A recent study by the far-left-wing Kaiser insurance company "foundation" made up a Medicare premium-support plan of its own, assumed future senior citizens (people under 55 today) would make serial stupid decisions when it comes to selecting Medicare plans after 2018 or 2022, and as a result predicted that Medicare beneficiaries would be screwed by premium-support-based Medicare Reform. The Kaiser insurance company study, when you read all of its 40 pages of What-Ifs and asterisks and maybes and sort-ofs, is based on the most absurd set of assumptions one could imagine if one were doing real research instead of propagandizing for Barack Obama in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Based on both how Kaiser is promoting its study and the assumptions in the study itself, Kaiser's effort is far and away the worst example of Medicare-related research ever produced.
while the research document itself claims that the research cannot be applied to any particular premium-support-based Medicare Reform proposal, the press release that the bigots at Kaiser released begins: "The type of proposal championed by Republicans to overhaul Medicare by giving beneficiaries a fixed amount of money to purchase insurance could lead to significant increases in premium costs in some parts of the country.." The far-left-wing Kaiser never mentions in its press release that every premium-support-based Medicare Reform proposal mentioned in its research paper was co-authored by both a Democrat and a Republican.
As for the assumptions in the research paper:
- Kaiser assumes in its research that insurance companies in their benevolence would have bid less in 2010 under a premium-support plan than they actually bid in 2010 under then existing Part C Medicare Advantage law. (Remember the bidding process for 2010 Part C Medicare Advantage plans actually began in late 2008.) The result is to increase the theoretical amount theoretical seniors in 2018 or 2022 would have to pay under Kaiser's theoretical premium support plan by over $400 a year.
- Kaiser assumes that given the choice between plans with similar health-care benefits -- with the minor exception that one of the plans is less expensive, includes catastrophic coverage, and offers low co-pays and deductibles -- seniors would choose a plan that costs more, has life-time limits and 20% co-pays (the latter describes traditional Medicare Parts A and B)
- Kaiser "assumes a static marketplace with no new plan entrants or exits (after 2010, a market that was formed in 2008). To the extent that a premium support system would reduce private plans’ profits and induce plans to exit the market, the dynamics could change for beneficiaries."
It is hard to imagine any worse research than this Obama election propaganda.
-- Dennis Byron