The Republican Party has no health care plan. They held back on producing it because they wanted to try to stall the process. Now that they see that the Democrats are not going to wait forever, the Republicans have come out with this little public relations gimmick called The Seniors’ Health Care Bill Of Rights. It has about six points and we will debunk them one by one. But first, we really need to look at what is happening.
Every day that the health care debate carries on, the Republicans become more shrill and more irrational. Now they say that they have devised a Seniors’ Health Care Bill of Rights to protect Medicare recipients. Do you see how ridiculous this is? The Republicans have always voted against any funding for Medicare! Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of the Neoconservative Republicans called Medicare the first step towards Socialism! The Republicans without exception vote against…not for…any kind of public support for Medicare and Medicaid. They even try to cut physician payments for basic services on Medicare. So the GOP is not really after rights for Seniors. Democrats created Medicare and support it 100%.
This is simply an excuse by the Neoconservative Republicans to try to further derail health care reform. Let us all hope that the public remembers how the Republicans have lied repeatedly…against the best interests of their own relatives and friends and neighbors. The status quo is a disaster. Of course the Republicans think crassly and callously, that if you can shoot down health care and maintain the status quo…regardless of the pain and suffering that causes…they will be rewarded by the health care industry.
They will be given huge campaign contributions from people like Rick Scott, who cheated the governemnt ouf ot so much money that his company was fined over a billion…billion…dollars for fraud. Now he is back on television, and rather than being on America’s Most Wanted, he is allowed to run television commercials, lying about health care reform. He is doing it because he is back in the hospital business and it is better than slot machines. Since it is legal to lie to the public over television and not be challenged or kicked off the air…why not? He’s spending $20 million on ads from the same agency that Swift Boated Senator John Kerry. The same kinds of lies are televised every day…about government intrusion and bureaucrats getting between patient and doctor…every kind of vicious scare tactic to keep the elderly on edge. They should be ashamed, but they’re not.
Point One: PROTECT MEDICARE AND NOT CUT IT IN THE NAME OF HEALTH CARE REFORM: President Obama and Congressional Democrats are promoting a government-run health care experiment that will cut over $500 billion from Medicare to be used to pay for their plan. Medicare should not be raided to pay for another entitlement.
Truth: There will be no cuts in service. Inefficient and expensive health care plans called Medicare Advantage are going to be eliminated.The only thing that will change is that Medicare Advantage will be dropped and Medicare will now cover everyone. This may actually result in lower premiums but Medicare will not cut services, period. There is a plan to reduce costs in Medicare part D, to reduce the donut hole to make perscription drugs less costly.
Point Two: PROHIBIT GOVERNMENT FROM GETTING BETWEEN SENIORS AND THEIR DOCTORS: The Democrats’ government-run health care experiment will give patients less power to control their own medical decisions, and create government boards that would decide what treatments would or wouldn’t be funded. Republicans believe in patient-centered reforms that put the priorities of seniors before government.
Truth: This is a simply lie. Nothing will change in the delivery of health care services for seniors. Medicare is not an experiment. It has been working since the 1960s and it will continue far into the future.
Point Three: PROHIBIT EFFORTS TO RATION HEALTH CARE BASED ON AGE: The Democrats’ government-run health care experiment would set up a “comparative effectiveness research commission” where health care treatment decisions could be limited based on a patient’s age. Republicans believe that health care decisions are best left up to seniors and their doctors.
Truth: “Comparative effectiveness” is a common term in medicine but it does not mean what point three says it means. Comparative effectiveness is actually a good thing, looking into new treatments that are considered experimental to bring the best ones on line sooner for patients. By studying results, groups of physicians can make rapid decisions on life-saving procedures that may otherwise have not been approved. A good example is newer ways of treating prostate cancer than may be less invasive and work just as well for some patients. This has nothing to do with age or even with an individual doctor’s decision regarding a specific patient.
Point Four: PREVENT GOVERNMENT FROM INTERFERING WITH END-OF-LIFE CARE DISCUSSIONS: The Democrats’ government-run health care experiment would have seniors meet with a doctor to discuss end-of-life care that could mean limiting treatment. Republicans believe that government should not interfere with end-of-life care discussions between a patient and a doctor.
Truth: Again, a lie that would almost be funny, if it weren’t trying to scare seniors into voting against a much better system for them and for their fellow citizens. There is a provision that says if a patient wants to discuss whether to be left alone if in a coma or to try to bring the patient back to life or those kinds of things–if it costs money for a doctor to sit down with the patient, at age 90 or at age 50…whenever…the government will pay for that consultation. If a person doesn’t have that conversation and doesn’t say what he or she wants if in a coma or on life support, then the doctors will follow whatever procedure the family wants. Whatever we do now. This provision is so routine and has more to do with how to pay for something than end-of-life, that it is ridiculous to even discuss. You’ll do whatever you want to do. Nothing changes, except you might save a buck or two on a talk with a doc.
Point Five: ENSURE SENIORS CAN KEEP THEIR CURRENT COVERAGE: As Democrats continue to propose steep cuts to Medicare in order to pay for their government-run health care experiment, these cuts threaten millions of seniors with being forced from their current Medicare Advantage plans. Republicans believe that seniors should not be targeted by a government-run health care bill and forced out of their current Medicare coverage.
Truth: Let’s be really honest. We all know how things are going to be paid for in this country now that the Democrats are in office. We are going to get rid of the tax cuts that have made all these Bush buddies rich beyond their wildest dreams. Yes, we’re going to tax the hell out of the rich. Get it? The poor and the middle class, those up to about a quarter of a million or more in annual income are going to gradually pay more right up to the top, where the very rich are not going to pay what they should…merely what is enough to cover what the Republicans have stolen over the last twenty-five years. The top incomes have become obscenely rich with four and five homes. Senator McCain has nine homes…or is it eleven? He can have six homes and his Budweiser-distributor heiress wife can stay in a hotel somewhere that they use the house three times a year. So that middle-class, working Americans can afford health care for their children, Goddamit!
Point Six: PROTECT VETERANS BY PRESERVING TRICARE AND OTHER BENEFIT PROGRAMS FOR MILITARY FAMILIES: Democrats recently proposed raising veterans’ costs for the Tricare For Life program that many veterans rely on for treatment. Republicans oppose increasing the burden on our veterans and believe America should honor our promises to them.
Truth: This one is puzzling. When this kind of distortion happens, it is often so outrageous that it is hard to even know what they are distorting now. It doesn’t seem to appear anywhere. Whether it is totally made up…we don’t know. But the Democrats, including then Senator Obama opposed any increases in Tri-Care enrollment or premiums and voted them down during the 2006-2007 era when Bush wanted to double and in some cases triple them. In addition, President Obama earlier this year met with 11 VSOs to discuss a proposal on veterans benefits and, after hearing the veterans’ point of view canceled the proposed program as they requested. In addition, the Democrats not only put the former Chief of Staff of the Army in charge of the VA, but they voted the highest appropriation for veterans in the history of the country. So it is difficult to know what this means, but it is very highly unlikely that anything affecting the welfare of veterans will be included in any legislation.