President Barack Obamas Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will seriously impact the health care and health insurance of 40 million American seniors on Medicare. I am one of them.
Those of us older than 65 represent 13 percent of the population but we consume 36 percent of the $2 trillion of the annual cost of health care. This is how we are to be dealt with.
Over 10 years, beginning in 2013, Obamacare will eliminate $153 billion in payments to private insurers who offer Medicare Advantage plans to 13 million beneficiaries. When this funding stops, insurance carriers offering this coverage will discontinue it, and former policyholders will be forced to use just Medicare or, if they can afford it, Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan.
Remember Obamas promise that if you like your insurance, you can keep it? That was never true.
About $700 billion will be saved by Medicare over 10 years by drastically lowering medical provider reimbursement for the treatment of Medicare patients.
This action and the threat of government bureaucrats dictating what care is permitted will motivate up to 83 percent of physicians to retire or seek other work, based on a recent survey conducted by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.
An astounding 74 percent of those surveyed said they will stop accepting Medicare patients or leave Medicare completely.
Remember the promise that you can keep your doctor? Again, not true.
If only 40 percent of doctors stop practicing or seeing Medicare patients, only 60 percent of todays doctors will be available to care for 30 million more currently uninsured patients. This will delay access to care for all Americans. That, no matter what its called, is rationing.
A far more serious deprivation of care for seniors will occur when Obamacare establishes the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
This group will determine what treatment is permissible based on the age and overall health of the patient. Similar panels are in place in Canada and the United Kingdom in order to limit health care spending on seniors.
So this is what we have to look forward to if the Affordable Care Act remains: elimination of Medicare Advantage Plans; rationing due to large decreases in the number of physicians seeing Medicare patients; and further rationing by depriving seniors of care based on their age and overall health.
If you want to spend a few more of your remaining years enjoying your kids and grand-kids, you need to vote for the presidential candidate who has promised to repeal Obamacare as one of his first acts in office.
Stan Alekna, of Cornwall, is a retired IBM executive and former CEO of a Texas HMO. He also served on two statewide committees for the Texas Department of Insurance. Readers may write to him at email@example.com.