What Will Happen To Medicare, Medicaid, etc.?
Obamacare, as it was labeled never, became the panacea to heal our health care system ills in terms of making health care affordable to all. During the Obama administration under whose “leadership” saw healthcare costs and premiums skyrocket. The net effect was doctors ceased accepting Obamacare leaving fewer doctors for Obamacare patients to go to. The doctors you were promised you could keep ran away from the plan as it was deemed toxic.
Donald Trump takes office as the new President of the United States with a commitment to abolishing the failed Obamacare system and replacing it with a new plan that has yet to drawn up. In addition, there are plans to reconfigure Medicare leaving millions of Americans fearful they will be left without coverage and once again leave the doctors they had come to know and trust. Medicare has been under attack for years as has been deemed a waste of taxpayer dollars. As much as I am excited about the possibilities that a Trump presidency will bring I like many others are worrying about the state of healthcare.
Medicare for those who do not know is the federal health insurance for people or are 65 years of age or older. Certain younger Americans with disabilities, and people End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD.) Medicare is broken down into Medicare Part A which covers hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility (aka Nursing Home or Rehabilitation Facility), and some home health care. Medicare Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care (similar in this regard to Part A) medical supplies, and preventative services. Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private insurer that contract with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A & Part B benefits. Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) Part D adds prescription drug coverage (as stated previously) to Original Medicare.
From the summary of the different components of Medicare, it is easy to see why the program has spiraled out of control in terms of cost. There is a duplication of coverage in several sections of the plan. Depending on your plan and if you have supplemental insurance such as Medicaid your premiums can force you to choose between your health coverage and food. This is not a choice any American should have to make.
Medicaid is a program for New Yorkers (the program differs out of New York State) who cannot afford to pay for medical care. Medicaid is a benefit program (some label it as an entitlement that encourages recipients to use it to get money from phony doctors or treatments that were either unnecessary or nonexistent. Congress has been grumbling for years that a greater percentage of the cost of Medicaid should be paid by the individual states who claim they cannot assume this cost forcing the Federal Government to subsidize it. Fraud is not a term that is not attached to the Medicaid program. Part of the blame falls back onto the government as there never was and continues to be a lack of a competent monitoring system to make sure costs of services are not being driven up by unscrupulous doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, etc. Each of the institutions named has a system in place where kickbacks are given to the patient or the referring part of the provider of service. This practice has been in place for years that despite the occasional crackdown the “system” is pretty much operating as it has for decades.
Given these problems that are associated with both Medicare and Medicaid it should come as no shock that now with a decidedly Conservative wave that has enveloped this country there is plenty of room for those who are legally entitled to the benefits they receive without abusing the programs left to wonder what will be with their health coverage as these programs are now more than ever under the microscope with an eye to eliminating or at least drastically cutting back on the expenses that are incurred leaving more people uninsured.
The sick and the elderly have the most to fear. Those who are receiving benefits for which they are not entitled are the ones who must be cut so that the legitimate recipients are not affected. To force people to choose (as I mentioned earlier) between their medical care and food is despicable and should not be one that needs to be made. This administration will need to take a close look at these programs and come up with refinements or replacement coverage that does not force this choice on the needy. Doctors need to be involved in this process even though they are part of the problem as well.
Inauguration Day is not until Friday, January 20th @ 12:30 pm. While nothing will change immediately you can be sure changes will be made and are long overdue to be made within short order. We have long since been made aware of the staggering costs these programs strain the budget on both the Federal and local level. It is the hope that the very talented people put in place by the incoming President will also be of great compassion along with an abundance of wisdom.
As health care costs rise even the wealthier of Americans are struggling with the cost though not to the same extent as those with lesser income or capabilities. Can anybody afford to go into a Nursing Home or similar facility or pay for an aging parent to reside there and not destroy them financially to the point where the grown children now with families of their own may face foreclosure of their homes as they become financially responsible for their aging parents? The health care program financial demands on the Federal budget seem to increase leading for calls for spending reductions. The two funded (local and Federal) health insurance programs that are the two highest drains on the “books” today. Clearly, like all programs be they on either level of the government tighter controls via audits and checks and balances there should be no suffering to go around.
A person who is uninsured that is hospitalized causes the cost of health care even more. You have a hospital that treated a patient and now must eat the cost of treatment. Granted there are gross overcharges ($10. for an aspirin) that add to this problem. If you do some basic cost calculations in your head it is easy to see that uninsured people will become an almost incurable infection to our health system. This makes the case for making sure those who need medical coverage will have it even if they legitimately and through no fault of their own cannot pay for it. Obamacare was in theory supposed to take away that problem. Instead, it added to our debt not to mention more Americans are uninsured than 8 years ago as the program was a colossal failure.
We welcome the new President and look to him to use his intellect and his humanity to solve this problem for the good of all Americans.