Misplaced blame

There are 65 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Jan 1, 2011, titled Misplaced blame. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

The headline and lead of the article on Baby Boomers' retirement Dec. 28 implied that baby boomers have only themselves to blame for their uncertain retirements.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

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wjh

Saint Paul, MN

#1 Jan 2, 2011
I wonder if Sheila Kelly is aware the many government employee pensions are going broke because they’re invested in Wall Street?

“The Teacher Retirement System of Texas, the seventh-largest public pension fund in the U.S., reports each year that its expected rate of return is 8 percent. Public records show the fund has had an average return of 2.6 percent during the past 10 years.
The nation’s largest public pension fund, California Public Employees’ Retirement System, has been reporting an expected rate of return of 7.75 percent for the past eight years, and 8 percent before that, according to Calpers spokesman Clark McKinley.
Its annual return during the decade from Dec. 31, 1998, to Dec. 31, 2008, has been 3.32 percent, and last year, when markets tanked, it lost 27 percent.”
Source; http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news...

It’s a heck of a deal, guaranteed benefits at high yields with no risk, where do the rest of us in the private sector sign up?

So Sheila, get that check book out because you and I will now get to pay for all the Public Pension funds that come up short.

“REUNITE GONDWANALAND!”

Since: Jun 08

Woodbury

#2 Jan 2, 2011
Jeff Pelletier, allow me to propose a thought experiment for you. You are on medicare, and you have decided to draw up a living will - a document that will let your family and your health care providers understand exactly what you wishes are for end of life care, including extraordinary care to keep you alive at all costs, in the event you are unable to express those wishes yourself. Now, suppose you want to consult with your personal physician about the options available for end of life care, so you can draw up a living will that covers all contingencies, so, you make an appointment, and you discuss your living will with you personal physician, expressing your desires, and asking what kinds of care would be available.
Should medicare reimburse that consultation?
Currently, it doesn't.
What you and others are calling "Death Panels" is merely a requirement that medicare reimburse such a voluntary discussion annually.
Now please, explain why you think that will lead to "pulling the plug on Grandma" as some Republicans and Tea Party members have put it.
Not as Delusional as You

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Jan 2, 2011
Darwinian wrote:
Jeff Pelletier, allow me to propose a thought experiment for you. You are on medicare, and you have decided to draw up a living will - a document that will let your family and your health care providers understand exactly what you wishes are for end of life care, including extraordinary care to keep you alive at all costs, in the event you are unable to express those wishes yourself. Now, suppose you want to consult with your personal physician about the options available for end of life care, so you can draw up a living will that covers all contingencies, so, you make an appointment, and you discuss your living will with you personal physician, expressing your desires, and asking what kinds of care would be available.
Should medicare reimburse that consultation?
Currently, it doesn't.
What you and others are calling "Death Panels" is merely a requirement that medicare reimburse such a voluntary discussion annually.
Now please, explain why you think that will lead to "pulling the plug on Grandma" as some Republicans and Tea Party members have put it.
If the government is running the program and it is running at a deficit, what is to stop Medicare from pushing the "pull the plug on grandma" agenda to save money? If you can't see the potential conflict of interest, you are missing the point.
whatever

Saint Paul, MN

#4 Jan 2, 2011
Darwinian wrote:
Jeff Pelletier, allow me to propose a thought experiment for you. You are on medicare, and you have decided to draw up a living will - a document that will let your family and your health care providers understand exactly what you wishes are for end of life care, including extraordinary care to keep you alive at all costs, in the event you are unable to express those wishes yourself. Now, suppose you want to consult with your personal physician about the options available for end of life care, so you can draw up a living will that covers all contingencies, so, you make an appointment, and you discuss your living will with you personal physician, expressing your desires, and asking what kinds of care would be available.
Should medicare reimburse that consultation?
Currently, it doesn't.
What you and others are calling "Death Panels" is merely a requirement that medicare reimburse such a voluntary discussion annually.
Now please, explain why you think that will lead to "pulling the plug on Grandma" as some Republicans and Tea Party members have put it.
Nobody will pull the plug on grandma, they just wont fund her illness. You know, and everyone else with half a brain knows it. Why dont you take you fn BS elsewhere.
Billy

Saint Paul, MN

#5 Jan 2, 2011
Not as Delusional as You wrote:
<quoted text>If the government is running the program and it is running at a deficit, what is to stop Medicare from pushing the "pull the plug on grandma" agenda to save money? If you can't see the potential conflict of interest, you are missing the point.
If your current health insurance company is not meeting profit expectations what prevents them from doing the same thing?
Not as Delusional as You

Saint Paul, MN

#6 Jan 2, 2011
Billy wrote:
<quoted text>
If your current health insurance company is not meeting profit expectations what prevents them from doing the same thing?
You can shop insurers, good luck shopping for a different government.

