#1 OAbama pushing granny off the cliff--how special.02-25-2014, 06:18 PM
More of Obama soaking the "rich"---the problem in my opinion is that someone making $45-85k isn't rich. Now the Obamas are rich. Perhaps they had best do some cost-cutting themselves instead of taking it out of grandma and grandpa's hide.
[QUOTE- More high-income surcharges. Wealthier seniors already pay substantially more for Part B and Part D premiums. Last year, President Obama proposed expanding these surcharges, and the idea likely will turn up again in this year's budget, according to advocates with sources close to the White House.
Currently, individuals with income of $85,000 and above ($170,000 for joint filers) pay a higher share of the total premiums. The president's plan would boost some of those fees, and gradually pull in seniors with lower incomes. Research by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates individuals with incomes of $47,000 and higher ($94,000 for joint filers) would be affected.
The idea behind these cost-shifting measures is "more skin in the game" - the notion that asking patients to pay more will make them savvier consumers more likely to cut out wasteful use of healthcare services. Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, says it's a dubious proposition
"Seniors certainly will forgo care, but the problem is they won't know if they are forgoing something that is needed or unnecessary ... so more of them ultimately wind up in the doctor's office with serious problems. And once you're in the system, you simply do what the doctor tells you to do."
At any rate, seniors already have plenty of skin in the game. Thirty-seven percent of the average Social Security check went for healthcare in 2010, up from 21 percent in 1992, according to a recent analysis of Medicare records by Social Security Works, an advocacy coalition.
Widening the lens a bit, healthcare consumed 15 percent of total of Medicare households' budgets in 2010, three times the portion in younger households, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser reports that the biggest healthcare bite occurs at the oldest age. For Medicare beneficiaries over age 80, it is 18 percent of total household income, compared with 12 percent for 65- to 69-year-olds.][/QUOTE]
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