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The main issue with raising Medicare eligibility is not financial

Hey, Jon Walker! You write: "Medicare is in serious danger and so is your wallet."

True, but, "Medicare is in serious danger and so is your life."

At least if, like so many, you've been going naked because you don't have health insurance. When you decided to take the risk, maybe you did so because with your healthy life-style that made sense -- no High Fructose corn syrup from Big Food, no stressors from Big Media, no rent to Big Money, and as little rent as possible generally -- or maybe you did so because you had to choose between fuel or food and paying for junk insurance that probably won't cover you anyhow. And although Obamacare will force you to buy junk insurance, it's still going to be junk, because that's how health insurance companies profit.

For whatever reason, you took the risk knowing that Medicare would kick in at 65. Except Versailles -- and this would include the Democrats and the "progressives" who enable them -- decided to change the rules, and shift more risk onto you, so their rentier owners can make more money.

Do the math. The average life expectancy in America is ~79. (Countries with single payer plans do better, of course). Assume you're 60 because that's a round number. 79 - 65 = 14 . 79 - 67 = 12. 14 /12 = 117%. [UPDATE But jm corrects my math. --lambert]

So what Versailles did, if you don't have health insurance, is increase, by 17%, the time you still won't be covered. This will cause a statistically predictable number of excess deaths, for those made their decisions before Versailles trapped them by changing the rules. In fact, we have Medicare precisely to prevent those deaths.

Since the logic is so simple and clear, I can only assume that the Powers That Be, including all legacy parties and President Hopey Change, understand it, and that therefore they want a certain percentage of the population to die, who would not otherwise do so.

We don't have to fall in with their plans, of course. But that's how they think, and that's what they want.

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Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

speaking of sheets... the klan couldn't come up with a more devious plan. The klan was always willing to die or go to jail themselves if they could take out other poor saps with them. The D neoliberal terrorist versailles party isn't even as principled as the effing klan. Maybe it's because they don't have to be.. with Mr O' Platitude at the top?

The Left must take the D party out. (not just Obama)

Jessica Yogini's picture
Submitted by Jessica Yogini on

They were always brave when fighting anonymously 10 or 100 against 1 and when they knew law enforcement were on their side.
Your disparagement of the Ds is, however, quite correct.

Submitted by jm on

"So what Versailles did, if you don't have health insurance, is increase, by 17%, the time you still won't be covered."

Life expectancy doesn't play a direct role in the argument as you framed it. If you are 60 years old, you'll have to wait seven years to be eligible for Medicare instead of five years should this deform be enacted. The math would then be: 7 - 5 = 2. 2 / 5 = 0.4. So it would be even worse than you thought. The wait time would increase by 40%, not 17%.

Of course, the life expectancy of some would likely go down as people with serious but not yet life-threatening chronic conditions go untreated for the extra two years and die earlier than they would have otherwise. These people clearly are expendable. Proponents of Medicare deform will argue that average life expectancy will likely rise as more people get care because of ACA. Maybe, maybe not. I think a lot of people who are satisfied with ACA, and thus willing to let Medicare deform go through, will be disappointed when the actual figures start coming in and aggregate health care outcomes fall short of their expectations.

It is difficult to be too cynical when talking about for-profit health insurers. They will find ways to wring ever more rent out of the system at the expense of their customers' health. Count on that.

[Update] About cynicism in regard to health insurers and their base venality:

When Jeanene Harlick's weight dropped to 65 percent of normal, her doctors recommended the San Mateo woman go into an intensive residential treatment facility that specialized in treating anorexia and other eating disorders.

But her health insurer, Blue Shield of California, refused to cover her care - not because it wasn't considered medically necessary, but because her plan excluded coverage for residential treatment programs. Harlick spent almost 10 months in residential treatment, while her parents went hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt to cover the cost.

WTF? Even though it was considered medically necessary?!

Harlick, now 37, later sued the insurer.

[snip]

In a significant ruling for those seeking residential treatment for mental health conditions, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco sided with Harlick last month. The three-judge panel ruled Blue Shield's policy excluding residential treatment violates the state's 2000 Mental Health Parity Law, which requires certain serious mental health diagnoses, including eating disorders, to be covered at the same level as physical health.

Blue Shield is appealing the decision, of course.

Blue Shield spokesman Stephen Shivinsky said the petition is based on "several significant errors in the opinion." According to court documents filed Friday, the insurer argued that state law does not require coverage for all medically necessary treatments and allows plans to set coverage limits.

I have Blue Shield "coverage", it sucks. They are there for you right up to the point of you needing treatment that adversely affects their bottom line.

Thanks Democrats for cementing this business model into place for the foreseeable future.