Free Markets, Free People

Imperial White House cancels Medicare Advantage cuts to help Dems in mid-terms

The White House has once again bowed to screaming Democrats worried about the mid-term elections and this time cancelled cuts to Medicare Advantage. As you recall, these cuts were made to pay for ObamaCare:

The Obama administration announced Monday that planned cuts to Medicare Advantage would not go through as anticipated amid election-year opposition from congressional Democrats.

The cuts would have reduced benefits that seniors receive from health plans in the program, which is intended as an alternative to Medicare.

Under cuts planned by the administration, insurers offering the plans were to see their federal payments reduced by 1.9 percent, which likely would have necessitated cuts for customers.
Instead, the administration said the federal payments to insurers will increase next year by .40 percent.

The healthcare law included $200 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage over 10 years, in part to pay for ObamaCare.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) said that the cuts weren’t necessary because of an “an increase in healthy beneficiaries under Medicare.” That, of course, makes little sense. Medicare is a mandatory insurance program for people 65 and older. How that demographic suddenly got “healthier” remains a mystery, but there you have the “reason” for the decision. Well, that and mid-term elections.

As for cost, someone needs to explain how ObamaCare is to be funded if the mechanisms set in place to pay for it keep getting delayed or cancelled.

When CBO analysts most recently looked at the gross cost of expanding Medicaid and giving subsidies to individuals to purchase insurance through the new exchanges — the bulk of the law’s spending — they came up with slightly more than $2 trillion for 2015 through 2024.

After deducting some offsets from the law — such as penalty payments from employers and individuals due to insurance mandates — CBO estimated the net cost at nearly $1.5 trillion.

The CBO hasn’t done a standalone deficit analysis on Obamacare since 2012, but at that time, its analysts estimated the law would reduce deficits by $109 billion, once all tax increases, cuts to Medicare and other savings are taken into account.

When referring to the “cost” of Obamacare, the fair thing to do is cite the $2 trillion figure — and no, that isn’t just because it’s a higher number. The gross figure represents how much the federal government will have to spend on expanding coverage through Obamacare, at least according to the CBO. If the government weren’t spending $2 trillion on insurance coverage, that’s money that could be going to reducing the deficit, spending more on infrastructure or a host of other theoretical policies.

As mentioned above, that $2 trillion cost had about $500 billion in offsets. But the penalty payments from employers and individuals has been delayed and now the $200 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts/offsets is cancelled, or so says the imperial presidency. That, of course, doesn’t change the cost, it only increases it.

Short term political pandering aimed at winning elections as usual from this administration. Ironically, it has been more effective than the Republicans in dismantling portions of the atrocity known as ObamaCare. So, thanks to the mid-terms, Republicans get one of the cuts they wanted reversed cancelled. Of course they won’t get credit for it – but then that’s the plan isn’t it?

And, this is all likely temporary anyway, even though the White House and Dems won’t spin it as so:

“The changes CMS included in the final rate notice will help mitigate the impact on seniors, but the Medicare Advantage program is still facing a reduction in payment rates next year on top of the 6 percent cut to payments in 2014,” said [AHIP] president Karen Ignagni.

But it will get them through the election cycle, won’t it?

~McQ

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16 Responses to Imperial White House cancels Medicare Advantage cuts to help Dems in mid-terms

  • “if you…set out to write a social history of the Obama years, one that captured the day-to-day experience of political life, you would find that race has saturated everything as perhaps never before.” — Jonathan Chait
    A day without Obama is therefore a day without faux ‘ad hominem’ racial claims.
    Hasn’t 8 years of faux ‘ad hominem’ claims been enough ?
    So if Obama was all about race, why should America elect a woman, so it can be all about the sex of the POTUS ?

  • As with nearly every single significant piece of anything Dear Clown has done, whatever it is, NEVER happens NOW, it always is mapped out to happen after he or his can be held accountable for it.
    Cuts don’t happen now, legislation doesn’t take effect now, the spending will stop ‘next year’.   They map out plans that others will have to live with, execute, pay for and suffer from.
    All geared to happen after elections.   The story is always the same.
     
    Meanwhile, he’s the greatest ain’t he?

    • “The greatest” what…???
      Danger to the nation in our history?  Check.

  • The issue may not be entirely concern over the elderly. 

    The Medicare Advantage programs are more costly because the Medicare administration is farmed out to the insurance company.  If you cancel them, that work has to come back into the Medicare bureaucracy and they’re not prepared for it or don’t want it I imagine
    .

  • As predicted the entire American Medical system has been subsumed by politics, its finite resources now being dispensed politically, rather than economically.

  • http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/04/is-there-a-market-for-stupidity.php
    That is an excellent expansion on and excellent Fernandez piece about the “market for stupidity”.
    It uses the destruction of the Venezuelan economy via price controls and other market distortions as a means of showing how those Collectivist tools are the most destructive thing a regime can do.
    ObamaDoggle is nothing BUT price controls and other market distortions, in various guises.  Which is why it cannot work as advertised, BUT will work to destroy our economy.

    • To take place after he’s out of office of course.
       
      No doubt we’ll have to listen to his proponents tell us ‘it was all working when he left office’.
       
      I think perhaps he should delay posing for the bust model for Mt. Rushmore however.   Despite what moose hugging goober professors may think, history is not going to be good to him.

    • One can only conclude the destruction of the American way of life is by design or ignorance.
      If by design, is Barry the (or Valerie) the architect or the puppet on the end of the string?
      If by ignorance, do we not have the right and the duty to remove a domestic enemy of the State?
      Either choice demands a choice on the part of We the People, we can sit back and passively observe the Republic circle the drain. We can take our nation back.
      Last, where is the Lapdog Press?

  • “…As for cost, someone needs to explain how ObamaCare is to be funded if the mechanisms set in place to pay for it keep getting delayed or cancelled.”
    – – – – – –

    Hunh?

    What you mean, “pay for” ?

    Great Beneficent Government just magically makes money appear, don’cha know?

    – – – – – –

    And before you go chapping on The Obama Admin for delaying-the-pain until after he’s out of office, isn’t that exactly what all of Ryan’s “proposed budget plans” do as well? “SPEND NOW! and somewhere at the end of 6 or 8 years we’ll start cutting … really, cross my heart … if whoever’s in Congress at that time decides to bite the bullet and do so….”

    Need to take a rusty chainsaw to the WHOLE FRIGGIN LOT of ‘em.

  • Again, it’s all good. Precedent, precedent. The next GOP Pres can simply do the same thing to ObamaCare….or NLRB regulations…..or EPA edicts etc etc.
    Time to enter the “tit for tat” age.

    • Exactly. Obamacare, as originally intended, will never be enacted. BO has no incentive to bring the pain, neither will the incoming administration. The Rubicon is firmly in the rear-view mirror. It will crumble under its own weight, and good riddance.

  • If you ever wonder about the liniments of the Collectivist hatred for the middle class, here they are.

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/175281