Tuesday, November 29, 2011

RomneyCare for Seniors

Willard Mitt Romney wants to save Medicare. Nothing wrong with that, at least in principle. But what would he do to bring down the cost of health CARE?

As it turns out, nothing.

But no big deal. Obamneycare won't do anything to lower the cost of health care either.

The Boston Globe has this take on the Dick Clark of the Republican party.

Mitt Romney’s ambitious plan to rein in federal Medicare spending would give America’s seniors a choice: choose government insurance or use a federal voucher to buy medical insurance from private companies. The idea, according to Romney, is to drive down costs by introducing market competition.

That's his big idea?

Allow private industry to compete against a plan funded with unlimited taxpayer (and Chinese) dollars?

Private industry needs to turn a profit, or at least break even.

The bean counters in Washington never have to balance a checkbook or even worry about funding. They can promise anything and everything to everyone without ever considering how they would pay for it.

“Romney wants to privatize a program seniors depend on and end Medicare as we know it.’’

We already have a privatized Medicare program. Medicare Advantage plans give seniors a choice at low or even $0 premiums.

But in a way it is only partially privatized.

The government dictates the minimum coverage rules, tells the carriers how many docs and hospitals they must have in their network, defines the marketing rules, and decides how much they will pay the carriers to administer the plans.

And if DC decides to change the rules after the fact the carriers are penalized.

Yeah, that works real well.

But does it lower the cost of care?

No it does not.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, thinks the plan will achieve Romney’s goal of reducing Medicare costs.

“It will control the federal budget because it caps the taxpayers’ exposure,

True, but only if the seniors on Medicare do not pay taxes.

All this proposal does is shift the cost of care from Medicare to the patient. Items not paid by Medicare and Georgia Medicare supplement plans are paid by the Medicare patient.

This is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs.

blog comments powered by Disqus