Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Obamacare provisions threaten poor and elderly: the proof


Last Friday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the non-partisan, independent agency in charge of running Medicare and Medicaid released a report about the impact on poor and elderly people under Obamacare and it's House and Senate versions. It brings up practical considerations for these people which seem insurmountable. The following are from the report itself:

Millions Lose Existing Private Coverage: "
However, a number of workers who currently have employer coverage would likely become enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program or receive subsidized coverage through the Exchange. For example, some smaller employers would be inclined to terminate their existing coverage, and companies with low average salaries might find it to their - and their employees"- advantage to end their plans. We estimate that such actions would collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 12 million".Obamacare will cause millions of Americans to lose their existing private coverage.

Millions Pay Fines Yet Remain Uncovered: "18 million are estimated to choose not to be insured and to pay the penalty associated with the individual mandate. For the most part, these would be individuals with relatively low health care expenses for whom the individual or family insurance premium would be significantly in excess of the penalty and their anticipated health benefit value".18 million Americans will either face jail time or be forced to pay a new tax they will receive no benefit from.

Millions Lose Medicare Advantage: "Section 1161 of Division B of H.R. 3962 would set Medicare Advantage capitation benchmarks. We estimate that in 2014 when the MA provisions would be fully phased in, enrollment in MA plans would decreased by 64 percent (from its projected level of 13.2 million under current law to 4.7 million under the proposal)". 8.5 million seniors who currently get such services as coordinated care for chronic conditions, routine eye and hearing examinations, and preventive-care services would lose their existing private coverage.

Millions Placed on Welfare: "Of the additional 34 million who are estimated to be insured in 2019 as a result of H.R. 3962, about three-fifths (21 million) would receive Medicaid coverage due to the expansion of eligibility to those adults under 150 percent of the FPL."More than half the people who gain health insurance will receive it through the welfare program Medicaid.

Seniors Access to Care Jeopardized: "
H.R. 3962 would introduce permanent annual productivity adjustments to price updates for institutional providers. 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' costs of furnishing services to beneficiaries. Thus, providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable and might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries)" Tthe Medicare cuts in the House bill are so out of touch with reality that hospitals currently serving Medicare patients might be forced to stop doing so, thus making it much more difficult for seniors to get health care.

Poor's Access Problems Exacerbated: "In practice, supply constraints might interfere with providing the services by the additional 34 million insured persons. Providers might tend to accept more patients who have private insurance (with relatively attractive payment rates) and fewer Medicaid patients, exacerbating existing access problems for the latter group." Those 21 million people who are gaining health insurance through Medicaid are going to have a very tough time finding a doctor who will treat them.

We are grateful to the Heritage Foundation for calling attention to this report.
Now is the time to print this piece or an article from our
MCFL health care page. FAX or mail it to Senators Kerry and Kirk. Also send a copy to your own Congressman. We must keep the fires burning! Congressional mailing addresses are below.

Your efforts are vital!
Anne Fox, President


  • Paul Kirk (D)
  • Address: 317 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
  • Telephone: 202-224-4543
  • Fax: 202-224-2417

  • John Forbes Kerry (D)
  • Address: 304 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
  • Telephone: 202-224-2742
  • Fax: 202-224-8525

House of Representatives

  • John W. Olver (D-01)
  • Address: 1111 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-2101
  • Telephone: 202-225-5335
  • Fax: 202-226-1224

  • Richard E. Neal (D-02)
  • Address: 2208 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-2102
  • Telephone: 202-225-5601
  • Fax: 202-225-8112

  • James P. McGovern (D-03)
  • Address: 438 Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC 20515-2103
  • Telephone: 202-225-6101
  • Fax: 202-225-5759

  • Barney Frank (D-04)
  • Address: 2252 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC 20515-2104
  • Telephone: 202-225-5931
  • Fax: 202-225-0182

  • Niki Tsongas (D-05)
  • 1607 Longworth House Office Building | Washington, DC 20515
  • Washington, DC 20515
  • Phone: (202)225-3411
  • Fax: (202) 226-0771

  • John F. Tierney (D-06)
  • Address: 2238 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC 20515-2106
  • Telephone: 202-225-8020
  • Fax: 202-225-5915

  • Edward J. Markey (D-07)
  • Address: 2108 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC 20515-2107
  • Telephone: 202-225-2836
  • Fax: 202-226-0092

  • Michael Capuano (D-08)
  • Address: 1530 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-2108
  • Telephone: 202-225-5111
  • Fax: 202-225-9322

  • Stephen F. Lynch (D-09)
  • Address: 221 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-2109
  • Telephone: 202-225-8273
  • Fax: 202-225-3984

  • William D. Delahunt (D-10)
  • Address: 2454 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-2110
  • Telephone: 202-225-3111
  • Fax: 202-225-5658

MCFL | 529 Main Street | Boston | MA | 02129

No comments:

Post a Comment