Senior citizens must know what the progressive communist democrats have done with their misnamed “Inflation Reduction Act” …
For those who applauded the reduction in prescription insulin prices and the ability of the Medicare administrator to “negotiate” drug prices, it is time to look behind the scenes and see what the gottcha might be – and don’t look to the senior advocacy group AARP to advocate for senior citizens over the administration or the insurance companies that provide their billion-dollar revenue stream.
It will cut benefits and increase premiums, upsetting millions of elderly voters.
President Biden has accused Republicans of scheming to cut Medicare. In fact it is his signature legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act, that will lead to benefit cuts and premium increases for seniors. Medicare’s popular drug-coverage program is headed for a painful amputation.
The private plans participating in Medicare’s prescription-drug program, known as Part D, currently draw on three sources of revenue to finance prescriptions: out-of-pocket payments from patients, premium payments made by plan members, and subsidies from the federal government. In 2025, under the Inflation Reduction Act, both government subsidies and out-of-pocket payments by patients are scheduled to be cut sharply. The difference will have to be made up by premiums. But the statute inhibits this third revenue source, which is also subsidized, from increasing more than 6%. That’s hardly enough to cover inflation, let alone compensate for the other two revenue losses.
We estimate that beginning in 2025, plan subsidies—specifically, the reinsurance subsidies for the beneficiaries with the most drug spending—will be cut $30 billion, out of revenue that currently totals about $110 billion. Something will have to give with $30 billion less to finance prescription benefits. Plans currently have far too little profit to span the chasm that the Inflation Reduction Act opens between expenses and revenue.
Existing plans have room to cut benefits, although the original Part D statute limits their ability to do so. As plans are under no obligation to take a loss, their other choice is to exit the market, which from the patient’s perspective means that all the benefits disappear. In essence, the Inflation Reduction Act statute may prohibit Part D plans from being economically viable, even if it doesn’t explicitly ban them.
We see a last resort. Seniors might find drug coverage in Medicare Part C even as the Biden administration unwittingly amputates stand-alone drug plans from the Medicare program. These plans, known as Medicare Advantage, cover drugs, hospitalization and physician visits. They will also be losing the same two drug-revenue sources, but the Inflation Reduction Act gives them room to compensate with higher premiums, reduced drug benefits (with fewer drugs covered and more constraints on accepted claims), or cuts to nondrug benefits such as dental or mental-health coverage. They will likely do all three, which will be undesirable for seniors but at least be economically viable. The best part of the last resort? The plans won’t go away.
Roughly half of Medicare beneficiaries currently have traditional Medicare coverage rather than Medicare Advantage plans. These are the beneficiaries relying on stand-alone Part D drug plans, which are the ones that may be run out of business by the Inflation Reduction Act. Traditional Medicare members face a difficult choice in 2025: Either take drastic cuts in drug coverage, or switch to Medicare Advantage plans that cover prescriptions but may not cover the hospitals and doctors who are currently providing them care.
[OCS: Seniors opting for traditional Medicare and Part D drug coverage, with or without supplementary drug insurance, may be forced into a difficult choice: your doctor or life-saving drugs!]
Welcome to the fiscal and regulatory nightmare known as government-provided health care, where those writing the rules don’t understand the consequences of what they do. Democrats hate that Medicare Advantage has been available as a pseudo-private alternative to original Medicare’s single-payer arrangement. Yet they have (unwittingly?) passed a law that so thoroughly disrupts traditional Medicare as to render it the worst of the Medicare options.
From a political perspective, Democrats couldn’t have scheduled Medicare’s amputation for a worse time. With Congress so evenly divided, a short-term legislative fix may be impossible. By September 2024, the presidential campaign will be in high gear at the same time that beneficiaries begin to consider their 2025 Medicare enrollments. That’s when the Inflation Reduction Act will thoroughly upset tens of millions of elderly voters, all while the authors of the statute ask the country to vote for their presidential nominee. By then, America will have no doubt which party is cutting Medicare. <Source>
This is not an accident or simple oversight…
What you are seeing is a deliberate attempt to advance the progressive communist democrat agenda by replacing existing public and private healthcare insurance with a government-controlled single-payer healthcare scheme that determines how much healthcare you can receive by age, condition, co-morbidities, statistical outcome probabilities, and possibly your social credit score as determined by your adherence to the regime’s directives.
A glimpse into the future…
Consider this article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in which the authors, including Dr. Donald M. Berwick, the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from July 2010 to December 2011, describe the preferred progressive future of Medicare.
It is time for “Medicare 2.0”: a redesigned Medicare program that meets today’s health care challenges in a comprehensive, cost-effective, and equitable way. Medicare 2.0 includes 5 major reforms to the traditional Medicare program. At a time when private Medicare Advantage plans are growing rapidly, Medicare 2.0 offers an urgent blueprint to preserve and strengthen the public Medicare program for future generations. What follows is a road map that organizes disparate Medicare reform proposals into a unified vision for this health insurance plan.
[OCS: Have you ever seen a cost-effective government program that works as intended and wasn’t larded with waste, fraud, abuse, and the insertion of lobbyist-promoted loopholes and exclusions?]
[OCS: A long-winded way to say government-controlled single-payer healthcare system. Home and community-based healthcare services are among the critical goals of the radical communist-founded SEIU (Service Employees International Union), which is attempting to control the delivery of home healthcare by its members.]
[OCS: The phrase “other beneficiaries” is often government-speak for “illegal aliens” who should have coverage limited to emergency healthcare. When you see the word “equitable,” you need to be wary of the progressive communist democrat’s social justice warriors who segment the population using Marxist-style class warfare.]
[OCS: As noted in the Wall Street Journal piece above, the Inflation Reduction Act will damage traditional Medicare. Government price controls do not work, are anti-competitive and will lead to the elimination of specialty drugs, like genomically-targeted cancer therapies predicated on a patient’s DNA, that may save few lives in relation to more widely-used drugs that benefit larger populations.]
As for stockpiles, the lessons of the pandemic should apply. Most stockpiles contained out-of-date drugs and medical supplies, including obsolete or uncalibrated equipment. Only the vendor profited as the rotation of stockpiled items was an often-ignored afterthought. In the final analysis, someone must pay – and that someone is you, whether through premiums, co-pays, or access fees.]
[OCS: This establishes government-controlled gatekeepers who will determine if you need specialist care. An incompetent or rushed caregiver might cause prolonged suffering or death depending on their diagnostic skills and willingness to buck a cost-containment system to recommend specialist care. Already, some primary care practitioners are incentivized by their organizations to curtail costly procedures and prescriptions. Think about the socialized medicine in Canada and England, where denials, delays, and deaths are common.]
[OCS: This is bullshit! You do not allocate healthcare by race, sex, or what your ancestors may have done in times long past. In the final analysis, we do not need another inept bureaucracy like the highly-politicized Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the corrupt Food & Drug Administration. (FDA). Decisions must be made by competent medical personnel, not bureaucrats beholden to the regime in power.]
<To read the entire article, in full and in context, it can be found here on the JAMA Action Network>
What you see is a progressive communist democrat attempt to implement a top-down, government-controlled single-payer Medicaid system.
These charlatans speak of the quality of healthcare. Still, they are simply re-jiggering the healthcare payment system to exert control over the population and to create voting blocs responsive to government entitlements.
In response to progressive communist democrats and their cadre of believer-bureaucrats to dominate American healthcare, especially in the face of an aging population, remember, socialized medicine is un-American and dangerous to your health.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS