As if ObamaCare’s botched website, coverage cancellations, and higher costs were not bad enough, the Obama Administration has quietly dealt yet another blow – this time striking millions of the nation’s most vulnerable seniors. Specifically, the Obama Administration has decided to deeply cut funding for the Medicare program’s home health benefit as a way to help pay for ObamaCare.
The Administration made this announcement very quietly, waiting to do so until the very end of the last Friday before Thanksgiving, perhaps thinking that most people would not be looking.
To be sure, the timing of the Administration’s quiet announcement did keep it out of sight – for a while. That ended on December 12th, however, when the Washington Examiner broke the story in an article headlined “ObamaCare forcing 14 percent cut in Medicare’s home health program.” FOX News and the Daily Caller have also picked up this story, so full attention is now being paid to this unprecedented cut – and the harm it will do to frail seniors across America.
As the Examiner’s Richard Pollock wrote, “An estimated 3.5 million poor and ill homebound senior citizens will wake up on New Year’s Day to discover ObamaCare has slashed funding for their home health care program.” He’s right: on January 1st, the Obama Administration will sharply cut Medicare funding for home healthcare services.
Totaling a whopping 14 percent between 2014 and 2017, this cut is the maximum allowable under the ObamaCare law. The Administration had the discretion to cut less, or even to make no cuts at all. But they decided to impose the deepest cut made possible by the Affordable Care Act (shouldn’t we be calling this the “Horrible Care Act”?) legislation. And in doing so, they will shift billions of dollars from Medicare to ObamaCare.