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How Obamacare Will Affect Medicare

We've talked about how Obamacare will affect our regular health insurers and routine doctor visits, but how about how Obamacare will affect Medicare?

We've all known for a while that the future of Medicare, the program than provides health insurance to seniors, is in dire straits. What we're just finding out is that Obamacare is making it worse.

The White House's decision earlier this month to postpone part of U.S. President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform (the employer mandate that will fine businesses that don't offer employees insurance) underscores how flawed the bill is and how unprepared we are for its full roll-out.

Medicare is already feeling the impact. Faced with myriad long-term fiscal challenges, some of which are among the country's most pressing issues, Medicare's ills are merely amplified by Obamacare.

On the fast-track to bankruptcy, estimates are that Medicare's Part A trust fund, which has long-term unfunded obligations of more than $35 trillion, will be insolvent by 2026, according to Washington, D.C. think-tank The Heritage Foundation.

That means the U.S. government has made $35 trillion worth (more than double the nation's total current debt) of benefit promises to current and future seniors that aren't yet paid for.

Furthermore, that staggering amount is expected to grow as millions more Americans are eligible for coverage.

Editor's Note: Hip replacements, knee replacements, and cataract surgery will be especially hard to get from Medicare in the months ahead… Which is why you should get some of those procedures done NOW if you can. As President Obama once said to an elderly woman at a town hall meeting: "Maybe you'd be better off not having the surgery and taking a painkiller instead." Find out how to survive under Obamacare in this free video. Go here.

Moreover, individuals already in the program stand to be shut out of some of the key preventive services included under the new healthcare law. And, new enrollees are apt have difficulty finding a doctor since many physicians are refusing to accept new patients.

Following are three examples of how Obamacare will affect Medicare.

Three Ways How Obamacare Will Affect Medicare

    1. Sizable payment reductions will shrink access to care. The Congressional Budget Office reports Obamacare will reduce Medicare reimbursements by $716 billion over the next decade. These cuts will impact Part A providers such as hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and hospices, in addition to Medicare Advantage plans. By 2019, the CBO projects, 15% of Medicare providers will fall into the red. By 2030, the number rises to 25%. By 2050, it jumps to 40%. The result will be a reduction in seniors' accessibility to medical care. "Providers could not sustain continuing negative margins and would have to withdraw from serving Medicare beneficiaries or (if total facility margins remained positive) shift substantial portions of Medicare costs to non-Medicare, non-Medicare payers," the CBO said.

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

  1. brad wright | July 30, 2013

    This article is pure trash. What it doesn't tell you is that Obamacare has extended the solvency of Medicare Part A by ten years after just two years of implementation. Further, Obamacare has played a major role in continuing to close the Part D donut hole for prescription drugs, and it has accomplished all this while providing no out of pocket costs for crucial health screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies. These are things that make medicare beneficiaries healthier, and therefore less costly to the Medicare system. As soon as you see any writer mention information developed by the Heritage Foundation, know that you can dismiss it out of hand as nothing more than neo-conservative propaganda of the sort that would make Joseph Goebbels proud.

    • Debbie | August 15, 2013

      Thank you!
      I work with Medicare and you are absolutely correct.
      not that anyone will believe you….

      • Linda Blunt | September 6, 2013

        I am a registered nurse and I have to wonder what good all medicare's preventative coverage would do when the cuts to life sustaining medications is cut out. Dr.s and I have experienced first hand the cuts to medications like duonebs required for COPD to make living tolerable and possible for these people. What good is a mammogram if you cant breath ???????? I believer your answer is trash and it's obvious you work for medicare.

    • Deborah Picard | August 19, 2013

      Thank you so much. I consider myself a liberal Democrat, but the news for the past few years has been so depressing that I haven't been able to view it for very long without feeling depressed. I am grateful that persons like yourself are able to wade through all the right wing propaganda and deliver opinions that are so important in these trying times. Thank you very much.

    • C.B. | September 3, 2013

      This article is TRASH and FULL OF LIES.

      Obamacare WORKS and is FAR BETTER than other health insurance companies and their plans which charge far more and get much less.


