Wednesday, July 23, 2014
   
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Letters to the Editor

AARP response distorts letter

My last letter has been distorted by the Nebraska state president of the AARP.

His “party line dogma” and wrongheaded assertions do not follow his own request, from in his last letter to the editor, to “cut the spin and have an honest conversation about…Medicare.”

So let’s have that “honest conversation.” Let’s start with AARP’s motivation for supporting a health care plan that will bankrupt the already fragile economy, drive doctors away from providing care to seniors and cause hospitals, many in small communities, to close.

Why is Mr. Eppler and the AARP so high on “reducing bloated subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans”? Well according to a report to the House Ways and Means Committee entitled, The AARP America Doesn’t Know, it’s about making lots of money.

As Medicare Advantage is phased out, Medigap sales will necessarily increase. And according to this report, “This will have a direct, significant and positive impact on the future profits at AARP.”

The report continues, “The Democrats’ health care law, which AARP strongly endorses, could result in a windfall for AARP that exceeds over $1 billion during the next 10 years.”

So now it appears that “strengthening Medicare for today’s seniors and future generations” is not the real story. It’s really about strengthening the AARP.

Now let’s “cut the spin.” Eppler doesn’t believe that a “bribe” could happen. He misrepresented my letter saying that I “refer(s) to a purported ‘bribe’ in the Affordable Care Act.” This is not correct. I was talking about Ben Nelson, before there was Obamacare.

Ben Nelson took a “hand-out,” an “inducement,” a “carrot,” a “sweetener,” a ”kickback,” whatever you want to call it. To “entice,” “persuade,” “buy off” or “induce,” however you want to say it, him to be the 60th vote that gave America Obamacare. Ben Nelson, therefore, personally gave us the un-affordable care act, that a super majority of voters in America did not want.

That quid pro quo: Ben Nelson’s vote for a, yet seen, $17 billion payment to Nebraska (the Cornhusker Kickback) is what stinks about Washington.

Mr Eppler’s, statement on how the ACA will, “…Change how Medicare pays doctors and hospitals…,” shows that he doesn’t understand what’s at stake.

Mr. Eppler asserted, in his last letter, the ACA was needed, “(to) extend the solvency of the Medicare Part A…”. In an Aug. 4 editorial, the Wall Street Journal clearly states the opposite. In part it said that, “Medicare’s Prospective payments are low enough that further reductions may jeopardize access to care and in many cases threaten the viability of hospitals.”

Obamacare may very well kill small town hospitals and will drive doctors from providing care to seniors. Certainly, it will make it nearly impossible for small communities to recruit newer physicians to replace the aging doctor population. Why do so many voters in the U.S. understand this and you and the AARP don’t? Oh that’s right…$1 billion over the next 10 years. No “spin,” just facts.

 

 

Cairo speech, actions at odds

Barack Obama went to Cairo and gave a phony baloney speech, then put in place programs totally to the contrary (just as he does in this country). People there were upset. I pointed out this duplicity in my letter(s), which began a bizarre obsession with a premise that I opposed Obama’s cutting funds to Egypt. Even though I oppose most everything Obama does, that was not in my letter(s). I don’t see what’s so difficult to decipher.

If you want to understand my term “terrorist buddies” of Obama, all you have to do is look at each of the world’s conflicts and see which side Obama supports. This isn’t rocket science. The plan to eliminate bin Laden was in place before Obama became president. When he needed a boost in the polls, they woke him up in the middle of the night, so he could watch it on TV.

Penny Fattig and Glenn Bartels believe the two parties should work together for the good of the country. I don’t know how many people consider themselves Democrats in this country. In congress, Democrats are virtually non-existent. I believe that Republicans should be fighting tooth and nail to prevent further usurpation of our freedoms by progressives/socialists.

Example: both parties just worked together on (debt reduction) legislation that increases our debt by 7-10 trillion dollars. Afterwards, Obama was crowing about all the spending he has planned. Standard & Poor’s downgraded our credit rating.

