Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How ObamaCare is Destroying Medicare Advantage Plans

While the  Obama administration is trying to scare people about the automatic spending cuts that are scheduled to hit this Friday, they don't want to talk about its own devastating cuts in Medicare. On Friday, February 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced $716 billion in cuts over the next ten years. Instead of being put this money towards the debt, most of the money will go toward a new entitlement -- ObamaCare's vast expansion of coverage for the uninsured. 

Savings to Come Out of Medicare Advantage Plans
At least half of the savings will come out of Medicare Advantage, under which a full 28 percent of seniors buy privately managed health insurance that often includes added benefits such as vision and dental care or chronic-illness management. In exchange, patients agree to stay within a medical network, which helps insurance companies manage their costs. The program is most popular with Hispanics and African-Americans.  

A study by CMS found that 38 percent of Hispanics and 31 percent of African Americans on Medicare were enrolled in Medicare Advantage, compared with 27 percent of whites. Despite the fact that the program reports high levels of consumer satisfaction,the Obama administration is determined to cut it, even if it means driving millions of seniors back into traditional, one-size-fits-all Medicare. 

Restriction of Senior's Choices
They want to restrict seniors' choices by curtailing private plans competing in Medicare. To add cynicism to injury, the Obama administration postponed the Medicare Advantage cuts until after the 2012 election, using a slush fund to tide the program over and conceal the true costs of Obamacare to seniors. The cuts are so much larger than expected that health care stocks tanked across the board after they were announced. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the payment cuts will result in an enrollment drop of 3 million for Medicare Advantage which would turn almost every plan in the industry unprofitable. 

Seniors must pressure their Representatives and Senators to revise or reverse the cuts before they are made final in April. Some adjustments are possible, but the law will continue to mandate a squeeze on Medicare Advantage. President Obama promised Americans in 2009 that "if you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan." The reality is that not only are millions of Americans likely to lose health-care coverage from their employers, but millions more will lose the Medicare Advantage plans they've grown used to.  

Seniors Will be Forced Back Into Traditional Medicare
Unless it is changed, ObamaCare will relentlessly restrict the choices seniors have by forcing them into traditional Medicare with all of its attendant contradictions, restrictions, and waste. Medicare Advantage has its problems, but they could be surgically addressed. Instead, the bureaucrats running ObamaCare are set on slowly starving the program. By focusing solely on the politics of the sequester, the media are ignoring the Obama administration's bigger, more brazen threat to vulnerable American seniors.

Email your Medicare questions to me at Ask Will ,

Leave your comments below.

No comments:

Post a Comment