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Thread: Medicare For All?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member Cherie's Avatar
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    Default Medicare For All?

    I am hearing more and more talk about "Medicare for All". It seems that people think Medicare is free health care and it is not! All of us who qualify for Medicare get , at no cost to us, hospitalization covered but nothing else (Medicare Part A). If we decide to purchase Medicare Part B at $140/month, we are granted access to Dr appointments and lab work and X-Rays and MRIs and required durable medical equipment at 80% of the cost meaning we are still responsible for 20% of the cost. If a Dr visit costs $100, we are responsible for paying the Dr. $20 of that and Medicare Part B pays the other $80.

    If we want further coverage that picks up that 20% that we are responsible for, we buy a Medicare Advantage or Supplement Plan. That can cost a hundred to two hundred dollars more a month but will cover all co-pays for Dr, lab, X-ray, durable Medical equipment. But wait.... These plans do not cover prescription medications unless they are administered while you are in a hospital. So we buy a Medicare part D plan which covers part of our medication costs. However, all medications covering many conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Cancer and more are in the highest tier of co-pay at 40% of the cost of the drug. For some of these medications that can be thousands of dollars out of pocket a month.

    Medicare is NOT free health care! As working adults we pay into Medicare over the years of our employment or self-employment by law. We continue to pay premiums for that care at whatever level we feel we need that care once we qualify for Medicare. On Medicare, we (as a couple) pay approximately $9,000 a year in premiums for the two of us but it is far easier to manage than the $2900/month that we were paying in Blue Cross premiums and we are grateful that we have that care when we need it.

    Please dialogue with your Congress people about what they are talking about or what comes to their mind when they hear "Medicare for All"? What needs to happen to make this level of care available to all? What will it cost us out of our pockets (in premiums or increased taxes)? We have just over a year and a half before the next election to learn about and come to understand the issues on the table and need to not rely on emotional pleas and speeches to "inform us". Please take this time to educate yourself on what the terms used will mean for you and your family in terms of outcomes and costs and be an informed voter and active citizen.

    Please take some time to add your thoughts.

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  3. #2
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    Cherie, I think Medicare is being cut down some. It is my understanding that the PCPs now are mostly doing what they call Wellness Exams rather than Physicals. This consist of asking something like 12 questions and not putting their hands on you. I don't know at what point they touch you. It could be if you ask them to check something in particular because you have a concern that they might be able to do it. Anyway, they say it is because of a new Medicare rule. I did not get physicals anyway so I have not bothered to find out. My PCP did tell me she would like me to have a Wellness Exam soon.
    Virginia

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    Medicare all means that people who can afford NO health care, or people not eligible for health care, will at least get somAe basic care. I'm willing to continue to support those people by paying for some care for myself. Ideally health care would become a right, and given to everyone...but even then, we would be paying for it through an increase in taxes to cover the cost. Countries that provide health care to its citizens do it by charging higher taxes to those citizens who are making an income. We don't want to pay more in taxes. Just today Trump is proposing a cut to Medicare and Medicaid. Any more cuts and even more people wont be able to afford health care..

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    Distinguished Community Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    I agree with you Cherie. Last year I spent $22,000 including meds, premiums on Medicare and Medigap, eye related expenses, MMJ.

    ďMedicare for allĒ is a code word for medicine like they have in England or Canada. It has its strengths, and also major weaknesses. The govt in England has been cutting off funding for many centers, creating hardships of waiting 9 months to see a specialist for many. Its akin to starving the EPA or something like that.

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    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I am hearing more and more talk about "Medicare for All". It seems that people think Medicare is free health care and it is not! All of us who qualify for Medicare get , at no cost to us, hospitalization covered but nothing else (Medicare Part A). If we decide to purchase Medicare Part B at $140/month, we are granted access to Dr appointments and lab work and X-Rays and MRIs and required durable medical equipment at 80% of the cost meaning we are still responsible for 20% of the cost. If a Dr visit costs $100, we are responsible for paying the Dr. $20 of that and Medicare Part B pays the other $80.

    If we want further coverage that picks up that 20% that we are responsible for, we buy a Medicare Advantage or Supplement Plan. That can cost a hundred to two hundred dollars more a month but will cover all co-pays for Dr, lab, X-ray, durable Medical equipment. But wait.... These plans do not cover prescription medications unless they are administered while you are in a hospital. So we buy a Medicare part D plan which covers part of our medication costs. However, all medications covering many conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Cancer and more are in the highest tier of co-pay at 40% of the cost of the drug. For some of these medications that can be thousands of dollars out of pocket a month.

    Medicare is NOT free health care! As working adults we pay into Medicare over the years of our employment or self-employment by law. We continue to pay premiums for that care at whatever level we feel we need that care once we qualify for Medicare. On Medicare, we (as a couple) pay approximately $9,000 a year in premiums for the two of us but it is far easier to manage than the $2900/month that we were paying in Blue Cross premiums and we are grateful that we have that care when we need it.

    Please dialogue with your Congress people about what they are talking about or what comes to their mind when they hear "Medicare for All"? What needs to happen to make this level of care available to all? What will it cost us out of our pockets (in premiums or increased taxes)? We have just over a year and a half before the next election to learn about and come to understand the issues on the table and need to not rely on emotional pleas and speeches to "inform us". Please take this time to educate yourself on what the terms used will mean for you and your family in terms of outcomes and costs and be an informed voter and active citizen.

    Please take some time to add your thoughts.
    I do not know anyone who thinks Medicare is free. Friends who advocate Medicare for all do understand that Medicare bargains the price it pays for services. People like the idea because it seems fair. We all can pay for and receive good health care and it would eliminate that aspect of what insurance companies can sell us.
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

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    Medicare for All still would not replace Medicaid since most people on Medicaid cannot afford the Part B premiums or Part D premiums or the co-pays that many people on Medicare pay. So, therefore wouldn't we still have the same number of people who are not covered? Or would we all pay more in order to take care of those who cannot afford the Medicare premiums and co-pays?

