Government Watch

ObamaCare’s New Year’s Day Surprise: Deep Cuts to Medicare

by Andrew Mangione – As if ObamaCare’s botched website, coverage cancellations, and higher costs were not bad enough, the Obama Administration has quietly dealt yet another blow – this time striking millions of the nation’s most vulnerable seniors.  Specifically, the Obama Administration has decided to deeply cut funding for the Medicare program’s home health benefit as a way to help pay for ObamaCare.

The Administration made this announcement very quietly, waiting to do so until the very end of the last Friday before Thanksgiving, perhaps thinking that most people would not be looking.

To be sure, the timing of the Administration’s quiet announcement did keep it out of sight – for a while.  That ended on December 12th, however, when the Washington Examiner broke the story in an article headlined “ObamaCare forcing 14 percent cut in Medicare’s home health program.”  FOX News and the Daily Caller have also picked up this story, so full attention is now being paid to this unprecedented cut – and the harm it will do to frail seniors across America.

As the Examiner’s Richard Pollock wrote, “An estimated 3.5 million poor and ill homebound senior citizens will wake up on New Year’s Day to discover ObamaCare has slashed funding for their home health care program.”  He’s right: on January 1st, the Obama Administration will sharply cut Medicare funding for home healthcare services.

Totaling a whopping 14 percent between 2014 and 2017, this cut is the maximum allowable under the ObamaCare law.  The Administration had the discretion to cut less, or even to make no cuts at all.  But they decided to impose the deepest cut made possible by the Affordable Care Act (shouldn’t we be calling this the “Horrible Care Act”?) legislation.  And in doing so, they will shift billions of dollars from Medicare to ObamaCare.

This cut is not only unprecedented in its magnitude – it will have a direct and devastating impact on the millions of ailing seniors who want to stay in their homes and not have to move to a facility.

This year, Medicare home health services were delivered to approximately 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries.  According to the federal government’s own data, these seniors are older, poorer and sicker than the Medicare beneficiary population as whole.  Many of these seniors also reside in rural communities, where home health care is especially important because other sources of treatment are often located many miles away.

The Medicare home health benefit is also of critical importance to younger Americans.  Families across America depend on home health services to help them care for their aging parents.  Having a skilled nurse come to their homes to deliver needed treatment not only means that Mom and Dad don’t have to go into a nursing home – it also means their adult daughters and sons can balance caring for their parents with raising a family and earning a living.

In light of its importance to millions of seniors and their families, the Medicare home health sector has been one of the nation’s leading creators of new jobs.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thousands of Americans find employment every month in the home health field.  Just as important, these jobs are being created by small businesses, which constitute more than 90 percent of all providers of home health services.

But all that’s about to change.

Hidden on page 117 of the regulation that the Obama Administration quietly released on that Friday evening is a stunning admission: “approximately 40 percent” of all providers of home health services face net losses as a result of this Medicare cut.  Put more plainly, 4-in-10 of all the providers on whom homebound seniors depend face the threat of bankruptcy and closure as a result of ObamaCare.

To my knowledge, this is the first time that any regulation has been issued by any Administration with the knowledge that it would put nearly half of the people it impacted out of business.  Indeed, this ObamaCare cut to Medicare is so severe that thousands of small businesses may be forced to close, and hundreds of thousands of quality jobs could be lost – directly impacting the millions of homebound seniors who depend on them.

The impact that ObamaCare’s Medicare cut will have on seniors, families and small businesses is widely projected to be severe.  What is not yet known, however, is the impact this cut will have on U.S. politics.  In 2010, the revelation that ObamaCare would slash Medicare funding so angered senior voters, that they helped give Republicans control of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Now that these cuts are being imposed, the Democrats who voted for the Affordable Care Act face the possibility of losing their Senate majority when senior voters return to the polls in November.

Indeed, with Medicare so negatively impacted by ObamaCare, an important question will soon be put to the millions of seniors, families, and providers who care deeply about home health: what answer will they have to ObamaCare’s New Year’s Day surprise?


