Monday, July 27, 2009

AARP to Members: Obamacare Will Be Great!

Holy cow! Where does a person start with this?

In the July & August issue of the AARP Magazine, an article outlines eight "myths" about healthcare reform and tries to debunk them. It makes one wonder what the angle is being that talk of "end-of-life counseling" has been suggested. Surely, our senior population CAN'T be falling for this. But then again...

Rationing is ahead for everyone should this get through; except for seniors. They won't even get rationed care. But, as it usually goes, the AARP seems to think that everything will just be peachy-keen under the Obamacare system. Have they no shame for selling out senior citizens like they do?

When Newt Gingrich suggested cutting the RATE of increase of Social Security, the AARP was one of the first groups to cry "foul". Why, then, would they sell their members this bill of goods (or no goods)? Do they think it will grant them political clout in future elections? Not with the elitist who currently occupies the White House.

Here is the article. I, of course, will interject my comments and opinions throughout.

8 Myths About Health Care Reform

By Karen Cheney, July & August 2009

And why we can't afford to believe them anymore

Americans spend more on health care every year than we do educating our children, building roads, even feeding ourselves—an estimated $2.6 trillion in 2009, or around $8,300 per person. Forty-five million Americans have no health insurance whatsoever. These staggering figures are at the heart of the current debate over health care reform: the need to control costs while providing coverage for all. As John Lumpkin, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Health Care Group for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says, "There is enough evidence that it is now time to do something and to do the right thing." The key is to focus on the facts—and to dispel, once and for all, the myths that block our progress. (Since when have "facts" stopped anyone who has previously tried this crap? I think you best check yours. Let the free market system control and determine cost, you socialist!)

Myth 1: "Health reform won't benefit people like me, who have insurance."
Just because you have health insurance today doesn't mean you'll have it tomorrow. According to the National Coalition on Healthcare, nearly 266,000 companies dropped their employees' health care coverage from 2000 to 2005. "People with insurance have a tremendous stake, because their insurance is at risk," says Judy Feder, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. What's more, in recent years the average employee health insurance premium rose nearly eight times faster than income. "Everyone is paying for health increases in some way, and it's unsustainable for everyone," says Stephanie Cathcart, spokesperson for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). "Reform will benefit everyone as long as it addresses costs."

“There are many ways to tackle our health care problem, but we will come up with a uniquely American solution.” (Do you mean the costs associated with frivilous lawsuits also? Tort reform is LONG overdue, and that is part of the reason insurance premiums and healthcare costs in general have gone up, you nitwit. And define "uniquely American". Do you mean free market principles will be in play since that is what our country was founded on? I highly doubt it.)

Myth 2: "The boomers will bankrupt Medicare."
If you're looking to blame the rise in health care costs on an aging population, you'll have to look elsewhere. The growing ranks of the elderly are projected to account for just 0.4 percent of the future growth in health care costs, says Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change. So why are health care costs skyrocketing? Ginsburg and others point to all those fancy medical technologies we now rely on (think MRIs and CT scans), as well as our fee-for-service payment system, in which doctors are paid by how many patients they see and how many treatments they prescribe, rather than by the quality of care they provide. Some experts say this fee-for-service payment system encourages overtreatment (see "Why Does Health Care Cost So Much?" from the July-August 2008 issue of AARP The Magazine). (The baby boomers will not bankrupt the system because the system is already bankrupt, you moron. And if Grandma ends up dying because she DIDN'T get the MRI or CT scan, the family will sue the doctor, hospital, and God himself if they think they can get money.)

Myth 3: "Reforming our health care system will cost us more."
Think of health care reform as if it's an Energy Star appliance. Yes, it costs more to replace your old energy-guzzling refrigerator with a new one, but over time the savings can be substantial. The Commonwealth Fund, a New York City-based foundation that supports research on health care practice and policy, estimates that health care reform will cost roughly $600 billion to implement but by 2020 could save us approximately $3 trillion. (First of all, where is the $600 billion going to come from? That's right...the taxpayers. The same people who are utterly fed up with the entire system and having their paychecks raided. Where is the saving going to come from? Denial of services. I bet this is the same rhetoric that Europe spewed to sell this to their citizens.)

Myth 4: "My access to quality health care will decline."
Just because you have access to lots of doctors who prescribe lots of treatments doesn't mean you're getting good care. In fact, researchers at Dartmouth College have found that patients who receive more care actually fare worse than those who receive less care. In one particularly egregious example, heart attack patients in Los Angeles spent more days in the hospital and underwent more tests and procedures than heart attack patients in Salt Lake City, yet the patients in L.A. died at a higher rate than those in Salt Lake City. (Medicare also paid $30,000 for the L.A. patients' care, versus $23,000 for the care of the patients with better outcomes in Salt Lake City.) (Los Angeles is in a state that will bilk the government to cover the costs of those who wade into this country illegally and demand services. They're trying to recoup money from anywhere and everywhere to pay for their wasteful state spending. Red state, blue fish two fish)

