a right is becoming more prominent than not. I'm not saying M4A is a panacea, but discussing it as an option is a major step in the right direction.

Thank you Danforth for your input. It gives me a lot to think about, however not entirely convincing just yet.

#34 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2019-04-17 01:30 PM | Reply

Beach,

Those who are practical and reasonable proponents of M4A freely acknowledge it's not Utopia and also acknowledge the negative trade-offs that come with it.

The ones who have studied it closely along with American politics acknowledge what a Herculean task it is politically.

Personally, I don't think it's politically-possible to get there all at once. It's going to have to be incremental.

Passing a public option is a Trojan Horse for single payer, because at that point the government is both a player and the referee of the market. I could beat Lebron James in a game of 1-on-1 if I could also be the referee. That's how government would do it with the Public Option.

#35 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-04-17 01:35 PM | Reply

Tons of blue collar folk would be told to pay more and get less.

#32 | Posted by JeffJ

Scare tactics. Just like obamacare's "death panels."

Just like republican's predictions of socialism with the creation of medicare and social security.

Repubs scream and cry about how some helpful program will ruin the nation, then do all they can to MAKE it ruin the nation, then are furious when people actually like it.

#36 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-17 01:35 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Scare tactics?

No, it's reality. Auto workers have tremendous healthcare benefits as part of their compensation package. Telling them they are going to lose that and receive less generous benefits along with a big increase in their taxes to pay for said benefits is an incredibly tough thing to sell to a blue collar worker.

#37 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-04-17 01:39 PM | Reply

"Thank you Danforth for your input."

My pleasure.

Here's my barometer: What are the ten biggest hurdles? If you can answer that question correctly, you get a seat at the table.

Until then, leave it to the adults who very definitely know people with high-quality health insurance coverage exist.

#38 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 01:41 PM | Reply

"Scare tactics."

No..math. And reality about the human condition, and how folks react when being told they'll have to pay more for less.

#39 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 01:42 PM | Reply

it's that tens of millions of folks with better insurance will be told to take lesser insurance.

It isn't 'lesser insurance.' My Aunt has been in the hospital a couple times this past year and it didn't cost her a dime either. For $360 a month. And no networks. Medicare is good anywhere in the country.

#40 | Posted by americanunity at 2019-04-17 01:42 PM | Reply

Medicare is good anywhere in the country.

#40 | POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY

A lot of private providers limit the number of Medicare patients they will see.

Also, anecdotal evidence is just that....

#41 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-04-17 01:45 PM | Reply

"It isn't 'lesser insurance.' "

Compared to high-end plans it absolutely is.

"My Aunt has been in the hospital a couple times this past year and it didn't cost her a dime either. "

Then she has both Medicare, and a supplemental plan.

"Medicare is good anywhere in the country."

But not everywhere in the country.

#42 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 01:49 PM | Reply

JEFF

Medicare has consistently been the most popular insurance in the country. People who have it love it. You don't, so you can cast aspersions on it all you want to.

If Medicare is the only insurer in the country every provider will accept it. Duh.

#43 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 01:51 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"If Medicare is the only insurer in the country every provider will accept it. "

That's an incorrect statement on its face. Some doctors will fully privatize, and only accept paying customers.

#44 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 01:55 PM | Reply

"It isn't 'lesser insurance.' My Aunt has been in the hospital a couple times this past year and it didn't cost her a dime either. For $360 a month. And no networks. Medicare is good anywhere in the country."

She got a good deal I would say. My friend's mom pays $185 a month for Medicare; around $250/month for supplemental insurance that covers all of her doctor and hospital bills (no network) and around $80/month for drug coverage (which doesn't pay for everything). She doesn't have dental coverage because she has amazing teeth for someone her age, no cavities in years, and it is less to pay for cleanings than pay the $35ish/ month for dental coverage. She has no coverage for eyeglasses or hearing aids as Medicare doesn't cover those and neither does her supplemental insurance.

For your aunt to get all that coverage for $360/month is really good. Maybe it has something to do with where she lives? My friend's mom lives here in NY.

