Posts tagged Medicare
Here is a great talk given at The 21 Convention in 2012, by Doug McGuff, MD, a prominent member of the ancestral health (paleo-primal) community: “Fitness, Health, and Liberty.” Doug, an emergency room physician, is well known for his ‘Body By Science‘ program, a high-intensity interval training program.
This is an important presentation because Doug presents the historical picture on how the physician-patient relationship went from a fiduciary relationship between provider and consumer to a 3rd party morass of collectivized medicine that sacrificed individual services to the needs of the masses in general in order to conform to the rules outlined by the medical establishment-insurance industry alliance.
While it is easy to blame the Democrats or blame Obama for the nationalization of medical care, this system began to form many years ago under the auspices of self-serving medical practitioners who built alliances with the government-medical establishment in the pursuit of rent-seeking arrangements. Dr. McGuff notes that doctors, who had short-term gains in mind, ultimately sacrificed their profession to these pursuits and thus “set into motion the long-term unintended consequences that resulted in their ultimate enslavement.”
His discussion of the formation of the “Blues” plans to guarantee payment for services while receiving tax-exempt status in exchange for community ratings is spot on. Community ratings, that did not allow for discrimination based on individual health status, were the beginnings of socialized medicine and thus opened the door to moral hazard and the current system of pre-paid medical care that defies all the principles of personal accountability and the free market.
This presentation is 72 minutes, but it is worth every minute of your time. I work in this industry and can tell you that Dr. McGuff has presented the best short timeline I have seen on the topic of how 3rd-party insurance and government-business alliances came to destroy the U.S. health care system. Dr. McGuff is also a libertarian, as if you can’t tell by the presentation.
(NaturalNews) Do you remember, at the height of the debate over the Affordable Care Act – the monstrosity that became known not so affectionately as “Obamacare” – when then-House Speaker Pelosi, D-Calif., took to the dais at the 2010 Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties with this outrageous statement: “…[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”
She was talking about a piece of legislation that numbered some 2,700 pages – a massive bill that most members of Congress admitted they had not read and would never read (though trust us when we tell you these same lawmakers already knew exactly what was in it).
Well, Pelosi must be feeling very relieved these days because now, at long last, Americans are finally getting to find out exactly what’s in the bill that she and others refused to discuss in detail prior to its passage.
‘So many new taxes and fees during a time of economic uncertainty’
What Americans will learn first and foremost is that Obamacare will be infinitely more expensive than they were told – costs all of us will be forced to bear, even if we vehemently opposed this blatant expansion of government power over an industry that amounts to about one-seventh of the U.S. economy.
Whether they are called “taxes” or “fees” or “regulatory costs,” Americans will be hit up six ways from Sunday for costs related to the law that President Obama, Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and everyone else who voted for it said would never pass to us.
One such fee-tax-regulatory cost is a $63-per-person stipend almost no one knew about that will help cover people who have preexisting conditions – a cost that, most likely, will be passed onto each insured person.
Again, you can thank President Obama’s healthcare “overhaul.”
The charge was, of course, buried in the recent regulation. It will work out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say.
In an interview with the Washington Times, employee benefits attorney Chantel Sheaks called it a “sleeper issue” that will have significant consequences, especially for the nation’s largest employers – all at a time when unemployment remains at historic highs.
“Especially at a time when we are facing economic uncertainty, [companies will] be hit with a multimillion-dollar assessment without getting anything back for it,” Sheaks, a principal at Buck Consultants, a Xerox subsidiary, told the paper.
Based on figures contained within the regulation, some 190 million Americans on health plans for employers and individuals could wind up owing the per-person fee.
Obama administration officials say the previously undisclosed fee is only temporary, levied for three years beginning in 2014 and designed to raise $25 billion. The fee begins at $63 then falls.
Most of that money is expected to go into a fund that will be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. Officials say it will be used to cushion health insurance companies from the initial hard-to-predict costs of covering previously uninsured people who have preexisting medical problems. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, insurers will be forbidden from turning away already-sick patients under Obamacare statutes.
Just the beginning
The initiative “is intended to help millions of Americans purchase affordable health insurance, reduce reimbursed usage of hospital and other medical facilities by the uninsured and thereby lower medical expenses and premiums for all,” the administration says in the regulation (Note: Insurance companies that are actually in the business of insuring people say rates are going to go up, not down – and could, in fact, double in the short term).
But here’s the kicker. The initial $25 billion hike is just the beginning, “part of a bigger package of taxes and fees to finance Mr. Obama’s expansion of coverage to the uninsured,” the Times said. Over the course of the next decade, the total tab is closer to $700 billion, though no one in the administration is talking about what this additional burden will do to a still-struggling economy.