“REUNITE GONDWANALAND!”

Since: Jun 08

Woodbury

#7 Jan 2, 2011
Not as Delusional as You wrote:
<quoted text>If the government is running the program and it is running at a deficit, what is to stop Medicare from pushing the "pull the plug on grandma" agenda to save money? If you can't see the potential conflict of interest, you are missing the point.
Correct me if I misunderstand your point - you want to eliminate Medicare, so private insurers can decide whether or not to insure expensive clients, like the elderly, based on their profit motive.

“REUNITE GONDWANALAND!”

Since: Jun 08

Woodbury

#8 Jan 2, 2011
Not as Delusional as You wrote:
<quoted text>You can shop insurers, good luck shopping for a different government.
How many elderly people are without preexisting conditions, which would preclude them from obtaining private insurance? Without government regulations and government subsidies (as in, for example Medicare Advantage programs) would any private insurance company choose to cover the elderly? Of course not.
Not as Delusional as You

Saint Paul, MN

#9 Jan 2, 2011
Darwinian wrote:
<quoted text>
Correct me if I misunderstand your point - you want to eliminate Medicare, so private insurers can decide whether or not to insure expensive clients, like the elderly, based on their profit motive.
Once again, putting words in other people's posts for them. I don't want government expansion of this poorly run program, at the very least until it is well run, but $billions in waste and fraud every year don't seem to be going away.

Let me put words in your mouth now, we should expand Medicare to everyone because the government is a model of efficiency, and they handled the foreclosure crisis so well.
here we go

Saint Paul, MN

#10 Jan 2, 2011
Billy wrote:
<quoted text>
If your current health insurance company is not meeting profit expectations what prevents them from doing the same thing?
Most current policies have maximum lifetime limits within the policy. You'll be treated for catestrophic
illness as long as that maximum holds out. If the insurance company "pulls the plug" on benefits prior to the maximum being met, they'd be in breech of contract.

I'm sure the lawsuits would be worse on profits.

“REUNITE GONDWANALAND!”

Since: Jun 08

Woodbury

#11 Jan 2, 2011
Not as Delusional as You wrote:
<quoted text>Once again, putting words in other people's posts for them. I don't want government expansion of this poorly run program, at the very least until it is well run, but $billions in waste and fraud every year don't seem to be going away.
Let me put words in your mouth now, we should expand Medicare to everyone because the government is a model of efficiency, and they handled the foreclosure crisis so well.
Poorly run program?
'Medicare beneficiaries are overwhelmingly satisfied with their Medicare coverage, except for the absence of prescription drug benefits[written before Medicare Park D];
The administrative costs of Medicare are lower than any other large health plan...
It has been argued that, in part, Medicare's cost effectiveness arises from the fact that it does not need to expend funds on marketing and sales-functions that are obligatory for the success of competitive, private-sector health plans. Moreover, some argue that the competitive model for health insurance has not been successful. In a market-driven economy, the healthy can and will change health plans for savings of only a few dollars a month, while the sick must remain in their existing plan in order to retain their physicians. Such behaviors lead to asymmetric risk pools and cost inequities.

This was all sobering news to a market-driven entrepreneur such as yours truly. However, given the perverse incentives that frequently drive behavior in health care, my take-home lesson is that there are examples in the success of Medicare we can apply to other sectors of our population.'
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/about/Crossroa...

'Beginning in 1997, the growth in Medicares cost per beneficiary has been slower than the cost escalation in coverage delivered by private insurers. Between 2002 and 2006, for example, Medicares cost per beneficiary rose 5.4 percent, while per capita costs in private insurance rose 7.7 percent, according to MedPAC, an independent agency charged with advising Congress on Medicare issues...
At the time[Medicare was enacted], about half of the elderly had no health insurancethey were too old and too likely to get sick, so the private market simply wouldnt insure them. The elderly were the demographic group most likely to live in poverty, and about one in three older Americans were poor. Blacks and other minorities could not receive treatment in whites-only medical facilities, discrimination that was barred by Medicare.

