Health Care Update: There’s always Soylent Green….Hot Air » Are the elderly cost effective?

Vodpod videos no longer available. From HA, Congress Critters headed by Baucus today heard arguments to restrict OVERUSE of health care by ELDERLY:

Professor Stuart Altman of Brandeis University:

Remember, our population is aging. And with the very, very elderly, the costs go down, so that percentage should be falling, and it’s not. Second, the cost of care is growing by so much, so at the same percentage, it’s worth a lot more. So let’s go back to the issue of comparative effectiveness, which we’re supporting. That’s where that can have a big impact. It’s not only there, but that’s where the waste is. That’s where people are using technologies that really either don’t work at all or keep people alive for for very limited [time] and [at] very high cost. Hospice is one option, but we do need take account of the cost —

you know, I hate to say it, the cost-benefit of some of the things we do. And either we can do it directly, or we can do it by bundling the payments and let the delivery system deal with it. So it’s a combination of the delivery system dealing with it, or, and/or providing more information for people to make the right decisions, both for themselves and for the care.

See for these loons the RIGHT DECISION is to die, push people off on an ice floe when they have outlived their usefulness to society..of course these same people want to give this care to people who are in quite a few cases also not productive members of the working economy, but that’s okay I guess…..unfrakkinbelievable, hope the Baby Boomers who voted for this are taking note, your children in GEN X a-hem will be taxed to death and unable to support you as Team Obama denies your hip replacement (he mentioned in a NYT interview he wonders if it  was really the RIGHT THING for his typical white grandma to get her hip replaced shortly before she died..me, I think that was Granny and her doctor’s decision…..

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May 12, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Economy, Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

LIVE: Timmeh announces Social Security, Medicare Report Card…

UPDATE: Knew it!!! Timmeh just said we are enacting comprehensive health care reform which will help Medicare…yep…he promises BIPARTISAN consensus to enact SS reform next Ahh man I knew it…frakkers….Turning it off now, cant bear Sheboresus she just said if you are impacted by Medicare YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED…way to scare Americans UNREAL

She says she is SOUNDING AN ALARM…

LOTS of media for the Social Security Medicare report card..FOX, CNBC all in da house…

Michael Lind:

..On Tuesday, May 12, the trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare will issue their annual report…

The coalition of libertarian zealots, Jeffersonian conservatives, center-right Democrats and bankers and brokers who would like to earn fees or commissions from the diversion of Social Security payroll taxes into IRAs recycles the same arguments against Social Security, rain or shine, boom or bust. They’ve been doing it for more than a quarter-century, ever since a couple of libertarians wrote up a guide for small-government conservatives on how to spread doubts about a popular, solvent and effective entitlement. These tried-and-true arguments will be dusted off and dragged through the media once again, after the latest Social Security Trustees’ report is published. Among the bogus arguments you can expect:

The date at which Social Security will become bankrupt has advanced! From annual report to annual report, the two key dates — the date at which Social Security payouts from the Trust Fund exceed payroll tax intake, and the date at which the Trust Fund is exhausted — advance or retreat, depending on the contemporary economy and changes in calculations. For example, in 1997 payouts were supposed to exceed revenues in 2012 and the Trust Fund was supposed to be exhausted in 2029. By 2004, the trustees were more optimistic: The two dates were 2018 and 2042, respectively. If as a result of today’s bad economic conditions future growth rates are revised and the two dates are slightly closer to the present in the latest report, should you be concerned? No. Relax. When estimates vary so much, it would be crazy to try to make public policy for the United States of nearly half a century from now.

We have only two choices, or a combination — cutting benefits or raising the payroll tax. False. There are at least two other choices that the deficit hawks never mention. One is more rapid economic growth, which would make it easier to pay Social Security taxes in the future without either benefit cuts or tax increases. The other option that the doomsayers never discuss is an infusion of money from other revenues, to supplement the payroll tax. Medicare is already paid for partly by a payroll tax and partly by general revenues. Why not cut the payroll tax and make up the difference out of general federal taxes? If you want to be revenue-neutral, the Social Security shortfall of about 2 percent of GDP between now and mid-century could be patched with general revenue funds diverted from defense, if without endangering our safety we could gradually lower defense spending from its present wartime level of about 4 percent of GDP to 2 percent, which is more than most other advanced industrial countries spend on defense.

