Saturday, August 11, 2012

Comment: “The End of Medicare As We Know It”

With the selection of Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin),  the Obama campaign  will assert that  if Romney were to be elected with Ryan as his running mate,  we would  surely witness the “the end of Medicare as we know it.” 
I have news.  With Obamacare, we are already witnessing “the end of Medicare as we know it.”   The health law guts $700 billion out of Medicare, including terminating Medicare Advantage plans for 11 million seniors, in order to “save” Medicare. 
The law proposes to carry out this salvage job by:

·         ending fee-for-services which rewards doctors

·         coordinating care through health care “teams”

·         offering free preventive services for seniors

·         slashing reimbursements for hospitals and doctors  

·         setting up  federally run  health exchanges

·          taxing the young and healthy to pay for the elderly

·         penalizing  small businesses with more than 50 employees  with mandated $2000 individual  fines for each employee for not covering employees through expensive federal plans

·          forcing hospitals and doctors into accountable care organizations  to cover defined Medicare populations  by placing them at financial risks should they exceed budget targets.

  For seniors, the law promises to cut Medicare costs,  expand access, without having costs of  “ free” Medicare entitlements eat  the federal debt, now nearing $16 trillion,  alive,  as it is now doing.

 This scenario may play out, but it also  signals “the end of Medicare as we know it, ” for the current Medicare plan is unsustainable as we know it and is on a path towards insolvency.

Tweet: "Medicare as we know it" has already ended under Obamacare, with roughly $700 billion in  Medicaid cuts over the next decade.

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