Thursday, December 3, 2009

$500 Million Cut in Medicare

There is no longer any plausible deniability.  The new healthcare bill is going to cut $500 Billion from Medicare.  John McCain proposed an amendment to the healthcare bill that would remove the portion of the bill that does so.  Today the Senate voted on that amendment and defeated it along party lines.  So no one can now say that the healthcare bill isn’t going to hurt senior citizens.  The money will be mostly taken from Medicare Advantage.  The percent of the doctor and hospital bills that Medicare Advantage pays for will be reduced.  This means that senior citizens with Medicare Advantage will have to pay more out of their pockets for lifesaving medical care.  The better heeled seniors won’t have a problem with this, but those who depend on Medicare and Social Security will be devastated.  Why? Very simple actually. Doctors will get less for seeing Medicare patients.  To maintain their incomes, doctors will either have to stop seeing Medicare patients or spend less time diagnosing and treating their illnesses.  Therefore, senior citizens will see the quality and quantity of their medical care begin to wane.  Many doctors will stop seeing Medicare patients entirely.  Seniors will find it difficult to even see a physician.  The inevitable result will be that senior citizens will die sooner.  It’s as simple as that.

The most disturbing thing about this is that the largest senior citizen advocate group in the country is supporting this bill.  A bill that will adversely affect their own members is being supported by AARP.  What?  Is it just possible that AARP have gotten a lot like the labor unions.  I have seen a great deal of evidence in my life that labor unions don’t really care about their members as they swear they do.  No, labor unions care about the labor unions.  Now the same thing can be said about AARP, they care about AARP, not the members.  Why would AARP abandon their membership to back this bill?  Again, it’s quite simple.

Since Medicare won’t pay as much of the healthcare bills as it did before, the seniors will end up owing more and more to the doctor or hospital.  There is, however a way around it if the senior citizen can afford it.  Seniors can buy a Medicare Supplement insurance policy.  Consider it gap insurance because it covers the gap between the doctor bills and what is covered by Medicare.  Getting a good gap insurance policy is not difficult, it is even fully endorsed by AARP……..hmmmm……..I’m sure that AARP’s endorsement does not come free.  And the more gap insurance that the elderly must buy, the more AARP gets.  So, AARP turns its back on its own members and endorses a bill that will severely affect senior citizens.  Well, not really turn their back, it’s more like they sold their members out.  It makes you wonder just how much the membership was worth?

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