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Obama Health Insurance
Old 12-31-2008, 03:57 PM   #1
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Obama Health Insurance

Hello Group,
I plan to retire in 12 months. One of my biggest concerns is health care cost. I'm sure all of you know all about that problem. Without being to political, do you think the up coming government plans will be a knight in shinning armor for retirees and future retirees? I've tried to read the obama plans but realize we will have to wait and see if any of the promises become reality.
Thanks for your thoughts,
Steve
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:01 PM   #2
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Without being to political, do you think the up coming government plans will be a knight in shinning armor for retirees and future retirees?
Without being too political, my response would be "no".
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:05 PM   #3
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I don't know how much ability there will be to get this done in the next year or two. And in the end, the devil would be in the details with respect to who are the "winners" and the "losers" in it.

For example, one proposal was a "Medicare for All" bill that would almost exclusively fund health care through payroll taxes on w*rking people. This would certainly be a huge boon for upper-middle class early retirement wannabes who would pay almost nothing for health insurance and would probably cause the single largest mass retirement of higher-income 50-something and early 60-something workers in the nation's history -- and then where does the money come from?

Hard to expand much more without getting seriously political.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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NML, I'm guessing you are attempting to post in keeping with your avatar. Whatever the reason for your response, a post of that nature will no longer have a place on the forum a few hours from now.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:19 PM   #5
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NML, I'm guessing you are attempting to post in keeping with your avatar. Whatever the reason for your response, a post of that nature will no longer have a place on the forum a few hours from now.
Mind explaining what was wrong with my post? How does it differ from yours that was just a "no" answer.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:28 PM   #6
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Mind explaining what was wrong with my post? How does it differ from yours that was just a "no" answer.
Sarcastic and insulting political commentary is a lot different than saying "no."
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:33 PM   #7
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Sarcastic and insulting political commentary is a lot different than saying "no."
Um ok then. Glad you all could interpret that from a simple sentence. Ill be more careful from now on.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:38 PM   #8
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Mind explaining what was wrong with my post? How does it differ from yours that was just a "no" answer.
Happy to elaborate.

Under the new rules, stating "he [Obama] is our savior" would be interpreted as a political comment, intended to be sarcastic towards an individual or political party and not directly related to the question of health coverage for retirees. You would expect those who feel differently towards the president elect to respond in kind, creating yet another political mudslinging thread. Those will soon be history.

OTOH, had you stated you believe Obama will successfully lead passage of meaningful health insurance coverage for retirees (or "yes"), that would be fine. Even better would be to elaborate on how you think he will accomplish the task.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:42 PM   #9
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Thank you. My intention was not to come across as sarcastic. Next time I will be more careful and elaborate my thoughts. Have a nice day.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Stevewc View Post
Hello Group,
I plan to retire in 12 months. One of my biggest concerns is health care cost. I'm sure all of you know all about that problem. Without being to political, do you think the up coming government plans will be a knight in shinning armor for retirees and future retirees? I've tried to read the obama plans but realize we will have to wait and see if any of the promises become reality.
Thanks for your thoughts,
Steve
I think all upcoming governments plan to be knights in shining armor for us folks. Wouldn't that be great! But I guess we'll just wait to see what happens.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:57 PM   #11
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For example, one proposal was a "Medicare for All" bill that would almost exclusively fund health care through payroll taxes on w*rking people. This would certainly be a huge boon for upper-middle class early retirement wannabes who would pay almost nothing for health insurance and would probably cause the single largest mass retirement of higher-income 50-something and early 60-something workers in the nation's history -- and then where does the money come from?
The "Medicare for All" proposals I have seen would allow individuals to buy into Medicare prior to age 65. The premiums would not be cheap. Today, those over 65 who did not pay into Medicare can buy in. The advantage would be that it would be guaranteed issue. However, if it were to be offered in parallel with current individual policies, only those who couldn't qualify for individual policies would end up buying into Medicare, leading to adverse selection in the Medicare program.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:01 PM   #12
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The "Medicare for All" proposals I have seen would allow individuals to buy into Medicare prior to age 65. The premiums would not be cheap.
I'm talking about something else -- not the proposal to allow 55-64 year olds to buy into Medicare.

