Don’t Hurt Grandma and Grandpa, One Day that will be Us

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.  AARP is up in arms.  David Certner, legislative counsel at AARP 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.

Cost of Inflation: Cost of Life

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?

Illegal Immigrants CAN get insurance: Before and After New Bill

An anti-immigration group, The Federation for American Immigration Reform, is correct when they state that illegal aliens could participate in the national health insurance exchange that is being formulated in President Obama’s  bill.

This insurance exchange compares health insurance plans and informs everyone which is the most economical for them with the features that are most desired by them.  In many ways it is comparable to Progressive for Car insurance.  Included in the cost and feature comparison would be the new government-run plan, instituted to compete with the private sector.

It is interesting to note  that illegal immigrants would be paying for their own  insurance albeit the public plan just like everyone else according to  Politifact.com. That is really no different than what is currently in place where illegal aliens can purchase private insurance.

The difference is that aliens would not get the “premium credits” which are supposedly in place to compete with and lower the current private insurance policies.

While the whole issue is controversial and the debate is heated, you must ask to  consider the following scenarios.  Should aliens who have an extreme infection be allowed to suffer and die for wont of money to seek medical treatment?  Wouldn’t that put ordinary citizens at risk from exposure and contagion?

Could you ignore someone on the street with fractures or in serious pain just because you are afraid they are vying for the same tax dollars to pay for medical care?

As long as people are allowed to stay within our borders, we must maintain our “humanness” and civility for without it, we are a doomed society and reverting to animal status.

Poor Children Get their Insurance; Bipartisans Can Agree on Health Issues

Legislators voted to apply taxes on insurance companies to keep health programs for indigent children which California could no longer support in its budget. The program had been slashed by $175 million by Governor Schwarzenegger  in the recent past due to the state of California’s deficits.

The increase in money realized will be matched by federal funds through Medicaid stimulus money along with tobacco money set aside for children’s health programs.

One can see that bipartisan support can be achieved when the bill makes sense.  Having almost three quarters of a million children uninsured would have been a catastrophe but the solution reached and enacted is applaudable.

Let’s Punish the Majority of Health Insured Americans

For all those that have missed Mike Roger’s opening statement on Health Care reform, which was aired on YouTube Videos, it is definitely worth looking at.

The following is from Congressman Roger’s speech in Washington D.C.:

Abraham Lincoln said that you can’t make a weak man strong by making a strong man weak.

So what we have decided to do today is abandon the very principles of America and say today, you know what, it’s so hard and so difficult, we are going to punish the 85% of Americans who have earned health care benefits as part of their employment and punish the employers who give it to them to try and cover the 15% that don’t have it.

That doesn’t hardly come to a conclusion that any of us would come to.

Why would we punish the part that is working to cover the part that’s not. It’s like trying to take a queen-size sheet and put it over a king size bed. I guarantee you; the corners are going to come up. That’s exactly what we have done here today.

And the notion that it is either this or nothing presents very false choices.

Let me tell you about the trade-offs by going to the government run system. And clearly it is, by Section 141 under the Health Choices Commissioner Act.

They can actually go in and dis-enroll individuals- unprecedented power by the Federal government. They can rip you off your own individual plan. Oh, matter of fact, if you are an employer, $250,000 of payroll, that’s gross payroll, not much, guess what…they can dis-enroll your whole company off a certain plan. Tell me that you don’t work for the Federal government. Unbelievable.

And here’s the other trade-off. According to the National Intelligence Cancer Center for the United Kingdom and the Canadian Cancer Registry, here is the trade-off that they pick by having government run healthcare.

If you get prostate cancer, you have less chance of survivability than the United States. And that is the same for skin cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia, and the list goes on and on and on. So what you have said to America is, we give up. It’s just too hard. The government has to do it.

That’s insulting. So what you are going to do is you are going to look your mothers and your daughters in the eye and say, I’m sorry, we couldn’t figure it out and allow innovation to do it, we are not going to let the private sector fix this problem for us, that’s too hard. But I am going to tell you if you get breast cancer, I’m sorry honey, you have less of a chance of survival than before this bill was passed.

I will not punish any woman in America to this kind of system, knowing how great America is.

The very innovation of who we are what got us here and it wasn’t the Federal government, and it wasn’t Washington DC. It was individuals who stood up for themselves and said, we can do better. And because of that, we have the greatest middle class on the face of the earth. And this is one more tic in their ability to succeed in America.

You have already told them that Gee, your energy prices were too high middle class, and we are going to raise those with cap and trade. Oh by the way, we’re going to tell you what kind of car you are going to drive, we are going to tell you what kind of light bulb you can put in, we are going to tell you what kind of window you have to replace in your house, and oh by the way, now I am going to pick your doctor, and your plan for your future.

We must and can do better. This is a travesty, Mr. Chairman.

This speech was such an eye-opener on several levels.

Ironic that we are fighting all over the world to bring democracy to other nations when looking at this speech implies that we as a nation are moving away from democracy ourselves.

Secondly, it highlights the fact that for the sake of economics, we would tear down a medical system that is one of the most technologically advanced in the world. When dignitaries fall to a major illness, it is the United States that they come to for treatment.

Why not give subsidy vouchers to those that can not afford health insurance and leave the ones that already have insurance to their own decisions.

If the government feels compelled to make changes, let it be that insurance companies cannot drop those who have developed illnesses or pre-existing conditions. This, then would be an improvement that everyone could approve of.