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In case you didn’t understand the first time: Social Security is not an “entitlement” program

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strip bannernew-logo25Marti Oakley

Reposted from 2011….and here we are again with another administration that will refuse to deal with the real issues with medicare and social security….the absolute fraud that is perpetrated by the medical, pharmaceuticals and elder services industries costing medicare 20-60 billion annually.
“One way or the other, the elderly in this country will be cleansed from society. In the meantime, every dime that can be squeezed and wrenched out of our existence for any reason whatsoever will continue. And MSM along with government hacks will continue to portray the elderly as receiving “entitlements”, “free rides at the expense of the country”.

Never once will they admit the problem isn’t with the elderly, it is with those who exploit the elderly.”

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It is alarming to hear not only younger members of the country, but also some middle aged members, medical professionals and others, referring to Medicare as some kind of free, gravy train medical insurance that seniors don’t have to pay for. Are people really that ignorant of how this system works?

After paying into Social Security and Medicare for decades, those who receive medicare must also now pay a premium every month for this insurance. These premiums can range from a few hundred dollars a month, to several hundred. Married couples pay individual premiums which can amount to $700.00 per month or more, combined on average. These premiums are deducted from their Social Security checks; neither the government, nor taxpayers, pay this premium.

Then there is that handy-dandy “donut hole” where Medicare pays nothing. This was a huge gift to the insurance companies who whined about not getting a piece of the Medicare pie. From approximately the $2500.00 to $5000.00 costs of care, Medicare pays for nothing. Ta DA! We got your GAP insurance plan which will cost you another $200.00 per month at least. This will cover the costs incurred in the hole. Of course the insurance companies have no plans to make good on these GAP policies, so getting them to pay any percentage of anything is a monumental task.

Then there is the co-pay at your doctors office. Then the co-pay on medications. Then there are the costs of medications your insurance and Medicare don’t/won’t pay for. That comes right out of your pocket!

Now, to add insult to injury, an estimated 20 million illegal aliens will be given “free” healthcare and I have yet to hear the word “entitlement” attached to those benefits.

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Medicare Pay for Performance—Fighting a War That’s Already Over

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new-logo25Gerard Gianoli, M.D., F.A.C.S.

“In 1814, we took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson, down the mighty Mississip….”

Like any good student growing up in New Orleans, I learned about the magnificent victory of the U.S. forces over the British in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Of course, the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812 before the Battle of New Orleans was even fought. Many have argued that the battle was useless since the war was already over. However, this is not the first or last time that governments have pursued “useless” enterprises.

Government central planning fosters this type of ineptitude. By its design, government is a slow-moving entity that often makes changes only long after that change has become obsolete. This is the nature of government, and it does not matter whether the occupants of the Oval Office or Congress have an “R” or a “D” after their names.

Recently, legislation passed as part of the “Doc Fix” (repealing the “SGR” physician pay cuts) institutionalized a physician Pay-for-Performance (P4P Medicare program called Merit-Based Payment Incentive System (MIPS).) The idea is to pay bonuses to physicians providing higher quality care.

Let’s make the highly dubious assumptions that government can measure quality in medical care and that such a system won’t just lead to “cherry picking” of patients. MIPS still won’t work to identify and reward “quality” physicians with bonuses. Why? Like in 1814, the government is fighting a war that is already over. More

The ‘Doc Fix’ and the End of Medicare

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new logo G. Keith Smith, M.D.

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The “permanent” end to the yearly threatened cuts to doctors’ pay—the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula—may satisfy my curiosity about what the end of a Ponzi scheme will look like.

All Ponzi schemes are unstable and doomed to fail. Medicare and Social “Security” will be no different.

The yearly postponement of SGR cuts was a bribefest held to tease and extort corporate health cronies and physicians. The “doc fix” was not an exception: just look at all the “stakeholders” acknowledged in its 263 pages.

The purpose of the SGR was to delay the bankruptcy and end of Medicare. The doc fix will hasten it.

Central to the progressive goal of controlling the practice of medicine—and to the success of the [Un]affordable Care Act (UCA)—is the need to push physicians into employment contracts with hospitals. As hospital employees, doctors are easier to control, and less able to act as uncompromising advocates for their patients.

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What Made You Think Medicare Was “Free” Insurance?

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strip bannernew-logo25Marti Oakley

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It is alarming to hear not only younger members of the country, but also some middle aged members, medical professionals and others, referring to Medicare as some kind of free, gravy train medical insurance that seniors don’t have to pay for. Are people really that ignorant of how this system works?

