First, President Obama has proposed, along with the Democrats in Congress, have proposed to pay for some of the health care reform with cuts in Medicare.
Nobody is talking about reducing Medicare benefits," Obama said. "Medicare benefits are there because people contributed into a system. It works. We don't want to change it. What we do want is to eliminate some of the waste that is being paid for out of the Medicare trust fund that could be used more effectively to cover more people and to strengthen the system."
Such assurances haven't stopped Republicans from stepping up their criticism.
"Using massive cuts to Medicare as a way to pay for more government-run health care isn't the kind of change Americans are looking for," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Thursday in a speech on the Senate floor. "Americans want savings from Medicare to be used to strengthen Medicare, not to create a system that would ... lead to a government takeover of health care."
While the President continues to insist that Medicare cuts won't lead to cuts in Medicare benefits, it's hard to see what else that would lead to. By cutting the fees paid to doctors for Medicare patients, that will eventually lead to less doctors accepting Medicare. The elderly should be worried that cuts in Medicare will lead to cuts in Medicare benefits because there's really nothing else that could happen.
Of course, the fear only starts in the cuts in Medicare. Pages 425-430 mandates advanced care planning for seniors. This will mandate that seniors meet regularly with a counselor to plan for their treatment as they near death. On page 429, the Advance Care Planning Consultant will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. On page 430,the government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life. This is mandated so this is no option. This is a requirement. Since most health care costs come at the end of life, they will be the first to be rationed.
Pages 272-274 analyzes and studies the treatment of cancer. Within this section, the bill mandates this...
The Secretary shall conduct a study to determine if costs incurred by hospitals exceed costs incurred by other hospitals
It's followed by a section on AUTHORIZATION OF ADJUSTMENT. As such, this section will lead to the rationing of cancer care.
On page 268 the bill even regulates the sale and rental of electric wheel chairs.
The reality is that elderly are very worried about what effect this bill will have on them, and they should be. This bill will ration care and since an enormous amount of care happens at the end of life it will be that care that will be rationed first. The bill will cut Medicare costs and that means cuts in Medicare benefits. It will force seniors to see advance care consultants and it will even have government bureaucrats make decisions for end of life. It even regulates electric wheel chairs.