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Friday, December 11, 2009

Health Care Update

Dear Policy Patriots -

Thank you for your support of the Free Our Health Care NOW! campaign and our fight against government-run health care. In this week's letter, you'll find out how you can make difference in the battle against government-run health care.

If Democrats Win, Seniors Lose! As reported in the New York Times, included in the Democrats' $460 billion of Medicare cuts is $43 billion in cuts to nursing care and therapy for homebound Medicare beneficiaries. This is critical help which is needed for the health and welfare of our parents and grandparents - to be taken away by the government!

California Model, Rationing of Care! One of the principle problems with government-run health care is that the government is the customer, not you. As a result, health care coverage will be limited to what the government bureaucrats decide, not what you as the patient needs.

This Los Angeles Times article reveals just how quickly health care bureaucrats can sacrifice patient care. In cash-strapped California, public health officials announced this week that the state's government-provided mammogram program, "Every Woman Counts" for low-income women will no longer screen women below age 50. This is what we will be facing in health care, the government will tell us what is allowed.

Officials from the California Department of Public Health claim that the incidence of breast cancer is relatively low in women less than 50. This may be true, but what if you are in that "relatively low" number? We are talking about your life! In California, the government's budgetary concerns, not patient's health, is the determining factor for quality and access to health care. Under ObamaCare government-run health care, budgetary priorities rather than a patient's health determine whether you get the health care you need.

Call Your Senator, Toll-Free! Communicate your displeasure with what they are doing? In less than five minutes, you can be on the phone with your Senator's office, communicating your opposition to government-run health care.

Just follow this Action Army link, enter your information on the right-hand part of the screen and click TAKE ACTION!

You will see a TOLL-FREE NUMBER to reach YOUR elected representatives and a PASSWORD.

Dial the number on a touch-tone phone, enter the password and you'll be connected as quickly as you can say Free Our Health Care NOW!

Your Senators Work for You! Believe it or not, Senators get job performance reviews: they're called elections. For this one-third of the Senators and for every member of the House of Representatives, Election Day is less than eleven short months away.

You have an important part to play in the health care debate: letting your voice be heard. Through the Free Our Health Care Now! Action Army website, communicating with your Senators is easy and convenient. Whether through an email or a phone call, please use this website as a way of letting your elected representatives know that you oppose government-run health care and plan on expressing your dissatisfaction at the polls in the upcoming election.

Senator McCain to AARP Members: It's Time to Cut the Card. Fighting against Medicare cuts, Senator John McCain recently proposed an amendment which would protect senior citizen benefits from the drastic cuts proposed by Congressional Democrats. McCain implored his fellow senators to "preserve the solemn obligations we have made to our seniors." However, to McCain's surprise, the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AARP) opposed the McCain Amendment and, remaining true to its strange bedfellows, supported drastic cuts for seniors.

In a scathing assault on AARP's infidelity, Senator McCain pointed to numerous AARP statements from the past renouncing Medicare cuts, including one as recently as just a few years ago. Clearly disappointed, McCain concluded by saying, "Take your AARP card, cut it in half and send it back. They've betrayed you." Click here to see video of the speech.

The NCPA maintains a wealth of educational and resource material including better alternatives to government-run health care:

John Goodman's Health Care Plan:

Health Care Solutions:

Five Steps to a Better Health Care System:

Dr. John Goodman's Blog - Current, up-to date information on the debate:

Heartland Institute's Health Care Solutions:

Thank you again for your support and for fighting against government-run health care. This is a fight worth fighting we will win one way or another!

Jeanette Nordstrom
National Center for Policy Analysis

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Under the Community Living Assistance Service and Supports program, taxpayers bear the risk of a shortfall -- and shortfalls have appeared for every social insurance plan ever created by Washington, says David Gratzer, a Senior Fellow with the Manhattan Institute...


Health Issues

December 8, 2009

Like other entitlements before it, the CLASS (Community Living Assistance Service and Supports) health insurance scheme will force the next generation of Americans to bear its true cost, says David Gratzer, a Senior Fellow with the Manhattan Institute.

Just as private insurers already do, CLASS means the government can take your money now in exchange for long-term care insurance. But in a private insurance plan, "pay now for problems later" means just that. In Washington, government-run "social insurance" works a little differently, says Gratzer:

* Congress' pay-as-you-go programs prices premiums for today's likely costs, not tomorrow's potential risks.
* Politicians look generous because pay-as-you-go premiums usually force the next generation of Americans to pay the true cost of today's entitlements.
* For example, the base payroll tax rate for Social Security is now 12.4 percent, quite a leap from the original rate of just 2 percent.

When it priced the Senate health bill, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) noted that CLASS "premiums would be set to cover the full cost of the program as measured on an actuarial basis" and estimated that incoming premiums would cut Washington's projected deficit by $72 billion by 2019, says Gratzer. However:

* Later in the same report the CBO stated that: "In the decade following 2029, the CLASS program would begin to increase budget deficits."
* In other words, the Senate health bill looks more fiscally responsible than the House bill because it front-loads windfall cash flow from CLASS, then backloads cost and risk to your grandchildren long after this Congress is safely (and comfortably) retired.
* Under CLASS, taxpayers bear the risk of a shortfall -- and shortfalls have appeared for every social insurance plan ever created by Washington.

When he rose to the presidency, Obama derided Washington politicians who "kick the can further down the road," passing costly problems from one generation to the next without the courage to solve them. Yes, assisted living might just be America's next big health challenge. Kicking another empty can down another bumpy road is not a responsible solution, says Gratzer.

Source: David Gratzer, "Yet another new Entitlement," Washington Times, December 6, 2009.

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