After paying into Social Security and Medicare for decades, those who 1619098_10202643451221752_1414455253_nreceive medicare must also now pay a premium every month for this insurance. These premiums can range from a few hundred dollars a month, to several hundred. Married couples pay individual premiums which can amount to $700.00 per month or more, combined on average. These premiums are deducted from their Social Security checks; neither the government, nor taxpayers, pay this premium.

Then there is that handy-dandy “donut hole” where Medicare pays nothing. This was a huge gift to the insurance companies who whined about not getting a piece of the Medicare pie. From approximately the $2500.00 to $5000.00 costs of care, Medicare pays for nothing. Ta DA! We got your GAP insurance plan which will cost you another $200.00 per month at least. This will cover the costs incurred in the hole. Of course the insurance companies have no plans to make good on these GAP policies, so getting them to pay any percentage of anything is a monumental task.

Then there is the co-pay at your doctors office. Then the co-pay on medications. Then there are the costs of medications your insurance and Medicare don’t/won’t pay for. That comes right out of your pocket!

Now, to add insult to injury, an estimated 20 million illegal aliens will be given “free” healthcare and I have yet to hear the word “entitlement” attached to those benefits.

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Will Medicare Become Like the VA?

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new-logo25By Jane M. Orient, M.D. 

Executive Director of Association of American Physicians and Surgeons,

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“No VA employee, however incompetent, could ever be fired,” stated one physician.  Another said, “Incompetence is accepted…, and keeping quiet about it is the accepted norm.”

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Most veterans get most of their medical care from private doctors through Medicare or private insurance. Just think what those secret waiting lists would be like if they didn’t!

Still, a VA-like system for all has been proposed as a replacement for our unsustainable current system—at least until the recent scandals broke.

One enormous difference between the VA and Medicare is that veterans are free to go elsewhere—if they pay privately. Some veterans use their VA doctor only to get free medications.

Medicare patients, on the other hand, are trapped. There is virtually no private coverage available to persons over 65 to replace Medicare—President Lyndon Johnson wiped it out to prevent competition with “his” beloved system. There are only policies to “supplement” Medicare. And Medicare patients can’t just pay out of pocket for a “covered” service they can’t get otherwise, say because the Medicare-allowed price is too low—unless they see a doctor who is opted out of Medicare or disenrolled. For doctors, Medicare is all or nothing, so most doctors are still enrolled.

Most people don’t care about that—not yet. Who would want to pay for something that is free?

So it’s a good idea to look at those “free” (taxpayer-paid) VA services. More

Obamacare: Repeal (What?) and Replace (with What?)

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new-logo25Contributor & authorJane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director of Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

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Government can’t fix the “health care system” any more than Obama can take out your tonsils. But it can refrain from tying up or tripping those who are trying to take care of patients.  We should start by repealing the mandates—on individuals, employers, medical facilities and professionals, and insurers. No American should be forced to buy a product he does not want or need or feels he cannot afford. No individual or company should be forced to provide services or products to government specifications. The American way is the voluntary way.

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Top 9 Ways Government Attacks American Seniors

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new-logo25Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.

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“Who would have thought after a lifetime of service to our country in homes, jobs, and communities, seniors would be attacked by their own government with many threats to their savings and lives in retirement?”

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“Chaos, cost increases, and turmoil reign since Obamacare took effect. Hidden1619098_10202643451221752_1414455253_n changes drastically transform Medicare, affecting your ability to get needed medical care—even if you pay out of pocket.”

Here is my list of the Top ­9 government attacks on American seniors:

1. CMS proposed a 678-page rule (1-6-2014) requiring enrollment in Medicare for all prescribers of drugs covered under Part D Medicare. Currently, medication prescribers only need to have an active state license permitting prescribing. CMS is restricting Medicare beneficiaries’ ability to use their benefits if they see an independent physician outside “the system.” Independent physicians can see patients but cannot order anything for them. It’s like telling an auto mechanic that he can fix cars but he can’t use any tools.

Even Doctors enrolled in Medicare risk having their enrollment revoked if, in the eyes of the government bureaucrats, they “fail to meet Medicare requirements.” The requirements change almost daily, and Medicare rules are often subjectively interpreted, so this means doctors may avoid prescribing something YOU need rather than risk a Medicare sanction and losing income. More

The High Cost of Free Care

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new-logo25By Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD.,

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When I signed in for my yearly mammogram the receptionist announced with a wry smile, “No co-pay this time, it’s free!” We both knew that it really wasn’t free.

To understand whether free means free, let’s look at Medicare as an example. Medicare has four parts. Part A (“hospital”) covers hospital admissions, post-hospitalization short-term skilled nursing, and hospice. Part B (“medical”) covers outpatient medical services such as physician ObamacareHurtvisits, lab tests, and outpatient surgery. Parts A and B are called traditional Medicare. Part C (“Medicare Advantage”) is private HMOs. Part D is prescription drug coverage. Technically, all parts are optional.

