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August 12, 2009

AARP Supports Healthcare Reform: President Obama Doesn’t Want to Secretly Kill Senior Citizens!

The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) has been protecting senior citizens by keeping them informed on issues since 1958.  The AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people aged 50 and over improve the quality of their lives.

The AARP is urging members to “Get the Facts” on health care reform. They write,

Much of the debate is being driven by special interests that are deliberately kicking up clouds of dust to obscure facts. AARP doesn’t want misinformation and fear-mongering to dominate this debate.  From allegations about rationing care to wild reports of government-sponsored euthanasia, the rumors just keep getting crazier.  

The AARP then goes over five prominent myths that have taken hold thanks to the special interest groups and debunks them. 

Here the AARP separates fact from fiction

Myth: Health care reform is socialized medicine.

       Fact Health care reform will preserve the employer-based health care system, meaning an estimated 200 million Americans will continue to get their coverage through their employers.

       Fact For people buying coverage for themselves, there would be a range of private health plans to choose from. Also, the so-called “public plan” option would seek to give American consumers another choice if they can’t find affordable, quality coverage in the private insurance market. The goal of the “public plan” is to give consumers the best value for their money and force greater competition among insurance plans for our business.

       Fact: Every proposal that Congress is considering would allow people to choose their own doctors and hospitals.

       Bottom Line: Health care reform isn’t about a government takeover. It’s about guaranteeing all Americans a choice of health care plans they can afford.

Myth: Health care reform means rationed care.

       Fact: None of the health reform proposals being considered would stand between individuals and their doctors or prevent any American from choosing the best possible care.

       Fact: Health care reform will NOT give the government the power to make life or death decisions for anyone regardless of their age. Those decisions will be made by an individual, their doctor and their family.

       Fact: Health care reform will help ensure doctors are paid fairly so they will continue to treat Medicare patients.

       Bottom Line: Health reform isn’t about rationing; it’s about giving people the peace of mind of knowing that they will be able to keep their doctors and that they will always have a choice of affordable health plans.

Myth: Health care reform will hurt Medicare.

       Fact: None of the health care reform proposals being considered by Congress would cut Medicare benefits or increase your out-of-pocket costs for Medicare services.

       Fact: Health care reform will lower prescription drug costs for people in the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole” so they can get better afford the drugs they need.

       Fact: Health care reform will protect seniors’ access to their doctors and reduce the cost of preventive services so patients stay healthier.

       Fact: Health care reform will reduce costly, preventable hospital readmissions, saving patients and Medicare money.

       Fact: Rather than weaken Medicare, health care reform will strengthen the financial status of the Medicare program.

       Bottom Line: For people in Medicare, health care reform is about lowering prescription drug costs for people in the “doughnut hole”, keeping the doctor of your choice, improving the quality of care, and eliminating billions in waste that is causing poor care and medical errors.

Myth: Health care reform is too expensive – we can’t afford it.

       Fact: The President and Congress have committed to producing legislation that will be paid for so it won’t saddle our children and grandchildren with debt.

       Fact: If we do nothing to fix health care, families with Medicare or employer-based health coverage will likely see their premiums nearly double again in the next seven years.

       Fact: If we do nothing to fix health care, the share of your income spent on health care will nearly double in the next seven years.

       Bottom Line: When one in three Americans say someone in their family skipped pills, postponed or cut back on needed medical care due to the cost; when countless bankruptcies are related to medical expenses; when the number of uninsured approaches 50 million; when government spending on health programs rises so rapidly that it jeopardizes other priorities; and when employers struggle to pay for the costs of health care, the fact is, we can’t afford not to fix health care.

Myth: Health care reform means the government can make life-and-death decisions for you.

       Fact: Health care reform will NOT give the government the power to make life-and-death decisions for anyone regardless of their age. Those decisions will be made by individuals, their doctor and their family.

       Fact: No one, including the government or your insurance company, will be given power to make life-and-death decisions for you.

       Bottom Line: Health care reform isn’t about putting the government in charge of difficult end of life decisions. It’s about giving individuals and families the option to talk with their doctors in advance about difficult choices every family faces when loved ones near the end of their lives.

