Tags: obamacare | obama | elderly

Elderly Moving Against Obamacare

Monday, 28 Sep 2009 03:32 PM

By Dick Morris

America's elderly are finally realizing that President Barack Obama's healthcare changes are largely financed by cuts in Medicare and are rallying against his proposals in increasing numbers.

The latest poll by Scott Rasmussen not only shows national opposition to Obamacare rising — now it is 41 percent to 56 percent against — but also shows the elderly moving against it even more strongly by 33-59 or almost 2-1.

And well they should. Three-quarters of Obamacare is to be financed by slashing $500 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years. That comes to an 8 percent cut. Next year's total Medicare spending, for example, will be about $500 billion by itself, so this is like having one year without Medicare at all. Obama's fatuous claim that the cut will not affect care for the elderly is specious as any thinking person would realize. We have gone through previous incarnations of those who wanted to slash Medicare and pretended that it would not affect the elderly. Newt Gingrich tried to sell this act of alchemy in 1995. The elderly didn't buy it then and aren't buying it now.

It is obviously impossible to cut Medicare reimbursement without slashing the time doctors spend with patients. It is equally obvious that you cannot cover 30 million new patients without more doctors and nurses. And the Medicare cuts in doctors' fees will, of course, cause a decrease in the number of medical professionals. Investor’s Business Daily conducted a poll of doctors in September that showed that 45 percent of them said they would seriously consider retiring or closing their practices if the Obama bill passes.

A larger number will likely refuse to treat Medicare patients. Indeed, current law provides for a 21 percent cut in Medicare fees to doctors next year and a 6 percent cut the year after. The new $500 billion in cuts are on top of these reductions. What kind of medical care do we expect our elderly to receive when the doctor they visit is getting $35 or $40 for seeing them.

But the Senate appears ready to ram this bill through regardless of what the public or the elderly think. They have 60 votes and they won't listen to anyone. But we have to make them listen.

PLEASE take two steps right now.

1. I have persuaded the League of American Voters to run 10 second advertisements in key states that show an elderly person saying: "Senator _________: Please don't cut my Medicare by $500 billion. I need my Medicare." We need to get these ads on in the key states.

Obama would like us to believe that the key issue is whether or not to have a public option, precisely because he is prepared to concede the point (and have a co-op that would be run by the government for at least the first three years instead). But we need to focus attention on the cuts in Medicare. It is slashing services to the elderly that is the key point!

So please go here now and give very, very generously. This is the key moment and you can make all the difference in the world. With pressure such as the elderly are bringing to bear, the Senate would not dare pass this benighted plan.

2. If you live in one of these key swing states, PLEASE write the senator I have indicated. To get talking points for your letter, consult our book “Catastrophe”. But write today:

Arkansas: Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor

Louisiana: Mary Landrieu

Nebraska: Ben Nelson

South Dakota: Tim Johnson

North Dakota: Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad

Montana: Max Baucus and Jon Tester

North Carolina: Kay Hagan

Indiana: Evan Bayh

Connecticut: Joe Lieberman

Maine: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins

Thank you very much. Time is running short!

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