Earlier this year, as the Russia scandal heated up, a number of commentators bemoaned Washington’s “obsession” with the story. The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe, noting that “there remains no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the election,” wrote that “the Siberian Candidate theory is so dangerous is that it is a distraction from…
This letter was written by Jerry Hanson
Dear Editor: Paul Ryan’s plan to cut Medicare would eliminate the 80 percent coverage of hospital care and doctors’ visits and replace it with vouchers for seniors to buy private health insurance. Ryan has no answer if the vouchers do not allow seniors to buy enough insurance to match what Medicare now covers. Also, what happens if the premiums rise beyond the value of the vouchers? It would appear that under Ryan’s plan the seniors either pay more at a time in their life when they can least afford it, or they forgo needed medical interventions.
Medicare has held down medical costs by placing limits on the amounts Medicare will pay for medical procedures. To eliminate Medicare and its 80 percent cost-containing mechanism will allow medical costs for seniors to return to the high levels they endured before reaching Medicare eligibility.
It is also questionable whether Ryan’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with “better coverage at less cost for all Americans” as promised by President Trump will materialize. Ryan is now claiming that his plan will offer “access” to health care not actual coverage, Ryan has not acknowledged that he and his fellow congressmen would receive the same coverage that he is proposing for the rest of us.
Ryan’s plan results in Medicare benefits earned through a lifetime of work to lose their value or become unaffordable. Not the way to treat those in the twilight of their lives.
With the confirmation of Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary, the United States Senate confirmed a person who has publicly stated his desire to dismantle health care as we know it. Price’s intention for Medicare will no doubt be costly for seniors and the disabled. Insurance companies and the extremely wealthy will be the biggest beneficiaries of Price’s leadership, not to mention the drug companies. As a member of Congress, Price sponsored legislation that benefited companies in which he owned stock. His concern is obviously for himself and his wealthy benefactors, not the working class people of America.
51 votes will ensure confirmationYes52No47Not voting: 1
R Todd Young Ind. R Roger Wicker Miss. R Thom Tillis N.C. R Patrick J. Toomey Pa. R John Thune S.D. R Dan Sullivan Alaska R Ben Sasse Neb. R Tim Scott S.C. R Luther Strange Ala. R Richard C. Shelby Ala. R Michael Rounds S.D. R Marco Rubio Fla. R Jim Risch Idaho R Pat Roberts Kan. R David Perdue Ga. R Rand Paul Ky. R Rob Portman Ohio R Lisa Murkowski Alaska R Jerry Moran Kan. R Mitch McConnell Ky. R John McCain Ariz. R Mike Lee Utah R James Lankford Okla. R John Kennedy La. R Ron Johnson Wis. R Johnny Isakson Ga. R James M. Inhofe Okla. R John Hoeven N.D. R Dean Heller Nev. R Orrin G. Hatch Utah R Cory Gardner Colo. R Charles E. Grassley Iowa R Lindsey Graham S.C. R Deb Fischer Neb. R Jeff Flake Ariz. R Joni Ernst Iowa R Michael B. Enzi Wyo. R Steve Daines Mont. R Ted Cruz Tex. R Tom Cotton Ark. R Bill Cassidy La. R Bob Corker Tenn. R John Cornyn Tex. R Shelley Moore Capito W.Va. R Susan Collins Me. R Michael D. Crapo Idaho R Thad Cochran Miss. R John Barrasso Wyo. R John Boozman Ark. R Richard M. Burr N.C. R Roy Blunt Mo. R Lamar Alexander Tenn.
D Elizabeth Warren Mass. D Mark Warner Va. D Sheldon Whitehouse R.I. D Ron Wyden Ore. D Chris Van Hollen Md. D Tom Udall N.M. D Jon Tester Mont. D Brian Schatz Hawaii D Jeanne Shaheen N.H. D Debbie Stabenow Mich. D Chuck Schumer N.Y. D Jack Reed R.I. D Gary Peters Mich. D Bill Nelson Fla. D Joe Manchin III W.Va. D Jeff Merkley Ore. D Christopher S. Murphy Conn. D Patty Murray Wash. D Robert Menendez N.J. D Edward J. Markey Mass. D Patrick J. Leahy Vt. D Tim Kaine Va. D Amy Klobuchar Minn. D Maggie Hassan N.H. D Kamala Harris Calif. D Heidi Heitkamp N.D. D Martin Heinrich N.M. D Mazie K. Hirono Hawaii D Kirsten Gillibrand N.Y. D Al Franken Minn. D Dianne Feinstein Calif. D Tammy Duckworth Ill. D Joe Donnelly Ind. D Richard J. Durbin Ill. D Catherine Cortez Masto Nev. D Chris Coons Del. D Bob Casey Pa. D Thomas R. Carper Del. D Benjamin L. Cardin Md. D Maria Cantwell Wash. D Cory Booker N.J. D Richard Blumenthal Conn. D Michael Bennet Colo. D Tammy Baldwin Wis. D Sherrod Brown Ohio I Bernie Sanders Vt. I Angus King Me.