The AARP is asking members to take action regarding health care reform by asking members to write to their elected officials. The AARP website writes, “At this crucial moment, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to fix our broken health care system. President Obama has promised health reform before the end of the year but we need to make sure that Congress follows through.”

The AARP advocates bipartisan cooperation and would like to see our elected representatives in Washington working together to get health care reform passed. 

Original article:

http://www.examiner.com/x-1172-Progressive-Politics-Examiner~y2009m8d12-AARP-promotes-health-care-reform

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August 5, 2009

Republicans LOVE Their Government Run Healthcare

Millions of middle-class families across the country are one illness away from financial ruin including me, maybe you as well; but we can prevent that from happening.

The Healthcare Reform that President Obama wants to sign is pretty easy to understand — it is designed in such a way that it will enable Americans who have coverage to keep it and Americans who need coverage to purchase it. It is designed to build on the healthcare system we have today by getting rid of waste, fraud and abuse.

Opponents of healthcare reform are making outrageous claims about healthcare, twisting words and facts to scare many non-thinking Americans.  Republicans are even claiming that healthcare reform will kill seniors?! W.T.H!  Does anyone exist in America who really believes that absurdity?  That ludicrousness?  That joke?  Really, does anyone believe that healthcare reform will kill seniors!?

Last week was the 44th anniversary of another landmark moment in our nation’s health-care system. President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law 44 years ago but before the bill was signed he was taunted, criticized and ridiculed by political hecklers of health-care reform who claimed that Johnson and our government would takeover healthcare and create a socialist healthcare system and it would be the worst possible healthcare system in the world.  We are in the middle of what seems like déjà vu.

Forty-four years later our 44th President is hearing the same ‘echo’ from Republicans who have AND ENJOY a government run healthcare system similar to Medicare for themselves and their families.  How hypocritical.

1.  Medicare ensures that our parents and grandparents have access to affordable health care.

2.  Medicare protects seniors and their families from backbreaking health expenses.

3.  Medicare operates more efficiently than any other health care coverage – public or private – in our country.

4.  Medicare is a government run healthcare system.

President Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare experience with Republicans taught us that progress does not come easily – especially in the face of big-name campaign contributions and big-dollar ad campaigns.  

President Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare experience also taught us that progress is not always a function of bipartisanship.

Of the key congressional votes on Medicare 44 years ago only 13 Republican senators and only 70 House Republicans joined the overwhelming Democratic majorities to vote for it.

We’re seeing the same kind of opposition today as we fight for healthcare reform. Republicans in Congress are claiming that defeating healthcare reform would break President Obama; that a defeat on this issue will be Obama’s Waterloo.

I don’t care about Obama’s Waterloo (I hope he never gets one though); I care about millions and millions of Americans having access to healthcare that is affordable and healthcare that will make us healthier.  I believe that’s what thinking Americans want.

The drug industry and the health insurance industry are spending millions of dollars to influence Congress. The health insurance industry is camping out at the Capitol and spending lots and lots and lots of money to organize non-thinking Americans to go to town hall meetings and scream and shout and ‘protest’  healthcare reform and the public insurance option.

These non-thinking Americans fail to realize that private insurers will have to cut premiums and increase the quality of healthcare if there is a public insurance option since Americans will have a choice and can decide who we want to give our business to.

Despite being mocked by Republicans 44 years ago, Medicare has proved itself.

1.  Medicare has pulled millions of seniors out of poverty.

2.  Medicare has helped retirees live long and healthy lives.

3.  Medicare has helped to fuel our economy.

4.  Medicare has proved just how important health insurance is.

5.  Medicare works.

And healthcare reform will work.

1.  Healthcare reform will cut healthcare costs for millions of middle class families and small businesses across the country.

2.  Healthcare reform will end uncertainty about health coverage because both private and public insurance will always be available.

3.  Healthcare reform will confront the needless red tape, medical errors, and fraud and abuse that inflate health-care costs and compromise health-care quality.

