Five Ways Obamacare Hurts Seniors
While Obamacare was aimed at the commercial healthcare market (those under 65) it has, and continues to have, some devastating impacts on Medicare. It’s why RetireSafe fought so hard when Obamacare was first proposed, we knew that older Americans would suffer from this ill-advised healthcare reform.
Here are five of the worst ways Obamacare hurts seniors:
- The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) – We haven’t heard much about IPAB lately, talking about death panels has gone out of style. The recession has held down the increase in healthcare costs so the panel hasn’t been activated and the President doesn’t want the subject to come up again so he hasn’t even tried to appoint members to the board. What has hurt seniors was the precedent this board set. It took the Legislative and Judiciary branches of Government completely out the decision making process. . . it upset the balance of power that is at the very foundation of the Constitution. I think this precedent emboldened the President to continue to skirt Congress and issue the controversial Presidential orders that have impacted Americans in many different ways. IPAB remains a terrible precedent by encouraging the misuse of Presidential power and it is still waiting in the wings to raise its ugly head.
- Reduced the number of doctors available to Medicare patients – As Medicare payments to doctors continue to be cut to support Obamacare, doctors will continue to get out of the “Medicare business.” They find they can’t stay in business if they don’t have enough private payers to make up for their losses. This scarcity of Medicare doctors especially hurts those seniors living in rural areas.
- Forced the closing of community oncology clinics – Hospitals have found that they can make more money if they treat cancer patients in hospitals. Drug discounts and increased payments at the hospital site have made it a money making proposition for hospitals to buy community oncologist practices, close them down and force the patients to come to the hospital for treatment. Patients have to often travel further to get their treatment, often pay a higher co-pay and it costs Medicare more . . . that’s a true lose, lose, lose proposition.
- Gave too much power in civilian agencies – Obamacare, as a continuing pattern to circumvent other branches of government, gave civilian agencies like HHS and FDA the power to make huge decisions that affect Medicare. For instance, a special pathway to speed the approval of biosimilars, a similar and less expensive drug than brand biologic drugs, was inserted in Obamacare. We are still waiting for the FDA to come out with the requirements for these biosimilars and when they do they will no doubt have a huge and long lasting impact on both the biologic and biosimilar business. This delay as stymied the development of biosimilars and threatened the safety of the biosimilar drugs that are now being approved . . . approved without critical safety guidance. Congress has been unsuccessful in their attempts to get the FDA to release this guidance. An example of too much power in the wrong hands.
- Cut access to medication in Medicare Part D – Part D, the prescription drug part of Medicare, has seen barriers to access created to get money to pay for Obamacare. Whether it’s making more hoops for your doctor to go through to get you the right medicine, even if it costs a little more, or placing certain drugs in special categories that raise the amount you pay, the administration is looking for any way they can find to extract money from Medicare and give it to Obamacare.
The Affordable Care Act, the official name of Obamacare, was supposed to be affordable and maintain our Medicare benefits. With premiums going up for those under 65 and benefits going down for those over 65 it has failed on both counts.
RetireSafe continues to fight to overcome these attacks on our benefits and our wallets. We will continue to keep you informed on all the issues that affect you.
Thair Phillips – President