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Old 08-27-2011, 09:48 PM   #21
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One small example comes to mind - I'm going by memory here, but I recall that someone on medicare can rent a wheelchair for 6(?) months at a cost several times greater than what they could buy it for. If something that crazy is going on, there must be plenty of places to cut.

here we go...
There are millions of Medicare "customers." The better question is, to the extent this is a fair criticism, how often does this happen?

I have no doubt that there is a fair amount of fraud and waste in the Medicare system, and those who are looking for it can find examples. But with tens of millions of participants, a few examples aren't compelling in and of themselves. If there's a widespread problem, the statistics should bear that out. And maybe they can, I don't know, but all I ever see attacking the system is a few extreme examples.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:07 PM   #22
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There are millions of Medicare "customers." The better question is, to the extent this is a fair criticism, how often does this happen?

I have no doubt that there is a fair amount of fraud and waste in the Medicare system, and those who are looking for it can find examples. But with tens of millions of participants, a few examples aren't compelling in and of themselves. If there's a widespread problem, the statistics should bear that out. And maybe they can, I don't know, but all I ever see attacking the system is a few extreme examples.
That's true, but this one has been sighted many times, and AFAIK has not been fixed. Is it just an extreme example, or is it typical of the whole system? I don't know. But it is true that we spend more on HC in the US and get poorer results than others. That isn't a good sign that things are going well.


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Old 08-27-2011, 11:08 PM   #23
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That's true, but this one has been sighted many times, and AFAIK has not been fixed. Is it just an extreme example, or is it typical of the whole system?
I guess it's supposed to be obvious that Medicare should buy wheelchairs rather than rent them? It's not obvious to me. If they buy them, how many do they need to buy for each patient? If a patient doesn't like his wheelchair, what does it cost to handle the complaint? What happens when one breaks? If they rent them, how long do they have to rent them for?
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:15 PM   #24
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And how exactly do we slow the rate of government spending on health care?

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Then there's the untouchable...TORT REFORM!
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:00 AM   #25
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There are a number of issues related economically... many more than could be written in a post. Some related to Global changes, comparative advantages, etc.

For the govt deficit and debt. There are two issue: the current economy (and its state and health) and the ongoing future economy (and its longer term state and health).

The current wedge issue related to taxes is really about continuing deficit spending to try to get the (current) economy going - example: roads and bridges projects.

Most people seem to agree that increasing taxes right now would be a bad idea because it would take money out of the hand of consumers.

Some use that general issue to put any tax talks off (period) because they do not want any taxes period.... any excuse to stall is a good excuse (political cover).

The next tax increase that will happen is the GWB tax sunset. All politicians know it.

The GWB tax cuts that caused a big part of our unfunded liability will sunset on all of us.

I think there should be a $2.1T+ tax leveled against the most wealthy in the US... because they are the ones that really took advantage of the unfunded liability that (was funded with the middle class FICA taxes).
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:53 AM   #26
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I guess it's supposed to be obvious that Medicare should buy wheelchairs rather than rent them? It's not obvious to me.
This has been discussed before here, with plenty of examples. I'll let you do the research this time, but yes, it does seem obvious that medicare is paying far too much for rentals, and should investigate alternatives. And yes, I assume this is representative of how they handle our money - why would one think differently, that this is some odd exception? Should we assume
that governmental agencies are highly efficient in this regard?


Quote:
If they buy them, how many do they need to buy for each patient? If a patient doesn't like his wheelchair, what does it cost to handle the complaint? What happens when one breaks?
Well, the many companies that sell direct to non-Medicare consumers face this, and they seem to be able to make a profit selling chairs at less than it costs to rent for a month or two when charged through medicare. A friend of mine decided to investigate buying a second chair to keep at his house for his MIL, to avoid the hassle of moving her chair back & forth. He was shocked at the low prices after seeing what medicare pays, and the chair he got (delivered to his door overnight) was the exact model his MIL had.

I've seen comment on the web that people could have bought their chair for less than their personal co-pay for a 12 month rental.

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Old 08-28-2011, 10:05 AM   #27
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The next tax increase that will happen is the GWB tax sunset. All politicians know it.
This is not accurate. The "GWB tax sunset" was set to occur Jan 1, 2011.

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 ... but is more commonly referred to as one of the two "Bush tax cuts".

One of the most notable characteristics of EGTRRA is that its provisions were designed to sunset, or revert to the provisions that were in effect before it was passed, on January 1, 2011. These provisions were extended for two years under the 2010 Tax Act.
Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111-312, 124 Stat. 3296, H.R. 4853), was passed by the United States Congress on December 16, 2010 and signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 17, 2010.
So, using your terminology, we can re-write that as:


"The next tax increase that will happen is the BHO tax sunset. All politicians know it."

Since the attribution seemed important enough for you to include, I'm sure you'd want it to be accurate.

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Old 08-28-2011, 10:14 AM   #28
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"The next tax increase that will happen is the BHO tax sunset. All politicians know it."
Excellent point although quite contentious amongst the BHO faithful.
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:35 AM   #29
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