  2. OWENS | July 30, 2013

    Looking back at the "election", it just occurred to me that o'bama HAD TO WIN. Why? Because the Elite NEED to control the country. They OWN o'bama because he's a FRAUD, they "have the goods on him" and he knows that if he doesn't cooperate they'll let those good go public. romney didn't have enough "bad stuff" on him to be blackmailed into cooperation.
    But why would o'bama deal with the Elite, knowing that they think they OWN him? He's ARROGANT! He thinks he's the Messiah and has it all under control. He has folks such as Soros "behind" him.
    Then, why did THEY CHOOSE romney to be the "opponent"? Well, romney is just a o'bama-light. Romney is a RINO. They hardly disagreed on much. Since they didn't disagree on much, or maybe I ought to say that they both were disinterested in the right things, they wouldn't discuss them in the "debates" so the lemmings wouldn't be provoked to actually THINK!

  3. 000013154125 | July 31, 2013

    Polictians are no more than bunch of corrupt greed. The only good one is a deleted one.

    • Linda Blunt | September 6, 2013

      Whatever happened to the concept of politicians being a public servant? Instead they make the public into servants.

  4. Mary | July 31, 2013

    I just wonder why no one ever mentions the fact that even though new Medicare members come on the program every day, so do old Medicare members die off every day. It is not like you go on Medicare and stay forever. Is there any kind of a balancing act here? Or, are we seniors living too long to make things worse? Maybe that's why seniors are a little leery of the benefits to their long lives of Obamacare.

    • Barbara | August 10, 2013

      Do you really believe that one old person dies every time a new enrollee gets on medicare? Don't worry about living too long any more, once all the rules kick in and you are refused treatment because of your age, I am sure things will balance out. Just sit back and take your death counseling and happy drugs.

      • Linda Blunt | September 6, 2013

        Your absolutely right!!!! You won't live long. Dr's are spending half their shifts right now dealing with medicare refusing to cover medications that are essential to sustain life. I am an RN and see the medicare trash first hand. Wait and see what happens if your elderly loved one get confused and falls at a hospital, medicare wont pay the hospital bill. I guess that doesn't matter much, when they go home on medications they need to be able to live, medicare won't cover it either.

  5. Chad Cason | August 1, 2013

    That's why medigap plans are there. Medicare or Obamacare alone can't give us our full needs for senior health insurance. In the end, we can't just rely to the government for all of our future needs.

  6. J. Klpec | October 2, 2013

    How do you expect unemployed people with no income to "buy" insurance?

    • Raoel Rodriguez | October 10, 2013

      that is called "medicaid expansion" and that means that those individuals who cannot afford insurance, will qualify for cost-free coverage.

  7. Raoel Rodriguez | October 10, 2013

    Well, the Affordable Healthcare Law also known as "obamacare" has been affecting Medicare since 201. Seniors taking advantage of the most popular government program (Medicare) already have a great benefit. That benefit is that when they fall into the donut hole (gap) on their Medicare Part D, Obamacare has forced brand-drugs manafuctors to reduce their price by 50% for seniors who fall into the GAP. However, the full price of the medication is counted towards getting out of the GAP and into "catastrophic".

  8. Leland kendrick MD | June 29, 2014

    1.preventive care is not free.
    It is funded by medicare.and paid to providers of the services.
    2.the 50% decrease in cost of drugs is an agreement by pharmaceutical companies to give a
    50% reduction in their usual charges ,but 50% decrease from a patent medication For Ex
    that usually cost 100 dollars is still unaffordable and patients go without necessary medication
    that ultimately leads to health complications that cost more ie otherwise unnecessary expensive
    3.Part D is funded by deductions from elderlies social security checks not by federal government
    or tax payers
    Needed medications help keep patients out of hospitals and ultimately save medicare a lot
    of money.
    4.Medicare secondaries are paid for by individals and cover the 20% of what medicare allows.
    medicare pays 80 % of what they allow and secondary paysthe 20%
    5.Medicare A pays hospitals
    B pays for covered outpatient services and B comes from social security check and cost 104 dollars a month and again medicare pays 80 % of allowable and secondary insurance 20%
    if pt has a secondary that usually cost around 300 per month
    6.Medicare A deducible is around 750 dollars a year and B deductible is 300 dollars

    all these are facts
    as a physician in private family medicine I deal with it every day
    and not the generic pharmaceutical companies but the trade name pharmaucetical companies
    have programs that will help pay 100% of a patients medications in the gap if they finically
    and if a mammogram detects early breast cancer that can be cured ,an not very costly
    as compared to metastatic breast cancer ,a ton of money is saved.
    If a colonscopy catches early polyp and thus prevents metastatic colon cancer,it saves a ton of
    Duoneb is more expensive as combination product than ordering as the two separate ingredients and simply putting both in the nebulizer .

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