May 15, 2013 |
Medicare scams come in varied sizes, but William Hlushmanuk's was one of the more industrious. The Northeast Philadelphia man had little training when he launched an ambulance service and went to dialysis centers to recruit passengers, sometimes right in the waiting rooms. Most weren't medically eligible for a ride - they were able to walk or drive - but no one really checked. Three times a week, Hlushmanuk's staff would shuttle patients for treatment, then bill the government. In five years, he soaked Medicare for $5.4 million, spending it on motorcycles, drugs, a house, a souped-up Hummer, and trips to Las Vegas and Florida.
April 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's plan to raise Medicare premiums for upper-income seniors would create five new income brackets to squeeze more revenue for the government from the top tiers of retirees, the administration revealed Friday. First details of the plan emerged after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified to Congress on the president's budget. As released two days earlier, the budget included only a vague description of a controversial proposal that has grown more ambitious since Obama last floated it. "Means testing" has been part of Medicare since the George W. Bush administration, but ramping it up is bound to stir controversy.
December 9, 2003 |
President Bush yesterday signed into law the most sweeping changes to Medicare since its creation nearly four decades ago, including a new prescription-drug benefit for older Americans. The landmark law also will inject competition into the government health-care program for the first time, by letting private companies compete with traditional Medicare. Bush said the changes would bring Medicare into the 21st century. Critics predicted they would destroy the health-care safety net that serves 40 million older Americans.
August 8, 1996 |
Rich Welsh (Guest Opinion, July 30) appears to have been taken in by the Republican congressional leadership's disinformation to distract citizens from Rep. John Fox's votes for the Newt Gingrich budget that made deep cuts in Medicare. In reality, it is the Republican leaders and their right-wing allies who are "playing dirty on Medicare" in an attempt to undermine the AFL-CIO's efforts to educate the American public. They have even stooped to threatening libel suits against TV and radio stations that run AFL-CIO ads documenting votes for drastic cuts in Medicare by members of Congress, including Jon Fox. Welsh parrots the GOP's line that House Speaker Newt Gingrich wasn't referring to Medicare when he said, "We think it's going to wither on the vine.
August 4, 2002 |
More and more seniors are opting to remain in the workforce nowadays, even after their Social Security kicks in, leaving questions about Medicare benefits for another day. When another day arrives, chances are a retiree needs help in deciding where to go for supplemental health coverage, whether to sign up with an HMO or any one of the more than 40 insurance providers registered in Pennsylvania. Where does one find this kind of free help? In Delaware County it's an agency called Horizons Unlimited, which administers a state-funded Medicare health insurance counseling program known as APPRISE.
April 5, 1987 |
Edward Howard thought he was prepared for old age. The former government worker had managed to save $130,000 for retirement. He owned his ranch house in a suburb of Washington. And he had monthly income of nearly $2,300 from a pension and Social Security. Because he was 65, Howard automatically qualified for Medicare, the federal health-insurance program for the elderly. But just to be on the safe side, he bought four health-insurance policies. "I thought I had all the bases covered," Howard, a 72-year-old amputee, said in a recent interview.
January 8, 1998
Republicans greeted President Clinton's proposal to expand Medicare to include the "near elderly" with all the grace Socks showed Buddy. Fangs bared and back arched. California Republican Bill Thomas, chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on health, said, "If the era of big government is over, why is the president proposing all these government expansions?" Texas Republican Sen. Phil Gramm called the plan "99 percent politics and 1 percent public policy. " And Ohio Republican John R. Kasich, head of the House Budget Committee, said there was no way Congress would approve.
January 13, 2006
LAST WEEK, I had to pay cash for my prescription because either Blue Cross' or our government's computers weren't updated to the changes in Medicare. Added to that aggravation is the unabashed greed the pharmaceutical industry expects us to support. My prescription plan has an annual cap. Because of that, I know the retail cost was $173 last year. This time, I had to pay $200. That increase, I suspect, is due solely to the federal government's paying either the whole freight or the difference in private coverage.
August 14, 2009
MEDICARE is not the panacea many make it out to be. Its costs are exploding and fraud is rampant - just another poorly administered federal program. Moreover, the projections in 1961 were completely wrong such that its present-day cost is hundreds of billions in excess of the estimates. Ronald Reagan was right in 1961 to object to government involvement - and if he were alive today, it's clear that he would be against Obamacare. John Belli, Philadelphia
August 17, 2012 |
WARREN, Ohio - Republican vice presidential contender Paul Ryan says he never would have included a $700 billion Medicare cut in his budget if President Obama hadn't done it first. "He put those cuts there," Ryan said Thursday, responding to a reporter's question. "We would never have done it in the first place. " Medicare, the health-care program for tens of millions of seniors, has become a key issue in the race for the White House. The Wisconsin congressman is perhaps best known for authoring a controversial budget plan that would transform Medicare into a voucher-like system.