Halloween's tricks, if not treats, began six nights early on Sunday's CBS news magazine show “60 Minutes.” Its viewers were hit by a barrage of propaganda apparently intended to help push Obamacare into law.
Such propaganda is nowadays typical of this partisan program. “60 Minutes” nearly every week includes at least one story that either bashes Republicans and conservatives or boosts Democrats and the liberal make-government-bigger agenda.
But with the fate of socialized medicine legislation at risk in the Congress, “60 Minutes” unleashed three weeks of leftist agitprop in a single program, despite the possibility that many viewers would gag on this overdose of brainwashing.
The first of these “60 Minutes” features showed how Medicare, a government program that provides healthcare to 46 million elderly and disabled Americans, is being scammed by thousands of fraudsters for an estimated $60 billion each year.
How, you might ask, could such a report help the Democratic politicians who want to shape Obamacare into “Medicare for everybody?”
The answer is that CBS completely sidestepped questions about whether government is competent to oversee healthcare.
Instead, viewers were told that this fraud comes from private corruption, lack of government money for surveillance, and a law that requires Medicare “to pay . . . claims within 15 to 30 days,” thereby letting storefront crooks pocket millions from fraudulent claims and skip town before they can be caught.
It will be news to physicians that Medicare pays claims to those who bill for phony medical equipment within 15 to 30 days. Many doctors report having to wait up to nine months to receive 70 percent to 80 percent of what they bill Medicare for their services.
CBS said nothing of the larger scam of Medicare itself, which grossly underpays doctors and hospitals who then must make up the difference by overcharging those with private insurance. This is why a single Tylenol or aspirin cost $10 on your last hospital bill.
(CBS' Andy Rooney denounced such ridiculous healthcare costs, but as a devout liberal, he never acknowledged that these were mostly government mandates that had been shifted to him and his private insurance.
Rooney also complained that our medical care is the most expensive in the world, yet America ranks 50th in the world in life expectancy. He never mentioned that we take in emigrants from every nation, ethnicity, and climate, along with their various health vulnerabilities and genetic susceptibilities.
Why is he surprised that some therefore die younger in our diverse population than in a frozen Scandinavian genetic monoculture?
What will happen when untaxed Obamacare forces private insurance companies out of business with his planned higher taxes and mandates that they must cover everyone with costly pre-existing conditions?
Who then will be left to pay for what an already-bankrupt Medicare cannot?
“60 Minutes,” of course, ignored all such issues.
Instead, CBS on Sunday provided a platform for President Barack Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder to denounce fraud and promise to crack down even harder on doctors and medical facilities.
This, of course, authorizes vastly more government surveillance of doctor-patient relationships and government second-guessing of now-private medical decisions.
CBS laid the basis for rule changes to let Medicare delay payments even longer so that fraud could be reduced.
And CBS credited “the Obama administration” for “providing Medicare with an additional $200 million to fight fraud as part of its stimulus package, and billions of dollars to computerize medical records and upgrade networks, which should help Medicare catch more phony charges.”
Thus President Obama, the knight of Big Government, rides to the rescue against corruption in . . . Big Government. Oh, and did these potential improvements come from Obama or from lawmakers on Capitol Hill? CBS credits only Mr. Obama.
The third feature Sunday night on “60 Minutes” focused on President Obama's adviser David Axelrod, who a week earlier appeared on one of the Sunday news shows as a hatchet man smearing Fox News Channel as too partisan to be a legitimate news network.
CBS did a feature “humanizing” hitman Axelrod by discussing his daughter and their family’s fight to treat her lifelong epilepsy. The story tugged hard on viewer heartstrings to help us forget how ruthlessly cold-hearted Axelrod himself is.
“Faced with few medical options,” said CBS, “the Axelrods are part of a movement that has tried to jumpstart medical research in a fight for a cure.”
CBS did not mention a September 2007 speech by President Bill Clinton's former labor secretary in which Robert Reich said that socialized medicine such as Obamacare is inevitably “going to use the bargaining leverage of the federal government in terms of Medicare, Medicaid — we already have a lot of bargaining leverage — to force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs.
“That means,” Reich continued, “less innovation and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market, which means you are probably not going to live much longer than your parents."
Obamacare is designed to fund itself, in part, by siphoning $500,000,000,000 from Medicare to pay for the healthcare of illegal aliens and other younger residents of the U.S.
Just as this cannot be done without reducing healthcare now provided to millions of those now on Medicare, so too Obamacare cannot carry out its plan to confiscate a large share of the profits of medical research companies without greatly reducing the future fruits of medical research . . . the future generations of drugs and other treatments for conditions such as epilepsy.
David Axelrod, therefore, is destroying the very medical research that could save those like his own daughter.
This is one of the costs of socialized Obamacare that CBS somehow neglected to mention.
Lowell Ponte is co-host of the radio show “Night-Watch,” heard live nationwide Monday through Friday, 10 p.m. to midnight Eastern time, on gcnlive.com.
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