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Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Health insurance


Obamacare eats away at Medicare

Last week I received a notice from Humana that my Medicare Advantage plan is cancelled for next year -- my fourth involuntary health insurance change since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) started in 2010. Each time the premiums and co-pays are higher, the coverage skimpier and the choice of providers narrower. My doctor left Everett Clinic for a corporate practice that will not involve Medicare.
This is just the beginning. Long before my children are old enough for Medicare, it will be impossible to find a doctor who will accept Medicare patients. Already many do not and most have limitations.
Talking point distractions notwithstanding, the central function of PPACA is to loot Medicare and use the money to buy or subsidize medical insurance for non-seniors.
Most of the funding for PPACA comes from Medicare and seniors, present and future:
In 2014, it will reduce Medicare payments to providers $68.8B, or $1313 per senior. (Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 4/22/2010.)
By 2019, it will take $125.7 billion, or $2,078 per senior, and more each subsequent year.
Taxes on pharmaceuticals and medical devices will be disproportionately borne by seniors and Medicare.
The increased Medicare payroll tax is skimmed by PPACA instead of keeping Medicare solvent.
A vote to fund "Obamacare" is a vote to defund Medicare.
Worse: Medicare funds most medical residency programs. In 2013, 15,000 medical school graduates (37 percent) could not find residency slots and are effectively unemployable, according to the article "The Residency Mismatch" by John K. Inglehart in the New England Journal of Medicine in July.
PPACA will add 32 million newly insured patients, but PPACA predations on Medicare are constricting the supply of doctors.
Train-wreck.
John R. Alberti
Everett
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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