Tuesday, August 07, 2012

How Obamacare & Democrats Are Hurting Seniors, Including My Parents

Since it is an Election Year, you can count on Democrats to behave as if each day is their second favorite day of the year....October 31....as they go about their usual method of scaring the bejesus out of several different constituency groups in order to get re-elected.

Take today, as perhaps the most vile, negative ad was run by an Obama supporting PAC, that accuses Mitt Romney of taking away insurance from a cancer patient when Bain Capital closed the company. Never mind Romney wasn't at Bain when it happened.

But the main target of this election year fear mongering is seasoned citizens (as El Rusbo calls them), many of whom are on Medicare and collect from Socialist Security. Just last week, Debbie "Thunderlips" Wasserman-Schultz and Nancy Bella-Pelosi were out scaring seniors that Mitt Romney and Republicans were going to take away their Medicare.

Really? If that's the case, then why did Democrats take $500 billion out of Medicare as a downpayment for Obamacare? It's not just $500 billion now...that number has increased to $716 billion (Heritage.org, h/t Sister Toldjah in Hot Headlines).

Last week, a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report updated the amount of money Obamacare robs out of Medicare from $500 billion to a whopping $716 billion between 2013 and 2022.

According to the CBO, the payment cuts in Medicare include:
A $260 billion payment cut for hospital services.
A $39 billion payment cut for skilled nursing services.
A $17 billion payment cut for hospice services.
A $66 billion payment cut for home health services.
A $33 billion payment cut for all other services.
A $156 billion cut in payment rates in Medicare Advantage (MA); $156 billion is before considering interactions with other provisions. The House Ways and Means Committee was able to include interactions with other provisions, estimating the cuts to MA to be even higher, coming in at $308 billion.
$56 billion in cuts for disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments.* DSH payments go to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients.
$114 billion in other provisions pertaining to Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP* (does not include coverage-related provisions).

*Subtract $25 billion total between DSH payments and other provisions for spending that was cut from Medicaid and CHIP.

In total, Obamacare raids Medicare by $716 billion from 2013 to 2022. Despite Medicare facing a 75-year unfunded obligation of $37 trillion, Obamacare uses the savings from the cuts to pay for other provisions in Obamacare, not to help shore up Medicare’s finances.

The impact of these cuts will be detrimental to seniors’ access to care. The Medicare trustees 2012 report concludes that these lower Medicare payment rates will cause an estimated 15 percent of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies to operate at a loss by 2019, 25 percent to operate at a loss in 2030, and 40 percent by 2050. Operating at a loss means these facilities are likely to cut back their services to Medicare patients or close their doors, making it more difficult for seniors to access these services.

In addition, as MA deteriorates under Obamacare’s cuts, many of those who are enrolled in MA (27 percent of total Medicare beneficiaries) will lose their current health coverage and be forced back into traditional Medicare, where Medicare providers will be subject to further cuts. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services chief actuary predicted in 2010 that enrollment in MA would decrease 50 percent by 2017, when Obamacare’s cuts were estimated at only $145 billion. Now that the cuts have been increased to $156 billion (or possibly $308 billion, as the Ways and Means Committee estimates), MA enrollment will surely decrease even further.

But Obamacare’s raid of Medicare doesn’t stop with cuts; it includes a redirection of tax revenue from the Medicare payroll tax hike in Obamacare. The payroll tax funds Medicare Part A, the trust fund that is projected to become insolvent as soon as 2024. Obamacare increases the tax from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent, which is projected to cost taxpayers $318 billion from 2013 to 2022. However, for the very first time, Obamacare does not use the tax revenue from the increased Medicare payroll tax to pay for Medicare; the money is used to fund other parts of Obamacare, much like the $716 billion in cuts are.

With a raid on Medicare of this magnitude, President Obama’s assertion that his new law is protecting seniors and Medicare is astonishing. The truth is that Obamacare does the opposite.
Ok, I know you libs and you Obamabots reading this will say "This is bunk! It's put out by that right-wing Heritage foundation." But you don't want to look at the facts, first that this study was put out by the non-partisan CBO, but also the personal experiences of seniors who are in the Medicare system.

My parents are both over 65, and are insured by Medicare. They're moving from our family house of almost 35 years in South Texas to a relatively smaller home in the Texas Hill Country, where they're closer to family and, though Texas is humid, they're out of the sub-tropical humidity of deep South Texas, since my father suffers from COPD. Now, they're having a difficult time finding doctors and specialists for my dad's condition, as almost all the doctors are no longer taking Medicare patients. Why? The very reason the CBO found in the Heritage foundation report above. Add to that how Congress has also "kicked the can down the road" when it comes to fixing the flawed Sustained Growth Rate (SGR) scale for reimbursement for Medicare doctors.

And you laughed and thought Sarah Palin was nuts when she talked about "death panels?" Rationing and loss of benefits are beginning to happen to our seniors on Medicare as they can't find doctors. It's not the fault of Republicans...the blame all goes to Richard Milhous Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the Democrat Party, who are doing everything they accuse Republicans of.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Somewhere in that shanda of a so-called "healthcare" bill that we've been saddled with is something which directs only "palliative care" for those over 70. If all that is available is hand-holding through any illness for anyone over 70, then Medicare really can get gutted. Our fearless leader is two steps away from signing an executive order instituting Soylent Green.