Democrats’ deal with the devil comes due Jan.1

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obama as devil

You know how we keep saying things will get worse for Obamacare? They will.

To help pay for Obamacare for illegal aliens, among others, Barack Obama raided Medicare for $700 billion.

The most salient fact is that, to pass Obamacare, the president cut Medicare by more than $700 billion over the coming decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). And these cuts are of the worst kind. They are arbitrary and across the board. They reduce reimbursement rates for all who provide services to Medicare patients, regardless of how well or badly they treat their patients. Among the cuts is a $156 billion reduction in payments to Medicare Advantage plans over ten years. These cuts will force seniors to pay $3,700 more for their health care by 2017, according to a study I co-authored with Robert Book (for those who might be interested, the cuts are distributed by congressional district here). The Medicare trustees project that the cuts will drive some 4 million seniors out of Medicare Advantage plans between 2012 and 2018.

Further, the Medicare cuts in Obamacare would slash payment rates for hospitals, so much so that the chief actuary of the program has warned repeatedly that the cuts will jeopardize access to care for seniors. He has estimated that if the cuts go into effect, 15 percent of hospitals and nursing homes will have to stop taking Medicare patients to avoid the large financial losses that result from getting paid at Medicare rates. By 2030, some 25 percent of these institutions would need to drop out of the Medicare program.

Moreover, as Charles Blahous has pointed out, the Medicare cuts in Obamacare aren’t used exclusively to replenish the trust funds that pay Medicare benefits. Instead, they are used to pay for a massive expansion in entitlement spending. To put it in slightly more political terms, President Obama has raided Medicare for $700 billion to pay for his government takeover of American health care. The attack ad practically writes itself, and in fact has now already been written.

The day of reckoning is upon seniors- January 1.

As if ObamaCare’s botched website, coverage cancellations, and higher costs were not bad enough, the Obama Administration has quietly dealt yet another blow – this time striking millions of the nation’s most vulnerable seniors. Specifically, the Obama Administration has decided to deeply cut funding for the Medicare program’s home health benefit as a way to help pay for ObamaCare.

The Administration made this announcement very quietly, waiting to do so until the very end of the last Friday before Thanksgiving, perhaps thinking that most people would not be looking.

To be sure, the timing of the Administration’s quiet announcement did keep it out of sight – for a while. That ended on December 12th, however, when the Washington Examiner broke the story in an article headlined “ObamaCare forcing 14 percent cut in Medicare’s home health program.” FOX News and the Daily Caller have also picked up this story, so full attention is now being paid to this unprecedented cut – and the harm it will do to frail seniors across America.

As the Examiner’s Richard Pollock wrote, “An estimated 3.5 million poor and ill homebound senior citizens will wake up on New Year’s Day to discover ObamaCare has slashed funding for their home health care program.” He’s right: on January 1st, the Obama Administration will sharply cut Medicare funding for home healthcare services.

14 percent.

That has been known to some extent for a while, but there’s more bad news:

Hidden on page 117 of the regulation that the Obama Administration quietly released on that Friday evening is a stunning admission: “approximately 40 percent” of all providers of home health services face net losses as a result of this Medicare cut. Put more plainly, 4-in-10 of all the providers on whom homebound seniors depend face the threat of bankruptcy and closure as a result of ObamaCare.

To my knowledge, this is the first time that any regulation has been issued by any Administration with the knowledge that it would put nearly half of the people it impacted out of business. Indeed, this ObamaCare cut to Medicare is so severe that thousands of small businesses may be forced to close, and hundreds of thousands of quality jobs could be lost – directly impacting the millions of homebound seniors who depend on them.

The impact that ObamaCare’s Medicare cut will have on seniors, families and small businesses is widely projected to be severe. What is not yet known, however, is the impact this cut will have on U.S. politics. In 2010, the revelation that ObamaCare would slash Medicare funding so angered senior voters, that they helped give Republicans control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Now that these cuts are being imposed, the Democrats who voted for the Affordable Care Act face the possibility of losing their Senate majority when senior voters return to the polls in November.

