Thursday, April 21, 2011

What’s all the talk on Medicare?

USA Today reports that the Obama administration ‘eases’ the pain of Medicare cuts. Let’s see how they spin this one:

Millions of seniors in popular private insurance plans offered through Medicare will be getting a reprieve from some of the most controversial cuts in President Obama’s health care law.

In a policy shift critics see as political, the Health and Human Services department has decided to award quality bonuses to hundreds of Medicare Advantage plans rated merely average.

Rush helps translate this for us:

“This is another waiver from Obamacare. This one for seniors so they can keep the Medicare Advantage plans that they chose. They were originally gonna have to get rid of 'em but now as we head into a reelection effort, uh-oh, so while he's out there in a partisan way apparently not benefiting from it, still accusing the Republicans of the usual death threats against seniors, here comes Obama saying, "You know what, I'm gonna give you a waiver." Right. Obama…has exempted the seniors from further Medicare cuts. They get to keep their Medicare Advantage. Another waiver from the regime, another tacit admission that Obamacare hurts the very people it is intended to assist.”

So while Obama is out there back on the campaign trail (as if he ever left) talking down, misinforming and boldfaced lying about Paul Ryan’s plan, while pushing his own ‘proposal’ (you know, the one that doesn’t actually exist), some have taken the time to compare the two, content to concept. And as the chief actuary for Medicare stated in January that he had more confidence that Ryan’s Road Map would actually drive down healthcare costs over Obamacare’s capabilities, Dick Morris discovers another interesting little fact when comparing the effects on Medicare between both plans: the Democratic cuts are far more immediate and drastic than anything in the GOP proposal.

“While the Republican Medicare changes only take effect in 2021, Obama’s cuts will begin hurting seniors right away. The president’s healthcare legislation imposed a hard spending cap on Medicare ?– the first time it has ever had one — which he has just proposed lowering by another one-half of 1 percent of GDP (a further cut of about $70 billion a year).”

Is that Medicare waiver before the 2012 elections making sense to you now? Use the mind that God gave you, folks, and sniff out the obvious posturing and maneuvering for duped votes!  To boot, we’re probably going to start hearing a little more (but I wouldn't depend on the MSM) about this Independent Payment Advisory Board that’s sounding like the death panels and rationing boards rolled into one unelected entity:

“Obama’s cuts, which will take effect immediately, are to be administered by his newly created Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) of 15 members appointed by the president. Its recommendations for cuts in Medicare services or for reductions in reimbursement will not be subject to congressional approval but will take effect by administrative fiat. Right now.

The IPAB will be, essentially, the rationing board that will decide who gets what care. Its decisions will be guided by a particularly vicious concept of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QUALYS). If you have enough QUALYS ahead of you, you’ll be approved for a hip replacement or a heart transplant. If not, you’re out of luck. Perforce, many of these cuts will fall on those at the end of their lives, reducing their options to accommodate Obama’s mandate to cut costs. If death comes sooner, well, that’s the price of aging in Obama’s America.”

Now, unlike Obama’s campaign rhetoric, Morris accurately describes Ryan’s plan (something Trump and apparently others continue to misunderstand):

“Ryan’s approach is totally different. First, he does nothing at all to cut benefits for those now on Medicare or for anyone who turns 65 before 2022 (leaving me in the clear!). Second, the Republicans would leave the elderly in charge of their own medical decisions by letting them spend their Medicare money as they wish. The subsidy they would receive for health insurance would permit them to buy plans tailored to their needs. Just as a myriad of insurance-company plans sprang up to fill the mandates of the new prescription drug benefit, there will likely be quite an array of choices for the elderly of 2021. Finally, the savings from Ryan’s plan will be plowed back into Medicare, prolonging its life, rather than being diverted, as Obama would do, into paying for a new entitlement for younger people.”

Let me repeat that again: Ryan’s plan does nothing to affect current or soon-to-be Medicare recipients! Unlike Obama’s empty promises that “you can keep your plan” or the lies to cover up ‘death panels’, Ryan’s plan is spelled out quite coherently. Doesn’t sound like ‘feeding granny dog food’, does it…unlike Obama’s plan with the uncertainty of whether ‘granny’ will even be around?!

As Morris concludes, “Democrats are drooling over the prospect of conducting the elections of 2012 over Medicare. They better watch their steps. The truth might come out!” And I would add, that is if Republicans can find the courage to fight fire with fire and call them on it!

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