#45 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-17 01:59 PM | Reply

The donut hole is real...
I don't care where you live.

#46 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2019-04-17 02:02 PM | Reply

Some doctors will fully privatize, and only accept paying customers.

Posted by Danforth

It isn't logical to assume a practice like that would be sustainable for long except in very wealthy areas.

Let's see ... pay a private practice hundreds of dollars per visit - plus meds, plus tests, plus hospitalization if needed - OR go to a physician who accepts Medicare.

#47 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 02:02 PM | Reply

(That wasn't directed at anyone in particular)

Seniors on Medicare with no supplemental insurance ration their healthcare, it's a fact.
They go without meds all of the time because they're in the donut hole or can't afford their copay.

#48 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2019-04-17 02:04 PM | Reply

"It isn't logical to assume a practice like that would be sustainable for long except in very wealthy areas."

Okay.

So you've just admitted your claim was incorrect.

#49 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 02:04 PM | Reply

"It isn't 'lesser insurance.' My Aunt has been in the hospital a couple times this past year and it didn't cost her a dime either. For $360 a month. And no networks. Medicare is good anywhere in the country."

Just out of curiosity, AU, what's the breakdown on your aunt's coverage if you know it?

#50 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-17 02:04 PM | Reply

DANFORTH

The vast majority of SAG/AFTRA membership doesn't qualify for health insurance like you do. Easy for you to love your private health insurance (maybe you get it from your wife's employer .. I don't know). Most others are not so fortunate.

#51 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 02:04 PM | Reply

"Seniors on Medicare with no supplemental insurance ration their healthcare, it's a fact."

You are 100% correct.

#52 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 02:07 PM | Reply

No, it's reality. Auto workers have tremendous healthcare benefits as part of their compensation package. Telling them they are going to lose that and receive less generous benefits along with a big increase in their taxes to pay for said benefits is an incredibly tough thing to sell to a blue collar worker.

#37 | Posted by JeffJ

Auto workers have that because of unions not because of privitized health care. You're pro union now?

And everything at this point is your fearmongering PREDICTION, not "reality."

#53 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-17 02:07 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Scare tactics."

No..math. And reality about the human condition, and how folks react when being told they'll have to pay more for less.

#39 | Posted by Danforth

Except they'll pay less for more.

Single payer cost - 32 trillion

Healthcare cost WITHOUT single payer - 34 trillion

You think people dont want to save 2 trillion?

#54 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-17 02:09 PM | Reply

Just out of curiosity, AU, what's the breakdown on your aunt's coverage if you know it?

#50 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday

I do happen to know about it because I helped her sign up because she isn't very internet savvy.

Between Medicare A&B and G (supplemental like F, but with a $180 annual deductible and lower premium) she's covered 100%.

Her Part D plan has $1-3 copays, depending on the prescription.

Once you sign up with a supplemental plan (F or G) you stay with it for the duration. She has Mutual of Omaha. Part D has an annual period where you can change plans if you want to.

#55 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 02:10 PM | Reply

"The vast majority of SAG/AFTRA membership doesn't qualify for health insurance like you do."

I haven't qualified for several years, and get my health insurance from the marketplace. We make too much for any subsidy, but it's (no pun intended) an insurance policy against catastrophic events, like my wife's charity closing, or me becoming incapacitated.

"Easy for you to love your private health insurance"

Thanks for making my point for me: folks who love their private health insurance will be told to give it up, and pay more to get less.

#56 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 02:11 PM | Reply

#49 | Posted by Danforth

WTF? Doctors who only take cash will be a rare breed except in places like Beverly Hills or Scottsdale or Palm Beach.

No one I've ever known on Medicare has ever lacked for a doctor who'll see them. Mom, Dad, Aunt, friends, etc etc.

#57 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 02:14 PM | Reply

"Between Medicare A&B and G (supplemental like F, but with a $180 annual deductible and lower premium) she's covered 100%.
Her Part D plan has $1-3 copays, depending on the prescription.
Once you sign up with a supplemental plan (F or G) you stay with it for the duration. She has Mutual of Omaha. Part D has an annual period where you can change plans if you want to."

