ObamaCare’s Medicare Cutters Could Leave Seniors Without a Doctor to See | August 22nd, 2012

 

ObamaCare’s Medicare Cutters Could Leave Seniors Without a Doctor to See

Democrats’ Board of Unelected Bureaucrats Will Severely Limit Seniors’ Access to Healthcare

  • Seniors are rightfully worried about the Democrats’ $700 billion in cuts Medicare to pay for ObamaCare. New studies show that these cuts could lead to doctors refusing to accept seniors who use Medicare.

  • Democrats also empowered a board of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to make cuts to Medicare, with devastating consequences for seniors’ access to care.

  • Today’s seniors can see how ObamaCare’s cuts in reimbursement rates will hurt access to healthcare for people on Medicare by looking to what has happened to Medicaid. Medicaid patients can’t find doctors who will take them and often end up in the emergency room as a result.

Seniors are rightfully worried about the Democrats’ $700 billion in cuts Medicare to pay for ObamaCare. New studies show that these cuts could lead to doctors refusing to accept seniors who use Medicare.:

DEMOCRATS CUT MORE THAN $700 BILLION FROM MEDICARE TO PAY FOR OBAMACARE: (Douglas Elmendorf, “Letter to the Honorable John Boehner,” Congressional Budget Office, 7/24/2012)

OBAMA DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER STEPHANIE CUTTER TOUTED THE CUTS AS AN “ACHIEVEMENT”: “You know I heard Mitt Romney deride the $700 billion cuts in Medicare that the president achieved through health care reform,’ said Cutter.” (Daniel Halper, “Obama Campaign Defends President’s $700 Billion Cuts to Medicare,” The Weekly Standard, 8/12/2012)

“OBAMACARE’S $716 BILLION IN CUTS WILL DRIVE DOCTORS OUT OF MEDICARE”: “Of the $716 billion that the Affordable Care Act cuts from the program over the next ten years, the largest chunk—$415 billion—comes from slashing Medicare’s reimbursement rates to doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes. This significant reduction in fees is driving many doctors to stop accepting new Medicare patients, making it harder for seniors to gain access to needed care.” (Avik Roy, “How ObamaCare’s $716 Billion in Cuts Will Drive Doctors Out of Medicare,” Forbes, 8/20/2012)

DOCTORS HAVE ALREADY HAD TO STOP TAKING MEDICARE PATIENTS: “ ‘I love taking care of Medicare patients,’ Wertsch told the Capital Times, a progressive paper in Madison. ‘But every time we treat them we have to dig into our wallets. What kind of business model is that?’ Today, Medicare patients represent one-quarter of Wildwood’s practice overall, and as much as 70 percent for some of the clinic’s veterans, like Wertsch. In 2011, Wildwood decided to stop accepting new patients from the Medicare program.” (Avik Roy, “How ObamaCare’s $716 Billion in Cuts Will Drive Doctors Out of Medicare,” Forbes, 8/20/2012)

NORTH CAROLINA INVESTIGATIVE REPORT: 50% OF DOCTORS WON’T TAKE MEDICARE PATIENTS: “Steve Daniels, a reporter with WTVD, led an investigation into problems with Medicare access in North Carolina. A team of volunteers used the ‘mystery shopper’ method, posing as Medicare beneficiaries looking for a new doctor. Of the 200 family physicians they called, nearly half said that they were no longer accepting new Medicare patients.I have had many friends who have moved down here to retire and they cannot find a physician to take them,’ said one of WTVD’s volunteers. ‘It’s very sad because they are coming down here to start a new life, a lot coming to be closer to families, and they have medical problems. Unfortunately, they’re finding that no one wants to take them.’” (Avik Roy, “How ObamaCare’s $716 Billion in Cuts Will Drive Doctors Out of Medicare,” Forbes, 8/20/2012)

Democrats also empowered a board of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to make cuts to Medicare, with devastating consequences for seniors’ access to care:

UNDER OBAMACARE, DEMOCRATS EMPOWERED A BOARD OF BUREAUCRATS TO GUT MEDICARE:

“OBAMA BUDGET WANTS MORE TEETH” FOR MEDICARE-GUTTING BOARD: (Phillip Klein, “Obama Budget Wants More Teeth for Medicare Board,” The Washington Examiner, 2/13/2012)  

DEMOCRATS EMPOWERED “15 SAGES” WITH “THE POWER OF THE PURSE” TO GUT MEDICARE: (Editorial Board, “The Presidential Divider,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/14/2011)

WSJ: OBAMA MEDICARE PLAN IS MEDICARE “RATIONING,” WILL “THROW GRANNY OVER THE CLIFF”: “One place to start is by attacking the Democratic plan to cut Medicare via political rationing. Mr. Ryan’s budget had the virtue of embarrassing President Obama’s spend-more initial budget, and the White House responded by proposing to increase the power of the new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to decide what, and how much, Medicare will pay for. The ObamaCare bill goes to great lengths to shelter this 15-member, unelected board from Congressional review, with the goal of letting these bureaucrats throw granny over the cliff if Medicare isn’t reformed. Yet few Americans know anything about IPAB or its rationing intentions.” (Editorial, “The GOP’s New York Spanking,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/26/2011)

DOCTORS WARN THAT PHYSICIANS WILL QUIT OR STOP TAKING MEDICARE PATIENTS:

