Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Health Care and Senior Citizens

From the Wall Street Journal on July 23, 2009:

The Congressional majority wants to pay for its $1 trillion to $1.6 trillion health bills with new taxes and a $500 billion cut to MediCARE. This cut will come just as baby boomers turn 65 and increase MediCARE enrollment by 30%. Less money and more patients will necessitate rationing. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 1% of MediCARE cuts will come from eliminating fraud, waste and abuse.

From MIke Flynn at on March 30, 2011:

Ever since the passage of ObamaCare, I’ve been perplexed by a lingering question: Why did AARP so aggressively lobby for passage of the law? After all, the plan was built on $500 billion in cuts to MediCARE. Even in Washington, half a trillion dollars is still a ton of money. MediCARE is sacrosanct among America’s senior citizens. It was unfathomable to me that the nation’s largest membership association of seniors would, not just not oppose the cuts, but would actively lobby for them. It didn’t make any sense.

From USA Today on April 26, 2011:

New York ranks 28th in Social Security payments per person and 9th in MediCARE benefits. But the spending on MedicAID, the health program for the poor, is far above that in any other state. Only Washington, D.C., spends more.

New York spent $2,903 per person on MedicAID in 2010 — a third more than any other state. The U.S. average is $1,364. Nevada spent the least: $666 per person. 

MediCARE was created to help our seniors and will be squeezed by our incompetent government's "reform".  MedicAID was created for lower income members of our society, however the program has expanded and continues to expand, as the government is primarily responsible for rising health care costs.  Another component to rising health care costs is lack of tort reform on a state level.  Here in New York State the trial lawyers are protected by Sheldon Silver.  Silver wears many hats, some of which are less than flattering:

1. Speaker of the Assembly since 1994.
2. Employee of Weitz and Luxemberg which according to it's website is "the largest personal injury and mass tort plaintiffs’ firm in New York".
3. New York's "Shadow Governor" argued by some. 
4. "The Worst Politician in America" insisted upon by others.  
5. According to Americans for Tort Reform Association "president Tiger Joyce suggests that "no single state lawmaker in the country has done more to increase the profits of personal injury lawyers at the expense of jobseekers, consumers, taxpayers and health care patients" than Sheldon Silver."  ATRA's news release provides further details.

The situation is dire and must fixed to help protect our senior citizens.  As bad as the situation is on a national level; if the current trend continues, it will be far worse for our seniors in the once great State of New York.  If USD 500 billion is taken out of MedCARE to our seniors detriment, then the entire nation should be concerned.  However, those of us in New York State should be even more troubled, considering we already spend more per person on MedicAID than any other state.  Is this what Washington D.C. and Albany, New York stand for?