President Obama has inadvertently shafted millions of low-income folks, minorities, and Hispanics that make up a big part of his political base. He did it when he signed his cherished Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). He probably didn’t know what was in the legislation, because it will be neither protection nor affordable to low-income seniors and the disabled, an analysis published Sept. 14 found.
The millions of senior citizens and disabled who get Medicare Advantage (MA) will have their health care sharply reduced. It also will lead to higher expenses for prescription drugs, according to the new analysis by health care experts—James Capretta, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Robert Book, senior research fellow in health economics at the Heritage Foundation. A MA plan is offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare. It provides Medicare services, plus extra health benefits.
PPACA, known informally as ObamaCare, will not only reduce payments to seniors, it also will reduce the ability of Medicare beneficiaries to make health care choices for themselves. The study looked at every county in the U.S. It found the average beneficiary will lose at least 15 percent of their benefits.
Low income folks and minorities, especially Hispanics, “will bear the brunt of the MA cuts. About three-fourths of the reductions will hit those with incomes of less than $32,400 per year, in today’s dollars,” the study said. According to an American Enterprise Institute commentary, 39 percent of the $529 billion cut from Medicare will come from the Medicare Advantage program– $206.3 billion.
When the changes are fully in effect, according to the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), 14.8 million seniors and disabled Americans who would have had the benefits of Medicare Advantage before ObamaCare will be denied coverage for many services and will have to come up with more out-of-pocket dollars. About half the people will lose Medicare Advantage coverage entirely.
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