Medicare is costly before and after we enroll. We pay for Part A through a 2.9 percent tax on earnings, half of which is paid by employers. Thus, an average worker earning $43,500 per year generates $105 every month for the promise of hospital insurance benefits beginning up to 45 years in the future.

Importantly, Part A is mandatory for those eligible for Medicare who receive Social Security payments. If beneficiaries want to opt out of Part A, they must forfeit all of their Social Security payments. More

Patients: For Protection and Affordable Care, Opt Out!

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new-logo25Richard Amerling, M.D.

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I remember the days of black-and-white television.  When color television sets became available, they were expensive and few could afford them.  And few networks broadcast in color, since the audience was limited.  At a certain point of supply and demand, sets became less expensive, and networks went all-in for color.  The same phenomena occurred more recently with the move to high ObamacareHurtdefinition TV.  And so it will go with private, high quality medical care.

Years ago I penned the Physicians’ Declaration of Independence, urging physicians laboring under increasingly abusive third party contracts to opt out, to allow them to return to the unfettered practice of medicine.   Increasing numbers of physicians are opting out of Medicare, and few participate in Medicaid (full disclosure: as a nephrologist taking care of dialysis patients, I have not opted out of Medicare).  Declining reimbursements and ever-greater paperwork and reporting requirements are driving this trend.   To a certain extent, this is also happening in the private insurance sphere, and for the same reasons.  But what really limits physician opt out is the relatively small numbers of patients who are “self-pay.”   With the implementation of Obamacare, these numbers are set to explode. More

The New CRAP-italism: Amnesty traded for killing Social Security

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new-logo25Marti Oakley (c)copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved

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The fiscal cliff: How to screw ordinary Americans again

The stage show in the District of Criminals about the fictional fiscal cliff,  is in full production.  Democrats are busy agreeing to cut Social Security and Medicare to appease Republicans who have now “evolved” to the point where they will support [comprehensive immigration reform].  Both factions of the one party system are trying to rephrase Medicare and Social Security as “Entitlement” programs.  That word swap is really important.  If they can convince the general public that Social Security has somehow become a welfare program instead of an invested insurance program, it will be far easier to rob peoplerydencarrot.jpg of their retirement investments they have been funding all of their working lives.

The Republican faction has now decided that they just have to give in on immigration reform.  Neither faction of the one party system has mentioned enforcement of our laws which, as it turns out, neither faction is interested in.

Of course if you would allow the government to privatize your Social Security investments somehow that would be just peachy.  You could throw at least a portion of your SS taxes into the black hole that is Wall Street and then watch it disappear into the pockets of the thugs and thieves who robbed the country blind in 2008 and 2009.  In the interim, we can stand by and watch as our retirement investments are doled out to illegal immigrants.

In that sense, Social Security has become an entitlement program.  If you are here illegally, and if you can prove you worked here a minimal amount of time even under a false identity, you can collect from Social Security.

GAO report

“Under the Social Security Act, all earnings from employment in the United States count towards earning social security benefits, regardless of the lawful presence of the worker, his or her citizenship status, or country of residence. Immigrants [both legal and otherwise] become entitled to benefits from unauthorized work if they can prove that the earnings and related contributions belong to them. However, they cannot collect such benefits unless [or until] they are either legally present in the United States [hence the Administration’s Guest Worker Program], or living in a country where SSA is authorized to pay them their benefits. [Hence an SSA office in Mexico City] Mexico is such a country.”

Democrats sell out

The offer now has morphed into “carving out sections of Medicare”.  In other words…..the District of Criminals will collude to reduce your Medicare benefits, raise your rates and reduce quality of care and access.  This will be done to avoid addressing the actual problems with the program.  There will be no discussion on capping insurance rates, allowing negotiation of drug prices or of closing the “donut hole” that was created specifically as a gift to the insurance industry so that they could profit from selling worthless gap insurance.  There will be no earnest investigation and prosecution of fraudulent claims by medical industry providers of all kinds where services never rendered are added to billing, hospital bills are padded, and other fraudulent activities go on as “business as usual”.

The well-known fraud that occurs in Medicare by unscrupulous medical providers and suppliers along with other industry players has cost Medicare billions if not trillions.  Obamacare will add 540 billion in administrative, record keeping, data basing over the next ten years, to Medicare. More

TS Radio with guest Marty Pren….Guardianship abuse

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Join us Friday at 6:00 CST! More

How dare they call Social Security “welfare”?

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www.anationbeguiled.com

Forwarded by “Old Dog”

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I Paid — Didn’t You?

Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500.
 
If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98.
 
If you took out only 3% per year, you’d receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you’re 95 if you retire at age 65) and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.