Thanks, AU. What is the breakdown for her monthly premiums? IOW, how did you arrive at the $360 per month figure?

PS What part of the country does she live in?

#58 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-17 02:16 PM | Reply

#58 I'm asking because maybe there is a way for my friend's mom to bring down her costs that she is unaware of. She has Medicare, Humana for drugs and AARP/United Healthcare for drs and hospitals.

#59 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-17 02:18 PM | Reply

Thanks for making my point for me: folks who love their private health insurance will be told to give it up, and pay more to get less.

#56 | Posted by Danforth

Plans in the private sector that cover 100% have hefty 5 figure annual premiums.

We have 80% coverage with our Cigna plan that costs $14k a year with copays for this and that.

When your private health insurance costs SAG/AFTRA/ (or you) $360 a month for complete coverage (except dental) get back to us on how people will be paying more.


#60 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 02:19 PM | Reply

"You think people dont want to save 2 trillion?"

Sure they do. But you're talking in the aggregate. Tens of millions of people WILL be told to pay more to get less.

Get back to us when you understand that concept. Until then, the multi-trillion dollar "savings" is a myth. Ask the guy they based their conclusion on: even HE says his assumptions were unreal.

Keep in mind: the equation of "paying for it" includes ALL the monies now paid in...both for the bare bones plans, and the high-end plans. Will the employer suddenly getting an $8K plan continue to pay $17K, or is the math off already?

#61 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 02:20 PM | Reply

#59 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday

What I discovered during the process of helping her through the process is that there is a rub: Once someone has signed up with an F or G supplemental plan at the time they signed up for Medicare A & B, they're pretty well stuck unless they move to another state because if they stay in the same state and want to change, the insurer can require a physical and charge more. But if you move to another state you're grandfathered in at capped premium prices (for lack of a better term) and they can't jack the premium up.

#62 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 02:26 PM | Reply

#62 That's interesting. My mother moved from one state to another, so I guess she was grandfathered in. Now that she is in the state she expects to stay in, I hope she has a plan she likes. My friend's mother isn't moving either.

#63 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-17 02:31 PM | Reply

"When your private health insurance costs SAG/AFTRA/ (or you) $360 a month for complete coverage (except dental) get back to us on how people will be paying more."

You're comparing Medicare with current health care prices. Apples and atom bombs. If you believe high-end coverage will only cost $360 a month/person, I've got a bridge to sell you.

Also, Medicare is NOT $360 a month. It's $360 a month, PLUS the per capita portion of all the medicare tax dollars paid in by workers under 65.

#64 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 02:36 PM | Reply

"Plans in the private sector that cover 100% have hefty 5 figure annual premiums. "

Yes they do.

And according to the equation that "pays" for it, those employers will still have to pay 5-figure premiums.

#65 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 02:37 PM | Reply

#63 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday

At the time someone moves to another state, they can change to another F or G provider without a physical or jacked up rates. The major supplemental providers like UHC or Mutual of Omaha provide coverage in all 50 states, so it's pretty easy. My aunt won't be moving to another state. Doesn't look like she ever wants to leave where she's been for many years LOL

PS - I broke down the premiums here with a correction (lowered) on the Part D premium in the next post.

#66 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 02:39 PM | Reply

Medicare has consistently been the most popular insurance in the country. People who have it love it. You don't, so you can cast aspersions on it all you want to.
If Medicare is the only insurer in the country every provider will accept it. Duh.

#43 | POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY

What makes you think I was casting aspersions on it?

#67 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-04-17 02:40 PM | Reply

And according to the equation that "pays" for it, those employers will still have to pay 5-figure premiums.And according to the equation that "pays" for it, those employers will still have to pay 5-figure premiums.

#65 | Posted by Danforth

With nationwide coverage, no networks, no denials of coverage, and 2% administrative fees instead of 20% off the top insurers were capped at under the PPACA.

Of course doctors and hospitals don't want to accept less money. HCA and others are happy to gouge the system for things like the $200 for a box of Kleenex my sister, who was on a ventilator, was charged for (through her insurer) as a "mucous extraction device" or when my wife was given a glass of water and a Benedryl shot for a bumble bee sting and charged nearly $1000.

