More gutting of Medicare Advantage doctor networks. #obamacare

I fail to see why there should be the problem described in this title (“Doctors cut from Medicare Advantage networks struggle with what to tell patients“):

Thousands of primary-care doctors and specialists across the country have been terminated from privately run Medicare Advantage plans, sparking a battle between doctors who say patient care is being threatened and insurers that insist they have to reduce costs and streamline their operations.

Medical associations, which describe the dismissals as the largest in the program’s history, say the cuts are forcing some patients to leave their doctors in mid-treatment and creating gaps in the types of medical specialists covered in some areas.

The answer is very simple: what doctors need to tell their soon-to-be-former patients is that Barack Obama and the Democratic party thought that they collectively had the experience, expertise, and foresight to craft a health care law that would not, among other things, gut Medicare Advantage.

And Barack Obama and the Democratic party turned out to be wrong. Continue reading More gutting of Medicare Advantage doctor networks. #obamacare

#Obamacare Watch: Why YOUR mother might not get the doctor she wanted.

Hey, this is pretty much by definition not my party’s doing:

UnitedHealth Group dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks, leaving many elderly patients unsure whether they need to switch plans to continue seeing their doctors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The insurer said in October that underfunding of Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly could not be fully offset by the company’s other healthcare business. The company also reported spending more healthcare premiums on medical claims in the third quarter, due mainly to government cuts to payments for Medicare Advantage services.

The Journal report said that doctors in at least 10 states were notified of being laid off the plans, some citing “significant changes and pressures in the healthcare environment.”

Continue reading #Obamacare Watch: Why YOUR mother might not get the doctor she wanted.

New York’s #Obamacare ripping old people away from their doctors.

Because to Governor Andrew Cuomo – not to mention Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand – old people are just numbers on a screen. Numbers on a screen that don’t reliably vote Democratic, to boot. The background is that New York’s Medicare Advantage program is having doctors being removed wholesale from the network: “one health carrier alone, UnitedHealthcare, is terminating contracts with up to 2,100 doctors serving 8,000 Medicare Advantage patients in the New York metro region.”  This is causing not a little anger and, frankly, despair:

Alfred Gargiulio, who has cerebral palsy with a seizure disorder, has been seeing Leibowitz [a doctor affected by this] since 1993. “Obama had said I could keep my doctor. Now they’re doing away with my doctor. They kicked him out! After 20 years, that’s not right. We love Dr. Leibowitz,” said Gargiulio.

Another patient, Wilma Streicher, 76, was equally baffled. “Of course I want to keep Dr. Leibowitz. I don’t see why they want to push him out,” she said.

Continue reading New York’s #Obamacare ripping old people away from their doctors.