You probably have heard in the news all kinds of opinions about Obamacare both good and bad. Unfortunately, not much has been said about Medicare as it relates to Obamacare. This is probably due to the fact that it is designed for people under 65 while Medicare is designed for over 65. The truth is that Obamacare is directly impacting Medicare, and unless something changes the results in the years to come will be devastating to Medicare!
You may have heard something about funding for Obamacare coming from Medicare, but didn’t realize what that entailed. I’ll break that down for you here so that you may be enlightened. Cuts to Medicare are being used to fund the Obamacare initiative. That isn’t a Left or Right position, but simply a statement of fact. Let’s take a look at the how and why, and what it means for you and me.
Medicare spending, historically has grown at a rate twice that of GDP. When Obamacare was signed into law, a requirement was put in place to force Medicare spending down to a rate close to that of the GDP. If you know your math, and I know you do, that means cuts to Medicare equal to about 50%. These cuts are estimated over the next ten years to be equivalent to about $853 billion dollars according to the Congressional Budget Office, and these cuts will fund about 1/3 of Obamacare spending.
These cuts are being executed through reduced payments to Medicare providers and facilities. Now think about that for a second. Your healthcare providers are going to be receiving less money for seeing you as a patient. In fact, estimates show that the reimbursement rate for Medicare will soon fall below those of Medicaid. If your provider does not receive fair compensation for seeing you, he/she will probably not see you. What you will end up seeing is an epidemic where Medicare is rarely accepted, and your access to care limited at the very best.
The cuts are already being seen and felt by Medicare Advantage plans as they are having to increase copays and in some cases premiums in order to survive. Of course, these costs are directly passed to you as the Medicare beneficiary.