Entitlements – Medicare
We have a significant, current and growing problem with both the absolute amount of entitlement spending, as well as the portion of total Federal governmental spending represented by this spending category. In this Commentary we will discuss only Medicare, and its costs, we will take up the other entitlements separately. We believe Medicare is the most difficult of the entitlements to address, as it is the fastest growing segment due to the portion of the population it serves, rapid advances in medical technology and market place competition for scarce resources.
- Medicare, here includes only the Federal portion of the program, as it is our belief that the primary governmental responsibility lies with state and local agencies.
- Medicare contributions are in fact flat, regressive taxes.
- Basic Medical Services include only (a) emergency care, (b) care of and for critical injuries and illnesses and (c) care necessary to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
- Eligible persons include all U.S. Citizens and all Legal Resident Aliens.
We propose the following comprehensive solution to the twin issues of rapidly growing coverage and cost, (Again, I guarantee no one, right, left or center, will like this but it is a serious problem and demands a serious and unfortunately painful solution);
- Provide cradle to grave coverage for Basic Medical Services, for all Eligible persons. All other medical care to be at the individual’s sole cost, with a prohibition on any combination of medical insurance or other payor providing more than an 80% of the cost of care.
- (a) Repeal Obamacare.
- (b) Eliminate all personal injury and medical malpractice punitive damage and pain and suffering, awards.
- (c) Cap attorney’s fees for personal injury and medical malpractice at 20% of the net benefit to the injured party.
- (d) Provide unlimited medical education to all qualified applicants, in return for equivalent, year for year, National Medical Service, upon graduation, through our existing military services.
- (e) Allow all medical insurers national coverage and jurisdiction.
2. Means test benefits to three times the federal poverty level with 100% of benefits being phased out between the Federal poverty level and 300% of the federal poverty level, effective immediately for all benefit recipients. Yes, this is confiscatory if you thought there really was a trust fund you had been paying into, sorry.
3. Provide a lien on all assets held by a benefit recipient at death (or to be gifted during life) in the amount of the future value of all payments received during the participant’s life, for that amount to be repaid to the Federal Treasury from the decedents estate, if any. Enforce the lien by allowing a civil bounty of 20% to any person or entity successfully recapturing funds for the Treasury. The purpose of the benefit is to help the needy not to preserve family assets.
4. Merge, effective immediately, all government retirement programs previously allowing employees to elect out of Medicare into the program, and yes this includes Congressmen, Senators and the President.
All of this recognizes the fact that Medicare, is a social cost of living in a free and caring Nation, that contributions made are a tax and that ultimately we are each individually responsible for our own medical care, as well as that of our families and a portion of the cost of helping those who cannot help themselves.