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Obama's Upcoming Social Security Proposal
Old 04-13-2011, 12:21 AM   #1
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Obama's Upcoming Social Security Proposal

A lot of speculation about the contents of the proposal due today. I expect him to grab a big enough handful of the third rail of politics that if he is defeated in 2012 the liberal press can blame the defeat on his SS proposal, regardless of what the facts are. They'll do that to scare future politicians into leaving SS alone.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:41 AM   #2
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ItDontMeanAThing View Post
A lot of speculation about the contents of the proposal due today. I expect him to grab a big enough handful of the third rail of politics that if he is defeated in 2012 the liberal press can blame the defeat on his SS proposal, regardless of what the facts are. They'll do that to scare future politicians into leaving SS alone.
That doesn't make sense. If he loses it will be to more draconian changes to SS.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:04 AM   #4
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"Fixing" SS is one of the least difficult things one our plate, but it makes a good political football.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ItDontMeanAThing View Post
A lot of speculation about the contents of the proposal due today. I expect him to grab a big enough handful of the third rail of politics that if he is defeated in 2012 the liberal press can blame the defeat on his SS proposal, regardless of what the facts are. They'll do that to scare future politicians into leaving SS alone.
I speculate that this thread will "grab a big handful of the third rail of the death panel"...
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:39 PM   #7
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I think the most immediate concern is medicare and creating disincentives for treatments that neither cure nor add to the quality of life. That will be difficult to structure but I think it must be done, maybe by incentives for hospice services or by look-backs at health care providers when a patient dies within 30 days of costly treatments - don't pay the bill and prohibit the provider from billing the patent's family unless there was a signed consent and a fixed fee for services. I recall a poster on this board a couple years ago who insisted that a dying parent be kept in ICU until another family member from out of town could be there when the parent died BECAUSE IT WAS COVERED BY INSURANCE (Medicare). Likewise providing mobility aids (Hoveraround and the like) should be, at a minimum, income/asset based in addition to necessary. Lots of this equipment goes to the dump after the purchaser dies because there is no incentive for a re-sale market. I shall now step off my soap box.

Social security can be dealt with by increasing the max income taxed and maybe adding a month or two to the minimum age for benefits.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:57 PM   #8
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The Bowles-Simpson (presidents) commision lowered SS payments by income tier. The top tier got a (phased in) cut of around 30 percent. The next three tiers get (proportionally less) cuts. The bottom tier gets a slight increase.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:58 PM   #9
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I think the most immediate concern is medicare and creating disincentives for treatments that neither cure nor add to the quality of life. That will be difficult to structure but I think it must be done, maybe by incentives for hospice services or by look-backs at health care providers when a patient dies within 30 days of costly treatments - don't pay the bill and prohibit the provider from billing the patent's family unless there was a signed consent and a fixed fee for services. I recall a poster on this board a couple years ago who insisted that a dying parent be kept in ICU until another family member from out of town could be there when the parent died BECAUSE IT WAS COVERED BY INSURANCE (Medicare). Likewise providing mobility aids (Hoveraround and the like) should be, at a minimum, income/asset based in addition to necessary. Lots of this equipment goes to the dump after the purchaser dies because there is no incentive for a re-sale market. I shall now step off my soap box.
These are the so-called "death panals" you refer to. It was very controversial and was dropped from the healthcare legislation.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:12 PM   #10
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So what is your proposal to reduce medicare's payments for treatments that do not cure or add to the quality of life? The issue is not whether or not any one can receive them, the question is who should pay for them.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:23 PM   #11
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These are the so-called "death panals" you refer to. It was very controversial and was dropped from the healthcare legislation.
Political theater...

Insurance companies often make this choice now. Is it only a death panel if the government makes the decision?
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:38 PM   #12
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These are the so-called "death panals" you refer to. It was very controversial and was dropped from the healthcare legislation.
The so called "death panels" provision that was dropped was simply an authorization for reimbursement of physicians' time to counsel terminal patients on the options available to them. It was a totally benign concept that was unfairly characterized by opponents.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:23 PM   #13
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So what is your proposal to reduce medicare's payments for treatments that do not cure or add to the quality of life? The issue is not whether or not any one can receive them, the question is who should pay for them.
I have to agree somewhat with what Brat posted. My Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004 at age 80. He passed away about 1 1/2 years later in 2006 at age 82. He was not going to have the lung surgery but doctor(and oldest sister) talked him into it.
His quality of life after the surgery was horrible. He could have lived better days without the surgery. IMHO the surgery hastened his death. He didn't pass away from the cancer. Rather it was the onset of one infection after another due to a much weakened immune system...as is often the case.

