LETTER: Welcome to socialized medicine

Feb. 26, 2014 @ 04:59 AM

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to a letter written by Constance Bell requesting Congress protect funding for the Medicare Advantage program. Unfortunately, Ms. Bell, I don’t know if Congress can do anything to help because what you are now experiencing are the early effects caused by the $900 billion “redistribution” of future Medicare funding being used to offset some of the cost of Obamacare.

In 2011, I penned a letter to the editor of this very paper voicing the same concerns you now have. In that letter, I listed some predictions by Richard Foster, who was the chief actuary for Medicare at the time, regarding the effects the Affordable Care Act would have on Medicare. In 2010, he predicted that 15 percent of all hospitals and nursing homes will drop out of the Medicare program by 2017, and that number could rise to 25 percent by 2030. Also by 2017, his projections estimated that those enrolled in the Medicare Advantage program would be paying as much as $3,700 per year more for their coverage. To address the reduction in benefits that will be seen would take up two pages of this paper. All I can say is that I sincerely hope you will never have to be readmitted to a hospital within 30 days after your initial discharge.

I truly empathize with you, Ms. Bell, because I am only a few short years away from being eligible for Medicare myself and know what lies ahead. If I could put a happy spin on this subject, I guess I could always say, “Welcome to socialized medicine!” The truly sad part is that if the Congress of 2010 had not been so busy worshiping their “chosen one” in the White House and instead spent the time reading what was in the act, this might never have happened. 

George Orlovsky