    I would love to see all people with some form of health care, but I do not want to see it done the way it is in England. I know this from a friend I have from England. She use to return a couple of times a year to see family. Some of her family had private insurance and they did fine if they needed a Doctor or Hospital, but the ones who did not had a hard time. Sometimes they could not get in to see a Doctor for months, even when it really was much needed. She told me many things that were very scary about the National Health Care in England. I am not sure this is true in Canada. I do know their health care system is different from England's.

    I wonder what this would do to our National Debt? This has already grown so much in the past two years that, in my opinion, it could eventually bankrupt our country.
    Virginia

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    If your income is low, there are special programs built into Medicare that provide help with the premiums, copays., etc. One of the programs is the QMB (Qualified Medicare Beneficiary) program:

    https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/el...caid-enrollees

    If you're low income, you're probably "dual eligible"--eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, and you can qualify under one of 4 programs under Social Security. QMB offers the most complete benefits.
    Last edited by agate; 03-11-2019 at 08:21 PM. Reason: link changed to reflect more accurate information
    i don't trip--I do random gravity checks.

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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Jim and I each pay about $5k/year for CMS Medicare, Part B and Part D supplements.

    In the 2 + years of Jimís cancer journey, he has had:

    4 chemotherapy drugs ($6-8K +)
    1 immunotherapy drug (Opdivo) ($9K +)
    10 rounds of radiation on his skull ($5k+)
    (amount is per treatment)

    A lung biopsy ($10K+)
    A bone marrow biopsy ($12K+)
    A port placement ($9k+)

    Numerous CAT scans, MRIs, x-rays, blood draws, tissue analysis, and one PET Scan

    Separate bills for radiologist readings

    2 hospitalizations (one for 6 days in 2017, including ER admission; one for 3 days in 2019; private room in the Cancer Unit)

    Countless doctor visits

    Steroids, pain and nausea meds, meds for breathing issues, antibiotics

    COST OF ALL OF THAT TO US

    Aside from copay on a couple of the breathing meds and $40 for Promethazine with Codeine, which wasnít covered, because they thought he had the flu/a cold, we have paid nothing. NOTHING.

    Jim receives monthly statements about Medicareís payments and his Parts B and D coverage. I havenít totaled them, because thatís just too overwhelming to me. I should have started that at the beginning! The estimates I stated above illustrate how expensive cancer is to treat. So, we can just imagine the enormity of the total cost. The brain radiation alone cost over $50K.

    At $5K/year, that is an astonishing bargain for us. If we didnít have Medicare, we would be homeless and penniless. Or Jim would be dead.

    For decades, RA prevented us from getting health insurance, because we were considered to have a pre-existing condition. Once we were denied the first time, we werenít even eligible to apply again for 5 years. Then it became 10 years. I tried everything.

    Even if an insurance company would have accepted us, the premiums would have been huge, with large deductibles, and haggling over coverage.

    As soon as Jim turned 65, he had Medicare. Thank God he didnít have cancer before he was 65.

    UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE

    I think ďMedicare for AllĒ is a generic catch phrase for Universal Health Care, or Single Payer Health Care.

    Private insurance companies make far too much profit, which restricts how much health care people can afford. Big Pharma needs to be brought under control. The costs of hospitalization should be regulated. Not down graded, just not enhanced by tricks like ordering a CT scan, when the patient doesnít need one.

    We donít need socialized medicine per se, but we do need government oversight of the provision of health care and the right everyone has to receive health care. I don't want the systems in England or Canada. I don't think they'd work here, because of our size/population. France used to have an excellent health care system.

    I donít now how our program should be constructed, but a team of experts should be able to come up with something viable. I don't consider our Congressional representatives to be experts in health care provision. They could bring in people, who are, for a Task Force.

    If the wealthiest among us paid their fair share of taxes, thereís a lot we could do in this country, including Universal Health Care.

    This is just my opinion, based on my experience of going 30 years without health insurance, before I was Medicare eligible, and hassling with insurance companies and Medicaid for my sons.

    Hereís an article with a list of all of the countries, which have Universal Health Care:

    https://www.nasdaq.com/article/all-t...hcare-cm757323

    However we do it, I feel that we should be on that list.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. Now, they watch over Jim and me.

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  17. #9
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    Amen to this
    I would love to see all people with some form of health care, but I do not want to see it done the way it is in England. I know this from a friend I have from England. She use to return a couple of times a year to see family. Some of her family had private insurance and they did fine if they needed a Doctor or Hospital, but the ones who did not had a hard time. Sometimes they could not get in to see a Doctor for months, even when it really was much needed. She told me many things that were very scary about the National Health Care in England. I am not sure this is true in Canada. I do know their health care system is different from England's.
    and this
    We don’t need socialized medicine per se, but we do need government oversight of the provision of health care and the right everyone has to receive health care. I don't want the systems in England or Canada. I don't think they'd work here, because of our size/population. France used to have an excellent health care system.
    England's healthcare sucks. I know someone from England who could not even get an AFO. I think politicians like Bernie and AOC say "Medicare for All" to make it sound better.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/astrokeofendurance.php

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  19. #10
    Distinguished Community Member Cherie's Avatar
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    Thank you for the thoughtful replies and your stories shared. I just heard on the news that The proposed budget that our President presented today cuts 834 billion dollars from the Medicare budget to help fund the now 9 billion dollar wall and increase Homeland Security staff. Does he not know that Medicare is paid for by us (same as Social Security) from our paychecks or in our tax returns if we are self employed? I truly don't think he knows this...

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