The Austerity Thread - page 41
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... Read More
Apr 14, '12The following link has information regarding mandatory Medicare and social security. Apparently the current administration's policy is that if you are 65,and either are already or will be getting SS, and wish to forego using Medicare, you will have to pay back all the SS funds you have received and will not be getting any in the future either. So no freedom whatsoever, really.Institute for Health Freedom
Apr 14, '12Everyone who qualifies for Social Security payments also qualifies to receive Medicare Part A for free. This doesn't mean you are required to utilize Part A, you are free to utilize private insurance or pay out of pocket. Since qualifying for SS meant automatic qualification for Part A, enrollment for the two were combined, taking 2 extremely large enrollment processes and combining them, essentially cutting the administrative costs in half.
Unlike Part A, people who qualify for SS often still owe monthly premiums to receive Part B, which is why Part B was left as a separate enrollment process so recipients could opt out of anything that actually costs them money. What they mistakenly didn't realize when this was set up back in the 60's, was that there would be people (4 people to be exact) that would fight this and not want part A, even though it's free and they aren't required to use it, but still want SS money, which would require two separate enrollments. These 4 people, one of which was Dick Armey, sued which became Hall v Sebellius. The court ruled that until the process was legally changed from what was defined 40 years ago, enrollment in social security also included enrollment in Part A (at no extra charge) and the two are inseparable.
While I'm all for letting people make choices, even seemingly pointless ones that serve no purpose other than to say "government is bad", we would also need to figure in the cost. One source puts the cost of enrolling in these programs at $27 per person per enrollment. If we make part A a separate enrollment process, that would add $67 million a year, just so the Dick Armey's of the world can be officially disqualified from using something that is free and that they aren't actually required to use anyway, which is fine with me so long as they cover the $67 million bill.
Apr 14, '12Just because only four people decided to fight it, doesn't meant that only four would prefer to have the choice. I don't see how it makes sense for the government to require people to go Medicare A if they don't have to....meaning they have insurance they can continue to pay for and use. Our desire to not use Medicare as our primary and our ability to not need it, are a direct result of the great union contract we have. Not being a HUGE union backer, we have some benefits that the union has gotten us. You would think the liberal administration would embrace something the unions have gotten for the poor, downtrodden workers, but I guess that is true only if it suits them.
But I thank you for the information.
Apr 14, '12Insurance companies don't want to take care of us until we die of old age because it would be a loss to them. I wonder who actually is behind this mandate?
Apr 14, '12I can use the library, public basketball courts, and showers at the beach.
Or I can buy used new, or electronic books, go to the gym, and shower at the gym or at home.
Apr 15, '12Quote from tntrnI totally agree with the basic premise that people shouldn't be forced into any program, including a government one, but that idealized goal doesn't always hold up when you get down to specifics.Just because only four people decided to fight it, doesn't meant that only four would prefer to have the choice. I don't see how it makes sense for the government to require people to go Medicare A if they don't have to....meaning they have insurance they can continue to pay for and use. Our desire to not use Medicare as our primary and our ability to not need it, are a direct result of the great union contract we have. Not being a HUGE union backer, we have some benefits that the union has gotten us. You would think the liberal administration would embrace something the unions have gotten for the poor, downtrodden workers, but I guess that is true only if it suits them.
But I thank you for the information.
If your employer and their insurance provider want to continue to pay for the services that are covered by part A then they are allowed to do so. The issue isn't that they aren't allowed to, it's that no employer or insurer in their right mind would willingly pay more to get the exact same coverage they could get for far less. Particularly when you consider that your employer has paid half of you medicare payments prior to turning 65. They look forward to finally getting some return on their investment when you turn 65, and given their investment in your medicare coverage I think they have a right to expect that you take advantage of it. You're free to chose not to take advantage of it, but I don't expect an employer to then pay more than necessary so an employee can have the exact same coverage they would have by utilizing their free part A coverage.
