Healthcare

Obama Will Repeal Medicare

Obama’s health care proposal is, in effect, the repeal of the Medicare program as we know it. The elderly will go from being the group with the most access to free medical care to the one with the least access.
 
Indeed, the principal impact of the Obama health care program will be to reduce sharply the medical services the elderly can use. No longer will their every medical need be met, their every medication prescribed, their every need to improve their quality of life answered.
 
It is ironic that the elderly — who were so vigilant when President Bush proposed to change Social Security — are so relaxed about the Obama health care proposals. Bush’s Social Security plan, which did not cut their benefits at all, aroused the strongest opposition among the elderly. But Obama’s plan, which will totally gut Medicare and replace it with government-managed care and rationing, has elicited little more than a yawn from most senior citizens.
 
It’s time for the elderly to wake up before it is too late!
 
The elderly of Canada are feeling the consequences from just this kind of program. Limited colonoscopies have led to a 25 percent higher rate of colon cancer, and a ban on the use of the two best chemotherapies are part of the reason why 42 percent of Canadians with colon cancer die, while 31 percent of Americans, who have access to these two medications, survive the disease.
 
Overall, the death rate from cancer in Canada is 16 percent higher than in the United States and the heart disease mortality rate is 6 percent above ours.
 
Under Obama’s program, there will be a government health insurance company that gets huge subsidies of tax money. It will compete with private insurance plans. But the subsidies will let it undercut the private plans and drive them out of business, leaving only the government plan — a single payer — in effect.
 
Today, 800,000 doctors struggle to treat adequately the 250 million Americans who have insurance. Obama will add 50 million more to their caseload with no expansion in the number of doctors or nurses. Indeed, his plan will likely reduce their number by lowering reimbursement rates and imposing bureaucrats above them who will force medical decisions down their throats. Fewer doctors will have to treat more patients. The inevitable result will be rationing.
 
And it is the elderly whom rationing will most effect. Who should get a knee replacement, a 40-year-old or a 70-year-old? Who should get a new hip, a young person or an old person? Who should have priority in the operating room, a 70-year-old diabetic who needs bypass surgery or a younger person?
 
Obviously, it is the elderly who will get short shrift under his proposal. But the interest groups that usually speak up for the elderly, particularly the AARP, are in Obama’s pocket, hoping to profit from his program by becoming one of its vendors. Just as they backed Bush’s prescription drug plan because they anticipated profiting from it, so they are now helping Obama gut the medical care of their constituents.
 
It is high time that the elderly of America realized what the stakes are in this vital fight to preserve Medicare as we know it and keep medical care open, accessible and free to those over 65. It is truly a battle for their very lives.

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