Rich Galen

The hoo hah over ObamaCare may actually have some basis in fact. It is going to cost more than anyone can today conceive.

I am on Medicare. I don't (and you won't) have any choice. When you reach a certain age you have to join Medicare or you can't get any other insurance.

Trust me. This is true.

Medicare (and it's cousin, Medicaid) were signed into law on July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Medicare was considered necessary because the American population was aging and many insurance companies wouldn't cover people over 65 because … you know why. We are never going to be 35 again.

So, a growing segment of America was without health care and Medicare was determined to be the best way to do it.

Medicare Part A is the "hospitalization" section. You get that for having lived long enough. Medicare Part B, however, is the doctor's visit part.

In 1965, according to the Medicare Commission website:

Beneficiaries who voluntarily enrolled in part B paid a monthly premium of $3.00, which was estimated to be enough to fund 50 percent of part B costs, and federal general revenues covered the remainder.

Three dollars in 1965 dollars is about $21.20 in 2013 dollars.

Nowadays, Medicare Part B is "means tested," meaning the more you make, the higher your premium.

My Medicare Part B premium for 2013 is $335.70.

Per month.

100 times more than the original premium in 1965 - sixteen times more in current dollars.

Assuming you subscribe to Mullings this month, I will have to pay the high end of the premium scale in 2014; which is actually, ok. I'm doing well (financially and physically) and I'll pay my share.

The thing about Medicare is: If you turn 65 you're in. It's relatively easy. If you have private insurance (as I do) then it is a little more complex, and a lot more expensive. I'm still paying my share of my Blue Cross premiums, plus this $4,028.40 additional annual premium for Medicare.

You're welcome.

I understand not everyone can bear those costs, which are just for me. Our son is married and away. The Mullings Director of Standards & Practices is on her company's health plan.

All this to say, I am already on a single payer system. Except, I have two single payers Blue Cross and Medicare.

I tried to pretend to sign up for ObamaCare in Virginia yesterday, but (a) the website was overloaded and I couldn't get in; and, (b) when I could get in and the system recognized I was already on Medicare it said (in effect) "thanks for playing, now get off so someone who really needs this can get on."


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.