Tag Archives: Medicaid

Medicare is NOT “Going Broke” – Center Medicare for Advocacy


Medicare is not in crisis. It is on solid financial footing, and, in fact, is stronger than was predicted before the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.

Medicare Part A is mostly paid for with payroll taxes which go into a trust fund. Prior to the enactment of the ACA, the Part A trust fund was expected to be insolvent in 2017. As a result of the ACA and the recession, the trust fund is not expected to be insolvent until 2028.[1]  However, even if Medicare Part A were to become insolvent by spending more than it is taking in, the program will still be able to pay out 87 percent of its benefits.[2]  While not ideal, this is a far cry from “bankruptcy.”  Further, the date of projected insolvency is not set in stone, and could easily change. The trust fund largely reflects the health of the economy. At various times since 1970, the trustees have projected Trust Fund insolvency in as few as 4 years or as many as 28 years.[3]

Importantly, funding for Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D comes from beneficiary premiums and the government’s “General Fund” –  they are a federal budget item, just like, for example, the Defense Department. Whether to, and how much to, fund these items is a purely political decision.

Let’s not let our elected officials make the wrong decisions about Medicare.

_________________________

 

[1] Board of Trustees, Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Health Insurance Trust Funds. “2016 Annual Report.” 22 June 2016. https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/tr2016.pdf (site visited November 15, 2016). P.5.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Phil Galewitz and Marilyn Werber Sarafini. “Trustees Issue Warnings on Medicare But Make No Changes to Solvency Projections.” Kansas Health Institute. 24 April 2012. http://www.khi.org/news/article/trustees-issue-warnings-medicare-make-no-changes-s (site visited November 16, 2016).

Expand Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.


a repost from 12/2013

Expand Social Security, Medicare, the ACA and Medicaid. Don’t cut them.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have lifted many Americans out of poverty and provided health and retirement security for millions of seniors and people with disabilities. When its health coverage takes effect next month, the Affordable Care Act is about to become the fourth pillar of American health and economic security.

But our work isn’t done. Please join Health Care for America Now and USAction and tell Congress: We should be expanding our social safety net, not cutting it.

For years, Republicans have been intent on trimming Social Security and Medicare benefits even as medical costs have skyrocketed and savings and pensions have been whittled away. In 25 states GOP leaders have attacked the Affordable Care Act’s critically important expansion of Medicaid, preventing millions from getting the health care they need. They make the ridiculous argument that we can’t afford health security. We are the richest nation on earth, and we can afford to make sure everyone has something as basic as health care.

Will you write to your representative in Congress to say we can boost benefits for seniors and ensure these life-saving programs last for generations to come? We can do this if Congress has millionaires pay their fair share into Social Security and if drug companies stop ripping off Americans.

Tell Congress: Expand Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Don’t cut them.

Thanks,

Will O’Neill Health Care for America Now

the 2006 essay from Ron Paul … just a reminder


Rethinking Birthright Citizenship


by Ron Paul

first posted 11/2011

A recent article in the Houston Chronicle discusses the problem of so-called anchor babies, children born in U.S. hospitals to illegal immigrant parents. These children automatically become citizens, and thus serve as an anchor for their parents to remain in the country. Our immigration authorities understandably are reluctant to break up families by deporting parents of young babies. But birthright citizenship, originating in the 14th amendment, has become a serious cultural and economic dilemma for our nation.

In some Houston hospitals, administrators estimate that 70 or 80% of the babies born have parents who are in the country illegally. As an obstetrician in south Texas for several decades, I can attest to the severity of the problem. It’s the same story in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. And the truth is most illegal immigrants who have babies in U.S. hospitals do not have health insurance and do not pay their hospital bills.

This obviously cannot be sustained, either by the hospitals involved or the taxpayers who end up paying the bills.

No other wealthy, western nations grant automatic citizenship to those who simply happen to be born within their borders to non-citizens. These nations recognize that citizenship involves more than the physical location of one’s birth; it also involves some measure of cultural connection and allegiance. In most cases this means the parents must be citizens of a nation in order for their newborn children to receive automatic citizenship.

Make no mistake, Americans are happy to welcome immigrants who follow our immigration laws and seek a better life here. America is far more welcoming and tolerant of newcomers than virtually any nation on earth. But our modern welfare state creates perverse incentives for immigrants, incentives that cloud the issue of why people choose to come here. The real problem is not immigration, but rather the welfare state magnet.

Hospitals bear the costs when illegal immigrants enter the country for the express purpose of giving birth. But illegal immigrants also use emergency rooms, public roads, and public schools. In many cases they are able to obtain Medicaid, food stamps, public housing, and even unemployment benefits. Some have fraudulently collected Social Security benefits.

