MEDICARE FOR ALL? STILL A BAD IDEA!

Higher taxes, more debt could result

The idea of Medicare for All continues to be floated out to Americans today. While we continue to fight the COVID19 virus and we haven’t seen this in recent headlines you can rest assured it will be proposed again. It is still a bad idea for healthcare and here are some of the reasons: If we eliminate private healthcare, or damage it rather than working on improving the current system that has covered over 180 million of us we could experience an estimated 32 trillion in higher taxes in the decade to come, while seeing a 100% increase in our already soaring national debt. Nothing is free and to pay for Medicare for all could produce large increases in payroll taxes, estimated at close to 5%. A government run system could force thousands off coverage they would rather have, estimated at 130,000 beneficiaries in the first year alone. Dealing with government agencies can be difficult and slow response times to medical needs with longer waiting periods for needed procedures. And citizens residing in rural areas who are already holding the short end of the stick could find themselves at greater risk of seeing even more hospital closures.

Medicare for All is still a bad idea, and not the answer to improving our healthcare.

A SANDWICH IS NO BALONEY

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE

Today’s burgeoning senior population is made up of a diverse population consisting of the Baby Boomers (born 1946-64), the Traditionalists (born 1925-1945) and the rapidly disappearing Greatest Generation born before 1925. Seniors comprise about 16% of the population today, but are expecting to become a much larger segment in the future. There were 51 million seniors in 2017 and that is expected to nearly double to about 95 million by 2060. The group under the most pressure today are the “Boomers”. Also referred to as the “sandwich generation”. Many are caught between taking care of grown children who need financial assistance, especially those carrying the burden of student loans, while simultaneously tending to the needs of aging parents. Thus, the incredibly difficult “sandwich” that can be filled with weddings, funerals, and retirement planning. To complicate problems for this segment is the fact that less than 60% have planned for the “golden years” that oftentimes turn to brass. 70% of these folks mistakenly believe they can rely only on Social Security for a bright future. Sadly, that benefit is woefully underfunded and may not bring to life the dreams of an untroubled and secure retirement. Surely, a sandwich is no baloney at all.
* Lou Reinitz LJR Insurance Solutions

MY COLA IS GETTING FLAT

THE BIG SQUEEZE

Yesterday, I went into our local supermarket to pick up a few items and I became instantly sticker shocked”. It seemed like it was hard to find any item for less than five dollars. My money didn’t seem like it was buying nearly as much as it had in the past.

That unfortunately is true.

Our COLA ( cost of living adjustment) issued annually was adjusted to 1.35% this year. But recent government data showed the cost of living actually rose 2.3% faster than previously forecasted. Higher prices for gas, rent, healthcare (and groceries) mean we will fall nearly 1% behind inflation this year. Regarding healthcare, greedy big pharma hiked drug prices nearly 6%! Now the fact our COLA is lagging may not seem too important until you realize that 21% of married couples and 45% of singles rely on the program for more than 90% of their income. More Americans are falling into poverty and having trouble just getting food on the table every day. Add to that high unemployment and our COLA is not only flat, but too many citizens are being crushed by the burden.

  • Lou Reinitz LJR Insurance Solutions

MEDICARE INSURANCE T.V. ADS? READ THE SMALL PRINT!

KNOW THE FACTS BEFORE YOU CALL

Throughout the day they assault your senses, ad nauseum. Call today to get all the wonderful Medicare benefits you are missing, and get money back every month too! Dental! Vision! free meals! free! free! Medicare ads on TV are relentless. But do they deliver what they promise. Before you dive in and start calling what is a national call center read the small print that appears on your screen. What? YOU SAY YOU CAN’T? BECAUSE IT JUST FLASHES BY TOO QUICKLY TO READ?

Well….here it is. I have capitalized the wording that is really important to make it easier to understand that in many cases this could be just another ” bait and switch ” presentation:

….IS NOT CONNECTED WITH OR ENDORSED BY ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR THE FEDERAL MEDICARE PROGRAM. Members can enroll in a plan ONLY IF THEY MEET CERTAIN CRITERIA. Free eyeglasses, meals, Hearing aids HAVE LIMITATIONS. COPAYMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY. Free Transportation LIMITATIONS ON MILAGE AND NUMBER OF TRIPS. Requires coordination with the carrier for approval…..PLANS NOT AVAILABLE IN ALL AREAS…..BENEFITS SUBJECT TO LIMITATIONS…THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LISTING OF PLANS AVAILABLE IN YOUR SERVICE AREA….