Dick Armey's involvement in this is particularly perplexing. As you may know, Armey is essentially the founding father of the Tea Party. He joined the lawsuit to protest the fact he has access to, but is not required to use, government sponsored coverage. His argument was that as a general rule, government run insurance paid for by tax payers is bad, and that he wants to stay on his current plan...which was just a different government run insurance plan paid for by taxpayers. A program which the District Court Judge hearing the case pointed out provided him with the exact same coverage he would have by incorporating part A into his plan. The only difference would be that his current plan, being smaller, had less bargaining power and therefore cost more for the same coverage, so the King of the Tea Party in his opposition excessive government spending, literally made a Federal case out of arguing that the government should pay more than necessary to provide him with free healthcare even though it wouldn't change the care he receives in any way.
Apr 18, '12guess ryan is a different kind of catholic than the bishops in his faith.
[color=#333333]a week after house budget committee chairman paul ryan claimed his catholic faith inspired the republicans' cost-cutting budget plan, the nation's catholic bishops reiterated their demand that the federal budget protect the poor, and said the gop measure "fails to meet these moral criteria."
catholic bishops say ryan budget fails moral test
Apr 20, '12http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/04/17/taxmageddon-coming-answer-could-cost-americans-500-billion/?intcmp=obnetwork
If Congress does nothing, we'll see the Bush tax cuts expire at the end if this year and everyone will see a big tax increase.
Apr 21, '12I remember my Bush Tax cut...wasn't much being single with no kids, but I'll definitely miss it, since I haven't gotten a raise since then and prices have gone up and my homeowners has gone up. Will be interesting to see how it plays out. Those were some reckless financial years with spending and cuts and saw some huge deficits, that have only gotten bigger since the economy crashed and Obama's spending.
Apr 21, '12I don't see how there's been much difference at all for us.....in fact, for the first time in 27 years, my DH and I wrote a check to the feds, instead of getting a refund. Time to start burying the family treasure in the back yard.
Apr 21, '12Quote from tntrnI'm not sure there's a connection between Bush's 2003 tax cuts and you're paying this year. My taxes seemed to have been fairly steady my entire life...100 to 200 dollar refunds every year until I bought a hosue and am now getting $1000 back.I don't see how there's been much difference at all for us.....in fact, for the first time in 27 years, my DH and I wrote a check to the feds, instead of getting a refund. Time to start burying the family treasure in the back yard.
But tha sounds like a good idea, if only there were any extra or family treasure that wasn't going to my insurance company and my gas tank.
I think my difference might have been about $30 a paycheck...with a nickle and dime budget I did notice and will miss it, but could live with out it. I wonder where the article is coming up with those figures that some middle class families will pay $3,000 or more a year........ouch.Last edit by Tweety on Apr 22, '12
Apr 24, '12... for months, house republicans have been trying to wriggle out of the agreement they made in august that will force deep cuts in military spending. now we know how they propose to do it: they will take tens of billions out of programs for the poorest americans, particularly food stamps, along with health care for the middle class. ...
... the budget deal reached last august-the one republicans triggered with their disastrous debt-ceiling crisis-calls for a painful sequester of $600 billion to both military and domestic spending over a decade. the republicans could have accepted the military cuts they had agreed to or they could have joined with democrats in reducing the cuts by raising taxes on the rich.
instead, the 2013 budget, written by representative paul ryan of wisconsin, put all the cuts on the domestic side. representative mike conaway, a texas republican, [color=#00325b]explained that the constitution requires congress to pay for defense but that food stamps and other domestic programs were lower priorities. ...
... the agriculture committee, told to find $33 billion in cuts, could have substantially reduced the farm subsidies that now amount to more than $15 billion a year. instead, the entire amount is coming out of food stamps.
the senate and the white house have said they would reject all the proposed cuts. earlier this month, the white house budget director [color=#00325b]told the house that the president would not sign any appropriations bills until it agrees to abide by the spending levels in the budget deal.
the extremists who run the house budget process seem willing to force a shutdown later this year to get their way, but they may find themselves isolated. on thursday, senate republican leaders [color=#00325b]said they would abide by the spending targets in the budget deal. ...