Social Security and other entitlements are responsible for unfunded liabilities of more than $100 trillion — and as the baby boomers begin to retire, the bill is coming due! Total nonsense.

About a decade ago, conservative and libertarian economists who oppose Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements came up with a clever rhetorical strategy. They would calculate the gap between the payroll taxes that pay for these programs and estimated costs over time. But there was one problem: The gap isn’t all that scary, at least in the near future. So in order to frighten the American people and their elected leaders, deficit hawks cite the sum total of Social Security’s “unfunded liabilities” over 75 years. But even this — a paltry $4.3 trillion over three-quarters of a century, according to the 2008 report — isn’t sufficiently terrifying.

In order to frighten gullible Americans, anti-Social Security crusaders conflate Social Security with Medicare and talk about the “entitlement crisis” in general. This masks the fact that Social Security’s projected shortfalls are minor, compared to those of Medicare. Better yet, it produces a suitably spooky 75-year shortfall of $42.9 trillion. And if this is not alarming enough, deficit hawks can cite the truly apocalyptic figure of $101.7 trillion in combined “entitlement” spending over an infinite time horizon.

The anti-Social Security lobby always presents the “unfunded liabilities” of “entitlements” in scary dollar terms, rather than as percentage points of GDP. Here’s why: Over the next 75 years, the Social Security shortfall at most hovers around 1 percent of total U.S. GDP over that same period. Yes, that’s right — around a whopping 1 percent of U.S. GDP. And that is only in the unlikely event that some combination of growth, taxes and benefit cuts do not eliminate the shortfall in the future….

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May 12, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics, Taxes, Uncategorized. Comments off.

They Want it All, and They Want it Now:Team TOTUS Tactics:It’s a Crisis! Orszag at OMB Declares Social Security/Medicare Shortage Imminent..(thus necessitating immediate health care reform ya dig?)

Same Technique, Different Target and the journOlists are happily repeating the hype and preparing to scare Americans into immediate URGENT reform..I am willing to lay my money down now that we will see a sudden plethora of reporting on the crisis in Medicare….so it MUST simply MUST be done NOW NOW NOW

It is like 5 y/o kids hepped up on candy are running the country, they want it all and they want it now..speaking of which, how bout some Queen?

Hope the rest of y’all in GEN X are ready to work into your 80s sans hip replacements, how the hell we are supposed to work longer with less medical intervention escapes them…

Bloomberg:

..Preliminary skirmishes over clamping down on offshore corporate tax havens, taxing employee benefits and winning discounts on drug prices may dictate the fate of the president’s plan to broaden U.S. health-insurance coverage and cut costs.

Obama wants to enact the plan, with a 10-year price tag he estimates at $634 billion, without boosting a budget deficit projected to reach $1.8 trillion this year. So, while trying to agree on the biggest health-care revamp since Medicare started in 1965, lawmakers also must pick winners and losers among spending cuts and tax increases they need to fund it.

“It’s the most difficult political decision we have to make,” said Senator Charles Grassley, the Finance Committee’s top Republican. “You’re talking about saving money on Medicare; that’s always controversial. You’re talking about maybe tax increases; that’s very controversial. There’s hardly anything with financing that is not going to be controversial.”

Insuring more Americans by cutting coverage for those already insured and limiting treatment options, uh-huh:

.Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus says the government can save billions by basing Medicare payments on the quality and not just the quantity of care….

That’s code for limiting hospital stays for those who have not spent 20 years in the industry…

…Obama’s 2010 budget proposes to pay for his health plan in part by raising $267 billion from limiting deductions by upper- income taxpayers for items such as charitable donations and home-mortgage interest. The Senate unanimously rejected that idea last month, citing potential harm to charities.

