Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Eight Facts You Need to Know on Health Care !

Arm yourself with these eight facts on health care, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act:

  1. We have a health care cost problem, not a Medicare or Medicaid problem. Health care costs overall, including through employment-based plans, individual coverage, Medicare and Medicaid, have been growing faster than the whole economy—2.4% greater on average since 1970. Between 2000 and 2010, workers’ contributions to premiums for health insurance at work jumped 147%, compared to just a 36% increase in workers’ earnings. See "Medicare, Medicaid and the Deficit Debate," a report from the Urban Institute.
  2. Most health care costs come from a small group of people with costly conditions. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “half of health care spending is used to treat just 5% of the population.” Within traditional Medicare, the costliest 25% of beneficiaries account for 81% of spending. See "Health Care Costs: A Primer," from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and "A Data Book: Health Care Spending and the Medicare Program (June 2012") from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which reports to Congress.
  3. Medicare is not going “bankrupt.” According to the Medicare Board of Trustees, the Medicare Hospital Insurance fund will pay 100% of hospital care costs until 2024 and continue to pay 87% of those costs after 2024See "A Summary of the 2012 Annual Reports," from the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees. The other parts of Medicare coverage—doctor and outpatient care and prescription drugs—are funded on an ongoing basis by beneficiary premiums and general revenues, so these parts of Medicare can’t be insolvent, as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports
  4. Medicaid is a critical part of our health care system. Medicaid covers over 60 million people. This includes 6 million seniors and more than 9 million people with disabilities, who draw two-thirds of the benefit payouts, helping make Medicaid today’s largest source of nursing home and community-based long-term care coverage. See the Medicaid Program at a Glance.
  5. On average, Medicare households spend 15% of their income on health expenses. While all households spend roughly the same percentage of their income on food, housing and transportation,Medicare households spend about three times the percentage spent by those who are not covered by Medicare. 
  6. Making people wait until they are older to get Medicare benefits will increase health care costs, not lower them. For seniors today, Medicare benefits begin when they reach age 65. Although some suggest that raising the eligibility age to 67 is a way to save money, doing this would actually increase total costs. By one estimate from the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the increase in total health costs—paid by people 65 and 66, employers and state governments—would be twice the savings to the federal budget once the full age increase is in effect.
  7. Hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid money only have to provide just enough emergency care to stabilize a patient and the hospitals still charge (and sometimes sue) the patient for it. Federal law requires certain hospitals to treat people with “emergency medical conditions” regardless of ability to pay, but it’s truly only those with emergency conditions. And the hospital only has to provide enough treatment to stabilize the patient. So, a hospital might have to treat a woman in labor, but not someone with cancer unless immediate medical attention is necessary to avoid putting the person’s health in serious jeopardy. See the details of the federal law.
  8. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will increase costs for today’s seniors. The average Medicare beneficiary will pay an extra $4,700 over the next 10 years if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Seniors will face higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for care, and some will continue to fall into the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole.” See "Estimated Savings of $5,000 to Each Medicare Beneficiary from Enactment Through 2022 Under the Affordable Care Act," from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The corporations don't have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government.
"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Tagged under:

Affordable Care Act

No comments: