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  • Obamacare's Second Anniversary: No Gift for Seniors

    This week will mark Obamacare’s second birthday, but there’s little reason to celebrate.

    Throughout the week, Obamacare advocates will be emphasizing the law’s supposed benefits on specific groups of Americans, but as Heritage’s research over the past two years has shown, Obamacare harms Americans—even the groups showcased by the left.

    Today, the focus is on the impact to America’s seniors. Obamacare supporters claim that the health law protects and strengthens Medicare, but this couldn’t be further from reality. Instead, the law actually uses savings in Medicare to fund other new government spending while threatening seniors’ access to care and ending Medicare as we know it.

    At the same time, Obamacare fails to solve Medicare’s devastating fiscal insolvency. The program faces unfunded obligations of $36.8 trillion, and the Part A trust fund is predicted to run dry by 2024.

    It perpetuates the flawed price control model. Obamacare cuts Medicare spending by reducing provider payments. The cuts are so severe that the Medicare Actuary predicts:

    Providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable and, absent legislative intervention, might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries). Simulation by the Actuary suggests that roughly 15 percent of Part A providers would become unprofitable within the 10-year projection period as a result of the productivity adjustments.

    It cuts seniors’ benefits. Obamacare makes extreme cuts to Medicare Advantage (MA), which allows seniors to receive their Medicare benefits through a private health care plan of their choice. In 2012, MA premiums decreased by 7 percent and enrollment increased by 10 percent. Despite its increasing success and popularity, Obamacare makes drastic cuts to MA—to the tune of $145 billion—which the Actuary predicts will decrease enrollment by 50 percent by 2017.

    The result of the cuts will be reduced benefits, increased costs, lower enrollment, or some combination of the three. According to Heritage research, “By 2017, Medicare beneficiaries who would have enrolled in Medicare Advantage under prior law will lose an average of $1,841 due to the MA changes alone and $3,714 when the effects of the entire bill, including the [fee for service] cuts, are considered.” Due to the cuts, the Actuary projects that enrollment in MA plans will have decreased by 50 percent in 2017.

    It puts an unelected board in charge. Obamacare will attempt to curb Medicare spending using the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a group of 15 unelected officials tasked with finding cuts in Medicare to meet a new hard spending cap. Heritage health policy expert Bob Moffit writes that “the board is prohibited by law from proposing real structural reforms. The only cuts it is allowed to make would be cutting providers’ reimbursements—including administrative costs and profit margins of Medicare Advantage plans.” As physicians’ Medicare payments get slashed, they will be forced to deny Medicare patients. One senior voices her concerns in this Heritage video.

    Medicare can be made fiscally solvent and permanently sustainable through reform that uses the proven successes of free market principles to improve value in the program. To learn more about this alternative approach to Medicare reform, check out Heritage’s Saving the American Dream proposal.

    Posted in Featured, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Obamacare's Second Anniversary: No Gift for Seniors

    1. dirtydog1776 says:

      My advice to America: Don't get sick, unless you are receiving welfare or an illegal immigrant. They are the only ones benefiting from Obama's great welfare giveaway and snake oil show.

    2. Bobbie says:

      That little puppy is absolutely right. Please stay as healthy as possible and try not to take pills. I've seen some pretty cruel, unforgiving things in the last 3 years with the medical industries and staff, that no human life deserves. Obama and his nationalized health care is not in the best interest of some peoples' better health. Those creating this nationalized health care (obama government) are more interested in the crisis and confusion it is and will continue to implement. There's no constitutional reason for this government intrusion dumped on our laps for 30 million people exaggerated, that had no initiative to budget their own health insurance who've been given it for free through government controlled influence giving them the wrong idea or different idea none of us were aware of whose costs are off our backs…
      The cost of a persons' own is rightfully the persons' cost.

    3. cheryl koller says:

      Fact: 85yro. heart disease, lung disease. In hospital dying!. Sees 30 specialists has a pap smear, MRI's the complete works.Think this is unusal, you are kidding yourself. We are spending 50% of money on 5% of the population. USA spends 17% of it's GPA.on healthcare, Other country's 7%, 10%. You say sub-standard care, fact is the US is 29th in the world for healthcare and 16th infant mortality. We do not have the best health care in the world.Other countries that had a free market system like we do realized that it could not be subtained,and would bankrupt the country One country reinvented their healthcare system, State of the art medical records,healthcare better than ours!!best of all,they can tell min. by min.the amt of money the government has spent.! Truth is that free market will not work. everyone is not honest &greed ruins the system.Look around, everytime the government deregulates anything it goes to hell.

      • Bobbie says:

        truth is we don't have a free market system. Insurance has government ties and currently losing the business by government mandates and regulations where they aren't needed. If a private business lies, cheats, corrupts, does you wrong, you bring them to court. If you sue government you sue tax payers uninvolved if you sue a private company, nobody but those involved are effected. You write, "everyone's not honest" but you trust involving Fed government into unconstitutional areas and it's high expense over the people involved? You poor thing.

        The U.S. does have substandard care since the private sector lost their freedom to conduct their business according to their business standards. There's no competition when you can't govern your own.

    4. NildaTX says:

      How come Obama sells the Obamacare without telling the cost per individual and families? That should be illegal. Who goes to a store and grab merchandise without knowing prices? THIS IS CRAZY

    5. hf1234 says:

      The vast majority of poor and middle classed citizens and families will save thousands of $$$ with Obamacare.

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