Indeed, with Medicare so negatively impacted by ObamaCare, an important question will soon be put to the millions of seniors, families, and providers who care deeply about home health: what answer will they have to ObamaCare’s New Year’s Day surprise?

Doug Ross created an illustrative cartoon about this:


Fictional stories, and especially science fiction, depend largely on something called “willing suspension of disbelief.” You have to accept something as true that you know is certainly untrue for the story to work. We have seen that come to pass with regard to Obamacare. The notion that you could keep your doctor, keep your plan, keep your hospital, keep your drugs, cover and additional 40 million people and lower costs for everyone was simply impossible. That didn’t stop the believers from buying into the fantasy. Obama could have told them unicorns were going to make it happen and they would have bought it. Obama is really big on creating pie in the sky, but is inept at making ladders tall enough to reach it.

The younger and more naïve thought this would all happen without their having to make any sacrifice. Liberals thought that someone else was going to pay for all this, just not them.

Barack Obama’s mouth wrote checks his ego can’t cash, and now seniors will help pick up the tab.

As bad as Obama claimed our health care system was, he’s done something quite memorable. He’s made it worse.

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

17 Responses to “Democrats’ deal with the devil comes due Jan.1”

  1. 1


    With government taking over healthcare, what else would expect?

    You cannot increase the number of “customers” (patients)
    While having no increase in supply (doctors to treat patients)
    While adding 159 layers of middleman bureaucracies (adding to the cost of delivering care but not increasing the amount of medical care available)
    And expect to decrease the cost of medical care……

    UNLESS you ration care, specifically targeting the most costly medical care users.

    Obamacare is inherently evil. Just like those of us in the trenches actually providing care to patients have been saying all along. Unless this law is repealed in its entirety, our nation will reap the pain and misery sewn by these leftist scumbags.

  2. 2

    Nanny G

    In many states full-blown AIDS allows one to enroll in Medicare.
    I have seen many younger-than-senior men getting extensive assistance in their homes once their HIV went full-blown AIDS.
    Raiding Medicare to pay for the black hole of ObamaCare is a false economy.
    Long ago, had all Obama wanted to do was cover 30 million uninsured people, we spent the equivalent of their 1st year’s worth of premiums.
    He MUST be up to something else.
    These HIV-positives are, for the most part, his own constituents he’s burning.

  3. 3


    @Nanny G:

    The dirty little secret is that since Obama has been POTUS, anyone who is HIV positive, is now considered “disabled” and eligible for SSDI. Along with SSDI comes Medicaid. Never mind that the drugs now available to HIV patients, even those with full-blown AIDS, allows them to live a fairly productive life and continue to work. Altering their life-style (medication routine, proper rest, healthy diet, frequent doctor visits, etc.) is now just like anyone who has severe back injuries have to alter their life-styles to cope with their health problems.

    So thousands and thousands have been thrown on the SSDI rolls that were once productive.

    And then there is this little clause that all those signing up for Medicaid didn’t bother to read:

  4. 6


    Here is the thing people *REALLY* need to be aware of. At least in my state of California, many people over 55 who were paying their own health insurance and were quite happy with that are going to discover that the policies on the Covered California exchange are out of their reach. They are going to also find that their only alternative is MediCal (California’s Medicaid). If you are over 55, Medicaid is a LOAN, not an entitlement benefit. When you die, the state will take what they have spent on you in Medicaid from your estate. If you own a farm, a house, some property, the state will sell it upon your death to recoup their expenses. You may not be able to pass those assets on to children. Also, if you die within three years of putting these assets into a trust or transferring them to a child, the state has a three year “claw back” rule where they can still take back those assets and sell them to recoup their expenses.

    These rules vary from state to state so check with an estate planner but if you have any assets you intend to pass down, get them into a trust or get them transferred NOW and hope you live at least another three years. They can take back any money they spend on you after you are 55.

