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Seniors count on higher premiums and less coverage with health care changes

The subject of health insurance coverage has become a tangled web of confusion and chaos.

Oregon Senator Greg Waldon
Senator Greg Waldon

In a letter to voters Oregon Senator Greg Waldon clearly outlined a few of the problems facing the senior population with the entire health care fiasco.

Senator Waldon wrote, “The big spenders in Washington, D.C. want to continue more and more wasteful spending. And they want to pay for it by cutting Social Security and Medicare, including reducing cost of living adjustments for seniors and raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare. I have fought these efforts at every turn.”

Senator Waldon should know, since he serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee. This gives him an inside view of many of the proposals.

He mentions specifically health care law that authorizes the Obama administration to cut payments for home health patients by 14% over the next four years. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS),”approximately 43 percent of all America’s home health care agencies will operate at a net loss on or by 2017 as a result of the regulation.”

In Oregon the situation is even worse; according to the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, 74 percent of Oregon’s home health providers will operate in the red by 2017.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the health care law cuts Medicare by over $700 billion, with $200 billion of that coming from Medicare Advantage. What this means to Medicare Advantage plan holders is $35 to &70 increase in premiums and lesser coverage, with fewer doctors and hospitals in the network. The truth will tell in 2014 renewal time when the insurance companies release their new plan information.

Another negative from CMS for seniors is in the Part D prescription drug plans. They are pressuring the insurance companies to cut back the number of plans they offer. That makes fewer options to get the drug plan that offers consumers choices that fit their needs and their budgets.

So what is a senior to do? We are at the tail end of a giant crack the whip game at the mercy of government antics. Everybody agrees something must be done about the mess, but nobody knows what the answer can be. Keep in touch with your Congressmen, let your opinions be known, and try to stay one step ahead of the politicians.

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