Join the Discussion   Add Your Comment

  1. techwreck says:

    See my post on the Member’s Forum. “Obama Dooms Seniors to Ravages of Aging”. It isn’t just about Home Health, as hospitals, hospices, and doctors are being given incentives to cut Medicare expenditures for senior care.

    Seniors are under attack to pay for the Obamacare boondoggle!

  2. Richard Schultz says:

    I have read many comments about the traiters in D.C.History is full of incidents.Lincolns war power act of 1861 was never repealed.that is the engine that the I.R.S. operates under.The Act of 1871 made D.C.a corporation,thence came U.C.C.code.What other job in this country pays you more after you are out of office than when you are in,then when in congress.They have set themselves.up in their little fiefdoms.Now about 95% of the people have never contacted their Congressman or their Senators.I am going to my Senators office next week to address my complaints.Now the only thing they understand is money.So if they continue to abuse the Constitution then to tell them we will gather up recall petitions to get them out of office.Yes it is hard work ,but if they understand they could lose this source of easy money,we will work to throw them out Most people do not understand the E.O.’s, that was to be used only in D.C.on Congress and other government positions.I have a Rand McNally Road Atlas.2013 with all 50 states Flags in it ,not 56 as the genious sitting in his throne in the White House said.Even a fifth grader knows that.Also I have all 48 Preambles to the States Constitutions and 2 States have it it in the main body of their Constitutions,acknowledging their Creator.Check it out ,I have done my homework.I am taking that to his office also.This is a Christion nation.I will see what rebuttals follow this..

  3. Catherine says:

    This, too, shall pass. Has anyone noticed that human behavior does not change through the centuries. The failure to learn is sad. The apathy of the American people has brought them to this situation and I trust that their ingenuity will enable them to survive. I have learned a lesson.

    • techwreck says:

      Good luck with trust! I prefer action.

    • Marie says:

      Really, This too shall pass…!!! You can’t be serious!! First of all, he took money from the Medicare reserve to help start the unaffordable health act. Now he is going to cut Medicare for seniors home health. I am sorry, but I find this appalling!! This entire medical coverage that he has mandated should be trashed. Let things slowly go back to where is should be, with people making their own choices about what coverage they need and how much they are able to pay. If anything should have been implemented, it should have been voluntary and it should of been geared toward those who do not have insurance. The fact that it has been dictated to a nation, a free nation at that, is just wrong.
      So, no, this too shall not pass and that is what is scary. I have a feeling we have yet to see the worst of this. We, the people need to speak up before our freedom of speech is taken away from us too!!!

  4. Mark says:

    Our Society and political non leaders, have reached a point of total disrespect for our senior citizens.
    They focus only on the groups that will benefit them at election time, meanwhile disregarding and stealing from those of us who have paid for those benefits. They continue to raid the Medicare and Social Security systems, so as they can hand it out to illegal immigrants and welfare cheats, that have never, ( nor will they ever ) contributed to the system.
    The government treats prison inmates better than it does it’s senior citizens.
    Those three groups alone get :
    1. Free Medical
    2. Free Housing
    3. Free Dental
    4. Free Legal Services
    5. Free Education Services
    6. Pay No Taxes
    Something’s very wrong in this country.

  5. Marti Settle says:

    I believe that Obamacare should order all Americans on Medicare to voluntarily kill themselves at the age of 75. There is no logical reason to keep elderly people alive during these dire times. More funds are needed to support illegal aliens and welfare hawgs. More money is needed to provide free food, housing and phones to low intelligent losers who contribute nothing (except illegitimate babies) to society. We need to feed these useless souls and pay outrageous amounts of money to pay union teachers to sit around smoking dope in the parking lots and letting the students run wild….beating, raping and fornicating one another on the school buses and classrooms. The liberals thrive on evil and chaos and the Obamas lead the pack on incivility, lies and evil. All conservatives must be excuted in order to make sure that people like the Obamas and Pelosis of the world continue through with their desire to destroy America.

