Obamacare Causes Medicare Collapse
Medicare Cuts Under Obamacare - Is Your Coverage Affected?
You can’t trust politicians.
And you certainly can’t trust them with your health.
That’s very clear when you take a close look at Medicare. Obamacare is going to have a big impact on the government program meant to ensure healthcare to seniors.
You wouldn’t know it to listen to the mainstream media.
In typical political fashion, the government bureaucrats have rolled out the benefits before the costs. They’re trying to garner support for this massive disaster-in-the-making. But to have any hope of succeeding, they have to be dishonest.
Up to now, the only Obamacare changes to Medicare are freebies. Things like your annual check up, immunizations, and many routine screenings are covered completely by Medicare under the Obamacare law. No out of pocket costs for you.
That sounds nice, right? It even makes sense. Seniors are paying less out of pocket and the government is giving people an incentive to catch diseases early when they are easier and less expensive to treat. Everyone wins.
Unfortunately, these freebies aren’t the only change Medicare participants will see. There’s more to come. And these other changes won’t be nearly so easy to swallow.
A Spoonful of Sugar
The government is leading with a spoonful of sugar to try to hide the bitter medicine to come. They haven’t been up front about all the changes. Instead, they’re using some of the most confusing political rhetoric you’ll ever hope to hear.
But I believe the more informed you are, the better able to prepare you’ll be. And that will help you make better decisions for your health, even as Medicare costs become prohibitive and the quality of care starts to plummet.
So let’s see if we can unravel some of the political double-speak and get you the facts.
An Outright Lie
Any time Medicare and Obamacare come up, the Republicans immediately point out that the Obama plan will cut $716 billion from Medicare over the next ten years. The Democrats immediately point to that same number and begin shouting about how that’s a savings. And it’s a good thing.
It’s hard to know what to think. What’s clear is that $716 billion is being removed from current Medicare spending levels. Now, if that was going to be a savings accrued from better care, better management, and reduced fraud that would be a good thing. If that savings were going to be used to restructure and stabilize Medicare, that would also be something to boast about.
But that isn’t exactly what’s happening. The $716 billion in Medicare “savings” is coming from broad cuts to payouts to hospitals, nursing homes, hospice providers, and Medicare Advantage plans.
The cuts are so deep that by 2019, 15% of current Medicare providers will be operating at a loss. By 2050, 40% of providers will be working at a loss. These hospitals and doctors will have two choices. To stop serving Medicare patients. Or to charge their other patients more—a move that could put them in regulatory hot water, depending on how the government responds.
In less than five years, citizens over the age of 65 will have far fewer choices when it comes to healthcare. And the shortage of providers will only grow. Meanwhile, the number of Medicare enrollees will double by the year 2050. You do the math. Nearly half the facilities serving double the population. It won’t work.
To add insult to injury, that $716 billion in Medicare cuts won’t be used to stabilize programs for Medicare recipients. It will be used to create new programs completely outside of Medicare. Of course, Obama has also claimed it will be used to reduce the deficit. At this point, who knows what he hopes to do with that money? One thing you can count on. It won’t be to provide better healthcare to seniors.
Nickel and Diming Seniors to Death
So your access to Medicare healthcare providers is going down. That’s a certainty.
The other thing you can count on is your costs going up. The Affordable Care Act has structured these costs in such a way that no single one seems like too much to bear. But there are so many different ways that this is going to cost you money. It’s going to hurt your wallet, my friend.
- Your investment income will be taxed an additional 3.8%. This new tax written into the Obamacare law will not raise revenues for Medicare, but for new spending.
- Medicare premiums will rise at least $33 a month by the year 2017.
- Supplemental insurance to fill Medicare coverage gaps—which will grow because of changes to Medicare Advantage coverage under the law—is expected to add $272 to the average senior’s premium expenses.
- Deductibles will rise starting in 2017—that spells higher out-of-pocket costs for new beneficiaries.
- Medicare Part D drug coverage premiums are expected to rise 9% by 2019.
When taken altogether, you need to prepare to spend hundreds more a month for your Medicare benefits.
If you have the resources, it’s a smart move to look into alternative means of purchasing your healthcare and getting out of the Medicare system. It’s going to get much more expensive, but the quality of care will go down. Explore all your options and don’t resign yourself to Medicare unless you have no better choice.