With the flipping of the calendar to January, we've now moved into the first year in which Obamacare will cut funding for the popular Medicare Advantage program. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, in 2011, Obamacare will cut Medicare Advantage by $2 billion. According to the CBO, that $2 billion is the first part of the $638 billion that Obamacare, if not repealed, is poised to cut from Medicare and related federal programs over the next decade.
As everyone except for the Obama administration and its congressional allies seems to recognize, Medicare is already going broke and is therefore not the place to look for loot to spend elsewhere. The $638 billion in cuts, followed by more than $1.5 trillion in cuts in the seven years to follow (according to the CBO) -- for a total of $2.2 trillion in cuts to Medicare and related federal programs by that point (according to the CBO) -- would have real-world effects on the quality of care. Even CBS News reports that "perhaps the biggest worry" under Obamacare is the disturbing prospect of "long waits to see the doctor."
Dr. Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, one of the best hospitals in the world (ranked 6th in the United States by U.S. News and World Report), warns, "I think there's a very real concern about having adequate numbers of Medicare doctors." Dr. Pardes says, "I think they [patients] will see delays in the timing of their appointments. I think a number of doctors who've been frustrated because of the Medicare fee level will actually stop taking Medicare [patients]. So that's a real worry for all of us."