McCaskill Reveals The Irony And Misunderstanding Of Medicare

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Health Care, Missouri, Senate, Video

What’s telling about the conversations surrounding the “evils” of government run health care is how many people seem to reflexively applaud the notion of government staying out of the business of health care…and yet nobody who’s on Medicare wants to get rid of it.

Watch the following clip and tell me it’s not frustrating to watch…

And so it goes…


This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 and is filed under Health Care, Missouri, Senate, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses to “McCaskill Reveals The Irony And Misunderstanding Of Medicare”

  1. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    That is rather telling. People who are on Medicare don’t pay for it, and the costs of Medicare today are far more than what they have contributed over the course of their career when you factor in rising costs and inflation, and the over-runs are being subsidized by debt which no one has figured out a way to pay back, so by the time I retire, I’m screwed because my medicare won’t pay for hardly anything, that is, presuming it is not completely bankrupt by then.

    Nobody who cashed out of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme before it collapsed complained either.

  2. mw Says:

    Good point Jimmy. What’s telling about certain bloggers who reflexively applaud the notion of government running all health care, is that they don’t understand that the actual costs of these programs are always much much higher than projected by the politicians promoting the program. 100% of the time, every program, every president, both parties, without exception. And they don’t miss by a little. They miss by a lot. The more complex the program, the bigger the miss. And this healthcare hairball is very complex indeed.

    Maybe Obama can pull this off and convince people that it will be different this time. That the $1T price tag is the real price tag. It would be easier if he had not blown all credibility with his representations of the stimulus pork fest.

    That said, getting back to the video – McCaskill continues to impress. She cuts her own path, she speaks her mind, she handled this tough crowd with aplomb. I am beginning to think she might very well be our first female president.

  3. I am not a spammer of the Health insurance industry. I am a real voter. Says:

    The people posting on this and other blog entries about health care reform are all being employed by the health care industry in a huge, very organized effort to try to mislead the american people and continue to make enormous sums of money off denying them proper health care. They are lying through their teeth, and they know it. Wendell Potter, previously a VP at CIGNA (one of the biggest private insurance providers) admitted that

    “The Medicare program that we have here is a government-run program that has administrative expenses that are like three percent or so. [Compared to CIGNA, which] spends about 20 cents of every premium dollar on overhead, which is administrative expense or profit. So they don’t want to compete against a more efficient competitor.”

    93 cents of every dollar spent on a government program is spent on giving health care to its customers. Compare that to the industry’s 80 cents. Considering that 300 million people live in the US, and they all need medical care, that 20% difference is a HUGE amount of money that disappears with Private health care. That is 10 times the amount of money that medicare spends on administrative costs.

    Millions of average americans are being lied to and manipulated to benefit the very very few rich and powerful. This is absolutely reprehensible.

    Source: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07312009/transcript1.html

  4. Nick Benjamin Says:

    That is rather telling. People who are on Medicare don’t pay for it, and the costs of Medicare today are far more than what they have contributed over the course of their career when you factor in rising costs and inflation, and the over-runs are being subsidized by debt which no one has figured out a way to pay back, so by the time I retire, I’m screwed because my medicare won’t pay for hardly anything, that is, presuming it is not completely bankrupt by then.

    You know what’s most telling? MediCare’s 65-year-olds cost us less than the under-65s. And there are an awful lot of under-65s who cost nothing because they’re uninsured.

    You don’t have to like MediCare. You do have to acknowledge that if everybody was in in the country would be financially better off, and probably no worse medically.

  5. Justin Gardner Says:

    Jimmy and mw,

    People don’t pay for Medicare? Then what’s that money coming out of my check every month for? Just because you pay for it ahead of time doesn’t mean you don’t pay for it.

    Also, agreed that costs need to be reigned in, but as this story from the NY Times reveals, prices are already fairly low when compared to prices paid by private insurance. I’m sure more savings can be found, but ultimately this is going to have to fall on the insurance companies profits and taxpayers alike. We all know it.

    By the way, McCaskill does continue to impress. But some scandals back in Missouri regarding her husband and questions about offshore accounts would probably make her null and void as far as national ambitions go.

  6. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    People don’t pay for Medicare? Then what’s that money coming out of my check every month for?

    Its for other people’s Medicare. People on Medicare don’t pay for it obviously, and the amount they paid into the system in the past is no where near what it costs now to support them, otherwise Medicare wouldn’t have 40-trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities. If things don’t change, by the time we retire circa 2050, the average American worker would have to pay close to 1 quarter of his salary in payrol taxes just to cover the cost of Medicare alone (I would normally link to the source, but that statistic comes from the heritage foundation so why bother, eh?).

