Medicare board remains best bet

  • Article
  • Updated: May 2, 2011 - 3:54 PM

But Obama needs to spell out how it will achieve savings.

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karendavid816May. 2, 11 6:35 AM

The non-existant "Death Panel" seems to arrived.

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jollaguyMay. 2, 1111:55 PM

If you want to understand how this Board works, look at England's system. If you are over 50 and need dialysis, you are not elgible, as one example. This may not be a death panel which has been so demagogued but it will do until the real thing comes along.

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leuctraMay. 3, 1110:48 AM

However one feels about the plan put forward by Rep. Ryan of Wisconsin, we should be perfectly plain about one thing -- Medicare as it has existed up to this point will and must end. That end may come in the form of this board or it may come in the form of the block grants and other proposals put forward by Rep. Ryan...but the current system is not sustainable and both Republicans and Democrats are going to be driven to change that system.

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alansonMay. 3, 11 2:22 PM

Once again we see the Star Tribune's support for authoritarianism over democracy. The new health law grants powers to an unelected board of "experts" to determine the pricing and availability of medical services - governance of one sixth of our economy. These powers are exercised within the Executive Branch with essentially no congressional oversight. The law is written this way because the Star Tribune and its ilk believe the elected representatives of the people to be incompentent in these matters. Beware. These are the same sort of emergency powers that the Senate of Rome grew accustomed to granting dictators and that paved the way for a succession of ever more powerful Caesars. However benevolent your intention in creating this board, its existence outside of our democratic institutions cannot lead to a happy result.

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maplegrvrezMay. 3, 11 2:29 PM

Welcome to rationing. good luck finding a doctor to see you on Medicare.. they are refusing it in droves now. They can't afford to stay in business when they see a bunch of medicare patients. The entire health insurance / healthcare system needs a real overhaul. But Entitlements are going away if we don't revamp them now. There's no way to avoid that.

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KillshotMay. 3, 11 4:44 PM

As a physician I can tell you that if the public knew that an orthopedist gets paid less for the preoperative care, surgery, and post operative care for a total hip replacement than a plumber gets to replace a lift pump, they would be very afraid. Most MDs now, no matter how efficient, lose money seeing a Medicare patient. Another example: a lawyer charges for a 15 minute phone call, say $75. On your statement it says, "15 minute phone call re ______". Nothing more. Same for an account and many other non medical professionals. A doctor makes a 15 minute phone call, spends another 5-10 minutes DOCUMENTING the exact nature and conclusions from the call, calls in a prescription or test, and submits a charge to the insurance company. Elapsed time usually, 25-30 minutes. Medicare then TELLS the doctor what they will get (usually ~ $8) the payment of which arrives maybe 30 days later. Enough said. Who on earth would want to go broke doing that? The rent, employee salaries, benefits, etc are all paid with that $8, regardless as to whether you are a big player like Allina or a small private practitioner (what's left of them). If something does not change, there won't BE any MDs here anymore.

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hatesredstarMay. 3, 11 6:05 PM

The article says:"Voters need to accept that reality and demand details to figure out what is best for them.".........Newsflash, Strib...the voters have done so. That's why there was such a seachange in November 2010. You conveniently relegate that to the memory hole. When was the last time both houses in the Minnesota legislature were R?? About 45 years ago! The D's have proven hazardous to American's health and will continue to be treated that way. D's are potentially LETHAL!! No more D's!

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luv2lisnMay. 5, 11 9:01 AM

"Welcome to rationing. good luck finding a doctor to see you on Medicare.. they are refusing it in droves now.".......Funny thing, neither I nor more wife nor any other MC users have had any difficulty in finding services. I think Medicare for all makes some sense, but a universal single payer would be best.

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