Debate Magazine

Medicare Cuts to Pay for Obamacare

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

tohurt

Dr. Laurie Roth is a political commentator and host of the nationally syndicated political talk show, The Roth Show. Roth has a Ph.D. in counseling; she is not an M.D.

On Feb. 21, 2013, NewsWithViews published an essay of Roth’s with the alarming title “Obamacare is a Killing Machine and Millions Will Die.” Here are excerpts:

This week I gasped in horror when I learned that Obama care had ordered Medicare to cut reimbursement for 4 million diabetic seniors by 66%. It also reduced all the companies that were supplying blood sugar monitoring supplies from 1000 to 15. I also learned via the research of Elizabeth Vliet M.D. that one of her 80 year old patients was told he was not covered anymore by Medicare when he went to the pharmacy so couldn’t get his medication. His choice was to pay cash or die.

Pause for a second and snap out of being mildly annoyed and grow a backbone and a few fangs over this. Just with Diabetic and Heart patients alone you are talking many millions of people, mostly seniors with coverage simply cut off or largely cut back — setting them up to die. That is unless they are millionaires and can afford expensive medication out of pocket. This is called as in the days of Nazi Germany, targeting a group of people for extermination and murdering them.

Millions will suffer and many will die just representing the pull back of coverage with Diabetic and Heart disease patients. Think about all the other diseases and seniors represented with dramatic or total cut backs by Medicare. Just as in Britain’s socialized medicine now, state-of-the-art drugs will be denied for all kinds of common cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and others.

Medicare is cutting reimbursements to diabetics by as much as 66%? Elderly people are told their prescription meds are no longer covered by Medicare?

Those are very alarming assertions, but Roth provided no sources for her claims. So I scoured the Internet to look for confirmation of the claims.

There is a Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, M.D., who founded the Hormone Health Strategies medical practices in Tucson AZ and Dallas TX. Here’s her web-site. For Dr. Vliet’s op-eds on Obamacare, go here. But I cannot find any writing of Vliet’s about her 80-year-0ld patient being denied Medicare coverage for his medication.

What I did find is an article by Dr. Susan Berry for Breitbart.com, Feb. 20, 2013, on recently-announced Medicare cuts to fund Obamacare. Here are excerpts:

During the 2012 election campaign, Democrats denied that ObamaCare made $716 billion in cuts to Medicare in order to provide funding toward $1.9 trillion in new entitlement spending over the next ten years.

In an announcement on Friday, however, the Obama administration revealed that it would be significantly reducing funding for Medicare, a move that one health insurance analyst said “would turn almost every plan in the industry unprofitable.”

Health insurance stocks tumbled following the announcement that a big chunk of the Medicare cuts would come from the popular Medicare Advantage program, a market-oriented system in which participants can choose coverage by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide all Part A and Part B benefits.

According to health care analyst Carl McDonald, the new rates proposed by the Obama administration will have the net effect of reducing payments to Medicare Advantage plans by 7% to 8% in 2014. [...] According to Richard Foster, former chief actuary to the Medicare program, ObamaCare’s cuts to Medicare Advantage will likely force half of its current participants back into the old Medicare program, originated in 1965. It is estimated that this change will cost Medicare enrollees an average of $3,714 in 2017 alone.

Democrats have long been unfriendly toward the Medicare Advantage plan, which was passed as part of the Balanced Budget Amendment of 1997 and has seen tremendous growth over the past 10 years. Today, more than 25 percent of seniors receive their health benefits through Medicare Advantage.

[...] The administration’s proposal is open to outside comments until March 1st, ahead of the final announcement of the cuts on April 1st.

What I do know is that in 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculated that Obamacare (or the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act) will require more than $1.7 trillion in gross federal spending over the period 2012–2022, some of which will be offset by penalties and tax increases related to coverage, resulting in net spending of more than $1.2 trillion for the insurance portion of the bill.

That net federal spending of more than $1.2 trillion will have to come from somewhere. That somewhere includes Medicare.

Elections have consequences.

I hope all those currently receiving Medicare — 40 million people age 65 and older, and 8 million younger people who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance payments — who had voted for the POS last November, are happy.

H/t FOTM reader Joan W.

~Eowyn


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