Government Watch

Obamacare Severely Threatens Future of Medicare Advantage

by Andrew Mangione –

Today the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a critical hearing entitled, “ObamaCare Implementation Problems: More than Just a Broken Website.”  This hearing came on the heels of the White House’s completely disastrous rollout of its signature piece of legislation – the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – and the widespread technological failure of HealthCare.gov.

For more than a month now, the American people have been battered incessantly with ObamaCare horror stories.  From massive website shutdowns and “glitches” to the cancellation of millions of health care plans, ObamaCare has wreaked havoc on the individual lives and finances of millions of American citizens.  We now know that the President’s promise that said, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it…period,” was simply not true.

Unfortunately, lost in this debate have been mature Americans and seniors and how the ObamaCare “train wreck” is impacting this important – and often vulnerable – demographic.

Demanding an answer to this very concern, Georgia Representative Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-11th District) raised the issue with Avik Roy, an expert witness testifying before the Subcommittee.  “What is the likelihood that seniors will lose access to their doctors and be forced to find new ones?” Doctor Gingrey asked.  In answer to the question, Mr. Roy truthfully conceded that, “this is an emerging and increasing problem.”

Alarmingly, Roy didn’t have good news for Medicare beneficiaries either.  To pay for ObamaCare, $716 billion was raided from Medicare – a significant portion from Medicare Advantage (MA) – a startling figure that has many concerned about the program’s future.  Rep. Gingrey noted that of the 47 million people who participate in Medicare, “25% of them choose MA” plans.  “What will happen to them?” he continued.  Roy responded with a clear – and frightening – answer:  “Fifty percent of MA enrollees will have to revert back to original fee-for-service Medicare.”

Roy’s testimony presents a stark contrast between what the President and Democrats have been saying about the ACA and what the reality of ObamaCare is quickly becoming.  Seniors could be forced to forfeit the MA plans they like for traditional fee-for-service Medicare; fee-for-service Medicare is often marked with less accountability, transparency and consumer choice – and more waste, fraud and abuse.

“The website IT problems are just the tip of the iceberg,” Gingrey stated in conclusion.  “Seniors need to be warned about what will happen to them, if it hasn’t happened already.  President Obama’s ‘tech surge’ isn’t going to give back health insurance to the millions of Americans who have lost plans they liked, it isn’t going to reverse the hundreds of billions in Medicare cuts that will force seniors to cut ties with the doctors they trust, and it isn’t going to remove the regulations and taxes that shackle main street job creation.”

The simple fact is that the ACA is undercutting seniors’ ability to make their own decisions regarding their health care – a dangerous reality for many older Americans as they attempt to evaluate the few choices they have left.  A reversion from MA to traditional fee-for-service Medicare will also raise out-of-pocket expenses and eliminate savings generated by MA.

Without a doubt, the points that Dr. Gingrey truthfully hammered in the hearing serve as a call and a warning on this issue, and AMAC will continue to press for more transparency and accountability from Congress and the White House, as implementation of this deeply flawed law continues to hobble along.  We understand that your health care is invaluable, and we will fight to protect your ability to make important personal choices about your coverage and benefits, to increase consumer choice, and to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.

 

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yochanan heimeyer
6 years ago

We are so thankful for all the wonderful informative posts, we have learned so much and was not that aware of when the SSS had become a “slush fund”! Our four children own their own businesses and have noticed the number of regulations that add to the deductions in net profit. They will have to lay off some of the laborers when they increase minimum wage as they are on a shoe string pennies margin and have worked very hard keeping costs down while marketing their product. People don’t realize how government (city, state and federal) interference can make or… Read more »

HAM
7 years ago

Senior Sue: thank you. I don’t have a Supplement & wasn’t able to go into much detail about them. For Seniors with major medical problems, a supplement may be cost effective. However, many Seniors can’t afford a supplement. That is one of the things I was trying to get this young man to understand. He was so ANGRY because he thought ALL Seniors had FREE medical care and that he was subsidizing us. That seems to be a widely held opinion by younger people today. I sincerely hope he now understands a very large portion of them do NOT &… Read more »

Senior Sue
7 years ago

I have been reading the discussions regarding Medicare and Social Security on this site. I would like to respond to Ham’s statement that “after Medicare pays the determined amount, Seniors must pay the balance”. This is only partial true, in some cases. Two Medigap supplemental plans ( F And G ) safeguard seniors from having to pay MORE than medicare approves. For example : Let’s say you see a specialist, and he/she charges $ 300 for the visit. Let’s assume medicare determines the approved amount will be $200. They then pay 80% of the $200 = $160. Most supplements pay… Read more »

HAM
7 years ago

Your friends father might have a “Supplemental” Insurance policy. This is not paid out of Medicare coffers. Supplementals pay the balance that Medicare does not. In this case the insurance company would have gambled and lost. Maybe your friend does not know the full details. Original Medicare does NOT have an out-of -pocket cap on what a Senior has to pay out of their pocket. Once Medicare pays the predetermined amount they will pay, the balance has to be paid by the Senior citizen. The only other way it could have been paid for fully was if he is under… Read more »

HAM
7 years ago

youngconservativerebel: didn’t see your other post referring to my parents leaving me a fortune. Sorry to disappoint but they weren’t rich. They were just your regular middle class who struggled to make ends meet. When they died there was no rich estate. Whether you believe this or not doesn’t matter, I was in the 5th grade before we even had an inside bathroom. My parents never did the gambling thing. They never had any spare money & would never have thought to waste money that way. I don’t know where you have gotten the opinion that all seniors are rich… Read more »

