Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Medicare Cuts

We are all waiting with bated breath to hear what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has to say about the Senate’s Healthcare Overhaul Bill. Reports are still a bit contradictory as to what is in the bill. We know that the Public Option is in the bill. Prince Harry and Princess Pelosi wouldn’t have it any other way. Because, after all, the Anointed One, our Beloved Leader Barack Hussein Obama, may peace be upon him, wills it to be part of the bill. And in Washington, His will shall be done, whether we like it or not. The CBO has the rather daunting task of figuring out just how much this monstrosity will cost the taxpayers’ great grandchildren.

We know that one way the bill will keep costs down is to cut $500 Billion from Medicare Advantage. That is the Medicare program that pays a portion of the patient’s medical costs but allows the patient to buy supplemental insurance to cover the gap between what the government pays and what the doctor charges. Think of it as “Gap Insurance.”

This sounds like it will really hurt senior citizens. It will make them pay more for the healthcare that they will need more and more of as they age. Something that attacks the seniors in this way will surely have a tough time getting this past groups that advocate for senior citizens. They are going to scream bloody murder. But they aren’t. AARP actually supports this onerous new threat to the well being of their members. I couldn’t believe it when I heard this. I thought, it can’t be true, then I did some research.

If you cut a half trillion dollars from Medicare, the doctors will not be getting paid as much for treating seniors. This makes the gap between the doctor’s bill and the government payment. No problem, just buy more “Gap Insurance.” And who sells Gap Insurance? AARP does. Imagine that.

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