Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Romney/Ryan on Medicare...welfare for private insurers

As we've seen over the last few days, Romney/Ryan are trying to pre-empt the damage Ryan's Medicare proposal will have on their campaign by saying that President Obama cut Medicare too.

When I watched this clip of Romney talking about that yesterday, I understood a little better what they're up to. Notice at the end that Romney talks about expanding the Medicare Advantage program.

First of all, a little background about Medicare Advantage.
Essentially, it works like this: Congress allowed private HMOs to compete for Medicare patients under the rationale that they could offer better service at lower cost than the government. They couldn't. So Republicans in Congress began boosting their payments, to the point that Medicare Advantage gets paid 114 percent what Medicare gets paid to care for a patient...

...economists have estimated that for every extra dollar we pay the program, 14 percent is passed on to seniors and 86 percent goes to profits or other costs. In other words, we're getting only 14 cents of obvious value for every dollar of overpayment.
Ahhh...the freedom of the free market and competition. See how well it works in health care - NOT! Not only is it more expensive than traditional Medicare, private insurance companies are taking home 86 cents for every dollar that taxpayers overpay.

That was all BEFORE passage of ObamaCare.
The greatest amount of savings in Medicare [under ACA], about $130 billion over 10 years, will be achieved by reducing overpayments to private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.
The private health insurance lobby is - of course - livid about this. And therefore Republicans must be livid as well. When they talk about a "big government takeover of health care," what they mean is that ObamaCare is taking away their gravy train of profits at the expense of taxpayers.

And what have the changes to Medicare Advantage in ObamaCare meant for seniors? Premiums are down 7% and enrollment is up 10%.

With all that we can now better understand what Romney/Ryan want to do with Medicare. They want to get rid of the limits ObamaCare put on Medicare Advantage and go back to having taxpayers subsidize the profits of private insurance companies.

That's how they roll...welfare for private insurers is their game.

1 comment:

  1. We keep hearing that we need more competition to lower healthcare costs. Medicare Advantage was a perfect vehicle to show how private insurance could do the job better than government at a lower cost. What happened? They proved that government can provide healthcare insurance at a lower cost than government.