Medicare plans will not be altered, at least not yet. So if you like the plan you have you can keep it, until the next election. One of the linchpins of Obamacrap is "better management" of Medicare dollars.
That is shorthand for cutting benefits, cost shifting and reduced funding for things like Medicare Advantage plans.
The WSJ online noted the following seismic shift by HHS and the White House in a vote buying scheme to satiate seniors.
Last Friday, Health and Human Services released its annual "call letter," which introduces the formula that will set Medicare rates for 2012. Out of nowhere, per capita Medicare Advantage payments will increase by 1.6% on average. The update was 0% for 2011, and most Wall Street analysts were forecasting a negative update for the coming year, given that ObamaCare cuts $136 billion over a decade and indirectly steals another $70 billion through such payment adjustments.
MA plans give seniors a CHOICE which is something the government detests. They would rather control every aspect of your health care by saying you can have original Medicare or nothing.
Would this be the same Medicare Advantage that candidate Barack Obama vowed to eliminate, saying in 2007 that "We shouldn't be rewarding the insurance industry for deceiving and defrauding our seniors"? And would this be the same program that Democratic Congressman Pete Stark says is evidence that "Medicare privatization trumps moral values" for Republicans? Why yes, it would.
Yup, if Washington had their way Advantage plans would be gone. Their micro-management of the carriers that administer MA plans plus reduced funding indicates they have every intention of eliminating CHOICE for seniors when it comes to health insurance.
It's true that Advantage could be better run to favor the more efficient commercial carriers that are restraining health spending in some parts of the country. But Democrats arbitrarily hacked funding across the board, as they did in the 1990s to a similar program called Medicare+Choice. As a result of these cuts, the chief Medicare actuary expects benefits to decline and enrollment to fall by half in the next 10 years.
Truth is, Washington doesn't want you to have a choice. Allowing you to CHOOSE which plan is best for your needs and budget defeats the "one size fits all" approach that bureaucrats love.
They created Choice plans before then summarily cut the heart out of these plans by withholding funds necessary to run the program.
They did it before, they will do it again.
But only after the next election . . .