by Jayne D. Frank
The Affordable Care Act and advocates of it, repeatedly say seniors will not be affected by the Act. The last thing the Government needs, especially among the chaos now created by their Healthcare.gov site not working for other Americans, is to have seniors question what will happen with their care. We all received a slice of this “preview” this week in the news when several elderly people in their 80s were interviewed because they have been told their doctor will not be in their plans anymore and they would have to find other doctors.
In other states, seniors who have regular Medicare and pay for their own Medigap coverage are being sent repeated letters during “open enrollment” now going on, that Medicare Advantage might “be a better option for you.” Really? A better option when the Congressional Budget Office projected that the Affordable Care Act will result in 3 million fewer people enrolled in Medicare Advantage and that the health insurance tax (also from ACA) will result in seniors facing $220 in higher out-of-pocket costs and reduced benefits next year and $3500 in additional costs over the next ten years. (reference ahip.org/issues/Medicare-Advantage). All you have to do is do your own research, read between the lines and see that it is eventually the intention of insurers to have their senior subscribers shift to Medicare Advantage and then be dropped because of the cut to doctors participating in Medicare Advantage, all as a direct result of Obamacare.
Those in Medigap policies cannot be assured of continued coverage either or at least good quality care. Just read the Medicare.gov site under “coordinating your care” where it states you can “always see any doctor or healthcare provider who accepts Medicare, AND accepts these programs;” namely Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and/or Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, two programs which severely compromise your quality of care, take the decision-making away from you and your doctor, and put cuts on what kind of services you “should” be getting in the future. The aim is to coordinate your healthcare between you, your doctor, and every agency or board that will be involved in the Obamacare law. They will be following the “Choosing Wisely Initiative” which targets the issue of “inappropriate” or “overused” tests and procedures for seniors, all the way from bone density tests to cardiac procedures” for which “drug treatment works as well as surgical intervention.” (ref: Washington Post: Inappropriate Procedures are Expensive and Risky.) This Choosing Wisely Initiative will probably be used in the media as a substitute for the death panels in Obamacare, all done in the name of “fraud prevention.”
Seniors are our real “treasure” in this country – they are our mothers and our fathers, our mentors and our inventors. They have worked at steady jobs for many decades so that the young people in America can have a more prosperous and fulfilling life. Will the millions of seniors in this Country start waking up to what is happening and get involved in making sure that we try to repair the destruction happening in our healthcare system? Seniors may not have the strongest bodies anymore – but their intelligence is intact and their voices are strong and must be heard.