Welcome to Obama’s Medicare

There was an interesting article yesterday about knee replacement surgery.  Before you tune out, this post has a far more important message.

In a recent study conducted by Peter Cram, an internist at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, we learned that Medicare paid for 243,802 knee replacements in 2010.  This is in contrast to 93,230 in 1991.  At $15,000 per knee, this amounts to about $9 billion of Medicare’s $550 billion 2010 expenditure.

According to an editorial released with the study, knee replacement surgery could exceed 3.5 million by 2030.  This is not a surprise given that more and more “baby boomers” are becoming eligible for Medicare each year…and we are only in the second of 18 years of “baby boomers”.  That era is defined as those born between 1946 and 1964.

But, to the point of this post.

‘Ultimately there’s going to be [only] some number of these we can afford,’ Dr. Cram said. But how to limit the procedure or who should get it will be a ‘really contentious debate,’ he said.  [emphasis supplied]

That may well be the understatement of the year.

Under Obamacare, an Independent Payment Advisory Board will make that decision.  And, unlike current Medicare,  Medicare supplement insurance, or Medicare Advantage, there is no appeal from an IPAB decision.  After all, the IPAB must cut some $716,000 billion from the funds seniors have paid into Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

There are so many places to go with a conclusiary paragraph with this post.

Here’s mine.

Soon, only the rich will be able to get health care in this country.  Everyone else will be able to get a meaningless health insurance card.

What is your conclusion?


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The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. Gary J on September 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Once again SOS. You nailed it. Emergency room healthcare? Yeah that’s it. Got a knee that needs replaced? Go to the emergency room. Got a cold from the procedure? Go back to the emergency room.

  2. JBS on September 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    When Obama needs his knees replaced, it will just happen.?
    ?With all of his bowing and genuflecting to Muslims, he is going to wear his poor ‘ole knees out! Dang!
    However, when YOU need a knee replaced, it will be, ” . . . take a number, don’t call — it won’t do you any good, we know how to get to you.”
    ” ‘Rots o’ ruck.”

  3. Tim-in-Alabama on September 28, 2012 at 4:47 am

    We must ration healthcare so everyone has equal opportunity to not have any.

  4. SeeingRed on September 28, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Fear not – early voting has already started and the hordes are gassed to vote (once or twice) for Barry O….

  5. Dimsdale on September 28, 2012 at 8:46 am

    “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it is free” – P.J. O’Rourke.
    No truer words spoken.
    And the word “cost” has many meanings, not just money….

  6. Benjamin Less on September 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I just don’t get it.? You all know that the best alternative will be taking the PILL.? There’s nothing wrong with the government deciding when a citizen should “check out.”
    It’s the right thing to do.
    Comfort Care, when Obama is there for you.

  7. JollyRoger on September 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    ” We are all just bumps in the road.” ? Attributed to one of the callers this week. ?Romney should use it!

  8. PatRiot on September 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Conclusion:??Of my once many choices,?my government will now allow me one of 2 choices:?
    1.? I?can?pay to be ignored by the IPAB.
    2.? I can pay a fine, which, in turn, will?pay the?IPAB to ignore my fellow paying Americans.?
    And, can government required treatments or re-education meds?for fined non-participants be far behind??
    So much for fairness, equality, redistribution, etc..?
    It is all very un-American to me.?

  9. cherwin on September 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    First of all I have a comment for Benjamin Less because?your statement is so incredibly stupid. ?You are?either 16 years old or is?just plain ignorant.?You obviously have no use for the elderly including?your parents or grandparents.? If?you think that letting the government make those kind of decisions is a good thing, you?shouldn’t be enjoying the freedoms of being an American. You should be locked up until your mental health has improved.?
    Health care will go the way of everything else once the government gets ahold of it. Only the priviledged will receive the best health care. The rest of us will get the leftovers.
    And Benjamin I hope your mental health issues are covered by insurance or you are doomed to remain stupid! Maybe you can go see Obama for help.?Stupid is as stupid does. ????

  10. John Fembup on September 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    SOS, I don’t follow the arithmetic.?
    244,000 procedures times $15,000 per procedure works out to about 3.66 billion.? Not 9 billion.?? Or what am I not understanding?
    However, I don’t think either 3.66 billion or 9 billion alters your point:
    At some time in the future, there will be more knee replacements (or any other expensive procedure for that matter)? than any public insurance plan can afford, or that any but the very rich can afford if the public plan begins to limit its reimbursements.? Then what?

  11. John Fembup on September 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    cherwin dude, chill.
    Benjamin Less’ comment is what most people call irony.


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