  5. 7

    This one

    I love how after a few months, the right conveniently forgets facts. Obama did not ‘raid Medicare for $700 billion.

    Checking the facts on the $700 billion Medicare ‘cut’

    Mitt Romney said Barack Obama robs Medicare of more than $700 billion to pay for Obamacare (FALSE)

    Ryan’s plan however, did:

    Ryan’s plan includes $700 billion in Medicare “cuts,” says Stephanie Cutter

  6. 8


    @This one:

    You cite Politifact after they first rated “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” as mostly true, then half true then the LIE OF THE YEAR?

    Both you, and Politifact, have no credibility.

  7. 10

    Nanny G

    Ira Stoll at the NYPost found this gem in his ObamaCare website…..before he gave up on even trying to get a subsidy and went to an individual insurer in person to get covered before the deadline:

    How many people are in your family? Include unborn child(ren) if someone is pregnant.

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the liberal meme is that abortion OK because pregnant women only carry cells, not PERSONS.
    Note the question doesn’t distinguish between a few days or weeks pregnant VS several months along.
    As far as insuring a person is concerned they are ALL PERSONS!

    This type of mental dichotomy must give the Left headaches all day and night.

  8. 12

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III

    If some government worker tells my 94 year old mother she is not going to get the care she needs and has paid for through most of her working life, I will pay the person a visit and make them an offer they cannot refuse. Who the f do these people think they are. We need to gather in our thousand and millions to visit those who would rule us. The wrath of the American people needs to fall on Washington DC.

  9. 13


    To help pay for Obamacare for illegal aliens, among others, Barack Obama raided Medicare for $700 billion.

    One problem with that assertion is that illegal aliens aren’t eligible for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

    I’m not sure who “among others” refers to.

  10. 14


    @Greg: Which is probably part of the reason Dems want immigration reform so badly. Once it’s through its only a matter of time before they are signing up for obamacare, probably in the form of medicaid.

  11. 15


    Nanny G: This type of mental dichotomy must give the Left headaches all day and night.

    Recall that most leftists have a difficult time dealing with logic and reason. As a friend of mine once put it “You have to remember, they are bad at math and science”. To them it’s all about how they ‘feel’ about something, so they can feel differently depending on the situation and never connect the dots because they never let facts intrude on things.

    I frequently liken them to Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen –

    “I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

    “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

    Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

    “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

    Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll

  12. 16

    Nanny G

    @This one: See;
    Look for how exactly ObamaCare robs out of Medicare $716 billion between 2013 and 2022.
    Here are some hints:
    A $260 billion payment cut for hospital services.
    A $39 billion payment cut for skilled nursing services.
    A $17 billion payment cut for hospice services.
    A $66 billion payment cut for home health services.
    A $33 billion payment cut for all other services.
    A $156 billion cut in payment rates in Medicare Advantage.
    $56 billion in cuts for disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. (DSH payments go to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients.)
    $114 billion in other provisions pertaining to Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP.
    Add to all of that, ObamaCare raises the payroll tax that funds Medicare Part A, the trust fund. BUT, Obama doesn’t use that increased funding to pay into Medicare. He uses it to fund other parts of Obamacare!
    For the impact of these cuts see:

  13. 17

    Nanny G

    New taxes from ObamaCare start Jan 1st:
    *Inside your monthly insurance bill a 2 percent levy on every health plan, which is expected to net about $8 billion for the government in 2014.

    *Also inside your monthly premium, a $2 fee per policy that goes into a new medical-research trust fund called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

    *When you pay your premium included is also a 3.5 percent user fee to sell medical plans on the Web site.

    Some insurers just hide these taxes in the bottom line.
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, laid bare the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”
    Kaiser Health News used one average premium to show the bottom line: The new taxes on a customer’s bill added up to $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually.
    More here:
    Not all of the new taxes are inside your premiums!

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