Thursday, February 22, 2024

Readers Weigh Downsides of Medicare Benefit and Stick Up for Mary Lou Retton


Letters to the Editor is a periodic function. We welcome all feedback and can put up a spread. We edit for duration and readability and require complete names.

In accordance with Sarah Jane Tribble’s document about rising enrollment in Medicare Benefit plans — and the rising issues — a senior coverage adviser on the Robert Wooden Johnson Basis weighed in on X, previously referred to as Twitter:

Controlled care backlash in complete swing as extra customers turn out to be acutely aware of the tradeoffs concerned opting for M.A.

— Katherine Hempstead (@khemp64) January 8, 2024

— Katherine Hempstead, Princeton, New Jersey

Medicare Benefit: To Whose Benefit?

Sarah Jane Tribble did a very good activity reporting on Medicare Benefit plans and the main obstacles inside them that depart other folks principally screwed (“Older American citizens Say They Really feel Trapped in Medicare Benefit Plans,” Jan. 5).

Don’t fail to remember presidential hopeful Nikki Haley at some of the Republican debates said that Medicare Benefit plans are what the vast majority of seniors need and will have to be expanded.

That subsequent morning, I in an instant known as the South Carolina Democratic Celebration and introduced that they will have to be status on their desks demonizing her as a result of they know complete smartly that low-income, underserved Black other folks in South Carolina rural ZIP codes wouldn’t be eligible for Benefit plans the place care is related to ZIP code.

Disgrace on all events and applicants who by no means point out single-payer common well being care (aside from Inexperienced Celebration applicants).

Excellent information tale, Ms. Tribble.

— Steve Scuderi, Chicago

A well being services and products researcher within the Division of Well being Coverage at Vanderbilt College additionally praised the item on social media:

This piece is REALLY nice (thank you, @sjtribble!). We’re running on a grant associated with this subject now (thank you, @LLSusa!) and can’t emphasize sufficient how necessary this factor is for other folks growing older into Medicare.

— Stacie Dusetzina (@DusetzinaS) January 5, 2024

— Stacie Dusetzina, Nashville, Tennessee

The founder and president of Healthcare Navigation, a consultancy, added recommendation for medical health insurance consumers on X:

Beneficiaries who at first join in conventional Medicare are assured to qualify for a Medigap coverage with out pricing in keeping with their clinical historical past.In finding out extra right here:

— Maura Carley (@MauraCarley) January 20, 2024

— Maura Carley, Darien, Connecticut

Don’t Blame Sufferers for Unaffordable Well being Care

This op-ed (now not article) by means of KFF Well being Information reporter Julie Appleby shames the previous Olympic athlete for her monetary misery and for being not able to regulate her funds and well being — whilst unwell, injured, or chronically disabled (“Mary Lou Retton’s Rationalization of Well being Insurance coverage Takes Some Somersaults,” Jan. 12).

The writing means that an American shopper or citizen could be a very “a hit individual on your different lifestyles” however “now not perceive American well being care” and that monetary misery will have been averted if simplest Mary Lou Retton were extra assertive, knowledgeable, and clever.

Appleby states that “Retton excelled in touchdown tricky strikes as a gymnast, however she can have neglected the bar when it got here to shopping for insurance policy.”

This perception — particularly amongst well being newshounds and newsrooms protecting the well being care style within the U.S. — that industrial medical health insurance promises get admission to to well being care, or that the Reasonably priced Care Act is reasonably priced and promises get admission to — is a false one. ACA plans are in large part controlled by means of non-public industrial medical health insurance firms. The trade trade style is “Denial of Care.” This is how insurers ship returns on funding to shareholders 12 months after 12 months, quarter after quarter, and take advantage of sickness, harm, incapacity, and demise. This style as of these days continues to be prison. And, with PxDx tool and synthetic intelligence, firms are actually denying hospital therapy claims at a price of 100 in keeping with 1.2 seconds.

To signify paying for industrial medical health insurance guarantees hospital therapy is editorially irresponsible. To signify a citizen used to be now not clever sufficient to navigate the barbaric and vicious industrial medical health insurance trade’s non-machine of well being care is reprehensible and repugnant. The one one that “neglected the bar” used to be Appleby and her misinformed editors.

KFF Well being Information has been partnering with NPR and CBS for just about seven years at the “Invoice of the Month” sequence. Right through that point, doctor suicide has reached report highs, clinical employee moves have hit report highs, clinical invoice bankruptcies have reached report highs, clinical citizens around the nation are unionizing to give protection to sufferers’ rights and affected person protection, and but, the entire whilst, industrial medical health insurance trade earnings have reached report highs. And their monetary product divisions proceed to put money into portfolios that experience not anything to do with well being care.

By means of each size and metric, during the last 40 years, the industrial medical health insurance trade has brought about preventable hurt and demise — deliberately, for benefit. And nonetheless, Appleby suggests it’s the fault of sufferers that they can’t manage to pay for hospital therapy? What, particularly, does Appleby counsel sufferers like Retton “do higher?”

It’s time to start out reporting responsibly and correctly about statewide single-payer resolutions and regulation throughout the USA and the nationwide (stepped forward) Medicare for All Act of 2023-24 on the federal point.

Business medical health insurance isn’t well being care.

— Kimberly J. Soenen, government director of Some Other folks and managing editor of The High quality Print, Grand Marais, Minnesota

This text drew swift consideration on social media. Right here’s a sampling of readers’ posts on X, reacting each to the KFF Well being Information and NPR variations:

Retton didn’t have insurance coverage as a result of premiums have been too top. She has insurance coverage now; so do tens of millions of alternative Texans. That’s the tale right here, now not that she didn’t exactly give an explanation for the score dynamics of a non-compliant surroundings.

— Greg Fann (Professional-compliance Well being Actuary) (@greg_fann) January 14, 2024

— Greg Fann, Temecula, California

I’m happy NPR highlighted this. Don’t know if Retton is ignorant or MAGA. Disgrace on ⁦@TODAYshow⁩ and ⁦@hodakotb⁩ for now not the usage of this to tell their target audience that preexisting stipulations aren’t a subject with the #ACA. Premiums may also be $0.

— Jody Johnson (@jodywayzata) January 13, 2024

— Jody Johnson, Dallas

I do know too smartly {the marketplace} well being rip-off that leaves such a lot of people with out insurance coverage. I’ve a set revenue of $29,000. With a bronze-level plan, that implies a $10,000 deductible, and $473 per thirty days for premiums. Are you calling this reasonably priced? The truth I’m paying $10,000 ahead of my insurance coverage kicks in, plus per thirty days premiums, it’s $15,000 out-of-pocket — a pocket I don’t have except I’m homeless. That is the rip-off.

— Brenda Frantz, Hinesville, Georgia

Yep. Mary Lou Retton’s cause of why she did not have medical health insurance did not move the sniff take a look at: by the use of @kffhealthnews

— Victoria Colliver (@vcolliver) January 12, 2024

— Victoria Colliver, Oakland, California

Orthopedic surgical procedures??So gymnastics is bad?

— Lance Pass (@Tea4gunsSC2) January 14, 2024

— Lance Pass, Carta Valley, Texas


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