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Old 02-22-2009, 11:51 AM   #21
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If he says no nationalization of banking, it will make the biggest difference it seems to me.
I hope he does - the Swedes knew best.

On second thought - the Norwegian widow owns BAC, JP Morgan, Citi, Sun Trust and those Swiss cats - UBS.

Hmmmmm.

heh heh heh - kay cera cera whatever will be will be. .
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:52 AM   #22
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That medicare bit would be staggeringly good news for us early retirees who pay for our own coverage. We could save thousands per year, if my assumptions about how it would work are true.

I wish I hadn't seen that paragraph, since it probably won't come to be.

This is my basic understanding of medicare:

What is Medicare?
Wonder what the "buy in price would be"? I did a little guessing on another tread. Something like 65 (years old)-55 (years old)=10 (multiplying factor). Current cost $96.40 per month or $1,156.80 (single person) times the "multiplying factor", in this case 10 so "buy in" for something like $11,568 and then pay the monthly fee ($96.40) from then on. The closer to 65 the lesser the multiplying factor would be. Oh yes, then you have to pickup a MEDICARE supplement policy for what MEDICARE does not pay and to cover the current co-pays and the prescription costs.
Just my guess and it could be more or less, probably more, for those that can afford it, others would get a bail out.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:52 AM   #23
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Still, given that those most likely to opt in are those with significant medical problems or pre-existing conditions, that might be pricing it too cheaply. I doubt that someone who is healthy and of appropriate weight with no preexisting conditions are the ones who would choose to buy in.
Exactly. This will likely lead to adverse selection in the Medicare program, further driving up its costs.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:04 PM   #24
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Exactly. This will likely lead to adverse selection in the Medicare program, further driving up its costs.
I'm not so sure about this. With a younger population enrolled in Medicare, adverse selection should be reduced, as they all don't have the same health conditions as the majority of the 65+ enrollees. When you consider how many over 55 could 'age-in' to Medicare, it has some merit.

What has happened today is that those who are really unwell stay with the traditional program, and those who are healthier look to MedAdvantage plans for additional coverage. Leading to adverse selection.

Costs are going to go up anyway, the entire population is aging.

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:16 PM   #25
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I'm not so sure about this. With a younger population enrolled in Medicare, adverse selection should be reduced, as they all don't have the same health conditions as the majority of the 65+ enrollees. When you consider how many over 55 could 'age-in' to Medicare, it has some merit.
Not if the healthier folks in the 55-65 bracket opt for private insurance. Read Ziggy's post to which I was responding.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:17 PM   #26
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Obama also seeks to increase tax collections, mainly by making good on his promise to eliminate some of the temporary tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. While the budget would keep the breaks that benefit middle-income families, it would eliminate them for wealthy taxpayers, defined as families earning more than $250,000 a year. Those tax breaks would be permitted to expire on schedule in 2011. That means the top tax rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, the tax on capital gains would jump to 20 percent from 15 percent for wealthy filers and the tax on estates worth more than $3.5 million would be maintained at the current rate of 45 percent.


I don't know how the market will react, but this plan works for me. Pretty much what he said he would do during the campaign.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:34 PM   #27
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Not if the healthier folks in the 55-65 bracket opt for private insurance. Read Ziggy's post to which I was responding.
I'd go a little farther than that, even. I'd say this:

The only way group coverage can be "affordable" is if there's little or no incentive for healthier and younger individuals to opt out of the group. Employer-based group coverage works reasonably well because the employer subsidizes coverage enough that even the healthiest folks pay considerably less out of their paycheck in the employer group than if they bought their own "premium tier" health insurance policy.

Medicare as it is can work reasonably well because basically everyone over 65 is in the group. Heck, even if you made it *everyone* over 55 it would work -- it would be costlier because you cover more people, but you wouldn't have adverse selection.

In either case, the healthier ones don't have any incentive to drop out. What they are getting by participating in the group is still better than the deal they'd get going on their own.

But as soon as group coverage becomes optional and fully paid by the policyholder, THAT is when adverse selection rears its ugly head. That is when the healthy can get a much better deal going the individual route, leaving the group with little more than the worst health risks.

Group insurance plans only work when everyone who is eligible for it actually participates in it -- young and old, healthy and sick. That's why I tend to think discussions about letting people opt into group coverage are a bad idea. If you want to make them a part of the group, you need to either mandate participation by all or else you'll only get the sick and infirm signing up (to a significant degree).
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:47 PM   #28
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Obama also seeks to increase tax collections, mainly by making good on his promise to eliminate some of the temporary tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. While the budget would keep the breaks that benefit middle-income families, it would eliminate them for wealthy taxpayers, defined as families earning more than $250,000 a year. Those tax breaks would be permitted to expire on schedule in 2011. That means the top tax rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, the tax on capital gains would jump to 20 percent from 15 percent for wealthy filers and the tax on estates worth more than $3.5 million would be maintained at the current rate of 45 percent.


I don't know how the market will react, but this plan works for me. Pretty much what he said he would do during the campaign.
May work for you but not for people that actually have to pay for his ideas. Like they say in DC, "don't tax you don't tax me, tax the guy behind the tree".
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:56 PM   #29
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I doubt that someone who is healthy and of appropriate weight with no preexisting conditions are the ones who would choose to buy in.
I guess I'm not understanding medicare in general. I would opt in as long as it were cheaper than my existing plan. Are you saying that that is unlikely.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:18 PM   #30
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May work for you but not for people that actually have to pay for his ideas. Like they say in DC, "don't tax you don't tax me, tax the guy behind the tree".
Well, yeah, I don't imagine that the folks making over $250,000/year are too thrilled with this plan. However, Obama has said consistently all along that this was something he would do if elected, and he got enough votes to be elected, so I'm apparently not the only one that thinks it's a reasonable idea.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:21 PM   #31
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Well, yeah, I don't imagine that the folks making over $250,000/year are too thrilled with this plan. However, Obama has said consistently all along that this was something he would do if elected, and he got enough votes to be elected, so I'm apparently not the only one that thinks it's a reasonable idea.
Enjoy my money.
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