Wednesday, August 15, 2012
'ObamaCare Doesn't Cut Benefits.. It Just Rolls Back Payment Rates'
So says Sarah Kliff in the Washington Post. After admitting the figure of $716 billion in Medicare cuts is accurate, she goes through some sophistry and ends up with this conclusion:
It’s worth noting that there’s one area these cuts don’t touch: Medicare benefits. The Affordable Care Act rolls back payment rates for hospitals and insurers. It does not, however, change the basket of benefits that patients have access to. And, as Ezra pointed out earlier today, the Ryan budget would keep these cuts in place.
I already had something to say about ex-Journolista Ezra Klein's spin on this but let's deal with Ms. Kliff's conclusion.
'The Affordable Care Act rolls back payment rates for hospitals and insurers. It does not, however, change the basket of benefits that patients have access to.'
Of course it does! The Independent Advisory Medical Boards ( IAMBs ) were designed to destroy medicare by cutting payments to doctors to the bone so that fewer and fewer of them except Medicare patients. The result? Rationing of care for seniors ( which is already happening) the destruction of Medicare Advantage and the death of the program, as seniors are herded into one size fits all ObamaCare where their health care can be rationed with impunity.
Ms. Kliff makes the statement that 'Hospitals agreed to these cuts because they knew, at the same time, they would likely see an influx of paying patients with the Affordable Care Act’s insurance expansion'. Aside from the fact that there's no evidence for that claim, it frankly makes no sense. If steak is priced at $3 per pound at the market, costs the store $2 dollars in costs and the government says they're willing to pay $1.50 for it, all the 'influx of paying customers ' guarantees is that they'll go broke that much quicker.
It's the same with medical services, and all it means is that a growing number of doctors and hospitals simply won't accept medicare patients any more. It's already happening, as any senior can tell you.
A 'benefit' that is worthless because you can't use it is no benefit at all.
And there's no way to spin it.