I'm certain we all have stories such as this.

Mixed emotions....about what should be done in situations like this. On one hand, no one wants to take "the choice" of treatment away from anyone...as it raises the "death panel" argument. On the other, what sense does it make? In my dads case, it made no sense. But the hospital and all the doctors were paid.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:14 PM   #14
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The so called "death panels" provision that was dropped was simply an authorization for reimbursement of physicians' time to counsel terminal patients on the options available to them. It was a totally benign concept that was unfairly characterized by opponents.
That was one of many options that were in play. Some advocated a review of end-of-life care by physician panels so that those precious Medicare dollars were wisely spent. Some believe, rightly or wrongly, that if someones time is basically up then we shouldn't be trying extreme and extremely expensive measures to save them.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:10 PM   #15
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Here's a transcript and audio recording of the speech today.

President Obama's Speech On Deficit Cutting : NPR

Yes, it is a link to a NPR web site, but all that's there is the audio recording and speech transcript. Just don't click on the other links or read the comments, and you'll be fine...
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:23 PM   #16
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DH and I watched the speech. Been listening to the reaction. Hang on.....

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Old 04-13-2011, 04:29 PM   #17
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So what is your proposal to reduce medicare's payments for treatments that do not cure or add to the quality of life?
Should we care? It is a typically conservative conceit that there is some sort of coincidence between what is unethical/immoral and what is expensive. It will probably turn out that no feasible limitation on end of life care will save enough money to make it worth the trouble. Take care of the dollars, and the morals will take care of themselves.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:51 PM   #18
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The original topic of this thread was "SS proposal". This is what Obama said:

Quote:
That includes, by the way, our commitment to Social Security. While Social Security is not the cause of our deficit, it faces real long-term challenges in a country that's growing older. As I said in the State of the Union, both parties should work together now to strengthen Social Security for future generations. But we have to do it without putting at risk current retirees, or the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans' guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market. And it can be done.
While Ryan's plan said this:

Quote:
While certain details of the Commissionís Social Security proposals, particularly on the tax side, are of debatable
merit, the Commission undoubtedly made positive steps forward on bipartisan solutions to strengthen Social
Security. This budget builds upon the Commissionís work, forcing action to solve this pressing problem by
requiring the President to put forward specific ideas on fixing Social Security.
In a shared call for leadership, this budget also puts the onus on Congress to offer legislation to ensure the
sustainable solvency of this critical program. Both parties must work together to chart a path forward on
common sense reforms, and this budget provides the nationís leaders with the tools to get there.
He also said:

Quote:
The Commission suggested a more progressive benefit structure, with benefits for higher-income workers
growing more slowly than those of workers with lower incomes who are more vulnerable to economic shocks
in retirement. It also recommended reforms that take account of increases in longevity, ...
In addition, there is bipartisan consensus that Social Security reform should provide more help to those who fall
below the poverty line after retirement. Lower-income seniors should receive more targeted assistance than those who
have had ample opportunity to save for retirement
http://budget.house.gov/UploadedFile...rityFY2012.pdf
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:00 PM   #19
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That was one of many options that were in play. Some advocated a review of end-of-life care by physician panels so that those precious Medicare dollars were wisely spent. Some believe, rightly or wrongly, that if someones time is basically up then we shouldn't be trying extreme and extremely expensive measures to save them.
I don't think anything like that ever made it into any actual proposals. But now that you mention it it strikes me as a good idea to review end of life measures to be sure Medicare dollars are being well spent
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:01 PM   #20
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Obama's speech today was only the opening round. I expect to hear lots of different opinions, and whining, and doom and gloom mongering, and hand wringing, and news pundits telling us who is up or down.

At least they are now talking about it. As if they all didn't know about this decades ago.

In the end, hopefully they'll address our real problems like adults and put us on some kind of sustainable path.
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