Now the elderly are among the best-insured Americans, with upward of 95 percent covered by Medicare. The rate of poverty among those 65 and older is under 10 percent. The decline in elderly poverty began with the creation of Social Securitybut it accelerated, according to Census Bureau data, only after Medicare coverage began.'
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090729_...
here we go

Saint Paul, MN

#12 Jan 2, 2011
Darwinian wrote:
<quoted text>
Poorly run program?
'Medicare beneficiaries are overwhelmingly satisfied with their Medicare coverage, except for the absence of prescription drug benefits[written before Medicare Park D];
The administrative costs of Medicare are lower than any other large health plan...
It has been argued that, in part, Medicare's cost effectiveness arises from the fact that it does not need to expend funds on marketing and sales-functions that are obligatory for the success of competitive, private-sector health plans. Moreover, some argue that the competitive model for health insurance has not been successful. In a market-driven economy, the healthy can and will change health plans for savings of only a few dollars a month, while the sick must remain in their existing plan in order to retain their physicians. Such behaviors lead to asymmetric risk pools and cost inequities.
This was all sobering news to a market-driven entrepreneur such as yours truly. However, given the perverse incentives that frequently drive behavior in health care, my take-home lesson is that there are examples in the success of Medicare we can apply to other sectors of our population.'
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/about/Crossroa...
'Beginning in 1997, the growth in Medicares cost per beneficiary has been slower than the cost escalation in coverage delivered by private insurers. Between 2002 and 2006, for example, Medicares cost per beneficiary rose 5.4 percent, while per capita costs in private insurance rose 7.7 percent, according to MedPAC, an independent agency charged with advising Congress on Medicare issues...
At the time[Medicare was enacted], about half of the elderly had no health insurancethey were too old and too likely to get sick, so the private market simply wouldnt insure them. The elderly were the demographic group most likely to live in poverty, and about one in three older Americans were poor. Blacks and other minorities could not receive treatment in whites-only medical facilities, discrimination that was barred by Medicare.
Now the elderly are among the best-insured Americans, with upward of 95 percent covered by Medicare. The rate of poverty among those 65 and older is under 10 percent. The decline in elderly poverty began with the creation of Social Securitybut it accelerated, according to Census Bureau data, only after Medicare coverage began.'
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090729_...
If you want to say extending solvency "up to" another 18 years, when many of these posters, whom are currently contributing and will be years away from collecting,a good thing, well alrighty then. Even doubly so when the CBO's accounting practices for coming up with this increase is still in question.

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2010/08/02/will-h...

And lest I forget, much of the "savings" Medicare will enjoy will be from decreased reimbursements to physicians, thereby decreasing the amount of care to those who have already contributed to Medicare for years and years.
Not as Delusional as You

Saint Paul, MN

#13 Jan 2, 2011
Darwinian wrote:
<quoted text>
Poorly run program?
'Medicare beneficiaries are overwhelmingly satisfied with their Medicare coverage, except for the absence of prescription drug benefits[written before Medicare Park D];
The administrative costs of Medicare are lower than any other large health plan...
It has been argued that, in part, Medicare's cost effectiveness arises from the fact that it does not need to expend funds on marketing and sales-functions that are obligatory for the success of competitive, private-sector health plans. Moreover, some argue that the competitive model for health insurance has not been successful. In a market-driven economy, the healthy can and will change health plans for savings of only a few dollars a month, while the sick must remain in their existing plan in order to retain their physicians. Such behaviors lead to asymmetric risk pools and cost inequities.
This was all sobering news to a market-driven entrepreneur such as yours truly. However, given the perverse incentives that frequently drive behavior in health care, my take-home lesson is that there are examples in the success of Medicare we can apply to other sectors of our population.'
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/about/Crossroa...
'Beginning in 1997, the growth in Medicares cost per beneficiary has been slower than the cost escalation in coverage delivered by private insurers. Between 2002 and 2006, for example, Medicares cost per beneficiary rose 5.4 percent, while per capita costs in private insurance rose 7.7 percent, according to MedPAC, an independent agency charged with advising Congress on Medicare issues...
At the time[Medicare was enacted], about half of the elderly had no health insurancethey were too old and too likely to get sick, so the private market simply wouldnt insure them. The elderly were the demographic group most likely to live in poverty, and about one in three older Americans were poor. Blacks and other minorities could not receive treatment in whites-only medical facilities, discrimination that was barred by Medicare.
Now the elderly are among the best-insured Americans, with upward of 95 percent covered by Medicare. The rate of poverty among those 65 and older is under 10 percent. The decline in elderly poverty began with the creation of Social Securitybut it accelerated, according to Census Bureau data, only after Medicare coverage began.'
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090729_...
And the majority of people with private insurance are satisfied with their plans. Here is a link to annual estimated Medicare fraud. Private insurers would be broke permitting that kind of rampant fraud, but not Medicare, they just keep on plugging along.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/23/60m...
wjh

Saint Paul, MN

#14 Jan 2, 2011
Darwinian wrote:
<quoted text>
Correct me if I misunderstand your point - you want to eliminate Medicare, so private insurers can decide whether or not to insure expensive clients, like the elderly, based on their profit motive.
Shouldn't we have a choice up front if we want to pay and participate in Medicare?

