In the past 24 hours, cancer patients’ access to Medicare treatment has been the focus of an alarming headline. In this case, the budget sequestration—an idea originally proposed and now routinely derided by President Obama—is identified as the culprit.
But policymakers and taxpayers alike may want to take a closer look: Immediately ahead, for fiscal year 2013, the total effect of sequestration will be $3 billion. That is the same amount Obamacare is supposed to reduce Medicare spending this year.
But if Medicare patients can’t access vitally needed care because of $6 billion in total reduced Medicare payments, they’d better prepare for next year. That’s when Obamacare cuts an estimated $41 billion out of Medicare—in addition to the Medicare sequestration cuts of $9 billion that year.
The total effect of sequestration on Medicare benefit spending is $100 billion from 2013 to 2023. Those cuts pale in comparison to the $716 billion in Medicare payment reductions required by Obamacare over the same time period. Included in these cuts is a payment reduction of $156 billion for Medicare Advantage plans. That kind of a slice is a lot more than just a “tiny haircut.”
By 2020, Obamacare will reduce overall Medicare spending by more than $100 billion a year.
The $3 billion in 2013 sequestration cuts is practically a rounding error when put in the context of Obamacare’s total Medicare cuts.
Liberals believe that payment cuts and price controls are good public policy. That’s how Medicare is supposed to control costs, right?
Oh, and by the way: These cuts are targeted to Medicare providers. They don’t cut “guaranteed” benefits. After all, that’s what President Obama, Vice President Biden, and their allies in Congress and the media told us, day in and day out, during the entire 2012 presidential campaign. That’s what all the liberals said. So, really, there is nothing for 50 million seniors to worry about, right?