One of my all-time favorite politicians is Representative Allen West from Florida. He's in a battleground state, and getting the truth out about such an important issue to Floridians (many retirees) as Medicare reform is critical to his campaign. He's a plain-spoken truth teller. This appeared on his Facebook page this morning.
|Congressman Allen West (R-FL)|
by Congressman Allen West on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 7:23am
Let’s get right to the point, there has been an enormous amount of fear-mongering and scare tactics emanating from President Barack Obama and the liberal left on the issue of Medicare.
We have a responsibility to our seniors and we shall keep it. We shall also ensure we preserve and protect not just Medicare but also the commitment to future generations of Americans, our children and grandchildren, not to bankrupt their hopes and dreams.
The Fiscal Year 2012 Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees report on Medicare and Social Security has these programs respectively going “belly up” in 2024 and 2033. That is unacceptable to me and should be to everyone.
Medicare as we know is doomed to fail and collapse unless courageous men and women take action -- doing nothing but complaining and demonizing is the folly of incompetents. Lying to the American people and our seniors is unacceptable.
Here is the truth. As per a report issued by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) in July of this year, there are $716 billon of cuts to Medicare as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in Fiscal Year 2013-2022.
These cuts to Medicare cannot be disputed and show that President Obama and the Democrats see Medicare as a “slush fund” to pay for their massive government expansion into the healthcare industry, creating 159 new government agencies and bureaucracies and further exacerbating the demise of this vital program.
These cuts include $517 billion to Part A (Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund) and $247 billion to Part B (Supplemental Medicare Insurance Trust Fund) as follows:
- $294 billion payment cuts to hospitals
- $156 billion cuts to Medicare Advantage affecting 25% of seniors nationwide
- $39 billion cuts to skilled nursing
- $17 billion cuts to hospice care
- $66 billion cuts to home healthcare
- $33 billion cuts to other providers
- $11 billion cuts resulting from the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB, 15-member panel of unelected government bureaucrats making Medicare price control decisions).
The plan I voted for that passed in the United States House of Representatives is something completely opposite to this horrific plan. First of all, it actually spends more on Medicare in the next 10 years.
The House of Representatives-passed budget -- and remember the Democrat-controlled the United States Senate has not passed a budget in over 1200 days -- would repeal the IPAB which is empowered to cut Medicare in ways that would jeopardize seniors’ access to care.
The House of Representatives-passed budget saves Medicare for current and future seniors. In other words, there is no change for anyone 55 years of age and older.
For those younger, when they become eligible, Medicare will provide a premium-support payment and a list of guaranteed coverage options -- including a traditional fee-for-service option -– from which recipients can choose a plan that best suits THEIR needs.
Understand that currently on average Americans are paying $110,000-$115,000 into Medicare but receive closer to $300,000 in benefits…not to mention the widespread fraud which must be tackled.
This option-based program reforms Medicare and would be determined by a competitive bidding process which doesn’t take a brain surgeon to understand will help drive down price and improve the quality of care for our future seniors.
As well, premium support, competitive bidding, and more assistance for lower income seniors, or those with greater healthcare needs ensures guaranteed affordability.
These are not talking points, but truth, objective assessment and analysis.
The question is very simple, whom shall you trust in the debate about Medicare, and the larger debate about how best to get our nation back on track?
The people who stated, “we must pass the bill in order to know what is in the bill?”
The people who said the healthcare bill will only cost the American taxpayer $940 billion only to find out that it now costs closer to $1.7 TRILLION?
The people who told you the individual mandate was not a tax, only to find out that the only way Obamacare can be declared constitutional is for the individual mandate deemed to be a tax? And as a result you have a healthcare law that entails 20 new taxes and funding for 16,000 new IRS agents.
Are you really going to trust the ideas of the President of the United States who said he would cut the deficit in half in his first term, only to have four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits (the previous high was $468 billion)? The fellow who has added more debt, over $5 trillion in less than four years…more than the previous 42 Presidents combined?
Are you really going to trust the recommended approach of a fellow who said that if his trillion-dollar stimulus were passed, unemployment would never go above 8%... and that at this time it would be 5.6%?
Are you really going to trust the policies of the fellow who presented a budget that raises $1.9 trillion in new taxes in order to increase the size of the Federal Government by 53% and the budget never, ever, balances?
Lastly, are you going to trust that the affable gent who stated if he could not turn this around would have a one-term presidency -- but now demands a second term -- will stick to his word?
I have provided you the truth, now make your decision…whose ideas will you trust to protect, preserve, and honor the commitment of Medicare?