IMO, a system like Medicare will keep costs down.

#68 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 02:46 PM | Reply

"IMO, a system like Medicare will keep costs down."

It will, absolutely.

The challenge is getting there, from here. Suggesting elderly care is only $360 a month, while ignoring the rest of the equation, doesn't help. Nor, for that matter, does Joe's "Let them eat cake" approach.

#69 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 02:52 PM | Reply

JEFF

It was the 'anecdotal evidence is just that ..' comment I was responding to.

Anecdotal evidence is real world experience.

Mine is based on quite a lot of experience over the years dealing with family and hospitals/doctors/Medicare.

-------

The other good thing about M4A is that it isn't dependent on staying with a particular employer in a job you hate just because of the health insurance.

#70 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 02:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"no denials of coverage..."

Oh, FFS. NO denials of coverage?!?!? In what bizzarro world?

#71 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 02:55 PM | Reply

"The other good thing about M4A is that it isn't dependent on staying with a particular employer in a job you hate just because of the health insurance.

Amen and Hallelujah!

#72 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 02:56 PM | Reply

The challenge is getting there, from here. Suggesting elderly care is only $360 a month, while ignoring the rest of the equation, doesn't help. Nor, for that matter, does Joe's "Let them eat cake" approach.

#69 | Posted by Danforth

I understand that Medicare is supported by all taxpayers, and that my aunt's $360/mo cost is low because of it.

There is a way to 'get there from here.' I'm glad the conversation has begun. And equally glad there are informed people like you among the public.

As things are (if you're still on the board), you have to spend a lot of time digging through details in order to inform your members and make decisions about coverage and benefits. There is so much time and money wasted all across America wading through the convoluted morass our private health insurance system is. Single payer would make things so much simpler.

#73 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 03:07 PM | Reply

Oh, FFS. NO denials of coverage?!?!? In what bizzarro world?

#71 | Posted by Danforth

No need to be pithy.

No one in my family - mom, dad, aunts, uncles, friends - has ever been denied a needed operation or procedure or hospitalization under Medicare.

#74 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 03:09 PM | Reply

"I understand that Medicare is supported by all taxpayers, and that my aunt's $360/mo cost is low because of it."

Then why are you using $360 as a benchmark number? Why not point out her coverage actually costs, say, $1,360 a month?

"As things are (if you're still on the board), you have to spend a lot of time digging through details in order to inform your members and make decisions about coverage and benefits."

Yesterday I had an advisory decision to make about a company's health care. It took less than ten minutes to evaluate the seven plans they were offered.

"Single payer would make things so much simpler. "

I completely agree...but if you notice, no one has taken me up on the Ten Hurdle Challenge...and that's the FIRST step.

#75 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 03:13 PM | Reply

"No one in my family - mom, dad, aunts, uncles, friends - has ever been denied a needed operation or procedure or hospitalization under Medicare."

So does that mean there is, or is not, a line drawn?

You're claiming no line. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

#76 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 03:15 PM | Reply

It was the 'anecdotal evidence is just that ..' comment I was responding to.

Anecdotal evidence is real world experience.

I get that and I don't disagree. However, much of this discussion is being carried out in the macro and that's because the implementation of M4A is definitely in the macro.

#77 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-04-17 03:25 PM | Reply

One of the hurdles that hasn't been discussed on this thread is the health insurance industry. It's a huge industry with a massive lobbying presence in DC.

The industry didn't like the top-down nature of ACA but loved all of the mandates, especially the individual mandate. In sum, ACA was very good for the health insurance industry and they lobbied on behalf of ACA including helping sell it to the public. And it still barely passed. M4A would massively hollow out that huge and powerful lobby and the fight they will put up will be gigantic. That industry will devote a ton of resources to fighting the passage of something like M4A.

#78 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-04-17 03:37 PM | Reply

"The industry didn't like the top-down nature of ACA..."

Nonsense. And you admitted as much in your next section:

"... but loved all of the mandates, especially the individual mandate. In sum, ACA was very good for the health insurance industry."

