ObamaCare was promised to protect and preserve the Medicare program. But as confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office and the Medicare actuaries, money being is double-counted as both being saved for Medicare and being used to reduce the deficit. Thus it raided hundreds of billions of dollars from the Medicare program to pay for a new entitlement. Furthermore, new cost savings programs are likely to fail, while proven programs, like Medicare Advantage, were dramatically restricted.
On Tuesday, September 14th, e21’s ObamaCare Watch project
held an event “ObamaCare at Six Months: What Else Have We Learned?”
The event featured the release of a new, in-depth
research study by OCW Director James Capretta co-authored by Robert Book,
Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Their paper analyzed the
cuts instituted by the new health law on a county-by-county basis. The event
also featured a keynote speech by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) and commentary by
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, all moderated by Bill Kristol.
Read “Reductions in Medicare Advantage Payments: The
Impact on Seniors by Region” at heritage.org.
Click here to see the county-by-county table of
Medicare Advantage disruptions.
Read an op-ed by Book and Capretta summarizing their findings
Q & A: Two Parts
The Medicare Advantage program, which provides choice and competition in Medicare, is deeply cut by ObamaCare. This study is the first ever county-by-county analysis of the deep cuts, which will result in half those who would be enrolled in the program in 2017 to have been dropped from it.
ObamaCare’s cuts to the Medicare Advantage program will result in millions of seniors losing the extra benefits that program provides because of its increased choice and competition. “The average nationwide per capita reduction in the value of coverage for MA and would-be MA enrollees will total about $3,700 annually by 2017, or a nearly 27 percent cut from what would have occurred without the new law. At the state level, the average cut ranges from $2,020 (21 percent) in Nevada, the state with the smallest cut on a per capita basis, to $4,693 (36 percent) in Hawaii, the state with the highest reduction in the per-capita value of MA-covered benefits. All together, the aggregate cut in payments to MA plans in 2017 will reach $55 billion.”
“The notion that ‘if you like your health plan you can keep it’ under Obamacare has already been proven a lie. Just ask the 200,000 Massachusetts residents enrolled in Medicare Advantage who will be forced to switch, with the elimination of that popular program. Now a new analysis by a private research firm estimates that more than 3 million Medicare beneficiaries nationwide will be forced to find a new prescription drug plan, thanks to an expected culling of the plans offered in each state. Gee, nobody mentioned that!”
“What Congress passed this spring is the illusion of Medicare reform. It does not ease cost pressures but papers over them with unsustainable price controls. It will end in disappointment, just as every other such effort has.”
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (PPACA) is projected to yield $575 billion in Medicare savings over the next 10 years, mostly from Medicare payment reductions to doctors, hospitals, and health plans. But beneath these payment reductions, the PPACA also makes statutory changes that could challenge the autonomy of physicians to treat patients as they think best, undercut the freedom of physicians to remain in private practice, and threaten the continuation of fee-for-service medicine regardless of the preferences of doctors and patients.”
As one of the backroom deals required to pass ObamaCare through the Senate, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) earmarked special funding for Libby, Montana to deal with an asbestos problem. At a town hall meeting featuring HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, residents weighed in with strong objections to the new law, even though they were the recipients of special treatment. “And while some Libby residents thanked Sebelius and Baucus for the health care reform law that passed last year and extended Medicare coverage to those sickened by asbestos, others questioned whether the changes to America’s health care system were Constitutional. “
“From 1990 to 1995, we served as public trustees for Social Security and
Medicare. As a Democrat and a Republican (now an independent), we worked
together on a professional and nonpartisan basis with the other trustees – the
secretaries of health and human services, labor and Treasury – to ensure the
integrity and credibility of the annual reports on these critically important
social insurance programs. [T]he conclusions expressed in this year’s Medicare
report were, to our minds, based on unreasonable assumptions that produced
unrealistic and misleading results. The unwarrantedly optimistic report could
produce a serious misunderstanding of the true financial condition of Medicare
and result in significant public confusion.”
ObamaCare promises painless cuts to Medicare through savings reached via Accountable Care Organizations. These ACOs will not be successful, because they rely on heavy-handed, bureaucratic control of doctors and patients.“Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are the latest fad. They were even included in the newly passed health reform bill, whose backers expect ACOs to raise the quality and lower the cost of patient care at the same time. Detractors, on the other hand, describe them as ‘HMOs on steroids.’”