HAM
7 years ago

youngconservativerebel : This is a much better post than your previous ones so I am responding. I also at your age could not afford the deductions taken from my paycheck for SS & Medicare taxes. I could not afford to put money aside for retirement because I also had children & the same living expenses as you. Maybe cost of living was lower but so were wages. Enough about that. Social Security was not funded up front when at its inception in the 30’s. Each generation was expected to pay for the previous generation. That is a fact and can’t… Read more »

HAM
7 years ago

Fred Altenburg: I agree with you. I would still like to know why some people: IGNORE YOUNG ABLE BODIED ADULTS being on welfare, food stamps, Medicaid their ENTIRE LIVES, who have never paid any taxes to support these programs? Why are they are ok with NON-citizens receiving food stamps? There are many more young adults on these programs than Senior citizens on Medicaid. Why are they not demanding adults on public “assistance” be required to WORK to HELP support themselves and/or go to some kind of job training to give them the skills needed to better themselves? Why are they… Read more »

Fred Altenburg
7 years ago

I understand why young people are upset about having to pay for my health care (through Medicare) and my social security benefits. After reading many of these post I realize that young conservatives are blaming the wrong people, ‘They should be directing their anger at all of the stupid people in Washington that have raided these programs for years and spent the money on other inept programs. With employer and employee contributions and a modest investment return of 3% there would be enough money in these two programs to take care of all seniors and the current work force for… Read more »

HAM
7 years ago

youngconservativerebel: Actually I WAS leaning toward RAND Paul but needed to investigate more about him. If you are an example of his supporters then I will definitely be rethinking that.

I will not be responding to any further posts from you as you don’t want to DISCUSS anything. Look up the meaning of discussion.

HAM
7 years ago

We’ll young conservative hero, AMAC does stand for Assiciation for MATURE American Citizens. Are you sure you aren’t really a Liberal masquerading as a Consetvative. . After all, you can set up your name as anything you choose. I don’t see anything that even closely resembleing a DISCUSSION in your post. Are you comparing Medicare to the private market prior to or after Obamacare? It’s my understanding that a Medicare buy-in is low income Seniors who are eligible for MEDICAID. These people may only draw $600, $700 or $800 a month. Can you live on that? The MAJORITY of Seniors… Read more »

youngconservativehero
7 years ago

I came here because I thought this venue would have a reasonable discussion on an issue that has bugged me for many months, due to Obamacare. Why are seniors 70 years and 80 years old given free government healthcare (aka Medicare)?? Even the buy-in is only about $500 per month. In the private market, such people are charged upwards of $2500 for Medicare-like plans. Go look it up. I don’t think the ‘conservatives’ on this site have any clue about this. That is the true cost of Medicare!!! As a young conservative, it infuriates me that as a young healthy… Read more »

J Smoker
7 years ago

The pro side of ACA keeps claiming it is going to lower health care costs overall. I want an accounting of the total costs including the Health care site ” and the extra costs to repair it”, the extra HHS workers editing the law as we proceed with implication and the additional IRS employees enforce it, to be factored in to show the REAL SAVINGS.

HAM
7 years ago

Philip J Amato: A suggestion for # 5: I’m not sure it’s feasible for the people to vote on all major programs, expenditure plans or to programs proposed but it should be required that a bill MUST BE READ by ALL members of the House or Senate BEFORE it can be voted on.

Philip J. Amato
7 years ago

Reading all the negative comments about Obamacare, and the wholesale destruction it is causing, and the long term effects it will have on our health care system, I believe that we, the voters, must raise all kinds of hell with our elected officials. Deluge them with letters and E-mails, demanding that they must end this health care fiasco, and use the threat of losing your vote next November. Hell, just vote them out anyway. Most of them have been in Washington as long as the furniture, and are , bluntl5. t5he y, on the payroll of lobbyists and corporations, via… Read more »

HAM
7 years ago

rhappleby, if you listen to news on ABC, CNN , CBS or NBC, or their affiliates you won’t hear very much negative about Obama. They are his lapdogs. The New York Times is still trying very, very hard to spin it so Obama doesn’t look so bad. The only reason you are hearing anything at all now is because so MANY people have been cancelled or premiums are going up extremely high including some media people. It’s just too big to ignore, as they have so much in the past, but now it’s affecting their pocketbooks too. All of a… Read more »

Antony
7 years ago

We the people need to vote all politicians and demand term limits and only 1 term for a president!

Madeline Huffnagle
7 years ago

Medicare is being raided to pay for Obamacare, yes, with a great portion going to Medicaid. It is stunning to me the number of seniors who supported Obama in both elections.

rhappleby
7 years ago

Jacqueline stated: “Then, Mr. and Mrs. Obama sent a $600,000,000 contract not to an American firm but to a Canadian firm (anti-Americans in the WH) that resulted in a total disaster and did not follow the law by getting 3 bids on a government contract.”

I do not understand why there is not more chatter about this lack of competitive bidding for this contract.

Jacqueline
7 years ago

Obamacare has pre-occupied our Public Servants attention in Washington for about 5 years now. The cash register is clanging on a bill that the American People DO NOT WANT. Then, this admin has stolen BILLIONS from Medicare to fund a terrible program that WE DO NOT WANT. Then, Mr. and Mrs. Obama sent a $600,000,000 contract not to an American firm but to a Canadian firm (anti-Americans in the WH) that resulted in a total disaster and did not follow the law by getting 3 bids on a government contract. In my opinion, this jerk in the Whitehouse has wasted… Read more »

Dave Benson
7 years ago

Andrew Mangione.

Thanks for reporting this. Could you provide a source or link to official committee records on this hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health? I have been talking it up in Facebook, and have been getting beaten up by my progressive friends there. I would like to reply with more than just a counter-opinion. Thanks for your work in covering this issue.

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