Bolded parts = what the insurance companies knew from the start.

#79 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 03:46 PM | Reply

I wonder how high the FICA will have to be raise to fund [pretty much will have to be double digits, and since employers have to match the FICA like SO, i wonder haw many business will have to let employees go] and those who do not pay federal income taxes will be paying FICA -- and that's good as every one should pay their fair share.

#80 | Posted by MSgt at 2019-04-17 03:47 PM | Reply

"I wonder how high the FICA will have to be raise to fund [pretty much will have to be double digits..."

Whaaaaa? You mean FICA will have to go up one time almost as much as insurance does every year?!?

How will we ever cope?

#81 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 03:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"and those who do not pay federal income taxes will be paying FICA "

They already do. From the first dollar.

#82 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 03:51 PM | Reply

This is good for the military budget as they will no longer have to spend budget dollars on the troops health care, allowing to upgrade/'repair' their degraded force structure.

The Department of Defense's FY2017 budget for military health is $48.8 billion to care for its 9.4 million beneficiaries. Growth in health care spending is not limited to the military.Apr 27, 2017

#83 | Posted by MSgt at 2019-04-17 03:55 PM | Reply

One of the hurdles that hasn't been discussed on this thread is the health insurance industry. It's a huge industry with a massive lobbying presence in DC.

#78 | Posted by JeffJ

That's why warren has said her first priority would be the anti corruption bill. She gets it. She knows we can't fix anything else in this country until we fix the stranglehold corporations have on government.

#84 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-17 03:55 PM | Reply

Whaaaaa? You mean FICA will have to go up one time almost as much as insurance does every year?!?

How will we ever cope?

#81 | Posted by Danforth

Bingo!!

#85 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 04:03 PM | Reply

So does that mean there is, or is not, a line drawn?

You're claiming no line. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

#76 | Posted by Danforth

Heart & back operations, cancer treatments ... nope, nothing was denied and no one had to sell their house or drain bank accounts. Medicare is extremely popular with people who use it. Sounds like you have very little experience with it. Maybe you'll become a fan when you do.

You, as a dues paying SAG/AFTRA member who qualifies for the health insurance they offer (90%+ do not), are sitting in the cat bird seat insofar as your own health insurance coverage goes. Lucky you. Most are not so fortunate.

Maybe a first step is a single payer option. Lobbyists fought that one tooth and nail and won. At least America will begin a discussion about the possibility of a different system than the current one that only benefits a small segment of American society.

A majority of Americans do not have the good health insurance you get or that many unionized companies offer their employees. Other Americans with employer provided health insurance have plans that will still leave them in the poor house if they become seriously ill.

#86 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 04:15 PM | Reply

BTW, I saw CeCe not long ago. She said to say hi if I ran across you.

#87 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 04:16 PM | Reply

#87
Please give her my best. One of the great ones.

#88 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 04:18 PM | Reply

"Heart & back operations, cancer treatments ... nope, nothing was denied and no one had to sell their house or drain bank accounts"

Okay, now put yourself on the other side of the table: the side charged with paying for it. Do you approve a third heart transplant for a 95yr old man?

If there is no line, you bankrupt yourself very quickly. If there is a line, you're a Death Panel. Welcome to Reality 501.

#89 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 04:21 PM | Reply

"A majority of Americans do not have the good health insurance you get"

How many times do I have to post I'm on the Exchange? If I've got "good" insurance, everyone can have "good" insurance.

#90 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 04:22 PM | Reply

"If there is no line, you bankrupt yourself very quickly. If there is a line, you're a Death Panel. Welcome to Reality 501."

Reality is there's always been death panels.

Question is, do you want them run by doctors or bean counters?

#91 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-17 04:23 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Reality is there's always been death panels."

Tru dat.

"do you want them run by doctors or bean counters?"

Well...do you want the bills paid, or not? Fantasy and reality are far apart in the Trustee room. Which do you embrace?

