Medicare B is the portion of Medicare that pays for most medical services when you are not in the hospital. It also pays your doctor’s fees while you are in the hospital.
Medicare B is optional because it charges a premium. That premium is determined annually by the Department of Health and Human Services through the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The base cost for Medicare B was expected to increase to over $ 106 per month for 2012. Earlier today, the Obama administration announced that the premium would only increase to $ 99.90 per month for most Americans. It will be more for those with a higher income.
I am all for a lower Medicare B premium if it is feasible. My initial reaction was, “This is wonderful, but…” One thing that is often forgotten is that Medicare is a program that does not benefit only your Grammy and Grandpa. It is the only option for every Grammy and Grandpa over the age of 65 in a nation with over 300,000,000 people.
When there is a “Super Committee” in congress looking for ways to trim the budget in Medicare, is this reduction really for the benefit of people enrolled in Medicare, or is it just another attempt to buy the senior vote?
Maybe I am too skeptical of everything that comes out of Washington D.C. There is a chance that this decision is a good economical decision that will help people on Medicare.
There is also the chance that by not requiring people on Medicare to pay their “fair share” of medical expenses, the Medicare Trust Fund will run out of money even faster. This decision forces a future president, Democratic or Republican, to make unpopular adjustments to the Medicare B premium.
As I see today’s announcement, this is just another example of someone in power playing politics to stay in power. Mr. Obama and Ms. Sebelius are creating a mess for someone else to clean up in the future.
The phrase “Bread and circuses” dates back to Agustus Ceasar. He also gave away things to the public so that he could stay in power. The Ceasars who followed used the same political tricks. Eventually, Rome collapsed because it ran out of money.
There are times when I think that politicians should stop reading polls and pick up a history book.
- Rise in Medicare premiums less than feared in 2012 (seattletimes.nwsource.com)