The Obamacare Medicare Caper
On Sunday, March 21, the US U.S. House with just Democrat support voted 219 to 211 to steal over a half trillion dollars from Medicare. I know some of you think they just got rid of Medicare Advantage to pay off AARP for some good moral support.
That also is true but they did steal from the already weakened trust fund to give Medicare benefits to those who never paid into the system. You know that the government makes everybody who works, fork over a penny and a half of every dollar they earn into the Medicare “trust fund.” Actually, it amounts to three cents as the employer matches your contribution. Well, illegal aliens do not contribute. Is that a surprise?
This has been going on since 1965 when Lyndon Johnson's Great Society locked us all into having a health insurance program for when we hit 65. The government holds the money for us until we retire. The idea is that at that point, we can use it to help with our medical expenses. It was a great idea if only it was funded properly.
Johnson and the Congress realized they couldn’t really afford the Vietnam war so they found all this money from Social Security and Medicare in a big unlocked box so they could afford the war and current government expenses at the time. They thought when the tooth ferry brought in more gold, they would pay it back. Instead tons of IOUs now live in that unlocked box.
Now that the baby boomers are getting old enough to collect, they want their share of the unlocked box. But, there is nothing there. So, Uncle Sam now must pay the benefits from current tax revenues which is not enough. If seniors would only take the moldy IOU's it would be great but the government made the mistake of educating the people and well, they just don't want the IOU's.
Not only the senior citizens but the government found they cannot get doctors, grocers, landlords, or Harley Shops to accept any paper more worthless than greenbacks. For a long time the Chinese were willing to loan the government money so they could pretend that we were not bankrupt, but even that good will seems to be running thin nowadays.
Now that the government has extended health insurance benefits to a great number of persons—illegal immigrants included—who can’t afford it; or for some other reason failed to pay for it, Uncle Sam had to find more money for what the government likes to call a new “entitlement?” So, this is what they did. They went out and swiped half of the current Medicare tax payments, and they carefully placed those funds over into the special Al Gore-built Obamacare lockbox. President Johnson, a socialist Democrat had set the precedent and Obama, Reid and Pelosi, all avowed socialists, have had no problem stealing again from the suckers. And, nobody is squealing because most think that this is just a Medicare Advantage thingy.
The Republicans put up a fuss on behalf of the people but now the Democrats have claimed victory and with all the cheering even the seniors seem to be caught up in how wonderful it is that healthcare is now free for all except those that need it. In the case of seniors, their opportunity for care has just been reduced and the dollars are gone forever to pay for care for somebody who has never earned it.
It's not like Medicare was not already I trouble. That's why the Obama-theft was so clever. Nobody would believe they would steal from someplace that did not have a lot. Hey, they are stealing from the Lids student loans now by jacking up the prices as part of the Obamacare package. Why not take from the young and the old alike to pay for whom? You got me on that? I think seniors have already given up enough. Taking their Medicare payments and diverting them to deadbeats does not seem a fitting tribute to the elderly set.
Everybody suggests that the program needs to be fixed, not raided to create another new government program. Too bad. Done deal. Watch the clever Obama team make the Republicans look bad for trying to rain on their victory. Obama and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are scoundrels. Their victory is like Bonnie and Clyde ripping off a bank and then having a barbecue for the town in front of the bank.
Way Back in November 16, 2009, as they were getting scoring for the bill from the CBO, Douglas W. Elmendorf, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, notified Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Dem., Nev.), that the Senate’s Obamacare bill would “reduce access to care, or diminish the quality of care.” He did not use the word seniors but that's what he meant. If he had said seniors, the protests would have been through the roof. Elmendorf warned of the following cuts in Medicare program funding:
The following estimates are actually lower than the reconciliation bill:
• $135 billion in cuts to hospitals serving seniors
• $136 billion in cuts to the Medicare Advantage program
• $40 billion in cuts to home health agencies
• $15 billion in cuts to nursing homes
• $8 billion in cuts to hospice programs
Hey folks, this is not something being borrowed from the Chinese. This is money that you and I have put into Medicare, not Obamacare. For this to be diverted to Obamacare is worse than a travesty. This is money senior citizens and all of us have paid into the Medicare program during our working careers. This is money the government promised to hold “in trust” for them. This is to help pay for their medical expenses, not the medical expenses of a deadbeat or an illegal alien. Let tem get their own insurance. Like it or not they did it, and seniors still do not believe it has happened. it's like when your wallet is stolen and you don't notice it's gone until you reach back for it when you need it. It's gone folks. No matter how far you reach back, it is gone.
Medicare Loses with Obamacare
Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. The reconciliation bill steals exactly $528 billion from senior citizens and nobody is screaming. The Medicare cuts do including a $136 billion reduction for Medicare Advantage. The Medicare Advantage cuts will force 4.8 million seniors off the popular plan by 2019. An additional $23 billion in cuts to Medicare will come from a panel charged with slashing Medicare spending.
