Seniors Are Expendable
Tevya Brings the Bagels
Good Morning, Breakfastpoppers. Today is Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Our dear friend, Wasp Tevya, is at the breakfast table this morning. He arrived early this morning with tons of warm bagels. I will supply the toppings and Irish coffees. Tevya is very disturbed by the changes being made to the Medicare program. Seniors are definitely getting a raw deal. Please join us at the table to get the latest bad news cooked up by the Obama administration. We hope to see you soon.
Seniors are Going to Hurt
Thank you all for joining me this morning. President Obama is at it again. He claims to be "reforming" Medicare, but in truth he is pulling it apart. All of this unwanted and unwelcome "change" will adversely affect seniors and their quality of life. It is going to be far more difficult to get joint replacements, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Obama has presented seniors with 962 pages of regulations that dictate how doctors must treat patients. Doctors are being forced to spend more time on the computer completing mandatory forms than caring for their patients. The rules are cumbersome and convoluted, and providers are getting fed up with the whole fiasco.
Caring for Medicare patients doesn't pay the bills. Doctor reimbursements are marginal, at best. Annual fee increases are capped at one percent. It is not at all surprising that doctors prefer to avoid Medicare patients like the plague. We can thank President Obama for that. The news gets worse. Doctors who administer chemotherapy are getting their fees cut. Patients, at the urging of the federal government, are being treated with the cheapest drug rather than the most effective drug. Things only get worse when it comes to hip and knee replacements. Obama's new rules punish hospitals for performing this type of surgery if their patients are likely to need rehab following surgery. The worst cases will go untreated now that hospitals can expect to be penalized.
Take a Pill
Seniors can expect to be given prescriptions for painkillers, as an alternative to more expensive treatments, including surgery. It is no wonder that seniors are now turning to heroin and cocaine to deal with their worsening medical problems. Prescriptions are too expensive and more involved treatment is no longer readily available. Obamacare helped gut Medicare. The law added bonuses for hospitals that spend the least amount of money per senior. In a perfect world, hospitals would ignore the bonuses and care for patients. In the real world, hospitals are turning away from caring for seniors in order to grab some of the bonuses being dangled as bait. The hospitals that are hungry for the money are killing off seniors by holding back expensive treatments. Deaths are up from pneumonia, heart failure and heart attacks. A report published in Health Affairs states 231 hospitals that were rewarded with Medicare bonuses offered inferior care. Patients die in these hospitals. Seniors who are treated elsewhere fair much better. President Obama claims that these new rules insure better care. Perhaps he should get out a bit more and ask the doctors and patients how they feel about his new regulations.
A Bitter Pill to Swallow
Obamacare changes how doctors are paid. Physicians can keep more money for themselves if they order less tests for seniors. More money comes their way if fewer specialists are called in, and even more money flows into their hands if Grandma and Grandpa skip rehab and go directly home. The future looks even grimmer if Clinton is elected. She has proposed opening the Medicare program to people in their 50's. This not so brilliant idea will pit seniors against younger patients, which is exactly what happens in Britain and Canada. Older people are thrown aside in favor of younger patients. Donald Trump has promised to undo Medicare cuts. Let's hope he wins. If he does pull it off, he will have to deal with the likes of Paul Ryan who wants to replace Obamacare with a plan to offer subsidies to consumers to buy health plans. He'll pay for this fiasco by continuing the Medicare cuts. The bottom line for me is quite simple and very scary. Seniors cost too much money and are a big pain in the rear. We can thank the Obama administration, his fellow Democrats and some Republicans for this continuing nightmare. Perhaps the government should bring ailing seniors to the Arctic and float them out to sea. How much could that cost?
Dear God, you made so many politicians,
I suppose it's not a sin to be a politician
But it's no great honor either...