The Austerity Thread - page 51

by Tweety

17,383 Views | 646 Comments

I thought I would create a thread about all things related to budget cuts. It's going to be a huge issue this next year, indeed the next several years, and perhaps an ongoing thread with various topics, but discussing this one... Read More


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    texas medical group owner among 7 indicted in alleged $375 million health care fraud scheme

    dallas — the owner of a texas medical service provider was among seven people indicted in a massive health care fraud scheme that allegedly bilked medicare and medicaid of nearly $375 million, authorities announced tuesday.

    the federal indictment accused jacques roy, a doctor who owned medistat group associates in desoto, texas, of leading a scheme that billed medicare for home health services that were not medically necessary or were not done....

    ... the indictment alleged that from january 2006 through november 2011, roy or others certified 11,000 medicare beneficiaries for more than 500 home health services — more patients than any other medical practice in the u.s.

    investigators for the u.s. health and human services department noticed irregularities with roy’s practice about one year ago, officials said.

    roy had “recruiters” finding people to bill for home health services, said u.s. attorney sarah saldana, the top federal prosecutor in dallas. some of those alleged patients, when approached by investigators, were found working on their cars and clearly not in need of home healthcare, she said....

    ... health care fraud is estimated to cost the government at least $60 billion a year, mainly in losses to medicare and medicaid. officials say the fraud involves everything from sophisticated marketing schemes by major pharmaceuticals encouraging doctors to prescribe drugs for unauthorized uses to selling motorized wheelchairs to people who don’t need them....
    texas medical group owner among 7 indicted in alleged $375 million health care fraud scheme - the washington post
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    Quote from tntrn
    I am not talking about old people at all. I am talking about young people who get free care. Perhaps that is a hijack, but lots of young people, we see them daiy in any OB department, don't pay a dime for care. It isn't fair. I think old people are getting totally ripped off, and I am very soon to be forced to go on Medicare, I will be joining the ranks. I am not happy that it is a forced thing. Over and out now.
    Sorry, I was misunderstanding that you meant deadbeat medicaide recipients when I thought were we talking Medicare. But that doesn't make up the bulk of the patients in the Doctor's hospitals that were talking about...other than perhaps OB.
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    No wonder Medicaid and Medicare costs so much. And to think the legitimate people who need these services get reduced food stamps and other program cuts due to this unabashed fraud. It's enough to make one chew nails.
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    I think Paul Ryan's trailer shows he's a good dramatic actor. It will be interesting to see his budget. I think he does have the core message correct that we need to get our heads out of the sand and address the problem. I don't support how he's going to do it....lower taxes and cut benefits, but it's a conversation we need to have. During this time of delicate economic recovery and high unemployment I think we have to be prudent with cuts.

    Paul Ryan's new budget -- the trailer | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner
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    The world’s superpower is about to lead the way in yet another realm. Next month, America is set to bear the distinction of having the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.
    Read more: Highest corporate tax rate | America | Japan | The Daily Caller
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    Again, I can say I admire Ryan and his commitment to the budget process...he brags he's done more than the democrats, but being chairman of the House budget committee he shouldn't brag about doing his job, but he does have a point...no budget in over 3 years from congress. Obama has a budget but well you know how that's working out.

    I saw him on MSNBC this AM and it's the usual "we must cut the deficit because...."...and I'm not thinking we need any more convincing of that, but good point nonetheless. He said he would cut 5 point something trillion, but when asked where he refused to answer. Finally he admitted. "there will be debt and deficit" acknowledging that the boomers raising the number of retirees from the current to 40 million to 80 million will have an impact.

    As always, being on the tail end of the boomers I'm nervious about medicare...he's going to let the generations below us...the young and healthy one's opt out......so who is going to pay for us when we've paid in our whole lives? Many questions but at least we're asking. We'll see if it can be discussed.

