Caregiving for our senior patients is stressful. Imagine the stress getting worse.
Putting all politics aside, ObamaCare will cause the caregiving to become stressful for ourselves (even if we aren't senior citizens). Our country is getting closer and closer to the day that ObamaCare (Affordable Care Act) will be in full force.
What is the impact of ObamaCare on senior citizens and their ability to obtain medical care?
Isn't Medicare it's own program? What possible influence can ObamaCare have on Medicare?
- Senior Citizens will have Fewer Choices
ObamaCare creates the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Some people refer to the IPAB as "death panels." Hyperbole aside, what is the IPAB? The IPAB puts fifteen (15) unelected politically appointed bureaucrats in charge of meeting a budget target in Medicare.
ObamaCare specifically states that the members "shall include individuals with national recognition for their expertise in health finance and economics, actuarial science, health facility management, health plans and integrated delivery systems, reimbursement of health facilities, allopathic and osteopathic physicians, and other providers of health services, and other related fields, who provide a mix of different professionals, broad geographic representation and a balance between urban and rural representatives." http://blog.heritage.org/2012/06/01/obamacares-five-most-damaging-effect...
Although the IPAB is statutorily prohibited from directly rationing care, the IPAB can ration indirectly by reducing provider payments for certain medical procedures. In fact, according to many experts, the only way IPAB can control costs is by reducing provider payments. Cutting payments effectively rations care by limiting Medicare beneficiaries’ access to providers.
- Senior Citizens will have Fewer Options
Medicare Advantage is very popular among senior citizens because the program allows seniors to receive Medicare benefits from a private health plan of their own choosing. But, ObamaCare effectively sets out to destroy Medicare Advantage.
So how could ObamaCare destroy Medicare Advantage? ObamaCare cuts the Medicare Care Advantage program by $145 billion. That fact will decrease enrollment by 50 percent by 2017. Furthermore, according to Heritage research, after Obamacare is fully implemented, Medicare beneficiaries will lose an average of $3,714 worth of benefits per year by 2017. http://blog.heritage.org/2012/06/01/obamacares-five-most-damaging-effect...
The goal of ObamaCare is to merge Medicare into ObamaCare.
- Senior Citizens will Suffer Higher Taxes
In 2013, two new ObamaCare taxes go into effect that will impact seniors. One such tax is an excise tax of 2.3 percent on medical devices. Another such tax is 3.8 percent tax on unearned of investment income.
- Fewer Physicians for Senior Citizens
In 2020, America faces a shortage of 91,500 doctors. Experts explain “[w]ith the retirement of 77 million baby boomers beginning in 2011, the Medicare program will have to absorb an unprecedented demand for medical services."
As more citizens become within the ranks of senior citizens, finding a physician will be more difficult and waiting times for physician appointments will be longer.
ObamaCare exacerbates the issue for seniors by leaving the physician payment reduction schedule on the books while at the same time introducing more cuts to provider payments. The physician reimbursement issues will make it even more difficult for Medicare physicians and other providers to serve the growing Medicare population.
- Less Access to Physician Care for Senior Citizens
The ObamaCare plan makes irresponsible cuts to provider payments. According to the Medicare Actuary, these cuts will cause 15 percent of Medicare Part A providers to become unprofitable within the next ten (10) years. The Medicare Actuary explains, “Over time, a sustained reduction in payment updates, based on productivity expectations that are difficult to attain, would cause Medicare payment rates to grow more slowly than, and in a way that was unrelated to, the providers’ cost of furnishing services to beneficiaries.” http://blog.heritage.org/2012/06/01/obamacares-five-most-damaging-effect...
As Medicare providers begin to operate at a loss, they will be unable to stay afloat, leaving senior citizens without appropriate access to health care. Even the Medicare Actuary acknowledges that Medicare will not survive ObamaCare. http://reason.com/blog/2012/04/23/medicares-chief-actuary-sorry-obamacares
The knowledge that ObamaCare is going to jeopardize Medicare as your loved one knows it is stressful. Your responsibility as a caregiver is to stay abreast of the laws. As always, keep copious notes and continue as a patient advocate even though physicians are not necessarily going to be in a cooperative mood as ObamaCare becomes the standard.
Do not allow your loved one to be pushed out of the medical system. Demand that, despite all the gloom and doom of ObamaCare, your loved ones deserves real health care.