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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Neither Bush-care nor Obama-care solves healthcare demand dilemma

Cover of paperback book Medicare and You 2013

PHOTO: cover of paperback book, which was mailed to all Medicare recipients, "Medicare & You 2013" from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2013 edition accessed Nov. 1, 2012 (PDF). Also see

The partisan bickering over healthcare frustrates me because nobody seems to be accepting the fact that there is an unlimited demand for healthcare and no magic potion will provide it for everyone at a reasonable. Although it was probably a waste of my time, I nonetheless wrote the following letter to the editor as a way of venting my frustration:

The Democrats' Obama-care health insurance plan appears certain given the election results. A prototype of how it will probably be implemented is the Republicans' Bush-care Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance.

Anybody curious about how the completely privatized Part D works can download from the 140 page book "Medicare & You 2013." This PDF is identical to the paperback book mailed to every Medicare recipient, except for missing the price list of plans available in Oregon during the open enrollment period ending Dec. 7, 2012.

For 2013, in Oregon there are 30 Part D plans costing an extra 15 to 122 dollars per month in addition to the "Original Medicare" health insurance premium of approximately 100 dollars per month (for most people). Alternately, Part D is included in the price of some privately run "Medicare Advantage" plans.

The Bush-care legislation promised lower taxes due to the "free market competition" of "Medicare Advantage" and Part D. Republicans said it would justify privatizing all of Medicare.

In fact, Bush-care failed. The Original Medicare program is still more efficient while maintaining a competitive approval rating.

Obama-care similarly fails to solve the dilemma of how to equitably allocate limited healthcare resources because Republicans rejected any solution as being a "death Panel." Despite this, nearly everyone, someday, will have an infinite demand for healthcare because they want to stay alive forever at any cost.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Medicare Part D is failed prototype of Obama health care," Gazette-Times, posted Nov. 14, 2012)