Says cutting Medicare to finance "reform" is a moral outrage
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While the Senate Democrats moved forward to begin the debate on their health care "reform" bill this weekend, RetireSafe, a 400,000 supporter strong grassroots senior advocacy group, is calling on all of America's seniors to grab their bullhorns to protest the massive cuts to Medicare. RetireSafe President Thair Phillips said, "Seniors are watching the focus shift to issues like taxes, abortion, and immigration, while the simple, uncomplicated fact the legislators are skirting is: This bill cuts Medicare by almost $500 billion."
RetireSafe is sending an action alert to its supporters warning that the Senate legislation would ration their care. "If seniors fail to shout out their opposition to those cuts, then we will certainly be looking at the rationing of health care benefits to the older Americans who have paid into the program their entire lives and are now counting on its benefits," Phillips stressed.
Phillips noted that rationing is a real and not unintended consequence of the proposed legislation in both the House and the Senate. According to Phillips, RetireSafe is very concerned about the future well-being of seniors if Congress doesn't rethink this huge cut to Medicare. He said, "While there are ways to reform health care, cutting a program that is already strapped for funds is clearly not the answer. If fraud and inefficiencies exist in Medicare, let's prosecute the fraud and find and eliminate the inefficiencies and use the money to shore up this life saving program seniors depend on. To cut Medicare funding to finance 'reform' is more than unfair, it's a moral outrage."
Phillips questioned the government's payment rationale for health reform and its claim that after 44 years of running Medicare, they suddenly discovered $500 billion of waste and inefficiency. Phillips continued, "If that happened in the private sector, we would fire the whole bunch of them. Even worse, they want to take that money and, rather than shore up Medicare, use it to fund another government-run program. Then they want us to believe them when they say they can run this new one correctly." He also noted that if this "reform" bill is passed, "Congress will need more than the $500 billion to finance it, and they will do whatever it takes to extract that money from Medicare, including the obvious rationing of care."
Phillips cited a recent example foreshadowing the future rationing of health care. He said, "Last week, a task force from HHS recommended that women under 50 are probably better off not getting routine annual mammograms. Importantly, this is the same task force that has been given the power (in the House bill) to have the final say on what programs and procedures get cut," he said. "While HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius immediately disavowed the recommendation, I think the task force recommendation came at a politically inconvenient time for the administration, forcing them to back pedal," he observed.
According to Phillips, rationing is the future of American health care if the reform bill with the all-powerful government boards, commissions, mandates, and a government-run public option becomes law. He said, "This is exactly the kind of rationing we should expect."
Phillips continued, "Unlike those pushing the bill, RetireSafe does not believe the bureaucrats can find $500 billion in Medicare cuts without any rationing of care or services. Common sense and past experience makes that starkly clear," he concluded. "The time for action is now." RetireSafe is urging seniors across America to call both of their U.S. Senators (and their Representative) now to tell them not to cut Medicare. Phillips said, "Tell them you are watching how they vote and remind them that you have a vote also." He urged, "Seniors, get out your bullhorns and start shouting to save your Medicare benefits!"
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