AMERICAN UROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: DOCTORS WILL “OPT OUT OF THE MEDICARE PROGRAM OR BE DRIVEN OUT OF PRACTICE ALTOGETHER”: “He warned, ‘These cuts could be driven so low that physicians will be forced to limit the number of Medicare beneficiaries they see, opt out of the Medicare program, or be driven out of practice altogether.’” (Ralph Lindeman, “IPAB Would Reduce Access to Care, Witnesses Tell Ways and Means Panel,” Bloomberg, 3/7/2012)

DOCTOR AND PATIENT GROUPS: IPAB’S CUTS “WOULD LEAD TO A REDUCTION IN ACCESS TO CARE”: “The Independent Payment Advisory Board, created under the health care law to help control Medicare costs, lacks flexibility to do much more than cut provider payments that would lead to a reduction in access to care, witnesses told a House Ways and Means panel March 6.” (Ralph Lindeman, “IPAB Would Reduce Access to Care, Witnesses Tell Ways and Means Panel,” Bloomberg, 3/7/2012)

12,000 DOCTORS OF AMERICAN PODIATRIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: IPAB WILL “SEVERELY LIMIT MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES’ ACCESS TO CARE” AND “INCREASE HEALTH-CARE COSTS”: “[Our] members believe that the ill-conceived Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) contained in the Affordable Care Act will not only severely limit Medicare beneficiaries’ access to care but also increase health-care costs that are shifted onto the private sector.” (Michael J. King, American Podiatric Medical Association,” Letter to House Energy & Commerce Committee, 2/28/2012)

AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION: CONCERNS THAT “QUALITY CARE FOR OUR PARENTS WILL BE JEOPARDIZED”: “We are concerned that, by removing Congressional authority over the Medicare payment system and placing such unprecedented authority in an unelected body, quality care for our patients will be jeopardized.  We are equally concerned with the potential that physicians may be subjected to a double jeopardy in  Medicare payments if IPAB cuts  are  coupled with those projected under the current sustainable growth rate (SGR). The current instability and inequities in Medicare physician payments is hindering access to care for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.  IPAB would only exacerbate this problem.” (Martin S. Levine, American Osteopathic Association, Letter to House Energy & Commerce Committee, 2/28/2012)

Today’s seniors can see how ObamaCare’s cuts in reimbursement rates will hurt access to healthcare for people on Medicare by looking to what has happened to Medicaid. Medicaid patients can’t find doctors who will take them and often end up in the emergency room as a result:

MEDICAID’S PRESENT IS MEDICARE’S FUTURE IF DEMOCRATS GET THEIR WAY: “Instead, the Affordable Care Act further reduced physician and other provider fees, by $415 billion over the 2013-2022 time frame. As these reductions go into effect, more and more physicians are certain to stop taking new Medicare patients. We already see this problem with the Medicaid program for low-income Americans, where doctors don’t accept Medicaid patients, leading to poor health outcomes.” (Avik Roy, “How ObamaCare’s $716 Billion in Cuts Will Drive Doctors Out of Medicare,” Forbes, 8/20/2012)

“HEALTH AFFAIRS STUDY: ONE-THIRD OF DOCTORS WON’T ACCEPT NEW MEDICAID PATIENTS”: “[Medicaid] pays doctors a fraction of what private insurers pay, which leads doctors to stop seeing Medicaid patients. Medicaid patients’ lack of access to health care, in turn, leads to substandard health outcomes. This week, a new study published in the journal Health Affairs confirms what common sense should have already told us: when you pay doctors less, you get less access to health care.” (Avik Roy, “ ‘Health Affairs’ Study: One-Third of Doctors Won’t Accept New Medicaid Patients,” Forbes, 8/7/2012)

DOCTORS WERE 73% MORE LIKELY TO REJECT MEDICAID PATIENTS RELATIVE TO THE PRIVATELY INSURED: “The Health Affairs study was conducted by Sandra Decker, an economist at the National Center for Health Statistics, a unit of the Centers for Disease Control. Decker pulled data from the CDC’s 2011 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey in order to calculate the percentage of physicians who accept new patients, based on patients’ insurance status. She found that primary care doctors were 73 percent more likely to reject Medicaid patients relative to the privately insured (34 percent rejection rate vs. 20 percent) and specialists were 63 percent more likely to reject Medicaid patients (28 to 17).” (Avik Roy, “ ‘Health Affairs’ Study: One-Third of Doctors Won’t Accept New Medicaid Patients,” Forbes, 8/7/2012)

BECAUSE MEDICAID PATIENTS CAN’T GET CARE FROM DOCTORS, THEY GO TO EMERGENCY ROOMS INSTEAD: “Medicaid pays hospitals and doctors less than 60 percent of what private insurers pay. Indeed, Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that hospitals, on average, lose money on every Medicaid patient they treat. As a result, most doctors refuse to see Medicaid patients, forcing the poor to get care through hospital emergency rooms. (Emergency rooms are required by federal law to treat all comers.) These patients can’t get access to routine checkups and preventive care, because doctors won’t see them. That, in turn, leads to poorer health outcomes.” (Avik Roy, “Why Medicaid is a Humanitarian Catastrophe,” Forbes, 3/2/2011)

cid:image002.jpg@01CD797E.5784E5E0ObamaCare’s Medicare Cutters Could Leave Seniors Without a Doctor to See  http://ow.ly/d8smr#iwantrepeal