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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obama Lied- Seniors Will See Benefit Cuts Under Obamacare

While members of the Senate pressure the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to "speed up" their analysis of the newest Obamacare proposal they CBO's latest analysis directly contradict Barack Obama's claims that the $500 billion to be cut from Medicare will not reduce benefits for seniors on the plan.

The AP, linked above:

Congress' chief budget officer is contradicting President Barack Obama's oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn't see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul.

The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, told senators Tuesday that seniors in Medicare's managed care plans would see reduced benefits under a bill in the Finance Committee.

The Wall Street Journal provides more:

The bill calls for $124 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage over 10 years, with the money going toward covering those currently uninsured. Democrats have insisted that the cuts to Medicare Advantage, which costs an average of 14% more per beneficiary than traditional Medicare, would wring out that “subsidy,” and seniors wouldn’t see their benefits diminished.

Elmendorf said participation in the plans would drop and beneficiaries would see reduced benefits. The plans, he told the Finance Committee, would end up enrolling about 2.7 million fewer people, resulting in 20% fewer participants.

In the meantime, all those special deals Nancy Pelosi made with Moderate Democrats to obtain their support for Obamacare, are off the table.. she is backing out on those deals.

The Hill, linked above:

Speaker Pelosi is backing away from a deal she cut with centrists to advance health reform, said a source familiar with talks.

Pelosi’s decision to move away from the agreement that was made with a group of Blue Dogs to get the bill out of committee would steer the healthcare legislation back to the left as she prepares for a floor vote.

Also, as an added bonus:

"Administration Silences Medicare Advantage Critics—So AARP Can Collect More 'Kickbacks'"

The American Spectator reports:

President Obama and Democrats have proposed saving money to pay for health care legislation, in part, by cutting $162 billion in payments to Medicare Advantage, which allows Medicare recipients to choose privately-administered coverage. If these changes go through, millions of seniors who have chosen Medicare Advantage would lose their current coverage, forcing them into government-administered plans with less generous benefits. As a result, many of them would have to purchase policies to supplement traditional Medicare. Enter AARP.

In 2008, AARP generated $652.7 million in revenue by selling products like Medigap supplemental Medicare insurance, accounting for over 60 percent of the group's revenue, according to an analysis of its financial statements cited in the report released by the House Republican Conference.

If the House Democrats health care bill becomes law, the report argues, it would be a boon to AARP, because while Medicare Advantage plans will be required to pay out 85 percent of the money collected in premiums to claims made by policy holders, the requirement would only be 65 percent for the kind of Medigap policies sold by AARP.

"In other words, under the Democrat bill, seniors could pay as much as 20 cents more out of every premium dollar to fund 'kickbacks' to AARP-sponsored Medigap plans than Medicare Advantage plans....."

The news has some AARP members concluding that now might just be the time to quit AARP.

Time for constituents to call their Representatives, especially if they are a moderate, centrist aka Blue Dog, and make it clear they find the idea of them caving into Nancy Pelosi, an issue that will cost them their seat in 2010.

Since you will be at your phone already, maybe you have a word or two for your Senator about the ramifications of passing a bill like Obamacare, as it is written.