Giving up choice can be harmful

Here we have an administration that started class warfare against its own citizens. Next, the same administration scared senior citizens to death over the prospect of losing their Social Security. They also promised that the $500 billion in cuts to Medicare (to fund Obamacare) would have no affect on the level of care seniors would receive in the future.

I knew the $500 billion in cuts was a key move to get us to turn against seniors, who are actually our families and friends. I did not expect the first blow to come from such a major force as our very own Everett Clinic. They are not going to accept traditional Medicare starting Jan. 1, 2012.

I’m surprised and disappointed in their decision to only represent HMO Medicare Advantage plans. Considering how hard the Everett Clinic has worked to become a dominant force in the medical community of Snohomish County, this recent move actually feels like abuse of power. Twice before the Everett Clinic has kicked out Medicare Advantage plans for not being fair. Traditional Medicare cut more from approved amounts, and now MA plans are good again?

This decision is not about cheap premiums and a gym membership. Giving up freedom of choice can have life altering consequences. MA plans are for-profit businesses. The government funds MA plans at the tune of about $10,000 per person to “manage your care.” At 37,000 Medicare patients, that’s $370 million … and that’s just the Everett Clinic. They financially drain away from Medicare.

Penny Hansen

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