Obamacare For Seniors – The Gift That Keeps On Taking!

By:  Richard H. Frank

Easter has come and gone and if you are a senior citizen the President and the 111th Congress left you some surprises in your Easter Holiday basket. The surprises come in the form of Medicare cuts heretofore kept out of the debate and quiet as part of the Affordable Health Care Legislation signed by the President on March 23, 2010. What is no accident is that many of these cuts will take place in 2011 after the midterm elections. Every senior needs to be aware of these changes which will ultimately impact the level of care provided and in some cases cause some hospitals and nursing facilities to refuse to accept Medicare patients. Please keep these facts in mind when your Congressman and Senator tells you that Medicare will be strengthened under this legislation. According to the Congressional committee,” Ways and Means Republicans,” here is what we have to look forward to:

Calendar 2010 changes:

  • Medicare cuts to inpatient psych hospitals. (7/1/10)

Calendar 2011 changes:

  • Medicare Advantage cuts begin.
  • Medicare cuts to home health begin.
  • Wealthier seniors ($85k/$170k) begin paying higher part D premiums.
  • Medicare reimbursement cuts when seniors use diagnostic imaging like MRIs, CT scans etc.
  • Medicare cuts to ambulance services, ASCs, diagnostic labs, and durable medical equipment.
  • Health plans required to spend a minimum of 80% of premiums on medical claims. (Eventually driving them out of business)
  • Prohibition on Medicare payments to new physician-owned hospitals.
  • Seniors prohibited from purchasing power wheelchairs unless they rent for 13 months.
  • New Medicare cuts to long-term care hospitals begin. (7/1/11)
  • Additional Medicare cuts to hospitals and cuts to nursing homes and inpatient rehab facilities begin. (FY12)
  • New tax on all private health insurance policies to pay for comp. eff. Research (plan years beginning FY12)
  • The 3.8% Medicare surtax would hit average, middle-class investors who happen to sell real estate for a significant gain in any particular year.

Calendar 2012 changes:

  • Medicare cuts to dialysis treatment begins.
  • Medicare to reduce spending by using an HMO -like coordinated care model.
  • New Medicare cuts to inpatient psych hospitals. (7/1/12)
  • Medicare cuts to hospitals with high readmission rates begins. (FY13)
  • Medicare cuts to hospice begins (FY13)

Calendar 2013 changes:

  • Eliminate deduction for part D retiree drug subsidy employers receive.
  • Medicarfe cuts to hospitals who treat low-income seniors begins.

Calendar 2014 changes:

  • More Medicare cuts to home health begin.
  • Medicare payment cuts for hospital-acquired infections begins. (FY15)

Calendar 2015 changes:

  • More Medicare cuts to home health begin.

What all this means is that if you are a senior and will be forced to purchase another supplemental health insurance plan in lieu of Medicare Advantage you will not only have to pay a higher premium on the policy but in addition will be taxed on that plan. The limits being placed on reimbursement for seniors using advanced diagnostic methods will result in higher out of pocket costs or being denied the service. Regardless of what Obama says you will be limited in your choice of physicians and hospitals as a result of prohibitions contained in the bill. Should you be fortunate enough to be considered a “Wealthy Senior” you will be penalized for your part “D” Medicare coverage. Just another attempt by the socialists to redistribute what little wealth our seniors have accumulated through hard work all their lives.

Reading between the lines the message is loud and clear; ”seniors no longer contribute, so their value to society should be proportionate to the health care they receive under Medicare”. Obamacare for seniors equals higher costs, limited access to services and ultimately rationed care. Keep this in mind as you cast your vote for representation this coming November.

One Response

  1. Richard:

    Excellent, concise analysis of the Medicare costs in the Shiftycare bill. I almost saw my own work there for a minute. On the MedAdv. plans, the highest % user are early enrollees into Medicare due to disability (97%) and face premiums for Medigap plans as much as 150% higher than 65 year olds for the same coverage. I own a financial service agency and have been licensed to market Medicare C&D since they have been available.
    Keep up the great work I will be forwarding and adding you to my blogroll.

    Dr. Keith C. Westbrook Ph.D.

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