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Recognized Social Butterfly
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Registered: ‎01-02-2012

The Proposed So-Called "Medicare for All" Reform and What it Means for You--The Good Stuff

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On  September 13, 2017, Socialist Bernie Sanders, supported by 15-16 Senate Democrats, introduced another Medicare reform proposal in Congress. The new United States Socialist Medicare reform proposal is similar to one released almost every year for the last 10 years by House Democrats (HR 676) and not at all like the Medicare reform proposal released for the last 10 years by House Republicans.Page 2 of 96 pagesPage 2 of 96 pages

You can read the entire 96 pages here or a summary of the 10 Titles here. This topic covers the "good stuff" in the proposal. Another topic will cover the bad news. You can decide whether the good outweighs the bad.

 

Sections 1011-1014 of the proposal add hearing, vision, and dental coverage to Original Medicare Part B, combine Parts A and B, and initially have an annual combined out of pocket spend limit of $1500 on medical services spending (whereas currently there is no annual out of pocket sepnd limit in Orginal Medicare). One of these sections and wording elsewhere in the proposal also caps annual self administered prescription drug spending at $200 (whereas today there is no drug coverage in Original Medicare and there is no effective limit on annual drug spending Medicare Parts C and D, although almost no one spends more than about $200 out of pocket).

 

These additions would be good benefits (but see Note) and this should be done separate from the Socialist's proposed Medicare reform (understanding that it will increase the Part B premium even more than it currently would increase). But also note that a new national drug formulary is mandated by the Socialist and that formulary will be controlled by the Secretary of HHS and that that formulary will be severely limited compared to today's Medicare drug formulary (in particular many brandname drugs will be dropped). 

 

Here is the biggest issue for people on Medicare today concerning these "new" benefits. Many of us on public Part C of Medicare today and many of us with group retirement policies today already have these benefits. Also everyone dually on Medicare and Medicaid today already has these benefits today. So the new Part B benefits in the proposed Socialist Medicare reform only really apply to a small fraction of those of us currently on Medicare. The Socialists are counting on that small percent of you to make a lot of noise in favor of the Socialists' Medicare reform (particularly people currently using expensive private Medgap insurance) in order to get these benefits; they want you to send in your email address to them so they can keep riling you up and raise money from you for political action (and sell your email address to others)

 

NOTE: There as some indication in the Socialist's Medicare reform legislation that seniors on Medicare today would continue to face these co-pays even after they go away for everyone else. But that could be because the Socialist's legislation is just poorly worded.