Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Medicare Advantage Seniors

Obama marginalizes them with his Obamacare provisions at great political peril.

"Medicare Advantage also has built-in incentives to encourage insurers to offer lower costs and better benefits. It's a program that puts patients in charge, not the government, which is why seniors like it and probably why the administration hates it.

Already, an estimated 10.2 million seniors—one out of five in America—have enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Mr. Obama is proposing to cut the program by nearly 20% and thus reduce the amount of money each will have to buy insurance. This will likely force most of them to lose the insurance they have now. Yet Mr. Obama promised in late July in New Hampshire that, 'if you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan.'

There are roughly 23,400 seniors on average in a congressional district who have Medicare Advantage, but who face losing it if Mr. Obama has his way. That's enough votes to tip most competitive House and Senate races.

Back in 2006, Mr. Obama and other Democrats railed against GOP efforts—modest though they were—to slow future Medicare spending growth. Now he and his party may reap what they have sown. As the president pushes to enact an overall cut to Medicare he will imperil Democrats in tough re-election races. Mr. Obama has a dangerous old tiger by the tail. Seniors are much more likely to vote than the population at large."

As I've noted before, the Democrat -controlled Federal goverment is doing everything within its power to destroy Medicare Advantage. Already, several large providers have exited the market because it's not worth their time and investment any longer. Many other providers have been forced to raise premiums (often from zero), or have scaled back their efforts. By the 2012 Medicare enrollment season, the program may well be dead regardless of whether Obamacare has its way, or not.

Who does this hurt? The low and lower/middle income Medicare Advantage seniors who are not on Medicaid, who will be forced back into original Medicare coverage, but will not be able to afford the excellent but pricey coverage a Medicare Supplement policy gives. These folks will face HUGE co-pays for their coverage, particularly in Part A.

The "regressive" Obamacare drumbeaters are either too stupid to figure this out, or they just don't give a rat's ass about it


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