Tag: Medicare

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In every election I’ve been involved with, going back 44 years, Democratic candidates for the US House and Senate, and a couple of presidents, claim that Republicans plan to cut Social Security. You don’t have to go far to find the most recent evidence: The White House’s official government website. Preview Open

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Orwellian Boondoggles in Congress. Again.


The nation’s oldest polling company, Gallup, periodically tests Americans’ confidence in our institutions. On July 5, they published their latest. I bet the numbers won’t surprise you. While Americans continue to hold small businesses, our military, and the police in high esteem, Congress is ranked dead last.

Americans despise Congress more than Jar Jar Binks.

Even nine of ten Democrats polled don’t have much confidence in an institution their party controls.

Start Paying Attention to Social Security, Whatever Your Age


After the late Sen. Robert Dole (R-KS) passed away earlier this month, I visited YouTube to watch his Senate farewell address. He resigned from the Senate as Majority Leader and as the Senior Senator from Kansas on June 11, 1996. I had a front-row seat for his speech as Secretary of the Senate.

During that speech, Dole considered helping extend the solvency of Social Security, which teetered on the edge of bankruptcy in 1983, as his single most significant legislative achievement, among many. It was a bipartisan agreement that included reforms insisted by Republicans (phasing in the age to receive full retirement benefits, including mine) and tax hikes demanded by Democrats. It was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, flanked by a happy bipartisan delegation from Congress, along with Treasury Secretary Don Regan.

Pence Coronavirus Team Announces Daily Briefing [updated with transcript links]


We’ll be back here every day. Get used to seeing us. We’ll bring the experts in to make sure to give you the best and most high quality real time information. Best people in the world.

–Vice President Pence

It sounds like we are really gearing up on testing capacity, from thousands to a million tests possible by the end of this month. With the large expansion Vice President Pence brought his team back to the White House Press Briefing Room, announced the updated numbers: 43 cases not including the 48 brought back from overseas, and 4 new deaths, bringing the death total in the United States to 6. He introduced two new coronavirus task force members: Seema Vera, administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs secretary, as these two programs provide medical care to an enormous number of Americans, and have oversight for procedures in health care facilities within their programs.

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We all know the political media is biased, right? I certainly hope no one is debating this anymore.  The sports media is actually even further to the left. Which is why a moderately-left guy like Clay Travis can build quite a following in sports-media by not kowtowing to the “I Hate America” crowd.  But the […]

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James Madison, founding father and president, once stated in a letter: “With respect to the words “General welfare” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense, would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character, which there is […]

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I’m not sure how to handle a probable Medicare fraud case involving my mother so I figured I’d ask for input from the smartest group of people I know. I’d appreciate it if someone can point me in the right direction. Five weeks ago I was reviewing my mom’s 2019 Medicare Summary Notices when I […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are back!  Today, they enjoy watching Democrats wasting time and money in pushing Rep. Joseph Kennedy III to launch a primary challenge against incumbent Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, but Jim also explains why it’s long past time to stop fawning over the Kennedys.  Jim also dives into his latest piece, in which he slams the social justice warriors for refusing to accept many goodwill gestures from the NFL so long as Colin Kaepernick remains without a team.  And they roll their eyes as Sen. Kamala Harris tells donors she is not comfortable with the Medicare for All legislation pushed by 2020 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, even though Harris co-sponsored the legislation.

David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss Harvard’s decision to rescind the admittance of Kyle Kashuv, a Parkland shooting survivor and conservative, for controversial past statements. They analyze the general misinformation and public ignorance about Medicare-for-All. And for today’s crazy martini, they discuss O.J. Simpson joining the Twittersphere.

David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss the devastating fire that destroyed much of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and how the event struck a deep chord with many people around the world.  They also are encouraged by how much of the 800-year-old cathedral was saved and discuss what it will take to rebuild the structure and revitalize the church in western Europe.  Finally, they pivot back to politics to discuss the Bernie Sanders town hall on the Fox News Channel, and David explains why Bernie – or who whoever the Democrats nominate – will have a very tough time defending Medicare for All once a few simple facts are known.

Richard Epstein explains how public pensions came to be a ticking time bomb for states and cities throughout the U.S., what the financial ramifications are, and why the road to reform is so perilous.

