“We investigated what would happen to the estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, the official scorekeeping arm of Congress charged with analyzing the budget implications of legislative proposals, if different assumptions were made about how the health overhaul will work.”
“As the details of this massive government-led health care overhaul begin to trickle out, let me be clear (to borrow the president’s go-to phrase): The medical system is about to be overwhelmed because there are no disincentives for overuse.”
“A Medicare official concedes that seniors may have to dig deeper into their wallets next year thanks to the health care law. The new analysis obtained by POLITICO finds the health care overhaul will result in increased out-of-pocket costs for seniors on Medicare Advantage plans. Richard Foster, the actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, also tells Senate Republicans that the overhaul will result in ‘less generous benefit packages’ for Medicare Advantage plans next year. Foster is independent from the administration and non-partisan.”
During the debate over ObamaCare and its cuts to Medicare Advantage, the Administration put out a gag order stopping insurers from informing their patients about how the cuts would reduce their benefits. The General Accounting Office, an impartial government agency, called the move “unusual” in an official report.
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) fails to secure Medicare’s future and instead diverts $332 billion dollars in program savings into new unsustainable entitlement programs. By not improving the Medicare program’s solvency, the White House and Congress threaten to burden America’s seniors with rising premiums and reduced patient access. Healthcare reform should have paved a more fiscally responsible path forward for the Medicare program by fixing the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for physician reimbursement and ensuring long-term Medicare affordability.”
ObamaCare is supposed to save money on Medicare through Accountable Care Organizations where doctors work together to lower costs, but they are unlikely to help. “In most regions, it’s likely that hospitals — particularly, multi-hospital systems with large groups of employed doctors — will form the ACOs. And if that happens, they will run the ACOs to serve their own interests first, and those of physicians and consumers second.”
“In 2003, 5.3 million Americans were enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Today, there are 11.3 million, or 24 percent of all Medicare enrollees. On average, Medicare only covers about 60 percent of health care costs. Medicare Advantage was designed to help fill the gap for those that can’t afford conventional supplemental coverage. Most of Obama’s Medicare Advantage cuts will hit those with incomes of less than $32,400 per year, according to a recent Heritage Foundation study. The Heritage study also projects 7.4 million more seniors will be forced out of Medicare Advantage within four years.”
ObamaCare’s Medicare Advantage cuts will especially hit the Latino community. “In fact, according to my colleagues’ estimates, nearly 300,000 Hispanics will lose or be dropped from their Medicare Advantage plan, or find that the plan they were in is no longer financially attractive, facing an estimated $2.2 billion loss in annual benefits. Plus, approximately 56 percent of New York seniors would lose their Medicare Advantage plans. So much for the President’s repeated promise that we would be able to keep our current health coverage if we liked it.”
“These are the enrollees in Medicare Advantage plans, health plans operated by private insurers (Cigna, Aetna, United Health, etc.) that provide extra benefits to the elderly and the disabled on top of standard Medicare coverage. The price they will pay for health reform will be a double whammy: less spending on Medicare coupled with reduced subsidies for their Medicare Advantage plans. In many areas, Medicare Advantage enrollees will lose about one-third or more of their health-insurance benefits.”
A Massachusetts insurer is canceling a Medicare Advantage plan because it will no longer viable after ObamaCare’s draconian cuts to the program. Thus 22,000 seniors are going to lose the plan they currently have.