D Claire McCaskill Mo.
Medicare demonstrates that there are some services that the federal government provides better than the private sector. The mere existence of Medicare (and Social Security) puts the lie to the claim that everything should be privatized. For that reason, today’s Republicans, who hate government and want to privatize everything, are determined to end Medicare as we know it.
One of those anti-government zealots, Representative Tom Price (R-GA), has been nominated by Donald Trump to be the fox in the Medicare hen house — Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Department responsible for the administration of Medicare. He has made his antagonism to Medicare clear.
Against all evidence, Price claims that “nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of health care than the federal government’s intrusion into medicine through Medicare.” Of course, the exact opposite is true. Medicare saves lives. It allows seniors and people with disabilities, those with the greatest health needs, to obtain life-saving health care.
GOP Senators Running For Reelection In 2018
|Barrasso, John – (R – WY)||(202) 224-6441||@SenJohnBarrasso|
|Corker, Bob – (R – TN)||(202) 224-3344||@SenBobCorker|
|Cruz, Ted – (R – TX)||(202) 224-5922||@SenTedCruz|
|Fischer, Deb – (R – NE)||(202) 224-6551||@SenatorFischer|
|Flake, Jeff – (R – AZ)||(202) 224-4521||@JeffFlake|
|Hatch, Orrin G. – (R – UT)||(202) 224-5251||@SenOrrinHatch|
|Heller, Dean – (R – NV)||(202) 224-6244||@SenDeanHeller|
|Wicker, Roger F. – (R – MS)||(202) 224-6253||@SenatorWicker|
If one of these is your Senator, call often. None of them want their votes against Medicare, Medicaid or health care for all Americans to be the reason they lose their Senate seats in 2018. Let them know you are watching. A vote for Price is a vote against America’s health.
Would Republicans sacrifice the health and welfare of the disabled, the poor and to build Donald Trump his wall? One would think not, but here is what we know. Trump was considering cancelling his meeting with the president of Mexico scheduled for next week. Why? Because Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has repeatedly made clear that Mexico will not be paying for Trump’s wall. Before Trump could make up his mind, President Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled the meeting himself. Mexico paying for the wall played well as a campaign fantasy, but in the real world it seems to have hit a sour note.
We know that Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to begin immediate work on the barrier. Therefore, someone is going to be paying for his wall. Who?
We know that Republicans are considering a special budget bill to pay for Trump’s wall. Republicans in Congress are willing to pass such a bill because they believe Trump when he says that Mexico will eventually pay for the wall. Republicans in Congress are willing to take Trump at his word even though a Google search on “People who have been stiffed by Trump” returns about 13,500,000 results. The result at the top of the list is a USA Today report that gives detailed accounts of the many people who have done work for Trump and who are still waiting to be paid. Just as Trump left numerous people holding the bag for work they had done for him, he has now convinced Republican leaders in Congress to hand that bag to the American taxpayer.
We also know how much Republicans want to cut health care. They have already voted to begin the process of cutting the Affordable Care Act. We know they want to turn Medicaid into block grants. We know Speaker Ryan’s plan, A Better Way, cuts Medicare benefits, raises the eligibility age and eventually turns it into a voucher program.
Given what we know, is it a stretch to imagine a scenario where Republicans make the cuts to health care that they have clearly told us they want to make and then take those dollars and use them to build the wall that they have clearly committed to helping Trump build? Frankly, it is not hard to imagine at all. In fact, it is frighteningly easy to imagine, too easy.
Please call your members of Congress and tell them to protect and preserve health care for the American people.
Donna Cutler, 76, recently spent a week in the hospital to address an issue with her oxygen levels. Although no surgery was required, the bill came to almost $50,000. Fortunately, Medicare covered the cost. Mrs. Cutler paid into Medicare her entire working life, including time as a teacher, and feels that Medicare works quite well…