It is just not the GOP that works to undermine the Medicare debate…..labor is not a friend of our seniors either.
I have a long history of defending the labor movement….but that does not extend to union leadership.
I have long been a critic of our so-called labor movement….as a past labor organizer I see the biggest problem as the US labor is more concerned with monetary issues when they should be focused on the political.
I recently saw some disturbing news about the labor issues on Medicare….
“Medicare is a pillar of the healthcare system”
– AFL-CIO June 13, 2022
Such a statement from the AFL-CIO would suggest that labor is determined to protect Medicare and even support improving and expanding it to all Americans. Additionally, President Biden and Democrats regularly criticize Republican threats to reauthorize and voucherize Medicare. Meanwhile, what’s left out of both the Democrat talking points and the AFL-CIO’s 2022 national resolution on healthcare is any acknowledgment that the real threat to Medicare and healthcare today is the decades-long tax-subsidized privatization supported by both major parties.
With major support from organized labor, including AFL-CIO President George Meany at the signing, Medicare was signed into law in 1965. Before Medicare, only 60% of those over 65 had insurance since it was unavailable or unaffordable via private insurance (seniors were charged 3x the rate of younger people). Not only economically beneficial to the working class, the passage of Medicare was a huge civil rights victory as payments to physicians, hospitals, and health care providers were conditional on desegregation.
While a big victory, Medicare did not provide full coverage for all services, and from its inception, there has been a drive to privatize and hand it over to profiteers. In fact, 2022 marks the 50th anniversary (1972) of Medicare permitting private insurance companies (HMOs) to participate in Medicare.
President Clinton finalized HMO participation with Congress in 1997, and in 2003, the Medicare Modernization Act, under President Bush, further boosted privatization. The year 2003 marks the beginning of Medicare Advantage plans: insurance companies essentially masquerading as Medicare.
HMOs and all the other private insurance companies introduced into Medicare after 1997 have not saved the government money, but instead, raised the cost to taxpayers much more than traditional Medicare beneficiaries. In 2005 the Government Accounting Office reported that “It is largely . . . excess payments, not managed care efficiencies, that enable plans to attract beneficiaries by offering a benefits package that is more comprehensive than the one available to FFS beneficiaries, while charging modest or no premiums. Nearly all of the 210 plans in our study received payments in 1998 that exceeded expected FFS costs….”
If the Dems/GOP and Labor have their way then Americans will get screwed (as usual) by those we trust the most.
Just to let my readers know…..
Biden campaigned to expand Medicaid. Now he’s signed a bill to sharply curtail it, ending coverage for millions of people in the middle of a pandemic he pretends is over…
The Social Security administration continues to deny thousands of disability claims a year, in part because it continues to rely on a 45-year-old list of outdated job titles. We live in a System that is eager to help the people who least need it and quick to ignore, chastise and punish the weakest, sickest and poorest among us.
More broken promises that our ‘trusted’ leaders throw out the window once elected.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”