Stanley Feld M.D., FACP, MACE
The other day a reader received the new notification of Social Security benefits for himself and his wife in 2014.
I am 72 years old.
I am a person who earns a substantial amount of earned and unearned income.
I am also forced by law to take a portion of money out of my retirement plan. I have been confused by the disinformation, misinformation, false promises we have been given by President Obama and his administration.
In the past I had not been curious about my Social Security benefits. It had no impact on my way of life. I paid into Social Security all my life and figured I should get some benefit.
However, with all the talk about the redistribution of wealth and Dr. Donald Berwick saying the essential fabric of universal healthcare coverage is the redistribution of wealth, I have been paying a little more attention to the Social Security benefit in recent years.
The change in the amount taken out of my benefit next year seemed way out of proportion to the amount taken out this year. I believe I made the same amount of money in earned and unearned in 2012 as I did in 2011.
I tried to figure out why the difference and ran into a lot of disjointed and uninterpretable explanations for these increases. Attached are mycommunications from the Social Security Administration. I have redacted our names from the letters.
Can you please explain these increases?
Thank you in advance.
I will give it a try. The Obama administration has not raised the premium rates on Medicare Part B for 2014. I guess the plan is not to agitate seniors as Obamacare has agitated people in the individual market.
Most people do not pay attention to laws and regulations until those laws affect them adversely.
Most of our senators and representatives did not read the Obamacare law before they passed it. On realizing Obamacare’s impact on them Congress lobbied the President for a waiver. Congress received the waiver.
Nancy Pelosi said in all her brilliance,
“We need to pass the law in order to find out what is in it.”
"What you permit, you promote."
" The per person Medicare insurance premium will increase from the present monthly fee of $96.40, rising to: $104.20 in 2012; $120.20 in 2013; and $247.00 in 2014.
These are provisions incorporated in the Obamacare legislation, purposely delayed so as not to 'confuse' the 2012 re-election campaigns."
The author asked us;
"Send this to all seniors that you know, so they will know who's throwing them under the bus. Obama knows this will kill his chances for a second term if enacted now, and he thinks that voters are stupid and won't know or care about anything that doesn't affect them now!
REMEMBER THIS IN NOVEMBER 2012 & VOTE ACCORDINGLY”
This is a list of the increases from 2009 through 2012.
You will notice the base price went up each year until the election year. In 2012 the prices were published before the presidential election. President Obama used Medicare’s base price reduction as an election asset.
The projected increases published in April 2012 are,
The new projected increase to be published in November 2014 after the election cycle is a jump to a base price of $247 dollars a month per person.
The big increase seniors will experience is in the deductibles, allowed services, and a restricted drug formulary.
Sir, your means adjusted gross income must have jumped from $214,000 range to over $428,000 on your 2012 tax return.
You might have had a large carried forward tax lose on your 2011 tax return if your income in 2011 and 2012 were the same.
The result was a MAGI adjustment to a $230.80 increase to the base premium from the adjustment of $42.00 for 2013.
The Obama administration did not increase the prices in means testing for 2014.
The total premium for complete Medicare A,B,D,F is not cheap.
The premium is $405 dollars a month for each of you or a total of $810 dollars.
This amount will be deducted from your monthly Social Security check or $9,720 dollars a year.
This amount does not include the $170 per month for each of your Medicare Part F supplemental insurance. Medicare Part F pays all your physician and hospital deductibles. The total premium is $4,080 per year in after tax dollars. Medicare Part D premium cost about $57 dollar per month each or a total of $1368 in after tax dollars.
The total in addition to $9,720 in pre tax dollars is $4,080 in post tax dollars or $13,800.
The $4,080 post tax dollar premium is equal to $6,800 pre-tax dollars. This premium is not deductible.
Therefore the total is $6,800 plus $9,720 or a grand total of $16,520 a year for Medicare Part B, Part D, and Part F premiums for both you and your wife in 2014.
This is excluding deductible cost for brand name drugs and full the cost for drugs not on the formulary. It also does not pay for physicians that do not participate in Medicare.
The Part A deductible has increased in 2014 to $1,216.00 from $1,084.00 in 2013. Medicare also pays 80% of the hospitals allowable fee after the $1,216.00.
The Medicare Part B deductible is unchanged at $147.00. However you will get one free physical examination each year.
These premiums are an example of the redistribution of wealth in our healthcare system.
The means testing formula serves to supplement seniors who live on Social Security.
Many have lost retirement benefits in the last few years. Medicare’s base premium is too expensive for those less fortunate. Many are struggling to survive even if they do not need medical care.
Raising taxes or lowering premiums by the government is not going to solve the problems.
A single party payer system is not going to solve the problems.
Medicare is already single party payer system!! Its structure is wrong and destined to failure.
It will also save the government a great deal of money.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.
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