    • j. says:

      Marti Settle, you were doing well with your comments until you got to the teacher sentences. Your thought patterns fell apart there! When you speak fo these teachers doing unthinkable things, you are talking about a small small percentage of teachers, as in any profession, and you state it like it was a generalized fact!!!!!


      • RICHARD says:



      • Mark says:

        He’s not that far off though! Teacher’s unions, and teachers in general, are as sick as the rest of our society.
        To prove my point, you have a teacher convicted of rape, who’s union is demanding that he be paid his severance pay.
        You have female teachers screwing their under age male students, and having their babies. ( WA State )
        You have female teachers screwinfg their under age male students, and having those students, kill their husbands. ( Pam Smart )
        I’ve seen case after case, in just about every state in the union, where teachers are being convicted for the crimes of selling drugs to students, raping students and in general just letting students do as they please.
        The sad thing is, they are protected by Unions and other teachers, who place more value on their Union’s than they do their students.

    • Sherry in SC says:

      Well said, Marti. Language like you expressed is honestly sad to have to express, however, how else can one comment on the devestation and intentional harm being made to this country and the hard-working few who do pay taxes. There will be a day of reckoning for those responsible. What a rude awakening they will have.

    • karen says:

      The Lord rebuke you SATAN.. I pray that you don’t suffer the repurrcusions of your wicked evil judgments..There is a spiritual law that states a man reaps what he sows.. (THAT INCLUDES WORDS) AND WHETHER OR NOT YOU BELEIVE THAT, DOES NOT MATTER A BIT.. Just like the law of gravity.. you will never change the law of sowing and reaping, No matter how much you hate God..

      • Ivan Berry says:

        I know it’s late in the game, but I couldn’t resist: yep, the law of the harvest–what you reap ye also so. And remember:
        If you can’t do it, teach it; if you can’t teach it, teach teachers.
        A few years ago, there was a report out that the scores (SAT, I think) of education majors were below that of athletics–that is, the jocks were smarter than those who were training to be teachers. Of course, there are exceptions but it is really surprising how educators have taken on the mantle of “intellectuals.”
        So many of the people I’ve known are much smarter than those self appointed intellectuals.

    • Mark says:

      Marti, let’s back the truck up, and give this a little more thought, shall we !?
      Instead of killing all the older Americans on Medicare , let’s just have them voluntarily commit themselves to Medicare prison’s for the elderly. That way they get the benefits of free housing, free legal services, free health care, free dental care, and free meal’s, just like the trash of our society does now!
      I mean fair is fair!

  6. HAM says:

    Obama purposely wanted only the departments cut back on during sequestration which the general population would be affected by the most. People were laid off but did not lose their jobs even though their departments ran just fine without them with no lasting effects. That tells you we don’t need them. Staffing needs to be cut in half in all but essential departments beginning with the EPA.

    Thankfully sequestration backfired.

    If you cut out all the waste in the all departments in the Federal Government, we could bring down the $17 TRILLION debt. You sure don’t see any of that being addressed do you.

    Tell me how many long term jobs were created by the STIMULUS. None. It all went to pay back POLITICAL FAVORS and one of those payback recipients was the Nancy Pelosi’s brother- in-law. IF all those BILLIONS had gone to the states for highway & bridge infrastructure repair it would have created jobs that would have made a difference but no, there weren’t really any shovel ready projects and the money was burning a hole in the hands of the Democrats so they found a more political advantage for the use of our HARD EARNED tax money. Greasing the palms of their “friends”.

    • PJ says:

      The problem is what is considered essential. A lot of the staff that was laid off was not essential in the short term, but if you want working plumbing, broken items fixed, air conditioning, heating, dams repaired or inspected, workmans comp claims processed, lawns mowed, transportation safety inspections performed, and other items done then you eventually will need to have the staff to do it. Or are we going to decide that federal workers and military dependents don’t need amenities such as working toilets, heating, air conditioning, or school lunches? Some staff considered “non-essential” by our administration were required to work without knowing when they were going to be paid. You can’t expect them to continue working without pay.

