Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A Christian ministry is raising alarm about the wholehearted support the American Association of Retired Persons is offering the health-care plan proposed by President Obama, a plan critics believe will reduce care significantly for members of that organization.
The American Family Association says that while the AARP claims it does not “officially” endorse Obama’s plan to offer government-sponsored insurance, the lobby group has launched a “huge and costly” television ad campaign in support of the effort.
A video of part of the AARP effort, which the AFA describes as “scare tactics,” is here:
“On its website, AARP says, ‘We share the president’s commitment to act this year…’ and ‘We look forward to working with leaders of both parties, including the president,” the AFA points out.
But the seniors who make up AARP’s membership likely will suffer the most from health care service restrictions, according to a best-selling author.
Richard Poe, a New York Times best-selling author documented in a previous report for WND how the size of health care cuts proposed
by Obama “varies from speech to speech, but the figure cited most often
by Obama’s advisers is 30 percent per year – up to $700 billion
“A 30-percent annual cut is going to take a big bite out of somebody’s health care. The only question is whose,” Poe wrote. “The numbers make clear that most of these cuts will have to come at the expense of those who need health care the most – the elderly, the disabled and the gravely ill.”
He cited Obama’s confirmation that, “Older, sicker societies pay more on health care than younger, healthier ones.”
“He is right,” Poe wrote. “According to a 2006 study by the Department of Health and Human Services, five percent of the U.S. population accounts for nearly 50 percent of health care spending in America. Who are those five percent? Most are people over 65 years of age with serious, chronic illnesses.
“By contrast, the study notes, half of the U.S. population ‘spends little or nothing on health care… with annual medical spending below $664 per person.’ These, of course, are mostly healthy young people – people without serious, chronic illnesses,” Poe wrote.
“Obviously, Obama will not meet his cost-cutting targets by reducing care to healthy young people. They are already spending next to nothing. It is the old, the dying and the chronically ill whose health care he will cut. The numbers make this clear,” Poe said.
Some of those “old, the dying and the chronically ill” appear to be catching on. According to a report from Fox News, an estimated 60,000 members of AARP have turned in their cards, cancelling their memberships, in just the past few weeks.
American Family Association provided a link on its website to let people sent e-mail comments directly to the AARP and even suggested people consider an alternative, called American Seniors Association.
“AFA does not officially endorse ASA, but simply offers it as a conservative alternative to AARP. By the way, ASA is offering any senior that sends in a torn AARP card a special deal that provides them with a two-year membership for the price of one year,” the action alert said.
The report said not only do AARP officials lobby members for Obamacare and create television ads, they also have a dedicated website promoting the president’s agenda.
“The website states specifically states, ‘AARP members will visit their representatives and senators in their district offices and attend events in support of health care reform,’” the report says.
“How will Obama cut costs? His June 13 radio speech gave some hints. Obama said his plan would provide ‘incentives’ to doctors to ‘avoid unnecessary hospital stays, treatments and tests that drive up costs,’” Poe wrote.
“And what sort of treatment does Obama consider ‘unnecessary?’ In an ABC News special June 24, he implied medical treatment might be wasted on elderly people with grave illnesses, citing his own grandmother as an example,” he said.
“Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller,” Obama concluded.
Poe also documented how such health care limits already are being used overseas, including the United Kingdom where “British elders are routinely denied treatment for cancer, heart disease and other deadly illnesses.”
Further, such “death” boards already are operating in Oregon, where officials with the state Health Plan agreed to refuse a patient life-extending cancer drugs, but volunteered to pay for her to commit suicide.
He reported Barbara Wagner of Springfield, Ore., was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005. Chemotherapy and radiation put her cancer into remission. But the cancer returned in May 2008.
Wagner’s doctor prescribed Tarceva, a pill which slows cancer growth. There was a good chance it might extend her life by a few weeks or even months.
At age 64, Wagner had two sons, three daughters, 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Every moment she could spend with her loved ones was precious.
But Oregon’s health commissars nixed the plan. Her Tarceva treatment would cost $4,000 per month. Wagner was going to die anyway, so why waste the money?