Time and time again, legislators have assured seniors that Medicare coverage would not change. At the same time, Senate and House bills would carve out $500 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years to cover the segment of the population currently unemployed.
Incidentally, this would occur concurrently with as much as 30% more people entering the Medicare system. And yes, this coincides with the same projected ten year time frame when the Medicare trust fund could run out of money.
House Democrats led by Mr. Baucus propose permanently decreasing annual Medicare payment adjustments for inflation to nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Permanently? Has anyone asked what would happen to these healthcare facilities down the road with no cost of inflation benefits? Can we survive when all healthcare facilities don't?
Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida and member of the Senate Finance Committee, wants to create legislation that covers the one in 5 uninsured people in his state. He also wants to protect the benefits that senior citizens are currently enjoying.
The thing is, the proposals that Mr. Nelson outline could cost $40 billion over the next ten years. This presents a problem for President Obama who has stressed that he does not want to sign a health care bill that increases the deficit. (Although the proposals to date offered from the White House involve a paltry $1.5 trillion-we are talking about mega deficit here!)
Senator Baucus suggests having seniors pay higher premiums if they have an income greater than $80,000. This income figure is not the same for the public at large. The American Association of Retired Persons is up in arms. David Certner, legislative counsel voices their sentiment when he states "It's unfair to single out seniors to pay more for their health benefits when other high-income people are not being asked to pay more."
Claude Pepper, a Florida congressman once stated : I want you to look out for our seniors. Someone has to look out for them."
What we should all remember in trying to revamp the Medicare system or system for the elderly is this- we will all be there someday. It is investing in OUR future.
Reprinted by permission of copywriter Barbara Hales. For more discussions on health care reform, subscribe to The Medical Strategist newsletter at: http://www.TheWriteTreatment.com
About Barbara Hales: Barbara Hales is a copywriter for the medical and health fields. With her knowledge of medicine, Barbara understands the issues and challenges in health reform that face you. For more information or help with your healthcare marketing, contact her at (516) 647-3002 or visit her website at http://www.TheWriteTreatment.com where you can sign up for a free newsletter - The Medical Strategist.