      Hospitals lacked the support staff to process patients. They were requesting anyone without an immediate need to reschedule their appointments until after the sequester ended. Do we cut all non emergent care at federal hospitals?

      And what about all the profitable or self sustaining businesses that are on federal land and pay the government for that privilege? They closed revenue generating concerns just for spite. Sure they are not essential to running the government but they are self sustaining or profitable and do not drain our tax dollars.

      Those are just the items I am familiar with in a military community and around the area. The sequestration didn’t last long enough to see any lasting effects. If the sequestion continued for an extended length of time how would it affect the general population?

      There is a lot of fat that needs to be trimmed. I don’t disagree. But there are a lot of places to start besides cutting low level supposedly “non-essential” jobs, medicare, social security, and welfare.

  7. D.Richardson says:

    We should all boycott Las Vegas until the State of Nevada
    recalls Harry Reid.

  8. cw says:

    democrats & republicans are of the same bad smell . obuma is the anti-crist.

  9. Wayne LeBlanc says:

    It’s funny how we are all for cutting every program until it affects us personally. This is the conservative problem, everybody wants to cut the budget, cut the deficit, cut government but then they want all of government programs to stay in place with no cuts. Come on, people.

    • JP says:

      Using your logic there is no fat in government. There are some programs that have a direct effect and others that are indirect. Sequestration showed that government spending can be reduced. Yes, there were jobs lost but these were not essential just more government pork being passed around. How do you propose to reduce spending?

      Remember Democrats started Social Security the raided it with IOU’s. How is the gov going to pay the IOU’s? Well, by raising taxes. Who started Medicare? I believe it was the disaster named LBJ. Now you have someone worse than LBJ and Carter combined.

      • PJ says:

        I hate to break it to you, but sequestration showed nothing of the sort. It didn’t last long enough to have an impact.

        It showed that we can close national parks open monuments, and parts of the Ocean and hire more people to patrol those places to keep people out. It closed profitable and self sustaining businesses on federal lands.

        It required quite a few of those “non-essential” people to work without pay because believe it or not we need working toilets, the grass mowed, workmans comp processed, and a whole host of other things done on military bases and in federal buildings not to mention public safety. Had the sequestration lasted it would have become a problem when the people that were kept on couldn’t keep up with the work and those that were working without pay couldn’t afford to do it any longer. The “pork” wasn’t what was trimmed, it was the basic services to military installations and federal buildings such as groundskeepers, maintenance workers, and support staff. Which is perfectly fine if you want to do away with things like bathrooms, school lunches, heating, air conditioning, playgrounds, clean floors, working doors, unbroken windows, and such. They’re federal employees or military brats so they can go all day without the basic necessities, right? Who needs federal parks. Just close them all down. Corps of engineers? Who needs them. The dams will hold without maintenance and inspection, right? All these non-essential things are just a waste of money.

        Really, there is a lot of fat to be trimmed. While “pure science” is useful in some respects it should be a privately funded endeavor. Why are we paying for park benches in Mexico? After a request to cancel construction the US spent $34 Million on a building in a foreign country that will never be used. Do we really need a public service commercial on the rights of muslim women? Why is the government spending millions on non disaster relief foreign aid? Especially to China? Why does it cost the government $50 to buy a $5 item?

        Gotta love September. Ever notice an increase in consumer spending in September for no apparent reason? Although this September I have to wonder just how bad things really are. That is the “use it or lose it” month for the government. If a department doesn’t spend what it has left in its budget then they are subject to budget cuts instead of a increased budget the next year. Can’t have that, they’d lose the chance to spend all that extra money on useless/surplus crap that ends up in a closet somewhere until it gets thrown away or forgotten about.