The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madhoff ever had. More

CRAPitalism: Liquidating the elderly: Part 2

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Marti Oakley (c)copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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We are on the verge of seeing the boomers, who have contributed FICA taxes for 40 years or more, pauperized.  Obama and the Gang of 6 (A very apt name, this is a criminal enterprise) are about to chop up SS, and medicare rather than cut costly and useless government programs or shutting down any of the unlawful federal agencies that suck the lifeblood out of the country. 

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It is an amazing thing to me to hear those in the District of Criminals continue to spew the mantra that increasing taxes on the wealthiest will somehow cost us jobs.  Knock! Knock! Puddin’ heads!  WE got no jobs!! We have an admitted 22 million out of work. What is your excuse now?  Where are those jobs you promised if we treated the wealthy preferentially and absolved them of any meaningful responsibility to our country?

I believe the excuse for not taxing the wealthy has long since been exposed as fraud.  The wealthy do not create jobs, at least not here in the US. The wealthy do not invest in America to any great degree.  The wealthy are not willing to make any sacrifices in order to help stabilize the economy and reduce the national debt.  Why this privileged class is allowed to exempt themselves from the burden the rest of the country has to shoulder is a nagging question many of us are asking.  Maybe God could put a word of knowledge on the hearts of some of those pious Republicans who would see most of us destitute before they called on their wealthy friends or corporate donors to contribute. 

Why is it you will tax small business owners and working class people into oblivion but refuse to tax pirating corporations and uber wealthy individuals and families that are plundering the economy and the country?  

At what point did these hard core, bible thumping, scripture quoting right wing fanatics decide that it was morally acceptable to relieve their best wealthy friends (and themselves) along with mega corporate donors from any meaningful responsibility in sacrificing for the national debt, but it was just fine and damn dandy to go after the elderly and disabled after decades of plundering the investments in Social Security. 

Obviously it is far more acceptable to put the screws to the elderly, retired or disabled rather than ask those skimming the cream off the top to contribute one damn thing to this country. 

Killing Social Security More

Social Security, Medicare & Public Education Now on the U.S. Government Chopping Block

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As Secret Deals are Made by President Obama & Members of the U.S. Congress this week
 
http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/?q=social-security
 
July 26, 2011
 
President Obama and a “Gang of Six” members of the U.S. House and Senate have placed Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid on the chopping block in secret, ongoing debt ceiling negotiations.  In these secret negotiations, far away from public enlightenment or debate, deals are being cooked-up to undermine, cut or privatize these important and highly beneficial programs.  With a vote on the impending national debt ceiling deadline these programs may be cut at any time in the next few days.
 
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate several times this week.  We can support his efforts to protect these vital programs by contacting our elected officials.
 
His Speech on Social Security and Medicare is on this link:
http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/content/bernie-sanders
 
Take Action Today to Stop immediate cuts to these programs.  According to several members of congress the cuts to these programs will begin this year after proposed changes are made to the CPI Consumer Price Index so that no cost of living increases will be made to recipients, only cuts.
 
(The Toll Free Number for any member of the U.S. House or Senate is:  (1866) 220-0044)

Congressman Ryan: Let’s make a deal!

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Marti Oakley (c)copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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Dear Congressman Ryan:

I have seen you many times on Lame Street Media promoting your grandiose plan to kill Medicare. I realize targeting those least able to defend themselves from yet another round of the neo-con movement to redistribute the wealth to the upper 3% while leaving the country in ruins as jobs are shipped out and as corporations plunder the country, is underway. 

While helping to spend the country into untenable debt and rolling out the red carpet to foreign investors and corporations who are steadily consuming everything in site, I realize that you have to dispense with any program or initiative which would lend support to the elderly, that class of useless eaters so despised by so many of you. 

While railing against Medicare and what it costs the country, you never made mention of what it costs the country to support you while you are in office and even when you leave.  For someone whose existence is now predicated upon the parasitic relationship of elected officials dependent on taxpayers, I am surprised that you did not readily identify yourself and the rest of congress as an unsustainable drain on the economy.  We can no longer afford to support you people, especially when you contribute virtually nothing to the economy or GDP while availing yourselves of special privileges, perks and financial enrichments. 

If you believe that individuals of modest to moderate incomes should be able afford the uncontrolled extortionary healthcare insurance rates, the inflated medical industry charges, and the non-negotiated inflated costs of pharmaceuticals, AND! at the same time save massive portions of our income which is under attack constantly by the IRS as taxes just keep eating up more and more of our income just so that we have some kind of security when we get too old to work………….then I see no reason why you and your cohorts in the District of Criminals can’t do the same on your ever rising incomes which far exceeds what most of us whom you are targeting, earned.  More

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