Healthcare: Sorting Fact from Fiction

House legislation on health reform is a win-some-lose-some proposition for those over 65. Especially, as outlined in The New York Times yesterday, when it comes to Medicare drug benefits.

Medicare beneficiaries would often have to pay higher premiums for prescription drug coverage, but many would see their total drug spending decline, so they would save money as a result of health legislation moving through the House, the Congressional Budget Office said in a recent report.

Premiums for drug coverage would rise an average of 5 percent in 2011, beyond the level expected under current law, and the increase would grow to 20 percent in 2019, the budget office said.

“However,” it said, “beneficiaries’ spending on prescription drugs apart from those premiums would fall, on average, as would their overall prescription drug spending (including both premiums and cost-sharing).”

The Congressional Budget Office report set off an immediate battle between Republicans and Democrats, each side eager to convince seniors — those vocal voters — that the other was representing the devil incarnate. Republicans swear the House bill will threaten Medicare beneficiaries in order to cover the uninsured, Democrats say the bill will help them by eliminating a gap in Medicare drug coverage.

On this particular segment of the impossibly complex bill, maybe seniors would do well to listen to their own purported champion:

Nancy LeaMond, an executive vice president of AARP, the lobby for older Americans, welcomed the report as evidence that “health care reform will lower drug spending.”

“Opponents of reform may use today’s projections to try to stall reform,” Ms. LeaMond said, “but we hope they will look at all the facts before jumping to a false conclusion.”

And there, some would suggest, is the problem. The facts have been virtually obscured by misstatements, misrepresentations and outright lies. Death panels? A lie that served its scary purpose. Rationing? It’s already here, folks; it’s done by insurance companies that deny coverage in sometimes arbitrary ways. Socialized medicine? Hello? Does anyone over 65 remember those screams before Medicare was signed into law in ’65? When half the population over 65 had no insurance coverage at all?

Set aside the fact that providing healthcare for all is simply the right thing to do. Millions of American seniors (whether you begin that definition at 65, 60 or — to their horror as it sometimes happens — 55) were motivated to support President Obama by not only their hearts but also their brains. If those brains can be called into play to sort fact from fear-mongering, we may yet get the health reform common decency requires of this otherwise civilized nation.

Health Bill Would Cut Drug Spending for Many on Medicare, Budget Office Says – NYTimes.com

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4 responses

  1. ~ WHO LET $ATAN $NEAK INTO OUR U.$. CONGRE$$ ~

    **THIS OLD WORLD ORDER OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT OF OUR POORER AMERICANS NEEDS ENLIGHTENED POLITICAL MINDS AND HEARTS TO VIEW GOD DIFFERENTLY THEN $$$…NO MATTER WHAT THEIR POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION ???

    **WHEN WILL OUR WEALTHY ELITE AMERICANS ABATE THEIR ASSAULT ON POORER AMERICANS WITH THEIR MONETARY CONTROL OF OUR IVORY TOWER U.S. CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER ???

    **THERE ARE NOT MANY MORE DISTRACTIONS LEFT WHICH ARE AVAILABLE FOR OUR WEALTHY ELITE AMERICANS TO HIDE BEHIND IN NOT TAKING PROPER CARE OF ALL OUR AMERICANS IN A HUMANE FASHION !!!

    **RALPH NADER ATTEMPTED TO EDUCATE AMERICAN VOTERS ABOUT U.S. CORPORATE POWER IN AMERICA AND HOW THEY CONTROL OUR CONGRESSIONAL PEOPLE THROUGH THEIR POCKET BOOK (POLITICAL DONATIONS). WITHOUT THE DOUGH $$$ THESE U.S. CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD DO NOT GET RE~ELECTED TO CONGRESS.TO STAY IN POLITICAL OFFICE IN AMERICA,ONE HAS TO BARTER YOUR VOTES IN CONGRESS AND REPRESENT POWER INTERESTS IN RETURN FOR THE BUCK$.

    **POORER AMERICANS HAVE NEVER HAD THE $$$ LOBBY TO INFLUENCE THIS CORRUPT POLITICAL CONCEPT (of horse trading political votes for political contributions) TO ACHIEVE PROPER HEALTH ~CARE OR LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR ALL OUR MIDDLE ~ CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS.

    **AMERICAN IVORY TOWER U.S.CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD HAVE PASSED FEDERAL LEGISLATION IN WASHINGTON DC TO SPEND 50 BILLION AMERICAN TAX $$$ ON THE INTERNATIONAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS WHILE THEIR OWN AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE BEING TOLD BY THIS SAME U.S.CONGRESS THAT NATIONAL HEALTH CARE AND PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR CITIZENS IS UNAFFORDABLE.

