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?

 

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techwreck

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!

Richard Schultz

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… Read more »

Catherine

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.

Mark

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.

Marti Settle

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… Read more »

HAM

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… Read more »

D.Richardson

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

cw

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

Wayne LeBlanc

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.

john

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… Read more »

KarenFaye

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… Read more »

HAM

Monroe: another Democrat operative?

Tim

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

Trace

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!!!

MONROE

Everybody bend over CHANGE IS COMING.

HAM

Kevon Seltz: please elaborate on your comment “not married, Big Brother is going to take your home & boot your ass”. Please include reference to back up this claim.

Kevin Seitz

Guess what, folks! It’s even worse than you thought. Now, as part of OsamaCare, if you’re not married, Big Brother is going to take your home and boot your ass out into the street!

Gary Wirsu

Mid term elections coming— Will America wake in time to oust all those in Congress who voted for this worthless. destroying America legislation. As each day passes we learn more how bad this OBAMACARE mess is going to impact the nation. Younger generation don’t be fooled by rhetoric from this administration and its puppets, this ridiculous mess isn’t going to go away any time soon and you will also be caught in the catch 22 of paying more for your health care or even losing some facets of reasonable cost health care altogether. Vote out all that signed this mess without even reading to see the disastrous fallout from it,

TonysTake

How much more are you going to take before you act? I’m not talking about that one little thing you do once every two or four years (vote) that takes a whole half hour of your precious time. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

bill

Maybe a small suggestion of reality might be in order. Refer to der Fuehrer as Comrade B HO and his position as LSoSic (Lying Sack o —- in charge).
His actions and the manner in which have been carried out, bring 1930’s Germany to mind.
A proper salute might be described as left arm extended approx 30 degrees above horizontal, palm down, fist closed, middle finger fully extended. Right hand brought to the face with the thumb and forefinger holding the nose. This done, of course, done with all the respect? due a man of his accomplishment???
A cautionary note: Be aware of men in brown shirts.