Or more to the point: which would you embrace if it was YOUR responsibility the budget balanced every year? Health Plans don't have the luxury of running deficits year over year. Third heart transplant for the 95yr old, or not? Are you on Team Bankrupt Compassion, or Team Fiscal Sanity?

#92 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 04:38 PM | Reply

#90 | Posted by Danforth

I assumed you were still working enough in that field to qualify to buy health insurance through SAG/AFTRA, and apologize that I didn't go looking through your user history or am not on here for hours a day reading what everyone says about everything.

We buy from the exchange too. Thanks to Rubio slashing reinsurance and Trump's cost sharing BS, there are only two companies offering health insurance through the Exchange now.

Our plan is $14k a year, 80% coverage. And only good in-state (which is actually localized to my metro area), in-network coverage only. No guarantee that should my wife or I ever have to be admitted to the hospitals in their network that specialists who consult/participate will be.

And there are a limited number of hospitals in our network. I'd have to hope I'm conscious when an ambulance crew shows up so I can tell them to take me to the only major hospital in Nashville in my network.

BCBS, who pulled out of the TN market except for Knoxville, were the only ones that offered multi-state plans. IIRC, they were in the $20k+ range.

Get injured outside my state or network and I'd be facing tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills. Even though we're already paying over $14k a year for health insurance.

Ya, M4A!!

#93 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 04:53 PM | Reply

Are you on Team Bankrupt Compassion, or Team Fiscal Sanity?

Either of those sounds better than the status quo, "Bankruptcy for Patients, Compassion for Congress and Wall Street."

#94 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-17 04:55 PM | Reply

We buy from the exchange too. Thanks to Rubio slashing reinsurance and Trump's cost sharing BS, there are only two companies offering health insurance through the Exchange now ...

in TN (except BCBS in Knoxville, but not in Nashville anymore)

#95 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 04:55 PM | Reply

"apologize that I didn't go looking through your user history..."

You didn't need to do that; just read what I answered you directly, the first time you mentioned S/A insurance.

#96 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 04:56 PM | Reply

"Either of those sounds better than the status quo, "Bankruptcy for Patients, Compassion for Congress and Wall Street.""

Neither of which exist in the Trustee room. More like "Team Balanced Budget."

#97 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 04:58 PM | Reply

Whose budget?
Patient budget? No.
Compliant elected official campaign budget? Yes.

#98 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-17 05:00 PM | Reply

"Whose budget?"

The organization's. If you know you're getting $25 million in, how much can you spend?

"Compliant elected official campaign budget? Yes"

In the Trustee room?!? GTFOH.

#99 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 05:07 PM | Reply

They don't even offer a policy here with a statewide network. Republicans created so much uncertainty, everyone but Cigna and (? - Jared Kushner's brother's company) pulled out of the exchange here.

But, we're very glad, as self employed people, there are finally health insurance policies available that are worth more than the paper they're written on. And, fortunately, we're both in good health. But if some serious injury happens in another state or out of our area that doesn't involve our car insurance ($300k medical per person) we'll be draining the MSA's and retirement accounts to pay for it. And the IRS penalties for early withdrawals ...

No one with Medicare has to face that uncertainty.

#100 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 05:09 PM | Reply

Meanwhile trump is tweeting HOW DARE FOX GIVE BERNIE SANDERS AIR TIME! THIS IS MY NETWORK!

I'm sure you can find examples of dems doing the same thing right? Since dems are just as bad as trump?

#101 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-17 05:09 PM | Reply

I was talking about commercial for-profit insurance.
The budget they balance includes campaign contribution expenditures.
Thanks, First Amendment!

#102 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-17 05:10 PM | Reply

So, I just got back from my neighbor's, who've been friends for years.

She had a kidney transplant last year (from her son).

They have Medicare A, B, Silver Scripts Part D, and Mutual of Omaha Part G, supplemental.

She still requires quite a bit of medical care, including anti-rejection drugs she'll be taking the rest of her life.

Guess how much they've paid out of pocket throughout all of this?

$0

I am looking forward to the day I'm 65 and qualify for Medicare.

#103 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 05:42 PM | Reply

"Guess how much they've paid out of pocket throughout all of this? $0

Except for monthly premiums, supplemental premiums, the taxes they've paid their entire working life, and the taxes currently collected from workers.

