Quantcast

Biden’s Medicare Agenda Could Bankrupt Hospitals

(Kaiser Health News) Of his many plans to expand insurance coverage, Joe Biden’s simplest strategy is lowering the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 60.

But the plan is sure to face long odds, even if the Democrats can snag control of the Senate in January by winning two runoff elections in Georgia.

Republicans, who fought the creation of Medicare in the 1960s and typically oppose expanding government entitlement programs, are not the biggest obstacle. Instead, the nation’s hospitals, a powerful political force, are poised to derail any effort. Hospitals fear adding millions of people to Medicare will cost them billions of dollars in revenue.

“Hospitals certainly are not going to be happy with it,” said Jonathan Oberlander, professor of health policy and management at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Medicare reimbursement rates for patients admitted to hospitals average half what commercial or employer-sponsored insurance plans pay.

“It will be a huge lift [in Congress] as the realities of lower Medicare reimbursement rates will activate some powerful interests against this,” said Josh Archambault, a senior fellow with the conservative Foundation for Government Accountability.

Biden, who turns 78 this month, said his plan will help Americans who retire early and those who are unemployed or can’t find jobs with health benefits…

Although opposition from the hospital industry is expected to be fierce, that is not the only obstacle to Biden’s plan.

Critics, especially Republicans on Capitol Hill, will point to the nation’s $3 trillion budget deficit as well as the dim outlook for the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund. That fund is on track to reach insolvency in 2024. That means there won’t be enough money to fully pay hospitals and nursing homes for inpatient care for Medicare beneficiaries.

[Read more…]

TRENDING NOW

Trump’s Cash Plea Could Complicate GOP Fundraising Efforts

(Associated Press) "Trump needs you," one fundraising email implored. "President Trump's Legacy is in your hands," another pleaded.

US Infrastructure Gets C- from Engineers as Roads Deteriorate

(Associated Press) America's infrastructure has scored near-failing grades for its deteriorating roads, public transit and storm water systems due to years of...

Your Credit Report May Be WRONG; Here’s What to Do About It

(Bev O'Shea, NerdWallet) Consumers filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in record numbers in 2020, according to a report released...

Dems Tighten Income Limits for COVID-19 Relief

(Associated Press) President Joe Biden and Democrats agreed Wednesday to tighten the upper income limits at which people could qualify for stimulus...

Six ‘Hurtful’ Dr. Seuss Books to Cease Being Published

(Headline USA) Six Dr. Seuss books — including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran...