Health Care Reform 4: Medicare and Health Care Reform

Oct 1st, 2009 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Social Security & Medicare

One of the distortions criss-crossing the country these days has to do with the notion that health care reform plans under consideration would compromise Medicare as we seniors know it.  Some lies suggest we would have to ‘wait in line’ for medical care; others say we will lose our choices about which doctor or hospital we want to use; still other mis-truths say Medicare will go broke within a few years and will be shut down entirely.

Vice-President, Joe Biden, responded to the distortions recently:  Malarkey!  Here’s the link to his speech in Silver Springs, MD, just a few days ago…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSeZ5h_ndk&feature=player_embedded.

Why would the people who created Social Security (The Democratic Party) and who created Medicare (Democrats) want to bring the system down?  It just doesn’t make sense that a political party would try to destroy programs it spent years creating and developing and supporting.  The lies and accusations seem to be coming from groups who oppose health care reform, both informal groups of citizens as well as corporate entities that stand to lose financially once health care reform is in place.

In fact, HHS (The Department of Health and Human Services) has completed a thorough analysis of the legislation under consideration and concluded that Medicare will be stronger and more responsive to the needs of senior citizens under the new plan.  The full text of the HHS report can be read here:  http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/medicare/index.html.  Conclusions in the report include the following: 

  • Preserving and strengthening Medicare
  • Cutting high prescription drug costs
  • Making preventive services free
  • Ending over-payments to private insurance companies that cost all Medicare beneficiaries
  • Improving quality and patient safety
  • Making long term care services more affordable

We senior citizens need to keep searching for facts and truth.  We need to be able to look at what is real in the face of ‘distorted reality’ that is being generated by special interest groups.  Our future health care is at stake and we must not sell it to private health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry.



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