If we don't have that basic choice, what makes you think the Government will allow unlimited choices in our own care?

"maybe your better off not having the surgery but taking the pain killer"
Barack Obama;
wjh

Saint Paul, MN

#15 Jan 2, 2011
here we go wrote:
<quoted text>
If you want to say extending solvency "up to" another 18 years, when many of these posters, whom are currently contributing and will be years away from collecting,a good thing, well alrighty then. Even doubly so when the CBO's accounting practices for coming up with this increase is still in question.
http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2010/08/02/will-h...
And lest I forget, much of the "savings" Medicare will enjoy will be from decreased reimbursements to physicians, thereby decreasing the amount of care to those who have already contributed to Medicare for years and years.
I have an idea, if Medicare is cutting Reimbursements to Doctors, lets do the same with Nurses.

I think most Nurses would gladly take less pay if we could simply cover more people on the health care roles.

Darwinian, here's your big chance,
here we go

Saint Paul, MN

#16 Jan 2, 2011
wjh wrote:
<quoted text>
I have an idea, if Medicare is cutting Reimbursements to Doctors, lets do the same with Nurses.
I think most Nurses would gladly take less pay if we could simply cover more people on the health care roles.
Darwinian, here's your big chance,
Here here! Great idea!
Not as Delusional as You

Saint Paul, MN

#17 Jan 2, 2011
Darwinian wrote:
<quoted text>
Correct me if I misunderstand your point - you want to eliminate Medicare, so private insurers can decide whether or not to insure expensive clients, like the elderly, based on their profit motive.
Oh, and more directly, you misunderstood my point, intentionally so.
MCullen NE

Minneapolis, MN

#18 Jan 2, 2011
I played by the rules. I saved as I was told to save. And it was all a hoax because of the greed and corruption of Wall Street. Next time you publish an article about the issues facing boomers at retirement, how about focusing on that and stop implying that boomers did it to themselves.

Sheila Kelly, Vadnais Heights
America's hope and promise

Sheila I am in the same boat as you. I remember being told I will have a million dollars by the time I retire if I keep adding to my 401K's. First one Control Data ripped me off. Then 2 crashes.... What a joke. I remember around 2004 going to a meeting at my job at the time for a 401K and they stated the same lie. I looked at at gal my age and said Ruthie do you have all the money? We both laughed out loud. Ludicrous what our government lets go on. Maybe they are involved I don't know for sure.
a grandma

Saint Paul, MN

#19 Jan 2, 2011
Darwinian wrote:
Jeff Pelletier, allow me to propose a thought experiment for you. You are on medicare, and you have decided to draw up a living will - a document that will let your family and your health care providers understand exactly what you wishes are for end of life care, including extraordinary care to keep you alive at all costs, in the event you are unable to express those wishes yourself. Now, suppose you want to consult with your personal physician about the options available for end of life care, so you can draw up a living will that covers all contingencies, so, you make an appointment, and you discuss your living will with you personal physician, expressing your desires, and asking what kinds of care would be available.
Should medicare reimburse that consultation?
Currently, it doesn't.
What you and others are calling "Death Panels" is merely a requirement that medicare reimburse such a voluntary discussion annually.
Now please, explain why you think that will lead to "pulling the plug on Grandma" as some Republicans and Tea Party members have put it.
You can just walk up to the front desk and ask for these forms. No dr. appt needed. Take it home, read it, sign it and return it. That's what adults do.

Since: May 09

Mounds Park, St Paul

#20 Jan 2, 2011
a grandma wrote:
<quoted text>You can just walk up to the front desk and ask for these forms. No dr. appt needed. Take it home, read it, sign it and return it. That's what adults do.
The forms are deadly. As of late, I'm afraid to sign anything at the doctor's office, clinic or hospital. Deciphering the fine print and toiling to understand the minutiae ruins my eyesight, raises my blood pressure and makes me want to throw something across the lobby.

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