Monday, September 17, 2012

Romney Health Plan Would Cost Seniors Much More

Like just about everything else coming out of the Romney/Ryan campaign, promises to America's senior citizens that Mitt Romney's plans for health care - unlike Barack Obama's - would protect senior citizens from increased health care costs is a lie.    A study reported by the Washington Post indicates that under Romney's plan (to the extent details are known) Medicare premiums would increase as would wellness visits and prescription drug costs.  Once again, the self-styled standard bearers of religious values prove to be the biggest liars.  Here are highlights from the Washington Post story:

It has been a central campaign promise from Mitt Romney: His Medicare overhaul plan would not touch benefits for anyone older than 55.

That may not, however, be the case with the Republican presidential nominee’s other health-care proposals. A growing body of research suggests that his plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid funding would have a direct impact on the health care that seniors receive.

Repealing the health law would mean higher Medicare premiums, the Kaiser Family Foundation found in a recent analysis. Wellness visits and prescription drugs also would cost more. 

The impact could be greatest for the lowest-income seniors, who qualify for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and there could be a significant slowdown in federal funds available for their care.
The health-care law cuts $716 billion in Medicare spending, largely by reducing how much insurers and health-care providers get paid to manage seniors’ care. Since Medicare beneficiaries pay a percentage of the program’s overall budget, lower spending means lower premiums.

“If the Medicare savings are repealed, and the benefit enhancements are repealed, there’s a direct effect on seniors today,” said Tricia Neuman, director of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Medicare Policy Project.

Repealing the health law also would have an impact on Medicare’s “doughnut hole,” the gap between Medicare’s regular and catastrophic drug coverage, in which seniors are responsible for footing the bill. The average senior who falls into this space spends $604 on prescription drugs.

The biggest change, however, may not be in Medicare at all. It could result from Romney’s planned spending reductions for approximately 6 million low-income seniors eligible for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  . . . . . The Romney budget would reduce Medicaid spending on current beneficiaries by more than $600 billion over the next decade, according to a recent Bloomberg Government analysis. 

Thus, it is likely that socially conservative seniors who may support Romney/Ryan for religious and racist reasons will ultimately be cutting their own throats.  Obviously, it would be ironic if their own bigotry helps to destroy them financially.  A bit of Divine justice if you will.

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