Of course many American citizens also use or abuse the welfare system. But we cannot afford to open our pocketbooks to the rest of the world. We must end the perverse incentives that encourage immigrants to come here illegally, including the anchor baby incentive.

I’ve introduced legislation that would amend the Constitution and end automatic birthright citizenship. The 14th amendment was ratified in 1868, on the heels of the Civil War. The country, especially the western territories, was wide open and ripe for homesteading. There was no welfare state to exploit, and the modern problems associated with immigration could not have been imagined.

Our founders knew that unforeseen problems with our system of government would arise, and that’s precisely why they gave us a method for amending the Constitution. It’s time to rethink birthright citizenship by amending the 14th amendment.

October 3, 2006

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

Ron Paul Archives

a message from Gov.Jay Inslee


This year, we saw the JayInslee.com community play a critical role in some of our biggest successes.

As the year winds down, my team and I are gearing up. The next legislative session is a little more than a month away, so we don’t have much down time as we prepare for another round of budget negotiations and fight for our key priorities: good jobs, excellent schools, and quality health care.

And that means we need you to gear up, too.

This Friday at midnight, we have to close down fundraising for our ongoing political operations — the same operations that helped us fight and win our key budget priorities this year — until the legislative session ends next spring.

So I’m asking for your help to raise the additional $25,000 we need to keep going strong and send the message that we’re ready for anything as we head into the legislative session.

Will you contribute $5 now to help us raise an urgent $25,000 before Friday’s midnight deadline?

This year, we saw just how difficult our job can be. But we also saw the JayInslee.com community play a critical role in some of our biggest successes.

With your help, we made an unprecedented investment in the future of our education system. We protected vital services for our seniors. We expanded Medicaid and changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians. We put in place Results Washington, a data-driven effort to measure and constantly improve the performance of state government every day. And our work getting the Washington Health Plan Finder up, running, and helping Washingtonians find excellent health care coverage has been the envy of the nation.

I’m proud that we’ve had such success in just our first year. But none of that came easy, and our work will only get tougher as we strive to protect what we’ve accomplished while continuing to move Washington forward.

That’s why your support now is so important. Just like when I ran for governor — just like when we fought for the successes of this last year — the grassroots community we’ve built is a powerful force that can carry us forward and help build a working Washington.

We need your help today — before our early end-of-year deadline — to keep our community strong and make sure we can keep working together for the future we all want for the state of Washington.

Will you contribute $5 now to reach our $25,000 goal and help support our work throughout the legislative session?

I can’t tell you how helpful it is to know that, when I’m working hard in Olympia, I have you and tens of thousands of activists like you standing with me across the state.

We’ve already accomplished so much. With your support today, we can keep our momentum going and build a working Washington.

Let’s go get ’em!

Jay Inslee. Governor

ThinkProgress ~~ the GOP


By 

Today’s GOP, In Two Numbers

Last week, President Obama laid out a sweeping agenda to combat income inequality, strengthen the middle class, and extend ladders of opportunity to those striving to enter it. He also challenged the GOP to put forward their own ideas instead of just rejecting whatever he proposes. We have yet to see any new ideas from the Republicans but their opposition to the president’s agenda of economic empowerment is still going strong.

Two numbers perfectly illustrate the almost cruel indifference shown by today’s GOP toward the concerns of the millions of Americans who are struggling to get by:

  • 4,831,590: That is the number of low-income Americans who will not receive health coverage through Medicaid simply because Republican governors and legislatures are refusing to expand the program under the Affordable Care Act. Because the expansion is almost entirely paid for by the federal government, states refusing to expand the program will forego billions in tax dollars, even as providers remain on the hook for uncompensated care provided to the uninsured. Texas will lose out on more than $9 BILLION, while Florida is leaving more than $5 BILLION on the table.

real_victims-53

  • 1,300,000: That is the number of unemployed Americans who will immediately lose their benefits come January if Republicans in Congress refuse to extend long-term unemployment benefits, which would be an unprecedented move during a period of persistently high unemployment.  The number who stand to lose their benefits would climb to 3.6 MILLION by the end of 2014. In addition to unnecessarily causing added misery for millions of struggling families, letting the extended benefits lapse would also deal a blow to the economy to the tune of 240,000 lost jobs as well as reduced growth. Over the weekend, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tried to justify the GOP’s intransigence by making the bizarre argument that extended benefits are somehow harmful to the unemployed and do them a “disservice.”

BOTTOM LINE: If Republicans want to appeal to a broader group of Americans, they should stop putting politics ahead of people. The policies Republicans are pursuing will needlessly punish millions of Americans who can least afford it.