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5 Times More Will See Medicare Premiums Rise

From the Associated Press:

Medicare premiums could rise for many retirees

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR | December 20, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a health care change that President Barack Obama and Republicans both embrace: Expand a current, little-known law so more retirees the government considers well-off are required to pay higher Medicare premiums.

You see? The Republicans are to blame, too!

That plan is likely to be part of any budget deal to reduce the overhang of federal debt, raising $20 billion or more over 10 years. It could come as a shock to many seniors who will have to pay the higher premiums even though they consider themselves solidly middle-class, and by no means wealthy…

The elections are over. Be prepared for a lot of shocks.

The idea is to continue broadening the reach of income-based Medicare premiums introduced under former President George W. Bush and later expanded by Obama’s health care law…

You see? It started under Bush.

First, the current income-based monthly premiums for Medicare’s outpatient and prescription drug coverage would be ratcheted up. Those surcharges now are assessed on a sliding scale, and kick in for individual beneficiaries making more than $85,000, or $170,000 for couples.

You see? You are already rich if you make over $85,000 a year.

Second, the number of beneficiaries who have to pay those higher monthly premiums would gradually expand by a few hundred thousand people each year. That would be done by extending a temporary freeze on the income thresholds at which the higher premiums are assessed.

Without adjusting those thresholds for inflation, 1 in 4 beneficiaries would be on the hook eventually, compared with about 1 in 20 now.

That means five times more people will suddenly become ‘rich.’ Hooray!

Backers of the idea — Obama administration officials, prominent Republicans in the House and Senate and nonpartisan experts — say it’s foolish for Medicare to keep subsidizing people who can afford to pay their own way, particularly when the program faces long-range financial problems…

But these people paid into the program. Whatever happened to equal protection under the law? Whatever happened to fairness?

And, besides, how come it is always the hard working people who have to get gouged to pay for the shirkers?

[P]eople the government considers well-off shoulder an increasing share of premiums, starting at 35 percent and going all the way up to 80 percent for individuals making more than $214,000 and couples over $428,000.

Again, "well off" starts at $85,000 a year.

Polls show that Americans clearly prefer raising premiums on wealthy beneficiaries as opposed to a general increase. However, few people are aware that the government is already collecting higher premiums from some beneficiaries. Very few know the details.

"I think wealth is in the eye of the beholder," said Tricia Neuman, a Medicare expert with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. "This premium affects people with incomes starting at $85,000, but in the discussion over taxes $85,000 is not generally considered high income."

Sez you. Tell that to the 47%.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, December 20th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “5 Times More Will See Medicare Premiums Rise”

  1. mr_bill says:

    nerobama back-loaded so many of his tax measures so they wouldn’t take effect until after the 2012 election. A lot of low intelligence information voters are going to find out how much liberalism costs in the next year or two. Unfortunately, they’re taking the rest of us for a ride to hell in a handbasket with them.

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