Look up "HR 676". That would expand Medicare (and dental/vision coverage) to everyone, funded almost completely by payroll taxes.
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RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:09 PM   #13
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Look up "HR 676". That would expand Medicare (and dental/vision coverage) to everyone, funded almost completely by payroll taxes.
That would seem pretty unfair to working folks. I would think that, in order for something like that to pass, the taxes would also fall on unearned income, so early retirees would also pay. IMO, working folks should not be asked to subsidize early retirees.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:15 PM   #14
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Speaking of the economic impact of illness, here is an excerpt [removed info that could ID her as she was/is well known in my generation] from an email I received from a classmate today. We are both in our mid-60s:

...I have no complaints. I only wish that my body had cooperated a little better. When I was working and had full health benefits, I was relatively healthy, short of one bout with cancer in '73. I underwent two series of radiation and two series of chemo and low and behold I survived to "go round" one more time with that evil "big C". This time it is breast cancer. A radical mastectomy, a secondary lymph surgery and only one treatment available to me which is Arimidex - an estrogen stopping drug - hopefully keeping the cancer at bay. So far I am holding my own. All of this occurred after having been down for almost two full years of recovering from edema .... The edema was not properly diagnosed and before they knew it the misdiagnosis had destroyed my kidneys and my liver. Ever since then it has been a battle to keep me afloat medically speaking with medication that is "liver friendly" and that in itself has been an ordeal. Right now the Arimidex is the only treatment available to me since I have already maxed out the radiation treatment plan and my liver could not withstand a chemo treatment. The Arimidex has bad, painful side effects - severe bone, joint and muscle pain - untreatable with pain killers - I just try to keep using my muscles, doing exercises (like I was shown during my year and a half of physical therapy) in other words - use it or lose it no matter the discomfort. I'm not as tough as I use to be - but I am a survivor. The financial burden has been overwhelming. The savings went quickly, the retirement went next and even now my health insurance and Medicare do not pay the medical bills. I have four series of tests performed over a year's time. Every three months it is a battery of tests: MRI's, ultra sounds, bone scans, blood toxes, etc., just to track the cancer - to make sure it does not metastasize to any other location in my body. The first three series are paid for by insurance and Medicare - the final series every year is out of pocket - putting us right back in the hole at the end of each year. A vicious circle. Like I said I am a survivor. I am surviving. ...
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:50 PM   #15
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That would seem pretty unfair to working folks. I would think that, in order for something like that to pass, the taxes would also fall on unearned income, so early retirees would also pay. IMO, working folks should not be asked to subsidize early retirees.
I agree with ya FIRE. It would seem regressive to raise the taxes of those not fortunate enough to be able to RE in order to provide health care for those able to slip out of the harness early.

I do like the idea of opening Medicare to the 55 - 64 crowd with those folks paying the full cost individually. If you can't afford it, you aren't ready for FIRE and you need to work a while longer.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Stevewc View Post
Hello Group,
I plan to retire in 12 months. One of my biggest concerns is health care cost. I'm sure all of you know all about that problem. Without being to political, do you think the up coming government plans will be a knight in shinning armor for retirees and future retirees? I've tried to read the obama plans but realize we will have to wait and see if any of the promises become reality.
Thanks for your thoughts,
Steve
Steve, I would suggest making your plans assuming things get no better than they are now. If they do get better, great. If not, you won't be in any trouble.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:29 PM   #17
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Therein an interesting trap. If things get much better - if the health care proposals materialize into real programs in the next few years and if they are favorable to early retirees, I will certainly want to take advantage and move up my early retirement as early as possible. If those programs are later revised or pulled back, people who count on them could be in a heap of trouble. I'm guessing a couple years at least before we see the direction this may go. Then another guess at that time about what to do. Too far in the future and too speculative for me to consider yet.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:00 AM   #18
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If we see "Universal Health Care" in the USA any time soon it would really surprise me. If we do see it I think we need to move ALL taxable money to a ROTH IRA, get rid of your home (as RE taxes IMHO will be SKYROCKETING), ER quickly and get a RV and go RVing and or Boating for the rest of our lives. Paychecks, RE taxes, Sales Taxes, and other Taxable Saving are about the only MAJOR source of funding to pay for anything near UHC.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:04 AM   #19
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The trouble with Health insurance is you pay it your whole life and never use it when you are young.

When you get older health issues arise and all the young people complain about the cost of providing health care to old people.

I had health insurance for 35 years of my working life and rarely used it, now that I am 63 things are starting to happen.

So I guess I am now one of the problems with health care.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:08 AM   #20
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The trouble with Health insurance is you pay it your whole life and never use it when you are young.

When you get older health issues arise and all the young people complain about the cost of providing health care to old people.
Well, you could say the same thing about Social Security. And as far as I'm concerned, it's only a problem in the extent that these programs tend to be a worse deal for each successive generation. If that weren't the case, I suspect younger folks might not complain as much.
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