Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lamar Smith responds in the SA Express News and my response

Smith's letter:
A recent letter to the editor wrongly accused me of wanting to end Medicare. That is false. The House budget would save Medicare to ensure it is available for future generations. We know that if we do nothing Medicare will become insolvent in 10 years, according to recent estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.

Under this budget proposal, anyone 55 or older would keep their current Medicare system for the rest of their life. And for those 54 and under, the Medicare system would be saved by providing retirees with the ability to choose from a menu of government-supported options.

For the sake of our seniors, we cannot afford to wait to fix Medicare's impending insolvency. Those who oppose the House budget have not proposed any solutions of their own.

My response:
Congressman Smith’s letter published May 28 falsely states that he’s protecting Medicare when in fact he’s ending it for anyone 54 and younger. While a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, calling a voucher program Medicare is disingenuous at best. Mr. Smith fails to inform us that the program he voted for will only pay a fixed amount to private insurers who can charge any amount they want for any level of coverage they to choose to offer and deny coverage to anyone they wish all in the name of making a profit.

I hope regular readers will note that he didn’t bother to respond to the question posed in the original letter. “I’m 44 years old and can’t get private coverage now due to several medical conditions; what insurance company do they think will want to cover me when I’m 67?”

There are any number of ways to address the projected funding shortfall including raising premiums, raising co-pays and forcefully prosecuting Medicare fraud. Mr. Smith needs to understand that handing us steaming longhorn droppings and calling it roses doesn’t make it roses.

1 comment:

  1. Published in the Herald-Zeitung June 7, 2011