Remember in Obamacare, there were $500 billion in Medicare Benefit reductions. In the Reconciliation Bill, the House spent even more than that so now it is over $528 billion with over $600 billion in new taxes. Nothing is free here. Do you think in the middle of a recession, this is the time to raise taxes on businesses and on of all things -- critical medical devices such as Pacemakers?
I am convinced that the only reason seniors are permitting $ 500 billion to be stolen from Medicare to pay for the healthcare of deadbeats who never paid into Medicare is because they trust that they will not be hurt. Should you trust the government? They weren't around when Johnson put in all those IOUs in the 60's. They don't know how corrupt the Congress really is. So, why is AARP not screaming against this as they claim to be advocates for seniors. Well, they have a major conflict of interest and the dollar is mightier than sticking up for seniors. Obamacare is adding big time to the coffers of AARP. Long live Truth, Justice, and the American way.
You know that Obama painted the insurance companies as the bad guys in the Obamacare debate. Ironically, even without the rationing of Medicare this will bring, today the organization that denies more insurance claims is not big insurance, it is big government. In fact, it is Medicare and Medicaid if you want their names. Both reject twice as many claims as insurance providers. Yes, by two to one Medicare stiffs seniors very quietly more than insurance companies.
With the $528 billion in cuts coming, more denials are forthcoming. Plus, the bill appoints a commission to determine what gets covered -- rather than your doctor deciding. With Obamacare, expect faceless bureaucrats to deny more and more claims. It is ironic for sure that seniors are going along with the idea that insurance companies are the only bad guys as good ole Medicare denies far more claims than insurance companies.
Do the math. With $525 billion less to pay in benefits, what do you think will happen to benefits? It can only get worse. Expect the word known as "rationing" to be used soon now that the bill's ink is dry. This will describe the scenario of medical care for seniors. If doctors prescribe what is needed, and go against the commission, their reimbursement rate will go down. And, as you may know, other than in Florida, Medicare Advantage is gone so choices are gone. Thank AARP for that. The government paid off AARP for its support of Obamacare by giving them more insurance income opportunities. .The Congressional Budget Office reports that cuts can have a devastating affect on seniors' health care options. If you are on Medicare or are about to be on Medicare when this bill passes, you can expect less Medicare - a lot less.
Medicare Double Dip
From a fiscal perspective, either the government could not add or chose to be even more deceptive regarding the Medicare funds confiscation. In 2010, Americans realized big time that anything that adds to the deficit or the debt is not good for the economy. In Mid March as the president talked about all the wonderful things that were going to happen to the Medicare funds, it seemed that the President did not know what he was talking about. The bottom line is that President Obama double dipped into Medicare once to put the funds into a "lock box" to stabilize the fund, and secondly, he took the same funds out a second time to pay for the cost of his Obamacare bill. The funds however existed only in one place.
Yes he did! He counted the $528 billion twice! What does this mean? The smallest minds in the economic field know that Medicare lost over $528 billion and it will be hurting as most things do when they become unfunded or under-funded. The deficit therefore and the debt are going to get hammered by another $528 billion over the same time period. So, all the ballyhoo about saving money and paying down the debt. That was all hooey. And it's gone, gone, gone.. that is for sure.
Medicare Advantage and Obamacare -- the AARP Factor
As a blast against seniors that enjoy a choice, when Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid took $528 billion out of Medicare, it was deemed that Medicare Advantage had no value. One Hundred Thirty Six of the $528 was for Medicare Advantage savings. Of course, Florida got a special deal along with a number of other special deals. The President did not seem to care that seniors like Medicare Advantage. This is the only private option that seniors currently have.
In fact, for those of us who have given it a look, the plan should have been expanded. However, AARP, the company with a conflict of interest in healthcare as wide as the grand canyon is both an advocate for seniors and an "insurer." It turns out that AARP has a competing plan from which they would benefit financially if Medicare Advantage were discontinued. So, they got that nice bone for their support as they sold out seniors on Obamacare. To increase its share of the business, many feel AARP sold out seniors in a big way.
I know my brother Ed feels that way and he is out of AARP philosophically and he has become a complainer but for the time being he still has AARP insurance. This group of left leaning liberals have placed ideology and their desire for profit in front of the good of seniors. They are about to make a lot of money on Obamacare now that it is passed.
What is nice about Medicare Advantage? Seniors basically get a fixed wad of "cash" to go out and buy coverage from HMOs or managed care companies. In this way, Uncle Sam does not pay the doctors and hospitals on an a la carte basis. The seniors get advantages with these plans such as dental, vision--that traditional Medicare doesn't. Some of them even limit seniors' out-of-pocket costs—co-pays, deductibles, premiums—that traditional Medicare won't handle
The expansion that would be good for Medicare Advantage would have been to add more patient choice options for doctors and hospitals rather than just government approved managed care companies. Why shouldn't seniors be able to take their "cash" wherever they want? Taking the option away is a step closer to a full government takeover so it is understandable why the President does not like anything that gives a patient a choice. That is not the Marxist way.