America’s senior citizens deserve to enjoy their golden years in security rather than be faced with the uncertainty of having their beloved Medicare benefits yanked away thanks to provisions within the Democratic Party’s darling, Obamacare.
Mathematicians Congressional Democrats are not. Democrats failed to inform seniors nearly half of Obamacare’s cost would be funded initially by taking more than $500 billion from Medicare. When this information was made public, Democrats promised the cost-shifting would not in any way lead to benefit cuts. In addition, they were told Obamacare would reduce the deficit and were told everyone could keep their doctors. If Democrats genuinely believed what they were saying, they obviously failed to factor into their quirky calculations that pesky little fact that Medicare reimbursement cuts to doctors would send them packing in droves, making it a bit tricky to use the same doctor if he or she no longer treats Medicare patients.
Moreover, another side effect from this pernicious legislation is what seems to be the ultimate destruction of the Medicare Advantage (MA) program as seniors know it today. It is to no surprise that this program elected by millions of seniors has been in Obama’s crosshairs for quite some time. After all, MA allows beneficiaries the ability to receive Medicare benefits via private health insurance plans. In Obama’s world, MA is a waste of money but spending countless tax dollars on green energy pipedreams is considered smart investing.
Obviously, Democrats failed to consider the timing of these cuts when Obamacare was enacted. Many seniors are in the process of losing their MA plans or will discover they are about to lose them — just before the 2012 election. Most sadly, according to the Heritage Foundation, low-income seniors and minorities will be the hardest hit by these cuts. Once again, Democrats claim to be the party for minorities and the poor, but contradict their claims with stunts like this.
More than 25 percent of Medicare recipients are MA participants. Of those, a large percentage lives in key swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio. The Obama administration knew they had to do something to protect the senior citizen vote so they pulled another trick out of their trusty Chicago politics top hat when they conjured up $8.3 billion taxpayer dollars to supplement MA benefits until after the 2012 elections. After the election, all bets are off and seniors will be left to figure it out.
The Weekly Standard suggests this ploy is illegal in that “a president isn’t generally thought to possess the power to reallocate American’s resources to shore up his political vulnerabilities.” The Government Accountability Office (GAO) apparently concurred, recently telling the administration to stop this charade the administration fronts as a “demonstration project.”
This Medicare funds siphoning will continue, according to a January 3, 2011 Wall Street Journal article, “Obamacare’s Medicare Cuts in the New Year.” The article discloses that Obamacare will extract from “Medicare and related federal programs,” $638 billion over the next ten years, and an additional $1.6 trillion in the seven years thereafter, “for a total of $2.2 trillion” in cuts.
Democrats will use their best “Mediscare” tactics to deflect the blame to Republicans for the mess they’ve created. You can read an informative article about this “mess” at the Galen Institute online here.
In stark contrast, Republicans have common sense solutions that will leave Medicare benefits intact for today’s seniors and those nearing retirement. The plan also gives younger Americans the opportunity for a far superior program to work toward, while allowing today’s seniors the ability to rest in the promises America made to them long ago.
Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist, motivational speaker and military advocate who writes about politics, the military, the economy and culture. Email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or her website at susanstamperbrown.com.
©2012 Susan Stamper Brown. Susan’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561