Myth 5: "I won't be able to visit my favorite doctor."
Mention health reform and immediately people worry that they will have fewer options—in doctors, treatments, and diagnostic testing. The concern comes largely during discussions of comparative effectiveness research (CER): research on which treatments work and which don't. But 18 organizations in a broad coalition, including AARP, NFIB, Consumers Union, and Families USA, support CER—and believe that far from limiting choices, it will instead prevent errors and give physicians the information they need to practice better medicine. A good example: Doctors routinely prescribe newer and more expensive medications for high blood pressure when studies show that older medications work just as well, if not better. "There is a tremendous value in new technology, but in our health care system we don't weigh whether these treatments work," says Feder. "Expensive treatments replace less expensive ones for no reason."(Keep the drug companies out of the lobbying business. And any doctor worth his salt will gladly consider cheaper alternatives. All a patient has to do is ask. I know...I do it. You are dead wrong on your "favorite doctor" argument, because only those deemed worthy enough by the government will be practicing medicine, and you will have to take what they give you.)

Myth 6: "The uninsured actually do have access to good care—in the emergency room."
It's true that the United States has an open-door policy for those who seek emergency care, but "emergency room care doesn't help you get the right information to prevent a condition or give you help managing it," says Maria Ghazal, director of public policy for Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs at major U.S. companies. Forty-one percent of the uninsured have no access to preventive care, so when they do go to the ER, "they are most likely going in at a time when their illness has progressed significantly and costs more to treat," says Lumpkin. Hospitals have no way to recoup the costs of treating the uninsured, so they naturally pass on some of those costs to their insured patients. (Everyone has access to preventative care. They can choose to live a healthier lifestyle, and there are plenty of programs to help people learn how to do it. If they choose to wait until they go to the ER, then it is not the fault of everyone else that they didn't pursue or listen to the advice. Plenty of hospitals and clinics offer free screenings on a periodic basis. Take your mush elsewhere.)

Myth 7: "We can't afford to tackle this problem now."
We may be in the middle of a recession, but as Robert Zirkelbach, spokesperson for America's Health Insurance Plans, says, "the most expensive thing we can do is nothing at all." If we do nothing, the Congressional Budget Office projects that our annual health costs will soar to about $13,000 per person in 2017, while the number of uninsured will climb to 54 million by 2019. Already more than half of Americans say they have cut back on health care in the past year due to cost concerns. Roughly one in four of us say we put off care we needed, and one in five of us didn't fill a prescription. Clearly, the urgency is greater now than ever before. (We can't afford to do anything anymore since January 20. Don't you follow the news?)

Myth 8: "We'll end up with socialized medicine."
Some experts favor a single-payer system similar to Medicare or the health program offered to federal-government employees. Yet all the proposals being discussed today would build on our current system, Feder says—which means that private insurers and the government are both likely to play roles. Says Lumpkin: "There are many ways to solve our health care problem, but we will come up with a uniquely American solution, and that solution will be a mixed public and private solution." (Government has no business being in healthcare. Period. If you think that government is going to provide service on demand like we have now, think again. Just ask the folks in Britain and Canada.)

I would hope that the AARP would be honest with their members, but I really don't foresee that happening anytime soon. I guess we here in the blogosphere will have to do the job! Please inform your elderly loved ones of what's REALLY being pushed!

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The Keeper Of Odd Knowledge (KOOK) said...

#6 has to be the one that pisses me off the worst.
My Grandmother taught health and wellness to ..umm african americans and others who live in poverty... for 35 years DOOR TO DOOR.
If you make poor life choices and do not finish school, if you make poor life choices and do not seek a job, if you make poor life chioices and eat ho-ho's and drink colt 45 and grape soda all day you will NOT LISTEN TO FREE HEALTH CARE PREVENTION ADVICE! Don't make me pay for a doctor telling some jackass something he won't do anyway.
ER, Health Department, Univeristy outreach, free clinics, The local library....puhlease. what a bunch of bovine feces.

The Keeper Of Odd Knowledge (KOOK) said...

nope #7 pisses me off too. This is the tried and true straw man tactic Obama loves to use.

I dont want to do NOTHING. I dont want to do THIS. I am not in favor of the status quo, I want to have tort and insurance reform, just not making it worse as Nick said in the guest blog post on my blog. "since when dis, "it's broken" become "we have to make it worse"

The Keeper Of Odd Knowledge (KOOK) said...

oh my elderly loved ones already know that this is a bunch of horse squeeze.

WomanHonorThyself said...

I would hope that the AARP would be honest with their members, but I really don't foresee that happening anytime soon. ..youre right girl..thats why youre here!

blackandgoldfan said...

KOOK: Glad you've let your family know the truth behind what is, I believe, an attempt at eugenics. It's just sad that the AARP doesn't respect their membership enough to do the same.

Angel: Really...I feel it's why God put me here! Take care!

Bungalow Bill said...

AARP needs to take me off their pre-list. They have eleven years to do so, since I hear 50 is their target age. They are a disgraceful organization.

blackandgoldfan said...

Clay: I'm closer to their target age, and when I get there, I'm going to tell them to cram it. It's just another example of how they'll shake your hand and pee in your shoes.