Posts Tagged ‘taking

25
Aug
11

‘medicare spending has begun to slow dramatically’

Maggie Mahar (Taking Note): It is an article of faith, at least among conservatives, that as long as Medicare remains a government program, outlays will rise relentlessly, year after year. Only “the market” could possibly tame Medicare inflation, they say. The fear-mongers argue that unless we either shift costs to seniors; raise the age when they become eligible for Medicare; or turn the whole program over to private sector insurers, Medicare expenditures will bankrupt the country.

Here is the truth: Both Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now have 18 months of hard data showing that Medicare spending has begun to slow dramatically.

Health reform legislation has not yet begun to kick in to pare Medicare payments, but something is changing on the ground. Medicare spending began to plunge in January of 2010. After levitating by an average of 9.7 percent a year from 2000 to 2009, CBO’s monthly budget reports show that Medicare pay-outs are now rising by less than 4 percent a year…..

… This slow-down is not a result of Congress cutting Medicare spending. Instead, as former White House health care adviser Dr Zeke Emanuel pointed out, providers are “anticipating the Affordable Care Act kicking in 2014”. They can’t wait until the end of 2013, he explained: “They have to act today. Everywhere I go,” Emanuel, told me, “medical schools and hospitals are asking me, ‘How can we cut our costs by 10 to 15 percent?’ They know that they must trim their own costs if they are going to lower the bills that they send to Medicare.’”….

Full post here

Thanks BWD

10
Mar
11

‘why obama is taking his time deciding what to do about Libya’

Fred Kaplan (Slate): Is President Obama dithering over Libya? In the past week or so, a diverse array of commentators — Republican hawks, the usual neocons, and some normally gun-shy Democrats, including Sen. John Kerry — has called on Obama to take action now. Some have charged Obama with queasiness or lack of principles for not charging the ramparts from the get-go. But one can imagine several very good reasons for the president’s … let’s call it caution.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have been outspokenly leery of military options. Some scoff at their hesitation, and it is true that, for the past 40 years, U.S. military leaders have tended, more than many of their civilian bosses, to warn of war’s risks. The thing is, they often do know what they’re talking about.

Take the most popular proposal on the table, the imposition of a no-fly zone over at least parts of Libya, to prevent Moammar Qaddafi’s pilots from bombing or strafing the rebels fighting for his overthrow. As Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the JCS chairman, have said, a no-fly zone is no small matter. It is, for one thing, an act of war and therefore prompts the question: Do you really want to get into this? Do you want to get into another war in another Muslim country in the Middle East?

Leon Wieseltier recently wrote in the New Republic, “I do not see a Middle East rising up in anger at the prospect of American intervention.” Oh, really. Where did we last see that degree of blitheness?

Full article here




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