What else is included? Higher Medicare taxes, beginning Jan. 1, on people who make more than $200,000 a year or couples making less than $250,000 (Obama, always the class warrior, once pledged not to raise any taxes on folks earning less than $250,000).
The thing that Americans need to know is that these initial Obamacare taxes and “fees” are just the beginning. Needless to say, we’ll be covering this issue closely.
By Mark Horne
Why would the fiscal cliff mean that doctors would suddenly take a thirty percent cut in their billing? Nothing was said about that last year when the deal was made. Part of the problem is that deal wasn’t made last year. It was made fifteen years ago and then hidden under fig leaves. Those leaves are going to fall away on January 1.
Inventing Another “Debt Ceiling” to Raise
Back to 1997, the basic bankruptcy of Medicare was too obvious for Congress to deny. They felt they had to do something about it. Basically, seniors were demanding using the program more and more, as is likely to happen when you give away free money. So Congress determined by law that every year that expenses went up above a certain amount, the Medicare reimbursements would go down to compensate. Basically, they tried to impose price controls on medicine in order to counterbalance the inherent price inflation and expansion that such “free money” programs naturally produce.
So, since 1997, every time that the Medicare expenses have expanded too much, Medicare has reduced the amount of money that they would pay for a procedure. This meant doctors became even less happy having to deal with Medicare. Medicare patients found doctors would not take their business or at least didn’t seem happy to do so. Medicare patients vote and make people in Congress want to make them happy in order to gain or stay in office.
Actual U.S. debt lies hidden, exceeds $86.8 trillion
The full extent of the [debt] problem has remained hidden from policy makers and the public because of less than transparent government financial statements. How else could responsible officials claim that Medicare and Social Security have the resources they need to fulfill their commitments for years to come? …
The U.S. Treasury “balance sheet” does list liabilities such as Treasury debt issued to the public, federal employee pensions, and post-retirement health benefits. But it does not include the unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Social Security and other outsized and very real obligations. …
The actual liabilities of the federal government — including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees’ future retirement benefits — already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion. Nothing like that figure is used in calculating the deficit. In reality, the reported budget deficit is less than one-fifth of the more accurate figure. Read the original article at The Wall Street Journal
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By: Willow Tohi
Prozac. Cialis. Cymbalta. If you have a television or read magazines, you’ve heard of their drugs. Eli Lilly, out of Indiana, makes billions of dollars every year off the sale of their patented chemicals, which are used to suppress the symptoms of disease in the human body. Founded by a chemist in the late 19th century; today the pharmaceutical giant has offices in 18 countries, and its products are sold in 125 countries, with revenues exceeding $20 billion annually.
Most of their arsenal is available in other countries for much less money than it is here in the United States, as is the case with most prescription medication. The reason, the pharmaceutical industry claims, is that the health care systems of other countries demands affordable medication, and they need somebody somewhere to foot the research bill, so they can get the next patents lined up before others expire, allowing generic versions of their drugs to become available on the market. That leaves us Americans, with our broken healthcare system, footing the bill of their continued financial success.
We’re not only footing the bill, we have to deal with how the pharmaceutical machine warps the medical system. While historically a trade secret, it is standard operating procedure for pharmaceutical giants to pay doctors and other healthcare professionals to promote their drugs. Seducing doctors into becoming mouthpieces for a share of their bottom line is where it begins, but it ends up dictating your options.
Social Security is debt slavery for the young. Plain and simple , just one of the many failings of government, who simply is incapable of doing business and can only steal and borrow money in order to spend it.The reward for working hard is to have half your income taken through force and a significant portion of this money is given to those that will not work! If that ain’t killing entrepreneurial spirit then what it is . The funny thing is, you can invest your money in the same place as social security and get more back privately. In fact if you could opt out and invest it in the same place not only could you receive the money for the rest of your life, but your inheritors would actually get the remainder when you die (not just have it go back to the general fund). The stupidest group on the planet are the ones who think that government was meant to provide for everything, and is the answer to everything.In a Ponzi scheme pays off the first few investors. social security does not even do that.A Ponzi scheme is voluntary but Social Security is violent
Published on Jun 8, 2012 by southernavenger
Why Ron Paul conceding he won’t be president and Rand Paul supporting the presumptive GOP nominee are but trivial anecdotes to the obvious and ongoing success of the most transformative political movement of our time: The rEVOLution.
