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Obama Cuts Medicare Again!
Townhall.com ^ | March 23, 2013 | Bob Beauprez

Posted on 03/23/2013 8:02:18 AM PDT by Kaslin

Last month, the Obama Administration moved forward with new Medicare spending cuts that few outside ardent industry observers noticed. If put into place, however, these cuts will mean significantly less money in the pockets of some 14 million senior citizens around the country.

But with health care costs projected to rise another three percent, these reductions couldn’t come at a worse time.

When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, he simultaneously authorized $200 billion in cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. At the time, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the health care reform law’s cuts would result in three million fewer Medicare Advantage enrollees. Moreover, actuaries at Oliver Wyman predicted that the cost of the health insurance tax would mean an additional $3,500 in out-of-pocket expenses for seniors over the next ten years.

If all that weren’t bad enough, a few weeks ago the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed an additional 2.3 percent reduction in Medicare Advantage payments for 2014. This new reduction, combined with the cuts in the health care law, mean Medicare Advantage payments next year will go down by more than eight percent, or about $11 billion.

Oliver Wyman calculates the impact in 2014 will be $50 to $90 per month in some combination of benefit cuts and premium increases per senior participant. As the full effect of the mandated ObamaCare cuts become fully implemented, the impact worsens significantly.

It’s time for seniors to stand up and say enough is enough.

Medicare Advantage is the one program that allows seniors to choose a plan that offers coverage through a private company rather than a government agency. Much to the chagrin of the Obama Administration, 28 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries - 14 million – rely on Medicare Advantage.

Participation among minority groups is even higher: 31 percent for African-Americans, 38 percent for Hispanics. Forty-one percent of all beneficiaries have incomes of $20,000 or less. However, 61 percent of minority beneficiaries are in that low income group. Bad as it is for everyone, the CMS’ proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage will disproportionately affect minority, low-income senior citizens.

The combined impact of these administrative actions will force millions of seniors into the government run Medicare they already chose to reject. According to the CMS’ own numbers, enrollment in Medicare Advantage fell for several years after the program was faced with significant cuts in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. And between December 2001 and December 2002, enrollment dropped by more than 900,000. Those who stayed in the program saw higher premiums and reduced benefits and coverage.

And, what of those in the low-income category? They’ll be shouldering the brunt of the higher premiums. According to Oliver Wyman, “those who utilize services the most will be required to pay even higher cost sharing or be forced by higher MA premiums or loss of access to MA plans to move back into FFS Medicare…”

Furthermore, according to 2010 analysis by the Heritage Foundation’s Robert A. Book, Ph.D. and James Capretta, the grisly truth is that the reform law’s cuts in payments to Medicare Advantage and the subsequent premium hikes and reduced benefits will only drive would-be Medicare Advantage enrollees into a government- run Medicare program. The net effect is that spending is only transferred from one program to the other; it’s not reduced.

So why not fund Medicare Advantage and allow the millions of seniors, particularly low income and minority seniors, to keep the coverage they already have?

Barack Obama repeatedly pledged, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." But, the war he is waging against Medicare Advantage will give lie to both of those promises.

It’s time for Washington to stop playing politics with seniors’ medical care and continue to allow private companies to compete in the Medicare marketplace. Simply forcing more and more Americans to become dependent on the federal government is no way to go about real reform. The Obama Administration can, and should, stop these cuts before it’s too late.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: 2014election; 2016election; abortion; deathpanels; election2014; election2016; medicare; obamacare; zerocare

1 posted on 03/23/2013 8:02:18 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Kill Republicans while importing more Democrats.

Yup.

2 posted on 03/23/2013 8:09:30 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (An economy is not a zero-sum game, but politics usually is.)
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To: Kaslin

But I thought seniors voted for Obama, so they would be taken care of.


3 posted on 03/23/2013 8:19:32 AM PDT by pallis
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To: Kaslin

It’s too late to change anything folks, the only viable option is to rebuild everything from the ground up.


4 posted on 03/23/2013 8:33:53 AM PDT by Licensed-To-Carry (Hey Obama! It's all your fault now, you own it.)
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To: Kaslin

Barry and the ‘RATS cut the heck out of Medicare and then blame it on the Republicans. Their toads in the state controlled “media” provide cover for them. Whadda country.


