Obama has his priorities and Medicaid patients voted for him by a much higher margin than senior citizens. And even if they hadn’t, the left is still the left and it is as predictable as a broken clock and far more malignant.
On Oct. 1, 2012 the Obama administration started awarding bonus points to hospitals that spend the least on elderly patients. It will result in fewer knee replacements, hip replacements, angioplasty, bypass surgery and cataract operations.
These are the five procedures that have transformed aging for older Americans. They used to languish in wheelchairs and nursing homes due to arthritis, cataracts and heart disease. Now they lead active lives.
But the Obama administration is undoing that progress. By cutting $716 billion from future Medicare funding over the next decade and rewarding the hospitals that spend the least on seniors, the Obama health law will make these procedures hard to get and less safe.
Which will reduce the quality of life of senior citizens making it easier to put them on a pathway to euthanasia.
That’s the gameplan here. First open the door to cutting spending on the so-called “last 2 months of life”, though that can’t be reliably predicted unless you ensure that they really will be the last 2 months.
Then decrease treatment options so that more and more seniors fall into those last 2 months. And that will free up money to spend on obesity programs for inner city kids, abortion, sex change operations and all the other social change obsessions of the left.
The Obama health law creates two new entitlements for people under age 65 – subsidies to buy private health plans and a vast expansion of Medicaid. More than half the cost of these entitlements is paid for by cutting what hospitals, doctors, hospice care, home care and Advantage plans are paid to care for seniors.
The doctors and hospitals will be there, they will just have been “nudged” with rewards and punishments to provide the kind of treatment or lack of treatment that the authorities favor.
Astoundingly, doctors will be paid less to treat a senior than to treat someone on Medicaid, and only about one-third of what a doctor will be paid to treat a patient with private insurance.
On July 13, 2011, Richard Foster, chief actuary for Medicare, warned Congress that seniors will have difficulty finding doctors and hospitals to accept Medicare. Doctors who do continue to take it will not want to spend time doing procedures such as knee replacements when the pay is so low. Yet the law bars them from providing care their patients need for an extra fee. You’re trapped.
Which will make Medicare, instead of Medicaid, the unwanted insurance. Punish the privileged white people, favor welfare minorities.
Foster warned Congress that 15% of hospitals may stop treating seniors once the Obama-Care cuts go into effect. The rest will have to lower the standard of care. Hospitals will have $247 billion less over the next decade to care for the same number of seniors as if the health law had not been enacted.
Everyone will eventually have the same or a worse level of treatment than Medicaid, whether they are senior citizens or working people with private insurance. That was one of the major goals of ObamaCare.
President Obama seems to think too many seniors are getting these procedures. At a town hall debate in 2009, he told a woman “maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.”
Somehow I doubt the Prince of Chicago will be making do with painkillers when the time comes.