Right Hooks

Medicare Premiums to Increase for Those With Means

It's a sign of a broken system.

Dan Gilmore · Sep. 14, 2015
Photo courtesy Sutter Davis Hospital, NIST

In what The Fiscal Times calls “a financial time-bomb,” 15 million Americans on Medicare may see their premiums increase by 52% next year. The reason is that those on Medicare Part B will see their insurance increase because the cost of health care is going up and the money has to come from somewhere to help pay for the Medicare benefactors below the poverty line. “Under the ‘hold harmless’ provision, seniors’ annual Medicare premium increases are limited to the dollar increase in their Social Security benefit,” Heritage’s Robert Moffit writes. “That dollar amount is determined by the Social Security program’s annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This is not a glitch in the law, but rather a reasonable accommodation for the very large class of older Americans who are no longer working and living on a fixed income. Half of the persons enrolled in Medicare have annual incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).” It’s another instance of the well-heeled minority upholding the majority. Is that bad in this instance? Well, it’s an example of government overextending its welfare program, a sign of a broken system — a system of health care that ObamaCare only exacerbates.

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