If you are a senior and like your Medicare, then you are a pure idiot for voting Democrat, that’s all I can say.
By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer Erica Werner, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans forced Democrats to vote in favor of cutting billions from providers of home care for older people as partisan debate flared Saturday during a rare weekend session on President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
Obama planned to travel to Capitol Hill on Sunday to help Democrats resolve internal disputes that stand in the way of Majority Leader Harry Reid bringing the 10-year, nearly $1 trillion legislation to a vote.
Ahead of his visit, Republicans, bent on making Democrats cast politically risky votes, offered their third amendment in the debate so far showcasing more than $400 billion in cuts to projected Medicare spending that would pay for the bill, mostly for subsidies to help extend coverage to millions of uninsured.
Like the other two, this one went down to defeat, on a vote of 53 to 41. The measure by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., would have eliminated $42 billion in cuts over 10 years to agencies that provide home health care to seniors under Medicare.
Four moderate Democrats joined all Republicans present in voting for the amendment: Sens. Jim Webb of Virginia, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
Underscoring the pressures on the moderates, Lincoln, who faces a difficult re-election next year, initially cast a “no” vote with the Democratic majority but switched to “yes” in the course of the 15-minute vote. Republicans accused her of flip-flopping, but Lincoln said later that she changed her vote after considering how important home health care is to Arkansas.
“That’s why they give us 15 minutes,” said Lincoln.
The more consequential action was taking place behind closed doors Saturday as Democrats struggled to find a compromise on a proposed government insurance plan that would compete with private insurers. Lincoln and several other moderate Democrats are opposed to the government insurance plan in the bill, and Reid, D-Nev., doesn’t have a vote to spare in his 60-member caucus.
Back in 1995, Democrats actually accused Republicans of “cutting Medicare” when they tried to merely slow the rate of growth – even though the actual spending would still increase. Now the Democrats are flat-out CUTTING Medicare and trying to argue that their cuts are “savings.”
The “more than $400 billion” is actually $460 billion, which is seriously flirting with half a TRILLION dollars in cuts to a Medicare program that was already facing bankruptcy by 2017 – two years earlier than government actuaries estimated only last year.
The Democrats’ logic is to replace a bankrupt government program that will only crash against the seniors it was supposed to cover with a vastly larger government program that will crash with a far larger implosion against everybody.
The federal and states government already controls 61% of health care spending in the United States. Government control, and government spending, have increased year after year. I submit to you that too much government control of health care is the real problem, not “the evil insurance companies.” In point of fact, more than half of Americans who have private insurance have it through not-for-profit insurers; and private insurance company profits are actually incredibly modest in relation to other industries.
Barack Obama has repeatedly said that if you liked your current plan, you could keep it. That is yet another Obama lie: the fact of the matter is that 11 million seniors very much like their Medicare Advantage programs, and Barack Obama is trying to stop them from keeping it. And those 11 million are just the tip of the iceberg: the Wall Street Journal demonstrates that some 133 million workers are going to wake up in five years and find out that ObamaCare destroyed their employer-based Erisa coverage. That’s not nearly all the people that Obama and the Democrats are going to screw with their health care boondoggle – but it’s more than enough.
Seniors are going to die under the Democrats’ plan. The logic is unavoidable: 1) the plan calls for young, healthy people to buy expensive insurance policies – which they have never purchased before – in order to “spread out risks” for the entire system. 2) If they don’t purchase the coverage, they will be called upon to pay a fine. The problem is that the fine is much lower than the price of the insurance coverage. 3) Therefore young people largely WON’T purchase the insurance, and will instead pay the fine, knowing that since they CAN’T be rejected for any “pre-existing condition” (such as not being insured), they can’t be turned down if they get sick/injured and then need coverage. For what it’s worth, a lot of other adults will be encouraged to do the same thing. 4) Therefore, the Democrats’ plan will not raise nearly as much as they think. And 5) the need to severely ration care will be critical.
The Wall Street Journal rightly calls this fiasco “The Worst Bill Ever.” Why?
As Congress’s balance sheet drowns in trillions of dollars in new obligations, the political system will have no choice but to start making cost-minded decisions about which treatments patients are allowed to receive. Democrats can’t regulate their way out of the reality that we live in a world of finite resources and infinite wants. Once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, medical rationing is inevitable—especially for the innovative high-cost technologies and drugs that are the future of medicine.
The Dean of the Harvard Medical School gave it a “failing grade.” Dr. Jeffrey Flier argued that:
In effect, while the legislation would enhance access to insurance, the trade-off would be an accelerated crisis of health-care costs and perpetuation of the current dysfunctional system—now with many more participants. This will make an eventual solution even more difficult. Ultimately, our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all.
The state’s largest doctors group is opposing healthcare legislation being debated in the Senate this week, saying it would increase local healthcare costs and restrict access to care for elderly and low-income patients.
The California Medical Assn. represents more than 35,000 physicians statewide, making it the second-largest state medical association in the country after Texas. [...]
d“The Senate bill came so short that we could not support it, even though we solidly support healthcare reform,” said Dr. Dev GnanaDev, medical director at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in San Bernardino, who also serves on the association’s executive committee.
Doctors who oppose the Senate bill are concerned that it would would shift Medicare funding from urban to rural areas, move responsibility for Medicare oversight away from Congress by creating an Independent Medicare Commission and, ultimately, decrease Medicare reimbursement rates.
The “Independent Medicare Commission” is just one of the many “death panels” this bill would create. One hundred and eleven death panels, to be precise.
Rasmussen, the nation’s most accurate pollster, points out that Americans are opposed to the Democrats’ plan:
Support for the president’s health care plan fell to 38%, its lowest ever, just before Thanksgiving. Followed by two weeks at 41%, this marks the lowest extended period of support for the plan yet. With the exception of a few days following nationally televised presidential appeals for the legislation, the number of voters opposed to the plan has always exceeded the number who favor it.
“This suggests that public opinion about the health care plan is hardening,” says Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “Despite the fact that most American believe our health care system needs major changes, most are opposed to what Congress is currently doing about it.” [...]
While one of the chief stated goals of the plan proposed by the president and congressional Democrats is to lower the cost of health care, 57% say costs will go up if the plan is passed. Twenty-one percent (21%) say costs will go down, and 17% believe they will stay about the same.
Similarly, only 23% think the quality of health care will get better if the plan is passed, while 54% predict that it will get worse. Sixteen percent (16%) expect quality to stay about the same.
Other polling shows that 47% trust the private sector more than government to keep health care costs down and the quality of care up. Two-thirds (66%) say an increase in free market competition will do more than government regulation to reduce health care costs.
Sixty percent (60%) of voters nationwide believe passage of the health care plan will increase the deficit. Seventy-five percent (75%) also think it is at least somewhat likely that middle class taxes will have to be raised to cover the cost of the plan. Fifty-nine percent (59%) say such a tax increase is Very Likely.
Only 27% favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone.
So what do the Democrats – who promised unprecedented “openness” and “transparency” – do? Barack Obama went to the Senate and had a
“closed-door meeting” that slammed the door shut in Republicans’ faces. This is a hard care ideologically leftist partisan takever, funded by flat-out bribes paid for by the taxpayers.
Entrenched Democrats bought Mary Landrieu’s vote to proceed with their partisan boondoggle in what amounts to the Louisiana Purchase, Part Deux.
And of course they have a trillion dollars in porkulus slush fund money to bribe and purchase whoever else they need to fundamentally screw the American people and destroy our way of life.
Is this seriously how you want the future of American health care to be decided?