        How about 6 different Veterans job programs that effectively do the same thing? How many other bills are out there that effectively overlap or do the same thing that we are throwing money away on? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against helping Vets find jobs. But after the first 2 bills were passed you would think that the government would come up with something new or give funding to the existing ones! Oh that’s right, the first 2 still have funds and we still have unemployed Vets. Well, lets just throw more money at the problem with new programs to make us look good and hope it works one of these days.

        What about getting people back to work and generating revenue for everyone including the government?

        Nah, all that crap sounds like it’s too much trouble to deal with. We’ll just go after Medicare, Social Security, & Welfare. The rest will sort its self out eventually.

    • damifinoone2 says:

      Yes, I believe in cutting programs. I believe in cutting pensions for elected government officials, studies of duck penis’s, shrimp on treadmills, and many other pathetic programs that a bloated bureaucracy can think up. What I don’t believe in cutting is programs that actually provide service for the people who for many years have paid the bills.

      • Dianne Hastie says:

        Thank You. I believe in exactly those cuts. I also believe in cutting pensions for the lazy assed congressmen, in cutting the $100,000 dog walker for the Obamas, for doing away with education to protect the rights of Muslim women, of park benches in Mexico. The list goes on.

    • Jean Hogan says:

      I am 76 years old and have paid my share of money to have insurance when I retire. We have a savings but everything continues to raise in cost and we don’t get more in our pay checks, who is going to pay for what is cut from our doctor and hospital care? The cost of medicine is high, we try to take care of our health but parents leave us with their health problems.

    • blagostwin says:

      No you come on, these cuts have been one sided, you don’t see this administration cutting any of his pet projects or agencies whatsoever. Like the EPA,DOE, as well as other to numerous to mention agencies. Not to mention minority funded programs. These cuts are specifically targeted.

      • Ivan Berry says:

        Why just pick on elected members of the government for benefit cuts? The so-called administrative departments take more of our support and dollars than all the elected combined. Did you know that in our population as a total, if you counted private sector employment as 100%, that govenrment employment overall exceeds 120% of private workers. Talk about top heavy government.

        As far as supporting and maintaining Government property, why does the government own so much of our States’ land, especially in the western states where up from 30 to 40 to 60% of a state’s land may be owned by the national government? If that land were sold or distributed to the private sector, we could eliminate a great portion of our debt. Of course, this would not help if government just kept spending to kingdom come, but….

        And inflation has been redefined by the collectivists. Look at the definition in older dictionaries and you will see that it means “resulting from an increase in the money supply” and not an increase in prices. Cost increase is the result, not the cause. Stop printing money to kingdom come, too and there might be a chance to get our ship of state back on an even keel. Do you think either party will ever have the discipline to do it?

        • PJ says:

          “Do you think either party will ever have the discipline to do it?”

          No. I don’t. To put it in medical terms our nation has an illness. Our government representatives are trying to control the symptoms of the illness without having to put any time or energy in combating the illness itself because that would be more work and a very lengthy, painful, and unpopular procedure.

  10. john says:

    I do not think we can impeach with Reed in place. O’bummer will be gone by the time the states convention produces any meaningful progress.
    I think we should form a PAC or something similar. Then start a stealth advertising campaign. Long lasting, to the point and party neutral. It is amazing what can be done with a small budget and a good target. Advertise every day in /on the same place until people get it. It takes time, but it is effective and inexpensive if done the same way all over the country at the same time. The social media is apparently the place now, but it is too short an attention span to be effective.
    I am retired so older people of like thinking should be able to get this up to a sustainable level. Think people, THINK,
    coordinate, THINK, and act in concert as one unit. We can shut this guy down if we want. They will target us, but if 500,000 people act, there will be too many of us !!!

    • Rube says:

      I like your line of thinking

    • Da says:

      I think we need to look at Obowmas real plan. He’ll keep messing with us until we rise up,then he’ll impose martial law and stay in office. I don’t think he’s going anywhere, and I’m praying I’m wrong.
      God bless this country, and heal it.

