I love it when ignorance comes home to bite people on the butt cheek. Such is becoming a frequent reality as the truth of the Trump campaign promises unfold. One example is that 35% of Americans don’t know that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Obamacare are the exact same things. Same thing, different names. Ironically lots of those who supported the conservative right favored the ACA but were dead set opposed to Obamacare.
Lots of us are receiving healthcare from Medicare and while Trump promised to protect it there appears to be continued pressure in the GOP congress to attack it. Here’s a piece that appeared in today’s New York Times Opinion section. Well worth a read.
The debate that the country may soon be having over Medicare is shaping up as one of the stranger political debates in a long time.
Medicare is an extremely popular program, and it mostly functions well. Its main problem — a large and long-term funding shortfall — has even become less serious lately, thanks to a slowdown in the rise of health care costs.
In the campaign, Donald Trump said he would protect Medicare. Yet many Congressional Republicans have long wanted to change the program and privatize all or part of it. One of those Congressional Republicans is Tom Price of Georgia, whom Trump has chosen to run the Department of Health and Human Services, where he will have sway over Medicare.
I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing some changes to Medicare — especially moving it toward paying for the quality of medical care and away from paying for the quantity of care, as the Obama administration has instigated. But the notion that a radical overhaul of Medicare should be one of the country’s top priorities seems bizarre. Democrats, wounded as they are right now, would no doubt be happy to have this political debate.
Our colleagues at Room for Debate preview that discussion with an overview of the substantive questions likely to come up.
The full Opinion report from The Times follows, including Janet Napolitano on young immigrants and Jeff Biggers on reason for climate hope.
TOBACCO: 870 billion is the number of cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris annually. The company has invested $3 billion into tobacco vaporizers, already available in some overseas markets, and plans to have the product in 20 markets this year. BTW, PM has announced it may be planning on exiting the cigarette business.
Given the announced increases in Obamacare premiums it’s important that people have accurate information about what it means and how you may be affected. I found this article in the New York Times and it’s certainly worth your time. Pay special attention to the roll a “functioning” Congress needs to play in the fix.
|Figuring out how Obamacare is faring has always been hard.|
|It’s been hard because many Republicans are rooting for the law to fail and try to make any flaw sound existential. And it’s been hard because we in the media haven’t always done a good job covering the law. We tend to sensationalize its problems, rather than distinguishing between routine ones and truly worrisome ones.|
|The recent spike in premiums — raising the cost of many insurance plans — is a real problem. But it’s also contained to the smaller part of Obamacare’s coverage expansion, and it’s a problem that could be easily solved by a functioning Congress.|
|First, some context: The 260 million or so Americans who receive health insurance through their employer, Medicare or Medicaid (including through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion) are unaffected by the prices increases. The increases instead apply to the 10 million people who buy coverage on one of the private-insurance exchanges established by the law. Even among those 10 million, the vast majority receives government subsidies that will largely or partly cancel out the price increase.|
|So why do I say the price increases are a real problem? Because those insurance exchanges are vital to the idea of universal coverage in this country. Without them, many people who don’t qualify for government insurance or aren’t covered through their job will be stuck without good medical care.|
|The spike in premiums is a sign that not enough healthy people are signing up for the exchanges. Without healthy people to balance out the sick, insurance stops being insurance and becomes terribly expensive.|
|The basic solution is straightforward. It involves increasing the subsidies for lower-income families — while also increasing the penalties for people who refuse to sign up for health insurance. The overall cost of this fix would be modest, and a better functioning Republican Party would have no problem agreeing to a compromise. It would preserve a robust role for the private market, after all.|
|The more boldly liberal solution is to create a so-called public option on the exchanges — a government insurance plan anyone could buy. In a Times Op-Edtoday, Jacob Hacker — one of the architects of the public option — makes the case for it.|
|I’ll confess to being torn about whether the public option is a more complex solution than the current problem requires. I encourage you to read Hacker’s piece – and also this recent Times piece raising questions about the public option. If you have thoughts after doing so, send me an email, at Leonhardt@nytimes.com.|
One of the regular characters of the Bob and Tom radio program was based on the legendary sports caster, Harry Carey. Don’t know what the real Harry Carey was like but the B&T version was a gruff sounding lecherous old character that you may not want to baby sit your children or herd your sheep.
In one episode Carey was visited by beautiful young movie star and he was trying to get her to change his adult diaper. She asked if he were incontinent and he replied, “No, just l don’t like getting up.”
I thought of this a couple of days ago when putting on my very first adult diaper. I knew it would happen some day but I’m pretty happy it’s only temporary and not age related.
Michelle Beatty Prater is a MHS graduate, resident of Leesburg, OH, and one heck of a good cook. Over the course of the past couple of years she has also become somewhat of an expert on eating a healthy diet and living a quality lifestyle.
As part of her life changes she has taken the time to author a cookbook of recipes and healthy tips on treating yourself better. The book, That’s Supper in the Burg, is now on sale at Amazon in digital format for an affordable $4.99.
In the past year, or so, Michelle has lost close to 200 pounds so I know there’s something in her book that can be of value if you have to lose a few yourself.
FACTOID: According to the CDC the leading cause of death in Louisiana is syphilis. In TN and AL it’s accidental discharge of firearms.
Couple of years ago I had a root canal done on one of the few molars I have. Went for a cleaning two weeks ago and was told the tooth had cracked and is becoming infected. Options are to have it extracted and pretend I can chew meat or, have it extracted and get an implant. I’ve decide to go with the implant in the hope I’ll live long enough to enjoy some more BBQ.
Sitting here reflecting over my dental history I’m wondering just how much money has gone into maintaining my pearlies? In my era dental hygiene wasn’t stressed, rotten teeth were common and dentists didn’t bother too much with fillings. People were poor, didn’t have insurance, and fluoride in the water or toothpaste was something for the future. About every kid I knew had a few black holes in their smile and my brother and I may be the first in our family to leave this world with some of our original teeth. Everyone else ended up keeping theirs in a jar overnight.
This one tooth has had several fillings, a root canal with a crown on top, and now needs removed and replaced with an implant with yet another crown attached to that. Between myself and my insurance company this tooth alone has witnessed at least $9,000 spent on it.
Over all I’d say nature screwed up when designing teeth for the human specie. Why, after all the millenniums of evolution, aren’t we born with titanium chompers?
Cindi Pearce will begin conducting a series of yoga classes she titles Rusty Hinges. The first session will begin on October 6th at Spark Creative Artspace’s facility at 251 Jefferson St. in Greenfield. Cost of the classes are $8 per session. To register simply call Cindi at 937-981-3040.
Complete details are at Spark’s website: Spark Creative Artspace Yoga
Increasingly the news is showing Obamacare being a success. While I have never thought it was the correct answer I am very pleased that increased numbers of Americans now have medical coverage. I just can’t understand why John Boehner and his GOP brethren can’t be happy for these fellow citizens.
FACTOID: One out of every five deaths in the US is attributable to smoking cigarettes.