4.  Healthcare reform will prevent insurance companies from covering you when you’re healthy and dropping you when you’re sick, and from denying you coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

5.  Healthcare reform will keep the insurance industry honest and will make Americans healthier.

We have work to do to get healthcare reform signed and we must do it together.  Inaction doesn’t protect your health coverage or push healthcare costs down.

We must take action to turn things around. Special interests, worn-out cynical politicians, and insane talking heads are going to pull out all the stops to freeze our health-care system in time.

Don’t let them win; fight for your right to have a good healthcare system with a public option.

Go to http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml and contact your Senators and Congresspersons.

Let your elected officials know that you want healthcare reform with a public option.

Watch Rachel Maddow take on the hypocritical Republicans:

February 20, 2009

Hypocrisy – The Fundamentals of The GOP

The Grand Obstruction Party (GOP) is full of a bunch of swingers!  Back in their home districts congressional Republicans who voted against the stimulus bill and some Republican Governors who opposed the stimulus are singing the praises of projects in the stimulus.  I’ve listed seven hypocrites since 7 is the perfect number, but I could have gone on, and on, and on…

Last week Hypocrite # 1 (Don Young of Alaska) issued a press release stating that he “won a victory for the Alaska Native contracting program and other Alaska small business owners” by working with Democrats to pull a provision from the Senate bill that he feared would hurt American Indian and Alaska Native owned businesses.

Hypocrite # 2 (John Mica from Florida) issued a press release saying, “I applaud President Obama’s recognition that high-speed rail should be part of America’s future.”

Hypocrite # 3 (Peter Hoekstra from Michigan) ‘tweeted’  “If you know of someone thinking of buying first home, now may be the time. Stimulus incentive is very generous! Up to 8k! Check it out.”

Hypocrite # 4 (Leonard Lance from New Jersey) toured a Army Corps of Engineers construction site that will likely get stimulus dollars and said,  “This is a classic example of a “shovel-ready’ project!,”

Hypocrite # 5 (Blaine Luetkemeyer from Missouri) visited Truman State University and said, “Within the stimulus package there is some Pell Grant money, which is a good thing. It helps students be able to pay for their education and that’s kind of a long term stimulus effect there. I mean obviously that’s not gonna provide a job in the next 120, 180 days, but the ability of someone to get an education is an economic development tool.”

Hypocrite # 6 (Kit Bond from Missouri) announced that there are $2 billion in funds in the stimulus bill to jump start low income housing projects, would save jobs as well as employ more than 3,000 people in Missouri.

On Tuesday, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC interviewed Hypocrite # 7 (Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty from Minnesota):

MADDOW: I know that you think the stimulus bill is a bad idea. So, that means you are turning down the money, right, Governor?

PAWLENTY: Well, I have concerns about the bill. I think it could have been done better. I was in favor of a stimulus bill; I was disappointed in this one for a variety of reasons. But in Minnesota’s case, we are going to accept the money for this reason, Rachel — we pay in for every dollar to the federal government. We get about 72 cents back. We’re the 46th least receiving state of any state of the nation in terms of federal money. So, our view is, if you buy the pizza, it’s OK if you have a slice. It doesn’t mean you can’t express concerns about the bill or offer suggestions on how it could have been better.

MADDOW: My analogy is this. I pay my taxes to support my local police. But it doesn’t mean that I would buy stuff from a crooked cop that was heisting stuff out of an evidence locker or something. If you are getting offered something that you think you shouldn’t be offered, you shouldn’t take it, should you?

PAWLENTY:  Well, I think the bill has some positive features in it. My view of it is this. The federal government is spending money they don’t have, they’re borrowing it in part from the Chinese — that’s number one. Number two: it could have been a better targeted bill, a more impactful bill, probably for less money — that’s number two. And number three — it was a missed opportunity because, I think, with some modest modifications, it could have been truly bipartisan and lived up to that promise of President Obama. And so, for those reasons, I expressed concern about the bill. I think it could have been done better so the answer isn’t no, it’s better. And, again, when you are paying the tab like Minnesota is, one of the major contributors, subsidizers of the federal government, I don’t think it’s untoward for us to accept our share of the money.

What a bunch of hypocritical freaks!

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