By Jack Hunter
“The Ron Paul Revolution Won’t Stop Here”
I have made the case that Ron Paul is not only changing the Republican Party, but is catering to a new, emerging electorate that eschews the big government aspects of both parties. Writing today at CNN.com, Timothy Stanley makes some of the same observations:
Paul’s campaign represents a message that is bigger and perhaps more popular than the candidate himself. As it continues to collect small numbers of delegates and capture control of local GOPs, Paulism is proving itself to be in rude health. Long after Mitt Romney is nominated, feted at the convention, beaten by Obama and recycled as a question on Jeopardy (“In 2012, he lost every state but Utah.” “Who is … Britt Gormley?”), Paul’s philosophy will still be a factor in national politics — something to be feared and courted in equal measure…
I have to declare a great deal of affection for Paul. Unlike other politicians, he seems motivated by ideas — and he communicates his passion with the zeal of a nutty professor detailing the thrilling possibilities of quasars and black holes. This is a doctor who refused to accept Medicare payments but lowered his prices for patients who couldn’t afford him, who declined a government pension and never voted for a tax increase, who told Republicans they need to end the War on Drugs (and most other wars, too). He’s pure…
Paul’s 2012 candidacy has had certain hidden successes. Aside from all the money he raised, Ron Paul also attracted an unusual coalition of young people, libertarian Republicans, and disaffected Democrats — a coalition large enough for him to run even with Obama in some polls. The pull among the kids was big enough to fuel talk of a new generational voting bloc. In Iowa, he took 48% of the under-30s, compared with Santorum’s 23% and Romney’s 14%. In New Hampshire, he got 47%, while Romney took just 26%…
Within the GOP, the Paulites are still the unbeaten masters of the administrative procedure. Last Saturday, they swept a confusing ballot process in Louisiana to give themselves control of 70% of delegates attending the state’s nominating convention, which could mean they end up numerically “winning” Louisiana. Similar things have happened in Minnesota and even Romney’s home state of Massachusetts.
Combine this administrative brilliance with generational politics and you get a silent grass-roots revolution that is putting many Paulites in positions of power. In 2010, more than a dozen of them won elections as Republicans, including Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan and Sen. Rand Paul (son of Ron) of Kentucky. This year, two dozen active Paul backers are seeking election to Congress, along with more than 200 running for local office. The Paulites have effectively taken over the Iowa GOP. The state central committee now has six members who are passionate for Paul, and the head of the local party is now a Paulite. Given the importance of Iowa to the 2016 nomination, this is a coup in every sense.
All of this means the GOP can no longer ignore its libertarian “fringe.” On the contrary, it will have to reach out to a new generation of activists who don’t regard religious piety or continual warfare as sacred tenets of conservatism. Even Romney will have to take Sarah Palin’s advice not to “marginalize” the Paulites if he is to emerge from the nominating convention with a united party.
Whatever happens in 2012, we are living through a significant moment in the history of conservatism. The age of Bush and Obama — twin specters of lavish spending and imperial design — have birthed anti-government movements of right (tea party) and left (Occupy). The one that will last longest and have the most impact is the one that has been the most pragmatic and politically savvy.
The Ron Paul revolution won’t stop here.
The time is NOW to take back our personal liberties and freedoms!
Ron Paul 2012: Restore America Now
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!
by Michael Tennant
Because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia, the deadline for filing federal income-tax returns this year falls on April 17. Coincidentally, that is also Tax Freedom Dayfor 2012: the day on which the average American will have worked long enough to pay his share of all the taxes government will extract from the populace this year.
Each year the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C., calculates Tax Freedom Day by dividing the total of all federal, state, and local taxes collected that year by national income, then multiplying the result by 365. For 2012 the total tax burden — $2.62 trillion in federal taxes and $1.42 trillion in state and local taxes — comes to 29.2 percent of income; thus, Americans must work 107 days to pay all their taxes. Counting from January 1 and skipping Leap Day to keep things comparable from year to year, that means Tax Freedom Day falls on April 17.
According to the Tax Foundation, Americans will have to work 40 days to pay all their income taxes, 27 days for all social insurance taxes (e.g. Social Security, Medicare), 14 days for all sales and excise taxes, 12 days for state and local property taxes, 10 days for all corporate income taxes (because, the foundation notes, “all taxes on businesses are ultimately passed on to individuals”), and 7 days for all other taxes. In fact, government costs so much that “Americans will spend more in taxes in 2012 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined,” the foundation observes.
This year’s Tax Freedom Day is four days later than last year’s and seven days later than when Barack Obama assumed the presidency. It would be an additional three days later this year had the payroll tax holiday not been extended through 2012. This is not the latest Tax Freedom Day has fallen, however; that honor goes to the year 2000, in which it fell on May 1.