Medicare, the Affordable Health Care Act and you
The reason that I do not believe or trust politicians is because they lie, mislead and cheat.
Too of strong words? President Obama, said in a recent radio address that his proposed reforms "won't touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Not by a single dime."
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Obamacare cuts $716 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years and uses these "savings" from Medicare to fund other entitlement expansions mandated by the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
Medicare becomes a cash cow for Obamacare, and the Medicare "savings" from payment cuts are not put back into making Medicare solvent. Such massive payment cuts do impact Medicare benefits, as well as seniors' access to those benefits.
The impact of these cuts will be detrimental to seniors' access to care. The Medicare Trustees 2012 Report concludes that lower Medicare payment rates, which have already started, will cause an estimated 15 percent of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies to operate at a loss by 2019, 25 percent to operate at a loss in 2030, and 40 percent by 2050. Operating at a loss means these facilities are likely to cut back their services to Medicare patients or close their doors, making it more difficult for seniors to access these services.
There will be a new payroll tax which funds Medicare Part A, the trust fund that is projected to become insolvent as soon as 2024. Obamacare increases the tax from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent, which is projected to cost taxpayers $318 billion from 2013 to 2022. However, for the very first time, Obamacare does not use the tax revenue from the increased Medicare payroll tax to pay for Medicare -- the money is used to fund other parts of Obamacare, much like the $716 billion in cuts are.
I do not know if all of this could be dealt with better or not. What I do know is that, like his buddies on both sides of the political spectrum, the president speaks out of both sides of his mouth.
If you have Medicare, watch out! You are going to be sweet talked out of what you have earned all these years. Do you want money targeted for you going to another part of the population?
Dr. Sam Benjamin, M.D. - Integrative Medicine, weekend show host