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Medicare changes would come out of patients’ pockets

POSTED: May 21, 2011 4:18 p.m.

I am confused. Is this still the country where people get excited about their rights and stand up for them? Then how come we let politicians threaten to shut down our government if they don't get their way?

That was earlier. Now the threat is they won't raise the debt ceiling so we won't have money to run that same government. Is this responsible campaigning?

Some people in office now threaten to change Medicare to a system of vouchers, so when you get sick you take your voucher and start shopping for a doctor. This is supposed to save money but it doesn't support Medicare which has done so much good. The value of the vouchers would be less each year while insurance costs rise.

The difference would come out of the pockets of seniors and the poor. Can you believe our congressman, Dr. Paul Broun, would promote the voucher system? Congressmen get their choice of medical systems.

The little countries of Europe have managed to set up fair systems where people get timely medical care at a reasonable cost. Their pills cost less than ours, for one reason: Their governments are empowered to negotiate prices with the pill makers.

Our Congress won't permit government negotiation, so we pay more and have to go to Canada or Mexico for cheap pills. Congressmen, does this make sense?

I know the pharmaceutical companies carry a lot of weight, perhaps because they spare no expense in lobbying for what they want.

The excuse for this system is it's supposed to save money. Somehow the people on Medicare will have a cheaper medical system, but people in the upper-earning brackets get tax breaks to help them along. Probably for the same reason the oil companies get tax breaks after they mess up our fisheries.

When something good happens, that news may not get reported. We are not supposed to learn that a single-payer medical plan was introduced in both houses of Congress around May 13 but got no coverage. The plan has always had good public response when people knew about it.

Disability rights activists complain they are left out of slashed Medicaid budgets. Their big demonstration in Congress early in May got no coverage at all despite 300 activists, many in wheelchairs, occupying the central rotunda of the Cannon House office building. Many were arrested. Still no coverage.

I can only wonder why so many interesting items got no coverage at all. I have some colorful photos from activists who were there, but why did none of them get published? I can only wonder who is in charge.

Adele Kushner
Alto



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