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Obama went to Ohio this week to make a final push for the so-called health-care-reform bill created by Democrats in the Senate. He made the following statement that is patently untrue and designed to fool the nation’s senior citizens.
“And every senior should know there is no cutting of your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Period. No ‘ifs,’ ‘ands’ or ‘buts.’ This proposal makes Medicare stronger. It makes the coverage better and it makes the finances more secure.”
By making this definite statement Obama is hoping that Granny will believe that if this bill passes, she will have access to the same doctors and receive the same kind of care and thoughtful attention she presently receives.
So what is that “guaranteed Medicare benefit” Obama has been throwing around? It’s that you can go on this government-run health-care program when you reach 65. That is it! There is no other guaranteed Medicare benefit. Medicare provides whatever the government says it will provide at any given time, and that is subject to change.
In an effort to control costs, Medicare has been squeezing doctors and hospitals for quite some time. In fact, more and more physicians and medical facilities are refusing to take Medicare patients.
Granny may already have noticed an increase in her wait time to see a doctor. She also may have observed that her doctor is spending less time with her at each visit. It’s called rationing, and it most certainly will get worse under Obamacare, no “ifs,” “ands” or “buts.”
This bill sets up an Independent Medicare Advisory Board, which is to recommend cuts for the sole purpose of limiting the amount of resources going to Medicare patients. Some have called it a “Death Panel.” You may think this is harsh, but if this bill passes, many seniors will die prematurely because the recommendations of these unelected bureaucrats will go into effect. Congress is not required to act on them!
For this bill to pass, Granny must believe that she will be able to see a specialist when she needs one, who will be able to give her the expensive tests required to diagnose her problem. Obama also wants Granny to believe that she will be able to receive that operation or treatment that could save or extend her life. Nothing could be further from the truth!
There is a reverse incentive in this bill that actually penalizes Granny’s primary-care physician if he or she is in the top 10 percent of doctors who refer patients to specialists. This puts a wedge between Granny and the doctor she trusts to act in her best interest.
There will come a time when you, too, will be on Medicare. Is this what you want for your “golden years”?
Now, let’s look at the second half of Obama’s disingenuous statement: “It (the bill) will make Medicare stronger.” As if to underscore that statement, Obama also said, “This proposal adds almost a decade of solvency to Medicare.”
The bill under debate calls for cutting a half-trillion dollars from Medicare, a program that is already going broke and will explode as more and more baby boomers retire. Nevertheless, Obama wants Granny to believe that this half-trillion in savings will extend the life of Medicare another 10 years.
But here is the problem with that. Obama also has been telling us that this bill would not add to the deficit because he plans to pay for the estimated $1 trillion cost of the bill – the actual cost is closer to $3 trillion – with a half-trillion in tax hikes and that half-trillion from Medicare. In other words, he’s been double-counting. It’s like saying that you are going to use your savings to buy a new car next year and then going out and blowing it on a vacation!
Obama is fond of quoting the Congressional Budget Office when it suits him. However, the CBO pulled the rug out from under his “saving Medicare” argument when it issued a letter on Dec. 23, 2009, which said, in part, “To describe the full amount of hospital-insurance trust-fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay for future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government’s fiscal position.”
Nevertheless, Obama has that line down pat, and he isn’t about to let the facts get in his way. He thinks the nation’s senior citizens are stupid. In fact, the fate of this bill largely hangs on his ability to fool Granny.