2008 CBO Report Favorably Scored The Medicare Buy-In
Washington, D.C. -- A briefly considered “Medicare buy-in” proposal for 55- to 64-year-olds was apparently killed in the Senate this week by self-styled moderates who claimed it would be too costly for taxpayers. While a requested study of costs by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet been released, a CBO study of a similar plan, conducted last year, found that there would be no public cost, yet consumers would greatly benefit from rates far below those of private insurers, said Consumer Watchdog.
The 2008 CBO report found that a Medicare buy-in (which would allow Americans to pay the full cost of Medicare hospital, doctor and drug coverage) just for ages 62-64 would provide dramatic savings for consumers in that group, most of whom could not buy insurance at any price in the private market due to excludable pre-existing conditions. A comprehensive policy would cost about $7,600 a year, said the CBO.
“A similar private HMO policy would a cost a 62-year-old up to twice as much or more, if they could get a policy at all," said Jerry Flanagan, health policy director of Consumer Watchdog. “The latest proposal in the Senate would provide even deeper savings by allowing people as young as 55 to buy in. By allowing younger individuals to into to Medicare, at their own cost, the risk is spread more widely and prices are lower for everyone. That's the way health care is supposed to work."
Click here to download the 2008 CBO report. The Medicare buy-in option is discussed on page 39.
The 2008 CBO report predicted that the plan would have no cost to government or the Medicare system, as long as premiums were matched to actual costs for the group over time. It also foresaw that premiums would be lower if younger individuals were allowed to participate in the buy-in program, as in the Senate proposal.
- 30 -
Consumer Watchdog is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and Santa Monica, CA. Find us on the web at: www.ConsumerWatchdog.org.
6/10/2015News ReleaseGovernor Should Sack Chairman Of Affordable Housing Agency For Making Housing Less Affordable, Says Consumer WatchdogSanta Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog today called on Governor Jerry Brown to remove Matthew Jacobs, Chairman of the Board... More >
8/17/2015News ReleaseConsumer Watchdog Disappointed California Senate Chose Hiking an Initiative Filing Fee Over Protecting Direct DemocracySanta Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog said today it was disappointed that the California Senate passed AB 1100, by Evan Low... More >
9/2/2015News ReleaseGovernor Signs Misguided Bill Creating Another Financial Hurdle For Public’s Access to Direct Democracy, Says Consumer WatchdogSanta Monica, CA – Gov. Jerry Brown has signed misguided legislation hiking the ballot initiative filing fee to $2,000 from... More >
8/7/2015News StoryWhen the state Senate goes back into session this month, its members will have the delicate task of revising California’s... More >
8/8/2015News StoryFor $200, Californians with varying ideas can propose a measure that might wind up on the ballot. One current proposal would... More >