      • francine says:

        Da, I agree with you. I believe Obummer will do something so devastating as a ploy to institute Martial Law and this will open up such an uprising that it will make Katrina and other disasters look like child’s play. He is soooo good at manipulation that he probably already has devised a way to declare himself ruler over the American people for the duration of his life. He’s just waiting for the opportune time to make his announcement, which I believe will be closer to the end of his term in office.

        When he was first running for office back in 2007 I told people be careful what you wish for you just might get it and find out it was not what you wanted after all. Well, America you got what you asked for and he is not what you really wanted. The serpent speaks with forked tongue.

  11. KarenFaye says:

    While the Obamas are basking in the sun and “lei-ing” around in the sun of Hawaii, the rest of us are left in the cold – to face the reality of what is becoming a living nightmare. American principles, moral values and self reliance are a thing of the past. Mooching, leeching and grubbing off the government has become the norm. 5 or 6 years of unemployment insurance? Hellyes – why work? EBT cards and free cell phones are as easy to get as a paper cut; misused, abused and multiples to one family? No problem – the “gubment and taxpayers will foot the bill”. People thought “Obamacare” meant another freebie- so of course they voted the demon back in – then stood back with their hands out for the next giveaway. Meanwhile, the seniors who built this country are being thrown off the nearest cliff. Nobody in Congress has the cojones to stand up to Barack HUSSEIN and just say NO…..enough!! I don’t know what will happen next, unless we gang together with pitchforks and torches and storm the Whitehouse ourselves. Chances are, though, nobody will be home.

    • Michael DelRossi says:

      Yes Karen – You hit the nail on the head! The Obama Administration & his Democrat cronies are out to run this country into Bankrupcy, period! Growing up in the USA we were taught to take stock in America by buying US Savings Bonds, well all that went to hell on 2 Jan 2011 when the savings bond program went bye the wayside thanks to Obama to save 6 million dollars over a 10 year period to produce and print them out? So much for taking stock in the country that you love! And now he is enjoying a Hawaiin vacation at tax-payers’ expense, what a guy? Let’s all hope that this expensive vacation will screw his head on straight so he and his Democratic buddies can put a meaningful budget together and get the USA back to a productive country and to defend the constitution that he swore on a bible to do or get ready to be Impeached for Numerous Lies and Deception Practices!

  12. HAM says:

    Monroe: another Democrat operative?

    • Jeffery says:

      I agree with many here. Obama and the democrats need to be stopped!! Purge them all from office. NOW!!! We are betrayed from within. Where is our military in all of this? They swear an oath to uphold the constitution NOT to protect the President. We need another revolution in this nation or we are all going down in a socialist fascist hell hole. With a Muslim at the helm. Obama is a dictator and needs to be tried in a court of law then summarily shot.

      Put me in a FEMA camp, starve me or gas me. I don’t care. Obama must go!

    • Ivan Berry says:

      Ham, I think it was satire.

  13. Tim says:

    if obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, is so “affordable” why then have Senator Harry Reid, US Rep. Nancy Pelosi and HHS Secretary Kathleen Syphilis exempted their staffs from having to purchase this product as it will impose upon them an undo financial hardship

    • Meru says:

      Because they can. It’s unconstitutional too. The laws must be carried out THE SAME “equal to everyone.
      Special treatment is against the law.

  14. Trace says:

    Although I have felt for years that more families need to stick together and help care for their elderly parents ect… Obama needs to be stopped!!!!! Enough of the speeches and long comments on how bad the guy is along w/ most of Congress… We need to impeach this guy!!!! And again most of congress!!! Enough is enough people!!!!!! Along w/ Obama we also need to go after Bush and Cheney for the same crimes along w/ the murder of over 3000 Americans and millions more over-seas!!! They’re getting away w/ depopulation and your family is next!!!!!!!!!!! Enough is enough!!!

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