My friend, you're consistently offering only part of the equation, and leaving out the salient sections.

#104 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-04-17 05:45 PM | Reply

"Guess how much they've paid out of pocket throughout all of this? $0"

Okay but they didn't get SilverScript Part D and Mutual of Omaha Part G supplemental for $0. And the other stuff was possibly paid for out of their taxes too.

#105 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-17 05:54 PM | Reply

You know why we need to move to single payer?
Because americans are too busy struggling to survive to learn about all the jargon created by the for profit industry and it's consequences.

Just from this thread:
SilverScript Part D and Mutual of Omaha Part G supplemental
monthly premiums, supplemental premiums
out of pocket
the exchange
MSA's
S/A insurance
multi-state plans
in-network
the PPACA

Look at this list of ------------. You need a degree to understand it. It sounds like you're discussing your taxes.
Americans should not have to learn this crap. Get sick, go to doctor.

Even though M4A will save everyone money, I'd want it even if it would raise costs just to end this bureaucratic nightmare.

#106 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-17 06:54 PM | Reply

"It sounds like you're discussing your taxes."

Taxes are simpler.

I have a folder about two inches thick with paperwork from just three days in the hospital.

#107 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-17 07:05 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#104 | Posted by Danforth

I get what you're saying. But Medicare is still the best widely available health insurance in the U.S.

And if every American were required to have it, premiums wouldn't be the $14k we're paying Cigna for 80%, limited area, limited network coverage.

Medicare dictates what they'll pay. If companies like HCA get out of the hospital business, all the better. The non-profit community hospitals they replaced nationwide served the public much better anyway.

#108 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 07:14 PM | Reply

One more thought about Medicare vs private insurance:

Imagine how much the extra 18% in profits amount to for private health insurance companies who are capped at 20% profit compared to Medicare's 2% administrative costs. Big savings right there, not to mention Medicare's lower fee structure for providers.

Americans pay far more for health care than other industrialized nations with worse results. Take private insurers out of the equation, insure everyone, and set prices at Medicare's rates and everyone will pay less for better health care. Doctors will still be able to afford Mercedes.

#109 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-17 07:27 PM | Reply

If Medicare for all happens I want a big fat check cut to me for all he years I have paid in!

#110 | Posted by Maverick at 2019-04-17 08:02 PM | Reply

If Medicare for all happens I want a big fat check cut to me for all he years I have paid in!

#110 | Posted by Maverick

Why? The boomers always win, haven't you learned that by now?

They climbed to the top then pulled the ladder up behind them.

#111 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-17 09:33 PM | Reply

"If Medicare for all happens I want a big fat check cut to me for all he years I have paid in!"

Sign me up for Medicare Reparations too!

#112 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-17 09:51 PM | Reply

All one has to ask is "Who went to see Bernie the Scammer?" It was NOT working class, middle to right wing Americans. So, yes, those who went were for Bernie the Leech, and support his Socialist policies.

#113 | Posted by daddukes at 2019-04-18 11:47 AM | Reply

All one has to ask is "Who went to see Bernie the Scammer?" It was NOT working class, middle to right wing Americans. So, yes, those who went were for Bernie the Leech, and support his Socialist policies.

#113 | Posted by daddukes

Yeah trump's cult has not tolerance for scammers.

#114 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-18 01:13 PM | Reply

Every time someone says their medicare only cost this and didn't have to pay a dime must know someone is paying for it.

Put everyone on and dont have to pay a cent means that payment is coming from someone else.

Who is that?

#115 | Posted by Petrous at 2019-04-18 02:42 PM | Reply

Every time someone says their medicare only cost this and didn't have to pay a dime must know someone is paying for it.

Put everyone on and dont have to pay a cent means that payment is coming from someone else.

Who is that?

#115 | Posted by Petrous

That's how insurance works. You total your car, the company pays you more than you paid in premiums. You get sick, your insurer pays for your care out of the pool of premiums.

Duh.

#116 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-04-18 03:16 PM | Reply

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