The Medicare Reality

This is from AOL, which is owned by Huffington Post (a very liberal organization):

Chances are you see money deducted from every paycheck to fund Medicare. But while the bite may seem big, payroll taxes cover less than 40 percent of program costs. They’ve never paid for more than 68 percent of Medicare costs – that was in 1980 – and their share of Medicare revenue has been declining steadily for 30 years. In 2011 worker contributions brought in 38.1 percent of Medicare funding. The rest came from contributions from general federal revenues and premium payments.

All monies go into a trust fund which Medicare’s own trustees predict will run dry in 2024. Play and share today’s special video on the Medicare money problem, then join the discussion below. Does today’s fact make you think differently about Medicare?


So, what are they saying?  Well, Medicare will go broke unless something is changed and that is a fact.   And don’t let the statement that we pay only 38% of Medicare funding make you think we are paying about half (68%) of what we used to.    We, from our paychecks, if you work, are paying a lot more but because Medicare costs SOOOOOOO much (thank you, Medicare D, etc.) which makes it seems that way.   The program is bloated, costly and will sink us all.   Sorry to get a little political here but you cannot ignore this, President Obama.  Last night in the debate, and before Romney started to talk about Medicare, the President said to those in the audience, “If you’re 54 or 55, you might want to listen.”   While it may a third rail ripping on other candidates for broaching the subject, it is not the answer.   Heck, I don’t know if they (Romney, Ryan) are right but you just can’t ignore it.  Even the Huffington Post agrees with me on that, though I am sure they are somehow making the case that I should be taxed more to pay for Medicare.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  5 comments for “The Medicare Reality

  1. John Parkin
    October 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    After paying into the Medicare system for all of my professional career, I was naively looking forward to all of these wonderful benefits. The information was confusing on all the parts of Medicare [A,B,D, IOU, etc.] but I dutifully signed up. I soon discovered that premiums were part of the social welfare system and income based at $225/month. You also need a supplement thru private insurance to fill in the gaps for another $200/month. Of course this still does not cover prescriptions or dental. You need another $100/month for RX and have to kick back more [$60/month] to Medicare for coverage until the dreaded donuthole. This is supposed to be a great Benefit ?? For all this our providers are reimbursed below cost. There must be a better way.

  2. Pat Nagle
    October 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Of course Medicare has issues. So does my car and your marriage. The GOP (read BigPharma/BigInsurance) says the solution is to kill it. I suppose they’d say to junk my car rather than change the oil, or get a divorce rather than talk to your wife. What they really want is to get those dollars to the insurance companies en route to their campaign coffers. Aside from technical issues, what would happen to the imagined “crisis” if rates were applied to all citizens or raised modestly?

    • Doug Farrago
      October 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      I have to say, Pat, I have never seen someone so clueless as you. Please, by all means, go on believing that socialistic health care is the answer. Let’s see how many docs see Medicare patients in the future. Oh, by the way, I believe Obama did the cash for clunkers already. Lastly, your neighborhood government clinic is ready for you….see how long your wait and how good the care is.

  3. October 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Medicare was implemented for political reasons, and survives unreformed because people have now been conditioned to depend on it as idea. The idea of Medicare has failed, as seen in two areas, practical and philosophical.

    Practical – Medicare was financially unsustainable by 1972, less than 7 years after implemented. The average longevity continues to increase, as therefore, the number of Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare features unrestrained demand for hospital and clinic costs, in which there is no penalty for beneficiaries to utilize services (after all, they don’t get the bill, no matter what they claim to have paid in). When increasing numbers of people demand a service, prices rise, giving us medical price inflation without end; this is schizophrenicaly encouraged by government promises, and penalized by (failing) cost containment efforts. End result: bankruptcy and rationing.

    Philosophical – the Federal government was not designed, and cannot properly or effectively provide for daily health care. Whether an individual state can is another matter, but that state will have the flexibility to adapt and correct that has never been the capacity of the central government. We are constitutionally promised equal treatment by the federal government, yet increasingly a preferred demographic – seniors – are by majority given the power to order their fellow citizens – doctors- about by virtue of federal laws which penalize and even criminalize doctors’ behavior. Make no mistake, no matter that doctors are paid, Medicare represents one group of citizens being given power and preference over another group. That this happens with majority assent makes it no less a violation of our foundinge principles.

    Medicare, for whatever good one might attach to it or its motives, is financially unsustainable and is dehumanizing in its ultimate arbitrary value assignment to citizens. Recognizing this does not make the observer either cruel or anti-senior. We must either make hard choices, or arithmetic will ultimately make them for us. I don’t want to boss seniors around – why is I okay for them and their politicians to FORCE me to work harder, and for less? In the end this is not about compassion, but force. Those who scream loudest for government good works cannot afford to admit this.

    • Kurt
      October 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      What the hell you mean “rationing” Pat. The lawyers of this
      land just certainly “won’t” allow it. 😉

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