Obama proposes another $309 billion in cuts to health-care programs, including $177 billion in savings from payments to private insurance companies participating in the Medicare program, such as UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Humana Inc. The administration also wants pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly & Co. and AstraZeneca Plc to offer bigger drug discounts to Medicaid and would reduce federal payments to hospitals with high patient-readmission rates.

There it is in black and white, cutting payments to hospitals who keep readmitting those pesky elderly patents!!

One way to do it is of course the way MAC proposed and Obama blasted, LOL:

..Wyden has proposed taxing employer-paid health insurance premiums, which could bring in $700 billion over five years, or more than the proposal’s current estimated cost.

Baucus said at today’s roundtable that lawmakers are considering reducing the tax break on benefits, although he said they won’t repeal it altogether.

The benefits tax idea is politically dicey for Obama, who last year lambasted Republican presidential nominee John McCain for a similar proposal. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the Ways and Means Committee last week that the administration is willing to consider the proposal.

What does MAC say about that?

Asked about Sebelius’s comments, McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona, laughed and said, “it’s a logical step; that’s why I proposed it during the campaign.”

May 12, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Entertainment, Healthcare, Music, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, Taxes, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Fiscal Responsibility Summit: Obama: “we had a healthy debate about Social Security”

UPDATE 3: Obama, with no delay on his lips, says Health Care is the one area where they have already made some judgements on solution HA! and that they have scheduled a SUMMIT next week for health care…

UPDATE 2: Novelli from AARP speaking about Medicare Entitlement and SUSTAINABILITY PROBLEM..code for frak you GEN X…path to sustainability is health care reform he says…speakers all on delay, only POTUS is live, BWAAAHAA!! censors at the switch ready to mute…

UPDATE: Steny Hoyer says their breakout on SS was healthy and some disagreements and PRODUCTIVE.. OH NOES!Gawd save us form Congress’ productivity..he says there is a CONSENSUS TO GET TO AN OBJECTIVE…wha? giving Seniors and young people confidence..

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February 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Update: GOP Rep. turns down the WH….Monday: ‘Fiscal Responsibility’ Summit at WH…Social Security ‘reform’ and UHC on the menu….

The RSVPs aren’t all in the affirmative, not everyone wants their fingerprints on what Team Obama will no doubt later refer to as bipartisan work on the budget…
From Glen Thrush:

New York Republican Rep. John McHugh, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, has turned down Barack Obama’s invite to Monday’s fiscal responsibility summit, his office tells my colleague Alex Isenstadt.

The New York congressman emerged as a tough critic of the economic stimulus package passed by Congress last week.

What will Americans lose at the Summit?? Social Security benefits, retirement age? Health Care Treatment Choices?? Place your bets and takes yer chances!!

What will Americans lose at the Summit?? Social Security benefits, retirement age? Health Care Treatment Choices?? Place your bets and takes yer chances!!

Ain’t it grand?! After spending more money in less time than anyone in history, they hold a ‘Summit’ on Fiscal Responsibility!! Summit to sound like they climbed a mountain and are having a global meeting I guess, even though this isn’t the G20..It’s a bunch of ‘propeller heads’ who plan to tell US, the PEOPLE, how to live responsibly on what THEY give BACK after they TAKE our money …GRRRRRRRR…Stay away from my Social Security you ‘pragmatic’ number crunching Team of Zeroes…

Via Ben Smith:

The event is to include about 100 guests, and will begin with addresses by President Obama and Vice President Biden. It’s set to include members of both houses of Congress from both parties.

The opening session will be followed by “breakout” sessions of five topics: health, tax policy, Social Security, contracting and procurement, and the budget, each led by senior officials.

The budget director, Peter Orszag, will be leading the health breakout — a policy area on which he’s long focused, and one expected to be front and center in the budget.

Christina Romer and Larry Summers will lead the Social Security session; despite fears on the left, entitlement reform advocate Pete Peterson appears to have no formal role in the gathering. (MiM here no ‘formal’; role but he IS THERE RIGHT??? RIGHT!)

