Comparing the Obama and Romney Medicare reform plans
The popular Medicare program is in serious financial trouble. So serious that the Hospital portion is projected to be bankrupt in only 12 years. The fiscal math is so dire, that no matter who is elected President, Medicare will be forced to change.
The only question is whether Obama’s healthcare reform or Romney’s plan has the best chance of controlling spiraling Medicare costs.
Here’s my summary and analysis for each candidate’s Medicare reform positions:
Obama: Medicare savings under the Affordable Care Act are achieved primarily by limiting and reducing payment levels to providers, such as hospitals and nursing homes.
Secondarily, the ACA reduces reimbursement levels to the popular Medicare Advantage plans which currently cover 1 out of 4 Medicare beneficiaries.
The approach of cutting back reimbursements is an old strategy that has previously been tried with doctors serving Medicare patients. It never works. Virtually every year Congress passes a “doctor fix” to prevent the mandated automatic cutbacks from kicking in because doctors threaten to stop taking Medicare patients if reimbursement levels are cut.
Exactly the same will happen with hospitals when Obamacare’s mandated cutbacks are about to kick in—Congress will cave and do a yearly postponement—which will inevitably hasten the 12 year projected bankruptcy of Medicare.
Here is another ominous sign of unintended consequences of Obama’s healthcare reform. According to a survey by the Physicians Foundation, more than half of doctors surveyed revealed that they will cut back on patients (including Medicare) or reduce patient access to their care over the next three years. Read the attached link to get the doctor’s perspective on Obamacare:
Even President Obama acknowledged last July that “if you look at the numbers, then Medicare in particular will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up.”
Romney: Sets up a premium support system that would continue the current Medicare program, but also encourage competition from private insurance companies. Insurance companies which meet coverage standards set by Medicare, would be allowed to participate in a Medicare Exchange.
The idea is that by having all plans competing on a level playing field, following the same rules, price increases would be minimized, while innovation and quality would be maximized.
Each person would receive a premium support payment which could be used to purchase any Medicare approved plan, including original Medicare. Those choosing a less expensive plan would keep any premium saving, while those choosing a richer plan would pay extra. Low-income individuals would be well taken care of by receiving an extra-high premium subsidy.
Insurance companies would be required to insure everyone at the same price, regardless of medical condition. This is a privatized, yet highly regulated hybrid model that is successfully working with Medicare Advantage plans and Part D drug plans. It’s been road tested and deserves to be expanded.
According to FactCheck.org the false claim that Romney’s plan will end Medicare or raise premiums by $6500 per year is based on old and erroneous assumptions.
Nothing is more important to the fiscal health of our seniors—or of our entire economy—than getting Medicare spending under control. Let’s reject old schemes to cut provider reimbursement which have never actually worked.
Instead, let’s adopt the Part D drug model that has been successfully working the past seven years. Certainly, the Romney-Ryan plan will be tweaked and modified, but it is based on a solid, proven formula and stands the best chance of actually fixing Medicare, without causing painful harm to either patients or providers.
Posted by Peter Trozan, Trozan Insurance Agency Inc
On July 11, the U. S. House of Representatives voted (244 Ayes, 185 Noes – H.R. 6079) to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, better known as Obamacare). Our Congressman, Cory Gardner voted in favor of repeal. Jared Polis, Congressman for CD2 voted no. Unfortunately the Senate is likely to reject or ignore the repeal. A vote on H.R. 6079 Repeal of Obamacare Act does serve as a way to get lawmakers “on the record” since the recent Supreme Court Ruling. Please use this information when you vote in November.
There are few “popular” features in Obamacare: coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions, allowing children up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ coverage and closing the “donut hole” in the Medicare prescription drug coverage.
These few “benefits” are packaged with these bad provisions as listed in H.R. 6079:
1. Loss of your current health coverage, pushed into “one size fits all” packages
2. Coverage will be more expensive for millions of Americans (many have already seen increases in premiums)
3. Obamacare cuts more than 1/2 trillion dollars in Medicare, jepardizing access to care for people on Medicare
4. Small group of bureaucrats deciding what is covered by Medicare and how much Medicare will pay for the treatment.
5. Complexity of over 13000 pages of regulations causing ucertainly and imposing higher administrative costs on businesses and doctors.
6. Twenty one new or higher taxes on American families and businesses, including 12 taxes on families making less than $250,0000 a year.
- Tax on medical device makers that will raise the price of items like pacemakers.
- Reduces the amount of medical expenses you can deduct from your income tax
- Eliminates ability to use Health Savings Accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicines
7. Expands the role of Federal Government in funding and facilitation abortion and plans that cover abortion.
8. Inflexible mandates that violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
9. Puts Federal bureaucrats, instead of doctors and patients, in charge of health care decisionmaking.
Here are other bad provisions not mentioned in H.R. 6079
1. According to CBO millions of Americans will still be without health insurance
2. Surveys show that 45% of physicians will stop practicing medicine if Obamacare rules for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) goes into effect
3. Major expansion of IRS (Internal Revenue Service) to enforce the new tax mandates and penalities.
4. Nobody knows what the real cost of this program will be, but we can guarantee it will be in the trillions.
We support the repeal Obamacare and look for congress to find patient-driven, market-based solutions to current health care issues.
H.R. 6079 – Repeal of Obamacare Act
You can go to “Thomas” to view the text of the bill and who votes for and against.
Article posted at FoxNews, July 11, 2012 House approves ObamaCare Repeal in first vote since Supreme Court ruling
Get informed about The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by watching Dr. Vecchio’s presentations. These are all NON-PARTISAN and EDUCATIONAL, meant to be viewed by any layperson. Dr. Vecchio is a Radiology Oncologist and Founder of Docs4PatientCare.
Watch Dr. Vecchio’s presentation (6 YouTube videos):
1) Introduction and coverage
2) What are the costs?
Obamacare Costs: Part 1 of 2
Obamacare Costs: Part 2 of 2
3) State Health Exchanges and how this law affects Employers
4) How PPACA will affect Doctors and Patients
5) Constitutional and Judicial Issues
6) Ideas for Real Healthcare Reform
Tell your friends about these videos, let’s get the word out about how damaging this law is for America!