    *** WEALTHY ELITE AMERICANS (WHO ARE ONLY 1% OF OUR USA POPULATION) SADLY ALSO CONTROL HOW OUR U.S.CONGRESS SPENDS THEIR BUDGET TRILLION$ AND HAVE OBVIOUSLY FOUND MORE WORTHY INTERNATIONAL CITIZENS THEN OUR OWN DESPERATE AND NEEDY POOR TO ASSIST !!!

    ~Poorer Americans Nationwide only get 400 million $$$ per year for legal representation allocated them by CONGRESS~

    **Middle Class and Working Poor Americans are unable to afford proper legal representation in their Civil, Criminal and Family Courts of law all across America causing tremendous hardships nationwide,but these great minds and callous hearts in our American Congress have found others Worldwide more needy then their own citizens who are being falsely incarcerated,wrongfuly executed,losing their homes or apartments,losing child custody or visitation with their children etc?

    **Not being afforded proper legal representation by our U.S. Congress has created a total breakdown of the American judicial system for our poorer Americans because our U.S. Courts punish all of us little people if we are not assisted with proprer legal counsel.

    **It is a known fact that our average Middle Class and Working Poor Americans without proper legal representation in all of our American Courts of law lose their legal cases to the better financed who are able to afford lawyers.

    **Lawyers For Poor Americans is now actively in the hunt for International Countries and Leaders Worldwide to help raise 5 Billion Dollar$ for our slighted poorer Americans who have had their own American Congress turn their backs on their desperate needs in not affording them proper legal representation.

    **Troy Davis and Mumia Abu ~Jamal are 2 perfect examples of American citizens who never had proper legal representation or defense investigations afforded them by our U.S. Congressional Leaders Of The Free World in their initial criminal trials in (Georgia and Pennsylvania) who might very well have to pay the ultimate price of possibly being completely innocent and falsely executed in the near future.

    **These two poor Americans are among tens of thousands of legal cases nationwide that never were afforded proper legal representation or proper defense investigations at their initial trials. **We the public really have no idea if these men are innocent or guilty until they both are given fair legal representation at their new future trials.

    **Improper murder trials and needless deaths due to lack of healthcare take place in Third World Countries all the time.*** Why should average Middle~Class and Working Poor Americans in the Wealthiest Country Of The World be treated as if they are living a Third World Life Style ??

    **lawyersforpooreramericans@yahoo.com
    (424-247-2013)

    • I’m surely not as pessimistic as you, LFPA. I appreciate the lawyers who work pro bono for many in need; and my hope remains that we’ll get a bill that offers health care without litigation.

  2. Fact or fiction.

    The fact of the matter is that right now, it’s all fiction. The ink on the bills isn’t even dry yet; even if it were, lots more editing and revising has yet to be done on any bill that gets passed along to the President for his signing it in to law.

    I, personally – as in, without summaries or relying on other peoples’ accounts, but with my own two eyes – have read a good portion of what is contained in the currently publicized versions of those bills.

    Some people interpret “death panels,” some interpret “rationed care,” some see still other things. Yeah, I suppose you could read it that way.

    The fact of it is: The bill could be interpreted that way. By the time it reaches its final form, it’ll probably be well over a thousand pages of legal mumbo-jumbo, and not one person who’s going to vote on it in our names will have personally read the entire thing through.

    That should be scary enough as it is, but it gets worse. Just as in the post-9/11 days when the PATRIOT ACT was rushed through congress, with nobody even reading it, we were all assured that only America’s enemies need be worried about the law and how it would be used. It wasn’t even three years, and overzealous prosecutors around the country were using anti-terror provisions of the law to charge drug dealers with biological-weapons terrorism, a father and son playing with a laser pointer with the intent to crash passenger airliners, and to charge a Nevada strip-club owner with various allegations of corruption and tax evasion.

    The point is that no matter what shiny, happy, feel-good language they use to describe what they’re trying to sell you, there’s always an ulterior motive.

    Maybe, right here and right now, the “death panel” thing sounds absolutely ridiculous. And, perhaps, well it should.

    But, given the propensity for abuse of power at all levels of government, how long will it be until someone, somewhere finds the initiative to enact one just because the legal basis for it is already there?

    Is that a chance you people are honestly willing to take?

    • Congratulations on reading (most of) the actual bill(s), Uncertain; I’ve surely not done so. I have, though, read excerpts, and listened to explanations ad infinitum from many people I trust. And yes, I’m willing to take some chances if all of my fellow citizens can have access to health care.

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