You are much better off working with a local broker who has your best interest in mind, who knows the local marketplace. Also, an experienced broker like LJR Insurance Solutions will make sure your doctor takes the plan you are interested in, without pressure, and all the B.S. you might run into when looking at all the “free” stuff online that is subject to so many limitations and restrictions. Beware! There are Medicare beneficiaries who have called who find themselves enrolled in a plan that they didn’t even know they were being enrolled in.

  • Lou Reinitz LJR Insurance SolutionsMedicare made stress free

IS YOUR HOSPITAL OVERCHARGING YOU?

OVER 80% OF HOSPITAL BILLS HAVE ERRORS

The cost item that is raising the cost of health insurance is not prescription drugs. Rather, it is the cost of hospitalization that is straining our healthcare budgets. Over 59% of Americans have had debt collectors contacting them due to past due bills. We are currently carrying well over 80 billion dollars in medical debt. Some hospital systems have become monopolies and have continued to raise prices albeit without improving services. With others, trying to read and figure out hospital billings seems veiled in foggy understanding when we try to decipher the complicated bills. It is a continuing and growing problem that Medicare plans to address in January.

Starting in 2021 CMS will begin to audit hospitals for price transparency, according to a recent statement. The new Hospital Price Transparency rule takes effect next month and will require hospitals to post their standard charges online. They must also define them in over 300 services that can you can compare nationwide. Medicare has agreed to investigate overcharge complaints. Hospitals not in compliance will be subject to civil penalties. After a warning, should the institution not correct their deficiency they could be subject to fines up to $300 daily. The American Hospital Association has requested a delay of implementation of this new rule because of the additional burden of the pandemic. It is our feeling that we need relief from hospital’s questionable and often unfair and complicated billing practices, and that the new rule should continue to be in effect.

-Louis Reinitz LJR Insurance Solutions

WE REALLY DON’T KNOW…

Was it Lincoln? Barnum? We really don’t know…BUT

We really don’t know who said it. Was it “Honest Abe” or P.T. Barnum, but it is as true today as it ever was:

“YOU CAN FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE TIME, AND SOME OF THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME, BUT YOU CANNOT FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME!

Proverbs 19:1 – Better the poor whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse

Words to live by.

  • Lou Reinitz LJR Insurance Solutions LLC

WHOOPS!

THE POWER OF SANITIZING

The COVID crisis has seen countless little spray bottles of sanitizer being sold throughout the country. I carry a couple in my car, and one at home. But using care with these products is important. Just remember, smoking can be bad for your health, as witnessed here.

  • Lou Reinitz LJR Insurance Solutions LLC

WILL THE ACA SURVIVE?

SUPREME COURT TO TAKE UP CASE IN NOVEMBER

On November 10th the Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The potential impact of their decision will have major impact on the healthcare coverage of millions of Americans. Last year a federal appeals court ruled the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was unconstitutional, and cut the tax penalty to $0. Currently in California however the penalties for not being enrolled in creditable health insurance are in effect. The administration previously argued that the pre-existing protection in the plan should be overturned, but now has stated that all of the ACA should be invalidated. Individual enrollments in ACA plans have risen 2.3 million in the last three years, so the court’s decision will have a far reaching effect on our healthcare system.

  • Lou Reinitz LJR Insurance Solutions LLC

PRAY FOR THE CHILDREN

The Coronavirus pandemic has been especially bad for kids, according to a Medicare news release, especially for the young of those in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). That’s over 40 million children living in poverty, many with special needs, who because of the health emergency are receiving reduced health services, including speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. For these children staying healthy depends upon routine healthcare. Compared to last year they are receiving 22% fewer vaccinations, and 44% fewer services to access physical and cognitive development. Autistic children are particularly vulnerable during this crisis. Adding to the problem is the uncertain reopening of schools as these students do not fare as well with virtual learning. This situation, if not corrected, will impact our country negatively in the years to come. We must be aware this could result in a national tragedy. It is time to pray for the children, the families, and for our troubled nation.
  • Louis Reinitz LJR Insurance Solutions LLC