5 posted on 03/23/2013 8:41:00 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Whatever happened to the land of the free, home of the brave?)
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To: Kaslin
This article is filled with tug-on-heart-strings propaganda.

Over ten years, that would be $350 per year or about $35 per month.

==

Minorities hit worse.

==

Shouldn't it be that way -- those who use it most would pay more?

==

DING! DING! DING! We have a winner.

Of course it will drive them into the government-run Medicare program. That was the whole purpose. Obamacare initially wiped out Medicare Advantage for 2013, but Congress and Obama put it back in because of the election. They knew it would be a losing issue for them. Emergency legislation 'extended' the Medicare Advantage program through 2013 -- until Obamacare could be implemented in 2014. The long-term goal is to eliminate health insurance companies altogether.


6 posted on 03/23/2013 8:45:45 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Licensed-To-Carry

Unless House GOPers start really putting the brakes on nobamacare funding, yes your prediction becomes more likely.


7 posted on 03/23/2013 8:48:44 AM PDT by X-spurt (Republic of Texas, Come and Take It!)
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To: Kaslin

Bad as it is for everyone, the CMS’ proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage will disproportionately affect minority, low-income senior citizens.
..........................................................
They are the ones who put Obama in office. It is only right for them to bear the brunt of the hit.

Please: Do not ask me to feel sorry for Obama voters.


8 posted on 03/23/2013 9:09:40 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: pallis

I have a senior neighbor who likes her Medicare Advantage. She complained a few years ago how it had gone up and I said, “Well, people voted for that.”

She said, “No, they didn’t.”

I said, “Sure they did, they voted for Obama.”

She voted for Obama. In her case, she reaps what she has sown. Sad for the other seniors who did not vote for him.


9 posted on 03/23/2013 9:35:07 AM PDT by angry elephant (Endangered species in Seattle)
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To: Kaslin
DemoRats hate people. Rats hate children because they like killing them by abortion. They want death panels because old people are not doing their duty to die as per Dick Lamb former governor of Colorado. Medicare has run its course and the rats have stolen $13.4T out of it and it is bankrupt so they want to kill it...
10 posted on 03/23/2013 9:35:13 AM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: Kaslin

Rob Peter to pay Paul.


11 posted on 03/23/2013 9:38:12 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Carry_Okie
Yep. Don't imagine for a minute Obama hasn't personally thought that through.

He wants the elderly mostly white, mostly republican, demographic dead and gone.

12 posted on 03/23/2013 2:10:50 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: pallis

No, 65+ was Romney 56/44.
That’s the problem long term.
Every year 2.5 mil (mostly old, white, Republican) voters die and are replaced by (mostly minority, Democrat) voters.

Demographics is strongly against us.


13 posted on 03/23/2013 2:14:33 PM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: nascarnation

And yet, at one time, the 65+ demogrpahic was solidly Democratic.


14 posted on 03/23/2013 2:20:39 PM PDT by WashingtonSource
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To: skeeter
He wants the elderly mostly white, mostly republican, demographic dead and gone.

He's doing it to save Social Security for all the "disability" cases that vote Democrat. Votes, power, and cash flow, it's what the Slave Party is all about.

15 posted on 03/23/2013 3:28:46 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (An economy is not a zero-sum game, but politics usually is.)
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To: Kaslin

So Buckwheat is stealing more money from people who contributed to socialist Medicare so his Medicaid savages in the liberal cities can get repaired from patriots shooting them full of holes.


16 posted on 03/23/2013 4:06:35 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: sergeantdave

That pretty well sums it up.


17 posted on 03/24/2013 4:08:34 PM PDT by white trash redneck (Just one of B. Hussein Obama's "typical white people")
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To: Carry_Okie; Kaslin

More ‘payback for past historical wrongs’: Old whites use Medicare; new, young, poor, [and illegals] voters/Dems use Medicaid/Obamacare.

That $19 Trillion in Great Society wealth-transfer programs just wasn’t enough of a payback number. No. Need more.

Next stop: Seizure of $15 Trillion in [”privileged class”, meaning everyone’s who as a dollar of saving] IRA, 401K, other retirement accounts. Like Cyprus.


18 posted on 03/24/2013 6:35:14 PM PDT by 4Liberty (Some on our "Roads & Bridges" head to the beach. Others head to their offices, farms, libraries....)
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