A new report by the Government Accountability Office has called on the Obama administration to shut down a program that would have diverted $8.4 billion from elsewhere in the budget to help offset scheduled Medicare cuts that otherwise would have gone into effect during the 2012 election year.Seniors who have to make their 2013 medical insurance choices before the end of the year would have gotten a very nasty surprise right before the election. Obama is trying to hide that surprise by pushing the devastating effects of Obamacare into 2012 when he'll no longer have to worry about what voters think. At that point he'll either be out of office or safely ensconced for another four years and will be safe from whatever destruction his policies create.
Over the course of the health care debate, Republicans attacked President Obama's legislation for making cuts to Medicare Advantage, a program that provides health care to seniors through private plans that contract with the federal government. About one out of four Medicare beneficiaries, or nearly 12 million seniors, are in a Medicare Advantage plan. But in November 2010, the Obama administration's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a "demonstration" program to offer "bonus payments" to certain plans within Medicare Advantage.
Though the GAO did not specifically say that election year politics were behind the decision, the report released today makes it difficult to reach a another conclusion. Had Obamacare gone into effect as written, millions of enrollees would have seen their benefits cut in 2012. But as a result of this project, 71 percent of scheduled payment cuts will be offset, according to the GAO.
Monday, April 23, 2012