Does “Obamacare” Really Attack Medicare Advantage?

If I knew who to attribute credit for this cartoon to, I would. It is something that I got through Facebook.

As the presidential election approaches, the rhetoric over Obamacare is bound to pick up.  Extremists from both political parties have proven that they are not above “stretching the truth,” providing misinformation or outright lying to promote their personal agenda.

With all these rumors mixed with facts, it is no wonder that good Americans are confused.  I find it sad that politicians feel that it is important to stress and scare to our senior citizens.  It is as if politicians are more concerned about getting votes than solving problems.

Obamacare has nothing do with health care.  It is purely a political issue.  It may have started out as an effort to provide Americans with quality health care.  It no longer has that goal.  Obamacare, not health care, is a major plank in the positions of both presidential candidates.  It is all about which ambitious liar is going to be given presidential power and perks for the next 4 years.  Those who believe that either millionaire candidate actually cares more about their health than they do for their own political ambitions are fooling themselves.

Last week, one of my youngest clients shared with me a video that his grandma had gotten.  It was making statements based on the version of Obamacare that was being considered by the House of Representatives before Obamacare’s only chance of passing was if the House of Representatives accepted the version of the law that was approved by the Senate.

Below is the explanation that I gave to him.  I have edited it to protect his anonymity.

“The “cuts” your grandma was referring to was in the original PPACA.  That section of Obamacare, 3201 was repealed and replaced by section 1102 of a law known as HCERA.  The new law only kept one of the cuts.  That one was for “Medical Education.”  What happened in HCERA is that a formula for Medicare Advantage federal payments was created.  It also authorized a bonus for those Medicare Advantage plans that were in the top 50% as ranked by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  Like I suspected, your grandmother has been fooled by political rhetoric rather than facts.  I’m no lover of Obama or Obamacare.  There are plenty of things to be scared about in that law without having to make up things to worry about.  We do not have to lower ourselves to tell lies, like our president does.
The October date that is in that Brainshark file evidently refers to the start of Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period.  It starts in mid-October.  It is a 6 week window in which people on Medicare are able to switch Medicare Advantage plans for the following year or return to original Medicare.
Based on what I read, as long as your grandmother has a Medicare Advantage plan that is in the top 50% of Advantage plans, she should not have any problems.  Obamacare is aimed primarily at people who are not on Medicare.  It only glances on Medicare enough to try to curry votes.  For the most part, Obamacare leaves Medicare alone.   You and [your wife] will be effected more than your grandma will.
I applaud your grandma for keeping her eyes open on Medicare.  I wish that everyone would pay attention.  The only problem was that she was given some misinformation based on an old manuscript that has been repealed and replaced.  If, however, your grandma does have Medicare Advantage, tell her to keep her eyes open.  Obamacare does not mandate insurance companies to charge higher premiums or cut benefits, however, it is expected that insurance companies will have to do that if doctors and hospitals keep raising their rates.  If they raise their fees more than the federal benchmarks reimburse the insurance companies, the insurance companies will have no choice but to either charge higher premiums, cut benefits or both.  State laws require them to take in enough money to be able to pay anticipated medical bills for the year.  If the federal money is not enough, they will have no legal choice but to make adjustments.  It is up to you to decide if the cause for those adjustments can be blamed on the current Secretary of Health and Human Services.”