I would like to address all of the Medicare enrollees out there.
While this is pointed primarily at seniors, remember, one of these days you will be forced onto Medicare and you don't want to receive second- or third-rate health care.
I am on Medicare because of my age and my wife will be in July.
When I first reached 65, I tried going the regular Medicare route. I had a hard time finding a doctor who would take me. When I found one, I was treated like a second-class citizen by his staff. So, I finally joined Kaiser Senior Advantage.
I have been very pleased with this program and the health care I receive. No test or procedure has ever been denied me or delayed in being provided. It is of reasonable cost to me, reasonable co-pay to see a doctor, no co-pay for lab tests, scans, etc., and all prescriptions are reasonably priced.
Kaiser hasn't said yet what it will do under the reduced payments that will be coming.
A two-lead pacemaker was placed about three years ago when I was 82. Under Obamacare, I am afraid this would have been denied me because of my age.
I have been reading extensively about Obamacare and I am really frightened about the negative impact it will have on seniors and Medicare, especially the Senior Advantage programs.
There are many Senior Advantage programs besides Kaiser, such as Humana, United Healthcare, Aetna, etc.
Obamacare is stripping an estimated $716 billion from Medicare to pay for other parts of the plan. This can't help but negatively impact all Medicare patients, especially those in Senior Advantage programs.
Nick Tate, in his book, "Obamacare Survival Guide," says polls indicate 30 percent of doctors will retire or leave their practice because of Obamacare and the reduced payments it will make to them.
Obamacare takes the U.S. into the realm of the failed government-run Canadian and U.K. health systems, which have very poor records of providing timely and quality health care and are slowly being replaced by free market health care providers. Their records of providing reasonable health care to seniors are abominable.
Here are a couple of books you might find interesting on the subject of Obamacare:
This first one is an attempt to explain, in a nonpartisan fashion, the major points of Obamacare. It's titled "Obamacare Survival Guide." (http://amzn.to/Xgoi8C)
The second book is by Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute. I have heard Sally speak a number of times. She is level-minded, honest and articulate. The book is titled "The Truth about Obamacare." (http://amzn.to/17fI5ZQ)
I suggest, especially if you are on a Senior Advantage plan, that you research what Obamacare will do to you and make appropriate plans for when the ax falls -- and it will.
While Obamacare may be good for some (in 2,400 pages, who knows?), but Medicare can only be badly damaged when you strip out $716 billion from its funding.
If you aren't already, you should "be afraid, be very afraid." Obamacare is coming to smite seniors.
Ken Hambrick is a resident of Walnut Creek.