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Around my neck of the woods, almost all doctors and medical facilities have a sign in their lobby that says “No new Medicare patients”.  I’ve heard of this happening in many other parts of the country as well.  Given that lots of people retire at 65 (or later) and move to their dream retirement home […]

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What Your Hospital CEO Is Thinking


I’m currently in Charlotte, NC, working as a document review attorney. My current case involves hospitals and insurance companies, and my job is to look through thousands of emails in the inboxes of various executive and operational officers. There’s the confidential information that pertains to the case (which obviously I won’t be talking about), the day-to-day minutia of running any business (“So and so is training their replacement because while diligent and hard working, they are not a model of change-friendly leadership” is a masterful bit of corporate-speak), and the personal correspondence that probably shouldn’t have been sent from one’s work email (“My real estate agent is so lazy and lacking initiative he should be a government bureaucrat!”). But there’s also plenty of non-confidential information, from Wall Street Journal articles to slides of public presentations, and that information paints a picture of the medical industry today that I found fascinating, and I think Ricochet will too.

First and foremost, hospitals are well aware that health-care is too expensive, too hard to get, opaque in its pricing, and often wasteful in its execution. Further, they recognize that their options are either to improve themselves or be replaced by more consumer-friendly options. Chief among these ideas is the idea of moving away from “fee-for-service” models, where they are paid the services performed, to a “fee-for-value” model, where they are paid for improving the patient’s situation. Part of this is by reducing complications, a trend that Medicare is pushing by penalizing hospitals that have too many hospital-caused complications.

It’s a tradition dating back to the Founding Fathers: the American government financing safeguards, be it retirement (Social Security), health benefits (Medicare), or rewards for military service in the form of federal entitlements. In an age of debt and deficits, when will lawmakers address entitlement reform? John Cogan, Hoover’s Leonard and Shirley Ely Senior Fellow and author of a new book on the long history of federal entitlements, assesses where the Trump administration goes from here.

A Sellout, A Hypocrite or Worse, Part II: A Lament


In what I thought was a couple years ago, but find was nearly six years ago, I posted about my dilemma at the time: I was renting, married with four children and employed full-time, but couldn’t afford the employer-offered healthcare product(s) for my entire family. I had trouble reconciling myself as a bona fide right-winger (much farther to the right of the average Ricochetto or Ricochetta), and the idea of enrolling my children onto Wisconsin’s Badgercare program, the local Medicare services. The response was positive, agreeing with my findings that the market had been horribly affected by the continuing horrendous idea of having healthcare given by employers, rather than via private providers as we do for all other insurance products.

I’ve since moved companies twice; in 2015 I started working for a company that ultimately let me go this past August (it wasn’t a good fit from the start, and I can’t blame them too much). I start with a new company at the end of October, at a higher-than-expected (and higher-than-before) rate of pay: I don’t mind telling you, via the anonymity of Ricochet, that I’ll be making $60k, quite a good salary here in “north-east” Wisconsin (Oshkosh – Appleton) area in the Retirement Plan Administration industry (compliance testing, government reporting, ERISA expertise for 401(k)s, 403(b)s, old style “pension” plans, etc.).

In this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Joseph Antos hosts health policy experts to discuss Medicare’s fiscal health following the release of the 2017 Medicare Trustees report. Paul Spitalnic, chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, delivers the keynote address, in which he summarizes the report and discusses its implications on the future of Medicare.

In the following panel discussion, topics include the value of lifetime Social Security and Medicare benefits and taxes at different ages, the competition in the Medicare system and the possibility of a more private system than we have seen in the past, and the role of the Congressional Budget Office in the Medicare reform challenge. Panelists are comprised of Keith Fontenot (Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PC), Maya MacGuineas (Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget), Robert Moffit (Heritage Foundation), and Eugene Steurle (Urban Institute). The conversation is moderated by AEI’s Joseph Antos.

Richard Epstein examines the principles that should guide efforts to reform America’s tax system.

Where Affordable, Altruistic Healthcare Goes to Die


As conservatives, we’re never surprised by news that Obamacare hasn’t fixed the nightmares facing the typical American confronted with medical bills. Nor are we surprised when Obamacare only makes them worse. A few years ago, Jim Epstein at Reason predicted the demise of health-sharing ministries at the hands of Obamacare’s subsidized exchanges. The good news is that Epstein was wrong: Membership in health-sharing ministries has only grown as frustration with commercial prepaid plans under the Affordable Care Act continues to mount. According to the New York Times,

[M]embership in sharing ministries has more than doubled over the last six years, to 535,000 from about 200,000, according to the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries.

Epstein attributes this doubling to “Obamacare’s disastrous rollout and the extent to which new mandates would drive up premiums and leave customers seeking out cheaper options.”