Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011: Great News for Seniors!

More senior Americans stand a chance of seeing the new year through to the end, thanks to one of the several provisions of The Affordable Care Act (ACA) that take affect today: help with the infamous and deadly "donut hole."

Last year about this time, my husband and I took a little day trip with a group from our local senior center. Most of the people on the bus were retired and dependent on Medicare for their basic health care expenses. They were worried.

Those taking prescription medications necessary to protect their health—and in some cases, their lives—were now facing a three-month period during which they could afford to buy them, if at all, only with extreme financial sacrifice or help from their families. Medications for heart problems, epilepsy, even cancer were suddenly beyond the means of many seniors on the bus and throughout the country. They were faced with the prospect of not being able to take their life-giving prescriptions during one whole quarter of the year—and in some cases two quarters—because they couldn't afford them.

For most seniors, the cruel and inexplicable complexities of George Bush's prescription "help" plan—a deficit-busting plan crafted with the help of the insurance industry to ensure maximum profits for them—was like giving bread and water to starving people: it couldn't help much or for long, but it was better than nothing.

Happily, the new year begins with real help from the new health care plan so many disparagingly call "Obamacare."

Thanks, Mr. President!


Idna said...

Happy New Year, CJ!

Just a couple of questions about this posting. If the Bush prescription plan was so "cruel and inexplicably complex", as you claim, then why keep ANY part of it? Why didn't Mr. Wonderful and the Lame-Ducks just roll it back to what it was like BEFORE people had help with their prescriptions at all?

Did you, at the time, complain that President Bush was helping people with their prescriptions? Did you want no part of his evil plan? I will venture a guess that you thought Medicare Part D was a great gift to people, despite the fact that they would have to pay for their meds a few months of the year.

And second question ... about the
"infamous and deadly donut hole."
Do you believe that no one should have to pay for ANY of the medications they use AT ALL? That meds should be paid for by the OPM plan? (OPM = other people's money)

And the final question. If you think that President Bush's plan is a "deficit-busting plan", why won't Obamacare be even more so when supposedly it will cover so much more? You can't have it both ways, CJ. You can't complain about a prescription plan being bad for the deficit, and then propose a new one which is a lot more expensive. Or do you actually buy the nonsense that it will SAVE money?

Well, all I know is that our family's insurance bill just increased by $206/month in anticipation of this new "money saving" medical freebee for all.

Thanks, Mr. President, but NO THANKS!

Citizen Jane said...

Hello, Idna,

Several of your questions suggest to me that you are either being disingenuous or that you followed the entire health care debate of 2009 by getting information only from biased sources with incomplete coverage (such as Fox News).

The Democrats in Congress got the best health care measure possible given the absolute, steadfast determination of the Republicans to sit on their hands and do nothing but obstruct. Not all Bush's mistakes could be fixed, but some were.

Your insurance went up because of greedy insurance companies, not because of the new federal law.

Surely you know that, according to the CBO and other sources, the new health care legislation is expected to reduce the deficit over 10 years. Many provisions of the plan have to do with funding it--unlike measures pushed through during the Bush administration, which deferred his Medicare meddling (as well as his tax cuts and his wars) to future generations.

Idna said...

Hello CJ,
The entitlement, Medicare, was created in 1965. As new and expensive drugs came into use through the years, senior citizens for whom Medicare was designed, found prescriptions harder to afford. The MMA (Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act)was meant to address this problem.

This is the Bill that President Bush signed and that you call "cruel" and excoriate him for. What gives with that? As a liberal, I would think that you would have LOVED this new entitlement. (My opinion: just because the signature on that bill was George Bush you have a problem with it. If there were no MMA today and Barrack signed it into law, I think you (and all liberals) would jump for joy and praise him endlessly.)

As far as the CBO's projection of Obamacare "saving" money ... If we look back at past CBO projections, this claim is laughable.

Initially, the net cost of the Prescription Drug program was projected at $400 billion for the ten-year period between 2004 and 2013. (The program didn't go into effect til 2006, so why project from 2004? Sort of like Obamacare which collects money for 10 years for 7-years of the program.) One month after passage, the net cost of the program over the period between 2006 and 2015 was estimated to be $534 billion. As of February 2009, the projected net cost of the program over the 2006 to 2015 period was $549.2 billion. What's a $150,000,000,000.00 mistake ... no big deal if you're the CBO. Stay tuned for the NEXT projection, we haven't had one for a couple of years now. Do I hear $200 billion? $250?