Even se­niors aren’t safe from Oba­macare

The Washington Times Daily - - Editorial -

Se­niors may be sit­ting back think­ing that they are in­su­lated from the im­pact of Oba­macare, but I as­sure you we are not in­su­lated.

The first ad­verse ef­fect on se­niors is fi­nan­cial. The Oba­macare leg­is­la­tion will steal $716 bil­lion from the Medi­care Trust Fund over the next 10 years so the money can be spent on new en­ti­tle­ments for peo­ple un­der 65. Oba­macare will also im­pose $515 bil­lion of di­rect and in­di­rect taxes and fees on se­niors over the same pe­riod. Fund­ing for Medi­care Ad­van­tage plans will be slashed by 27 per­cent, which means $3,700 less per year for each se­nior en­rolled in a Medi­care Ad­van­tage plan. Un­der Oba­macare, Medi­care will spend $1,431 less per se­nior in 2019 than it oth­er­wise would have.

The sec­ond ad­verse ef­fect on se­niors is the quan­tity and qual­ity of health care. Doc­tors will be paid less to treat se­niors than any other pa­tients, even less than pa­tients with Med­i­caid. Oba­macare awards bonus points to hos­pi­tals that spend the least on se­niors. With de­clin­ing re­im­burse­ments to health care providers, se­niors will in­creas­ingly lose ac­cess to com­mon pro­ce­dures such as knee and hip re­place­ment, an­gio­plasty, by­pass surgery and cataract op­er­a­tions. I pre­dict that more and more se­niors will have to seek out off­shore doc­tors and hos­pi­tals to per­form th­ese op­er­a­tions — at their own per­sonal ex­pense.

Then there is the mother of all evils: The In­de­pen­dent Pay­ment Ad­vi­sory Board, also known as the “death panel.” The IPAB will iden­tify fur­ther cuts in what doc­tors, hos­pi­tals and other providers are paid to care for se­niors.

Se­niors, we had bet­ter get our af­fairs in or­der. Ac­cord­ing to Oba­macare, we have lived be­yond our pro­duc­tive lives and are now a bur­den on so­ci­ety — a bur­den to be un­loaded. As pay­back for this ill-con­ceived leg­is­la­tion, I urge ev­ery se­nior to vote against ev­ery Demo­cratic se­na­tor and rep­re­sen­ta­tive who voted for the Oba­macare leg­is­la­tion. THOMAS BOWER Tow­son, Md.

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