    The unrealistic assumptions behind Paul Ryan’s budget numbers - The Washington Post
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    Following up on yesterday's coverage, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has released his caucus' new budget plan, and there's no shortage of wonky analyses to check out. Ezra Klein had a good piece this morning, for example, noting that the GOP vision punishes the poor severely, while Jonathan Cohn details the brutal effect Ryan's cuts would have on Americans' health care.

    But folks also shouldn't miss the analysis from the CBPP's Robert Greenstein, whose reaction to the Republican plan was simply devastating.

    It's worth noting that Greenstein is not a wild-eyed ideologue or partisan bomb-thrower; he's one of Washington's most respected budget experts. He's not prone to hyperbole or rhetorical excesses, so when Greenstein uses language like this, it's only because of the unusual extremism of the policy agenda itself.
    A 'Scrooge-like, Gilded-Age' budget plan | Steve Benen - The Maddow Blog

    Steve Benen moved from The Washington Monthly, where he was the main writer, to The Maddow Blog about a month ago.
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    The Republicans have a problem: Their budget promises don’t add up. They’ve committed to new tax cuts. They’ve proposed spending more on defense. They’ve promised they won’t change retirement programs for the current generation of seniors. But they’ve also promised to cut the deficit, and fast.
    That’s left them with one option: deep cuts to programs for the poor. That’s what you see in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget. It’s the basis for the Romney budget. It’s what Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum have proposed. But there’s a problem with that, too. Cutting programs for the poor isn’t popular. So Republicans have come up with a solution: Don’t call them “cuts.” Sell them as “reforms,” “repairs,” or “fixes.”



    ..............................................You can argue that the money is better spent on other priorities, or that fewer Americans should have access to Medicaid and food stamps. But that’s the argument we’re having here, and it’s the argument Republicans need to own up to making. Their proposal is to cut services in those areas to fund tax cuts, deficit reduction and defense spending. The Democrats’ proposal is to raise taxes, cut defense spending and do somewhat less deficit reduction to protect programs for the poor and other government services. That’s the choice voters face in 2012. There are no free lunches. Just ask those single mothers in Arizona.





    Welfare reform doesn’t prove Republicans can cut without consequences - The Washington Post
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    The middle class have been in the business of cutting their budgets and trying to maintain if not increase their revenue for several years now. For some reason, it is not considered appropriate for our government to also seek to raise some revenue when in financial distress.

    Meanwhile, programs that support the middle and lower classes are fully in the cross hairs for deficit reduction with a patent refusal to even consider increasing revenues according to the politicians in control of these issues.

    I would like to pose a couple of questions/thoughts here...

    If the USA decided to eliminate Medicare as a government program, who would be affected? Will the consequences be good or bad for those people?

    If the USA decided to eliminate SS as a government program, who would be affected? Will the consequences be good or bad for those people?

    If the USA decided to eliminate Medicaid as a government program, who would be affected? Will the consequences be good or bad for those people?

    It seems to me that the answer to the first question is EVERYBODY, all of us become eligible at some point. The consequences will be negligible for the upper classes and substantial for middle and lower classes. Similarly, everyone will be affected by SS cuts/elimination. Again, the wealthier the individual/family the less evident the consequences of the action, and the poorer the individual/family the more evident and costly are the consequences of that action. Who is affected by cuts to Medicaid? Our youngest and poorest members of society. Who bears the consequences of cuts to medicaid...the youngest and the poorest.

    If the USA were to eliminate the Bush era tax cuts it will affect all tax payors. The difference is that the middle classes have experienced a relative flat rate of growth in income and investments as compared to the rate of growth in those areas by the wealthiest over the past 10 or more years. (those graphs are easily available online) So, IMHO, removal of the tax cuts for the middle classes disproportionately harms the middle and lower tax payors...they don't have much of a margin to work with. The wealthiest, on the other hand, have a much healthier margin to absorb a tax increase.

    I very much appreciate the back and forth on this thread and look forward to responses to my thoughts.
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