MCCONNELL: Mr. President, we’ll now turn to Chuck Grassley.
GRASSLEY: First of all to clarify something. If anybody says that Medicare Advantage is a subsidy going to insurance companies, let me say what the statute says. The statute says that 75 — with a bid differential, where it goes — 75 percent goes to beneficiaries and benefits, and 25 percent to the federal government.
OBAMA: I’m sorry, Chuck. I just want to make sure. I don’t think that’s — that doesn’t sound right to me because that would mean 100 percent of it is going to either benefits or the federal government which means the insurance companies aren’t making any money.
GRASSLEY: 75 percent — 75 percent to beneficiaries and benefits, and 25 percent to the federal government.
From Washington Post transcripts.
This account adds this:
“At which point Obama turned to Vice President Biden and presumably said something along the lines of, “What the hell is he talking about? That’s 100 percent. The insurance companies don’t get any money for selling prescription drugs to seniors. Is he drunk?”
“Probably, Mr. President,” Biden threw his hand up in disgust.”
Now, I’m not sure this part really happened. I didn’t see it or hear it. It may or may not, but it’s kind of funny.
For some reason, this one exchange stuck in my mind out of the whole thing, and I watched it all. There were many other things of note that were said, such as Obama making sure everybody knew that he was the president. 🙂 And, therefore, his time did not count. The republicans made some very good points, points that were based in facts and not stories specifically designed to tug at the emotions, as the democrats did.
But what does Grassley’s comment mean? I’m really not sure.
One thing I do know is that in order to be able to buy the prescription coverage D or the Medicare Advantage parts of medicare, you first have to pay the Part B. In other words, you are not allowed to go straight to the Medicare Advantage, and just pay for that, you have to pay for the government Part B which you do not really need. The government is collecting a premium and the insurance company is also collecting a premium.
I wonder how much money has been collected from every employee and every employer in this country since Medicare began.
One of the best speeches was given by Paul Ryan, from Wisconsin.
Obama took a whopping 119 minutes.
17 republicans spoke for 110 minutes.
21 democrats spoke for 114 minutes.