Penny wrote “Obviously, gridlock is not a good thing.” Gridlock is what keeps mental patients like Rep. Mike Doyle (D) in check. Here’s his statement about tea partiers. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.” LOL

It is no surprise that AARP Nebraska president, Robert Eppler (08-03 letter), is bad-mouthing private Medicare Advantage plans. They are AARP’s biggest competitor. He forgot to mention that they spent over $43 million lobbying the passage of Obamacare. It cuts the “bloated subsidies” away from seniors to fund what talk show host Andrew Wilkow termed, Obama’s “zero liability voters.”

AARP comes to the rescue with lower quality care and rising costs by government fiat. Obamacare throws seniors under the bus and AARP is driving the bus. Surprise! Surprise! Crony capitalism allowed AARP to join over 1,400 businesses in getting a waiver from Obamacare!

Obamacare is already cutting the reimbursement of physicians who see Medicare patients, causing a reduction in the numbers they will take and even causing some to leave their practice. As someone who opposes entitlements in the first place, I think it’s stupid to employ government run healthcare which drives the best and brightest out of business. The competition of free market capitalism ensures the best care at the lowest price.

Which would you rather be paying for, a personal quality doctor or the slop at AARP’s hog trough?

What if Ben Nelson would have voted against the health bill? Perhaps we would be talking about real healthcare reform.

 

   

Parties should work together

I am writing in response to Jay Matzke’s letter of July 27. It’s nice that in America we can all have opinions even though they might be different. I for one do not think all Republicans are perfect and that all Democrats are bad as stated in your letter. I for one think all parties need to be working together for the good of America.

If you want your party in power then run someone who will win! We all need to work together to solve the bad problem we as American’s are facing.

I do not agree with our president in many ways but only pray the parties will start working for the good of America. What if Ben Nelson would have voted against the health bill? He would have still been a Democratic.

   

‘Medi-Facts’ are distortions

Jay Matzke’s so-called “Medi-Facts” are distortions that don’t stand up to serious examination (Gothenburg Times, 7/28). Matzke is misinformed that proposed changes to Medicare won’t affect current beneficiaries.

Like the balanced budget measures in Congress, the CAP Act in the U.S. Senate would set an arbitrary federal spending limit triggering across-the-board cuts. One study by the Lewin Group found that the CAP Act would reduce Social Security benefits by 19% by 2021 and increase out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries by $391 per year. Cuts would go even deeper under a balanced budget amendment.

He also asserts that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) worsens Medicare’s finances by taking $500 million out of the program. It does just the opposite by reducing bloated subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans and changing how Medicare pays doctors and hospitals to reward quality of care rather than volume. Medicare’s Board of Trustees determined that these changes and others will extend the solvency of the Medicare Part A trust fund from 2017 to 2029.

Finally, Matzke refers to a purported “bribe” in the ACA. In fact, that provision prevents Nebraska and all other states from paying a larger share of the cost of the expanded Medicaid program. Medicaid expansion will provide coverage for more low-income Nebraskans and reduce the amount of uncompensated care that drives up costs for everyone with health insurance.

It’s time to cut the spin and have an honest conversation about strengthening Medicare for today’s seniors and future generations. Without the benefits of Medicare, millions of disabled and older Americans would not have affordable, accessible health care that covers their basic needs.

   

Health care opinion praised

Bravo Jay Matzke (07-27 letter). How refreshing to read about Obamacare, from a medical professional’s standpoint. Since Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan was introduced, Democrats have been accusing Republicans of trying to destroy Medicare (pushing granny off a cliff in her wheelchair).

I would like to make one correction to Dr. Matzke’s letter. Democrats took $500 billion (not $500 million) from Medicare to fund Obamacare, so the CBO could give it a passing grade. Ironically, Republicans are the ones introducing legislation—making tough decisions to save the future of entitlements, while Democrats are in total opposition.

In the past, Sen. Ben Nelson has had the luxury of voting against his own party when his vote didn’t matter. Now that the radical programs of Obama require every single vote for passage, Nelson has voted for every America killing bill coming down the pike. He had a chance to be a hero and shine the light of freedom on our state. Instead, he gave Nebraska a black eye, as shady back-room deals will forever be referenced as a “cornhusker kickback.” Thanks Ben.

 

   

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