Too Many Lies about Healthcare Reform and Medicare


by Mary Jane Stern

Medicare, fact findingHave you been watching all of the statements being made about the changes in Medicare if healthcare reform is passed? Do you believe them?

Some of the statements being made are just cruel and inhuman.  It’s like what Sarah Palin, Senator Grassley wrote and said about how President Obama is going to setup “death panels” to decide who lives or dies.  This is an out-and- out- right lie, and cruel, cruel, cruel.

Living Wills

All families during times in their lives speak with difficulty about the end of life.  It’s a fact of life and we can’t get around it.  But what is being proposed is for Medicare to actually pay for counseling with a professional about your options.  Whether you decide to have in place a Living Will or a DNR order (Do Not Resuscitate), these are your decisions and your decision only.  And it’s great that you won’t have to pay for a consulting fee.

As a matter of fact, about a month ago my husband and I were discussing a Living Will.  Although we haven’t done anything yet, I started researching Legal Zoom and haven’t decided if I want the “boiler plate” version or want to sit face-to-face with an attorney to prepare one for us.

Medicare vs. Advantage Plan Costs

One other point, certain elected officials are making statements that healthcare reform would be paid for through cuts in Medicare benefits.  What President Obama wants to do is cut the wasteful over payments on the Medicare Advantage Plans.

If you are not aware, the government pays depending upon location, anywhere from $800-$1,200 per month, per subscriber to a Medicare Advantage plan.  On average, that’s $12,000 per year, times how many subscribers?

Recently I sat down and looked at my husband’s 2009 year-to-date medical expenses paid by Medicare, through July.  Medicare has approved under Part B $2,691.19 and paid $2,028.71 and under Part A $145.88.  Of course we are responsible for the 20% which our Medigap pays for.

What is this costing?  It cost $2,174.90 through Medicare.  Now, take a look at an average cost through an Advantage Plan, about $7,000.  We know the Advantage plans pay hospitals and doctors either what Medicare is paying and in some instances even less.  Now can you understand how there would be money to fund healthcare reform?

Listen to Both Sides

You need to listen to both sides of the story.  I am really, really troubled hearing the lies and fear tactics our elected officials are spreading and targeting those on Medicare.

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