Thursday, October 1, 2009

Elderly Moving Against Obamacare

"America's elderly are finally realizing that President Barack Obama's healthcare changes are largely financed by cuts in Medicare and are rallying against his proposals in increasing numbers.

The latest poll by Scott Rasmussen not only shows national opposition to Obamacare rising — now it is 41 percent to 56 percent against — but also shows the elderly moving against it even more strongly by 33-59 or almost 2-1.

And well they should. Three-quarters of Obamacare is to be financed by slashing $500 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years. That comes to an 8 percent cut. Next year's total Medicare spending, for example, will be about $500 billion by itself, so this is like having one year without Medicare at all. Obama's fatuous claim that the cut will not affect care for the elderly is specious as any thinking person would realize. We have gone through previous incarnations of those who wanted to slash Medicare and pretended that it would not affect the elderly. Newt Gingrich tried to sell this act of alchemy in 1995. The elderly didn't buy it then and aren't buying it now.

It is obviously impossible to cut Medicare reimbursement without slashing the time doctors spend with patients. It is equally obvious that you cannot cover 30 million new patients without more doctors and nurses. And the Medicare cuts in doctors' fees will, of course, cause a decrease in the number of medical professionals. Investor's Business Daily conducted a poll of doctors in September that showed that 45 percent of them said they would seriously consider retiring or closing their practices if the Obama bill passes.

A larger number will likely refuse to treat Medicare patients. Indeed, current law provides for a 21 percent cut in Medicare fees to doctors next year and a 6 percent cut the year after. The new $500 billion in cuts are on top of these reductions. What kind of medical care do we expect our elderly to receive when the doctor they visit is getting $35 or $40 for seeing them.

But the Senate appears ready to ram this bill through regardless of what the public or the elderly think. They have 60 votes and they won't listen to anyone. But we have to make them listen."

For the rest of the story click below.

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