From Hal C. Scherz, MD and Richard A. Armstrong, MD:
70 year old woman comes into her Urologist’s office in Atlanta frantic, because her internist has stopped seeing Medicare patients. A 76 year old man in South Florida needs a hip replacement but may not be able to have surgery because his orthopedic surgeon cannot find a cardiologist who will agree to see and evaluate him for surgery. These stories are true, told to me by doctors that I know personally. They are taking place in doctors’ offices all across the country each day and they are on the rise. This is the sad reality that seniors face and it will get worse. President Obama saw to that when he signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA,Obamacare) 2 years ago.
So when, at a recent press conference, he threw down the gauntlet and warned the Supreme Court not to overturn the ACA because doing so will destroy Medicare, he has gone back to his playbook; creating a scapegoat to deflect attention away from his mistakes and shortcomings.
Medicare was already on shaky financial ground before Obamacare. With $37 Trillion in unfunded liabilities, and a growing senior population, a plan that Lyndon Johnson promised would not exceed $10 Billion in the first 10 years of the program, now costs over 100 times that amount and threatens the financial stability of our country.
The President’s health care law rocks the shaky foundation that Medicare is built upon, by diverting $500 Billion away from the program for seniors and uses it to finance the subsidies offered as part of a new entitlement program.
The very popular Medicare Advantage program covers 25% of elderly Americans- over 11 million. This is being phased out as part of the new law and was set to go into effect in 2012. Knowing how unpopular this will be with seniors, the cuts have been postponed and will begin AFTER the election. Meanwhile, an aggressive PR campaign has been launched at taxpayer expense, to convince seniors how Obamacare will protect their Medicare benefits. Trusted actors like Andy Griffith have been used by this administration to reassure seniors that they are in good hands with Obama.