Stop Everything! Democrats Have A Medicare Plan!

Democrats want Medicare reform taken off the table in the negotiations over the debt ceiling. That leads one to wonder if they’re kicking the can down the road and hoping to demagogue conservatives on the issue as we head in to 2012, or if they’re really serious.

While saying that Medicare reform shouldn’t be part of the deal, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) gave his plan to “save” Medicare. According to The Hill, Harkin recommended:

“Drug price negotiations and covering low-income Medicare beneficiaries under Medicaid. He also said the healthcare reform law’s investments in preventive care and changes to the healthcare system should be given a chance to work.”

Harkin said: “Those four things alone, I believe, will be more than adequate to help save Medicare.”

Okay, so his plan is to force drug companies to sell their products to the government at a lower price, and transfer low-income seniors from one entitlement (Medicare), to another entitlement (Medicaid) which is also in danger of bankruptcy. Oh, and then the wait-and-see approach, which is to kick the can down the road and hope that the board of unelected bureaucrats tasked with cutting Medicare costs do enough to save the program…and somehow not cut benefits or ration care.

At least that’s a step towards admitting what the Democrat plan is. Other than simply demagogueing the conservative plan to save Medicare by turning it into a premium-support plan for those currently under 55, which won’t happen until 2022.

So we have two distinct plans. One ensures that the private insurers, which will be supporting Medicare recipients, accept ALL applicants and guarantees the same or better benefits than currently allowed. The other, hopes that the program will magically help itself.

But what else can Democrats support when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says, “I could never support any arrangement that reduced benefits for Medicare – absolutely not.”

So I guess taking $500 billion dollars from Medicare to fund a new entitlement program and installing a bureaucrat-controlled Independent Payment Advisory Board to cut doctor reimbursements (which any logical person can see that will cause doctor’s to not want to accept Medicare beneficiaries, which will lead to less availability to care for seniors, or rationing), somehow doesn’t reduce benefits for Medicare recipients? Does she ever think before she speaks?

Their plan thus far is to tell outrageous lies about the GOP Medicare plan, and avoid offering their own plan. DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz went on TV and flat out lied to millions of Americans watching that conservatives were telling seniors:

“You’re on your own. Go and find private health insurance in the health-care insurance market. We’re going to throw you to the wolves and allow insurance companies to deny you coverage and drop you for pre-existing conditions.”

Not true. Again, a logical thinker must ask themselves, “do conservatives really want to cut-off senior’s ability to get health care?” That’s ludicrous. Multiple news outlets (including The Washington Post) set the record straight on Wasserman Schultz’ comments.

  1. Seniors are not on their own. They will not be thrown “to the wolves.” They will choose from different insurance plans that have to provide the same or better benefits as traditional Medicare benefits. They will receive adequate premium-support based on their income level to help pay for the plans.
  2. The plans will NOT BE ABLE TO DENY COVERAGE. All plans must cover seniors, and all at the same price for their age.

Remember, if we do nothing about Medicare, then unsuspecting seniors will be forced to deal with higher costs and reduced benefits. Is that what we want?

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