    In addition, Medicare seems cheaper but that is only because Medicare pays doctors and hospitals whatever it wants to by fixing prices on drugs and treatments, forcing health care providers to often make up the costs by charging higher rates from private insurance companies.

  7. mw Says:

    “…some scandals back in Missouri regarding her husband and questions about offshore accounts would probably make her null and void as far as national ambitions…”

    If Obama can become president after spending years wallowing in the sewage of the Chicago political system and Illinois state government, Claire should not have any problem brushing off a little light soiling.

  8. Justin Gardner Says:

    What were Obama’s scandals? He bought a house from Rezko? He had an idiot for a pastor? If you don’t think oppo research didn’t uncover everything in his past, you’re fooling yourself.

    And, concerning McCaskill, since I live in the county she was County Prosecutor of, you’ll have to trust that I know more about this than you do. Still, she handles herself well. There’s no doubt about that.

  9. mw Says:

    Yeah there was that whole Rezko thing, but I wasn’t really referring to full blown scandals (at least not by MSM coverage of Obama standards of what consitutes a scandal). No, I was referring more to your usual routine day-in day-out Chicago style graft. You know – stuff like this:

    “While working basically round the clock on the Obama campaign, Axelrod’s partnership check from ASK totaled $151,914.

    The disclosures, required of all top level White House staff, also reveal for the first time, ASK Public Strategies clients, including the Chicago 2016 Committee, vice chaired by Valerie Jarrett, now a top White House advisor; the University of Chicago Medical Center, where First Lady Michelle Obama worked as a vice president and the Chicago Children’s Museum, promoted by Mayor Daley.

    Obama sponsored a $1 million earmark in 2007 to help build the Children’s Museum in Grant Park; a project facing opposition over the question of whether it was appropriate use of downtown park land.

    I’ll defer to your local knowledge of McCaskill’s skeletons in the closet.

  10. Nick Benjamin Says:

    In addition, Medicare seems cheaper but that is only because Medicare pays doctors and hospitals whatever it wants to by fixing prices on drugs and treatments, forcing health care providers to often make up the costs by charging higher rates from private insurance companies.

    They only have to accept MediCare prices if they accept MediCare.

    WalMart does exactly the same thing, and WalMart is a lot closer to a monopoly than MediCare is.

    Which means that any hospital which loses money on MediCare is, by definition, run by incompetent boobs. Either MediCare payment rates are fine, and these idiots can’t figure out how to live within their means; or MediCare payments are too low and these idiots shouldn’t take them.

    What actually happens is that these idiots can’t break even without massive subsidies from somebody, so they force small payers (aka: insurance companies) to pay ridiculous prices. This being the health industry, rather than admitting that they are using their negotiating clout to get the best deal possible; they blame MediCare.

  11. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Either MediCare payment rates are fine, and these idiots can’t figure out how to live within their means; or MediCare payments are too low and these idiots shouldn’t take them.

    Which is why more and more health care providers are refusing new medicare patients. If Ms. McCaskill doesn’t like to complain about Medicare, perhaps this is a reason to start.

    Primary care physicians are affected by Medicare price-fixing even worse than hospitals are. Good luck telling these town-hall protesters that their primary care physicians are “incompetent boobs.” Surely this will win them over to your side.

  12. Nick Benjamin Says:

    Primary care physicians are affected by Medicare price-fixing even worse than hospitals are. Good luck telling these town-hall protesters that their primary care physicians are “incompetent boobs.” Surely this will win them over to your side.

    I think MediCare should actually jack up the rates it pays family docs by quite a bit. That’s why I talked about hospitals. I assumed you were also talking about hospitals because they’re the ones who make the private-insurers-subsidize-MediCare argument.

    One reason our health care is so expensive is that it’s stupid for a Med Student to become a General Practitioner. Which means we have no GPs to perform cheap preventive medicine, but when that ulcer finally bursts we have dozens of specialists happy to operate.

    Ideally this would be paid for by shafting specialists because that would be revenue neutral (no increase in the deficit), and by cutting payment rates we could force some of these zombie-hospitals led by total dimwits to change their ways. If GM wasn’t too good to change it’s ways Beuamont Medical Center, suburban Detroit, MI, motto “Use us or you’ll DIE,” isn’t sacred.

  13. Verna Winebaugh Says:

    I love and crave simplicity so we can do really fun or, at least, useful things with our limited time on this earth. There is a host of extremely intelligent and informed comments above, but is there wisdom within them? Why not just pool our resources using insurance instruments, and forget all this government program to help us stuff? If I die because I can’t afford medical care, or I become more sick, tell me, is it such an overwhelming tragedy? Hanging on to a miserable life, afraid of life, and even more afraid to die to end the misery of living is a poor excuse for federal help plans. At least I’m not imposing upon strange taxpayers I will never meet or can properly thank. It would be a life lived with a little more honesty, would it not?

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