Pete Peterson already has an ad to push his SS ‘reform’ guess HE thinks he has input somehow huh? HOW LONG WILL HE TRY TO KILL SS?!?!?:

CIA director Leon Panetta will be present to — to talk about the budget, however, which he ran in the Clinton years, not about his current portfolio.

Full schedule after the jump.

WHAT: The White House Fiscal Summit

WHEN: Monday, February 23rd, 2009

12:30 PM – Event Call Time

1:00 PM – Program Begins

4:30 PM – Event Concludes

WHERE: The White House

The State Dining Room

*Specific information on arrival gates will be provided shortly.

FORMAT: Approximately 100 guests will gather at the White House to participate in a summit on fiscal issues. The group will be composed of the President and Vice President, Members of Congress, members of the Cabinet and senior Administration officials, and various other experts in the field. The group of Members will be bipartisan and bicameral.

Session 1: The President and Vice President will each deliver remarks in an opening session in the State Dining Room. Open press.

Session 2: Breakout discussion groups led by members of the Cabinet and senior Administration officials on key fiscal issues. Pooled press.

Session 3: Plenary discussion led by the President regarding results of the five breakout groups. Pooled press.

Breakout sessions.

Health: Orszag, Melody Barnes, Sec. Shinseki

Tax: Geithner, Volcker

Social Security: Romer, Summers

Contracting & Procurement: LaHood, Napolitano, Bill Lynn

Budget: Nabors, Panetta

February 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Economy, Finance, Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics, Wall St. 3 comments.

REPOST: Un-Dynamic Duo: Sebelius and Orszag to lead Healthcare & SS Reform?

REPOST: It’s official Shebores us has been nominated for HHS, here is the writeup we did last month…2 best things IMO, Daschle screwed himself out of the job and Howard Dean who broke TEH ROOLZ for Obama to win the primaries is UNDA DA BUS….BWAAAAHAAAAAA! Frakkers..

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February 19, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Economy, Hillary Clinton, Obama Administration, Politics, Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Update and Correction: Team Obama adds 8% to Pentagon FY 09 budget.

UPDATE AND CORRECTION from HA by way of CQ:
If enacted, that would be about a $14 billion increase above the $513 billion allocated for fiscal 2009 (PL 110-329), including military construction funds, and it would match what the Bush administration estimated last year for the Pentagon in fiscal 2010. But it sets up a potential conflict between the new administration and the Defense Department’s entrenched bureaucracy, which has remained largely intact through the presidential transition.

Some Pentagon officials and congressional conservatives are already trying to portray the OMB number as a cut by comparing it to a $584 billion draft fiscal 2010 budget request compiled last fall by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The $527 billion figure is “what the Bush people thought was the right number last February and that’s the number we’re going with,” said the OMB official, who declined to be identified. “The Joint Chiefs did that to lay down a marker for the incoming administration that was unrealistic. It’s more of a wish list than anything else.”

Defense budget experts have said the draft by the Joint Chiefs, which was never publicly released, was designed to pressure the Obama administration to drastically increase defense spending or be forced to defend a reluctance to do so. Defense officials in past outgoing administrations have left inflated budget estimates for incoming officials in the hope of raising the spending baseline. In fact, the draft budget was never scrubbed by Bush’s OMB, which had told federal agencies to submit draft budgets based on “current services.”

One key issue is the administration’s decision to reduce supplemental appropriations by folding into the base Pentagon budget the non-war-related spending that has cropped up in supplemental bills.

The Pentagon refused to comment publicly on why it would need the higher amount. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has said the fiscal 2010 defense budget must contend with the realities of the bad economy and stop the trend of steep increases in military budgets since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Gates also has said the department would deliver Congress a formal request for a second tranche of fiscal 2009 war funding “in the coming weeks.” He sent Congress an estimate for that tab that totaled $69.7 billion.

WWII Home Defense

WWII Home Defense

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January 31, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Finance, NAVY, NAVY CARRIER SQUADRON, Obama Administration, Politics, Terrorism. 1 comment.

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