FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The Senate has voted to cut almost $500 billion from Medicare as a way to help pay for health care reform. Is that an oxymoron?
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/04/art.medicare.gi.jpg caption="Health care reform supporters participate in a sit-in inside the lobby of a Manhattan building."]
Republicans tried to stop it - but failed. The esteemed senators apparently think they can cut that much from Medicare without hurting seniors. They better hope the seniors agree with them. They insist Medicare is already in trouble and needs to be fixed, "not raided to create another new government program."
Senator John McCain is recording a phone message meant for voters - urging against the proposed cuts in Medicare.
But Democrats say the Republicans are making false claims about the $460 billion in cuts and they insist there's a lot of waste, fraud and abuse that can be cut from Medicare. Keep in mind - they also need to find a way to pay for the nearly $1 trillion health care plan.
The Democrats say the bill won't reduce guaranteed Medicare benefits for seniors, and that it would extend Medicare solvency for another five years.
The AARP supports the proposed Medicare cuts over 10 years - thus giving the Democrats political cover in their push to cut back subsidies to private Medicare plans along with payments to hospitals, hospices, home health agencies and other providers.
Medicare is an extremely popular program among seniors. For some it's the only healthcare they have. Is it really a good idea to cut all this money out of a government-run health program that actually works?
Here’s my question to you: Should Medicare cuts be part of health care reform?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
You have to separate "waste," which should be cut, from "services," which had better not be cut. I think this looks like just another scheme of the Republicans to scare and fool us old folks.
The cuts will come in situations like this one just experienced by my 86-year-old aunt: She was taken to the emergency room. She gave a urine sample and was then sent home. The hospital billed $1,800 to Medicare… The problem is not health care costs, it's the charges!
Johnny from Los Angeles writes:
Jack, The reductions need to be extracted, and quickly. This is the biggest eye-opener in the whole legislation. If there is waste in the system, you do not need a law to change it so take it out. This foolish game by the Democrats to keep costs down at the expense of our senior community, which needs the services more than the non-insured, is ludicrous.
Absolutely. The Republicans are surging ahead in the race to irrelevancy and the Democrats need a big move to catch up. Throwing themselves on the third rail of Medicare is a sure-fire way to 'get er done'.
Since when has the Medicare system actually worked? Coming from someone in health care, it doesn't and never has.
Lia form Bradenton, Florida writes:
Every year since we've had Medicare, it's always been the Republicans who have railed at how inefficient and wasteful the program is. Now that a Democratic president is finally going to do something about it, they decide to scare granny and gramps with the Chicken Little routine. Unbelievable! As with just about everything else, this federal program's overhaul is long overdue. And nobody's going to die because of it.
Linda from Arizona writes:
Just do it. I'm tired of dithering.