• The craziness of the health care reform debate

    Yes, I’ve read the CFRB’s defense of raising the Medicare eligibility age. But there’s something about it that’s really bothering me.

    A number of organizations are arguing that raising the retirement age won’t hurt those between the ages of 65-67 because they will all be able to get private insurance under the exchanges and the PPACA.

    The problem is, of course, that many people who want to raise the Medicare eligibility age also want to get rid of the PPACA. So over here, we have people who defend raising eligibility to 67 years because the PPACA exists, when over there, people want to abolish the PPACA.

    It would be nice if we could all agree on what reality will be for those under the age of 65 first. Once that’s settled, we could talk about what should happen to people 65-67. The crazy part of this debate is that people are simultaneously arguing we need to go further when others are arguing we need to go back.

    Which means we will likely go nowhere.

    • Americans can take their choice –ill informed or intelligently considered: pay taxes to a conscientious government-managed single payer system, where no one earns over about $175,000 a year OR pay private, profit-making insurers who pay obscene executive salaries, OR pay directly to the providers.

      Clearly, the first option is the least expensive. That’s why civilized countries use it.

      The private option is full of redundancies (patients, providers and insurers all have to audit each transaction, 20% profits, …) and on the order of 41% more expensive than the government single payer alternative.

      Paying directly is extremely high risk. You may have a very healthy life without traumatic accident and pay only for your mammograms, EKGs,blood work, Pap smears, … OR, you could contract an expensive cancer or fall under a train.

      I imagine that in advanced societies, like those that rank 16-layers above the US in educational achievement citizens could make this clear choice.

    • Let’s not forget that total health costs (expenditures) will likely go up with Medicare leaving the 65-66 demographic and with ACA’s subsidies for those who cannot afford private insurance.