Seniors do bear the cost burden

The Tuesday letter, “New thinking has cut costs already” cites studies at Virginia Mason to cut costs while maintaining quality of care. Hooray!

By the magic of logical non-sequitur, the writer attributes this to PPACA (“Obamacare”). Ummm, sorry Mr President, but you didn’t build that. Such studies have been conducted for years. Given a free market and, absent government mandates and meddling, private providers have an obvious interest in improved efficiency.

Then comes a further leap of non-sequitur: denying that PPACA will be paid for by seniors.

The chief actuary of the administration’s own CMS (The agency that administers Medicare) estimated that PPACA cuts $517 per Medicare enrollee next year, $1313 in 2014, $2064 in 2019, rising forever. Medicare Advantage cuts will be much greater.

He acknowledged that these cuts in payments to providers will make it difficult to find doctors who will accept Medicare patients.

I have experienced this difficulty, first hand. I have had to change doctors once and insurance providers twice since PPACA began just to maintain access to medical care. We are near a tipping point, where more providers will dump Medicare patients, remaining providers will be overwhelmed and close their doors, or will have long waiting lists.

John R. Alberti