The ones that get me the most are the lies about health care reform, or “Obamacare.” The latest one repeats the lie that the law will cut Medicare services by $716 billion. It will not. That is an out-and-out lie. No matter how many times they repeat it, it still will be a lie.
The Affordable Care act does NOT cut services for seniors. In fact, services should improve.
- As of Oct. 1, hospitals will be fined if Medicate patients are discharged and then readmitted within 30 days.
- The Affordable Care Act closes the prescription “doughnut hole” for seniors.
- Seniors now get their annual checkups with no out-of-pocket costs.
- It cuts millions of dollars to private, corporate-run “Medicare Advantage” plans, which are more expensive for seniors anyway.
There’s more, but you get the drift. The $716 billion number is actually the estimated amount that will be SAVED by taxpayers over the next 10 years by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
And as for the “death panels,” that un-elected board will only be gathering data to ascertain the most efficient and effective treatments for various illnesses and disabilities. No one’s actually been doing that.
For example, one hospital in Utah studied treatments for prostate cancer in older men and found that aggressive treatment in older men actually results in worse outcomes than the “watchful waiting” tactic.
The board will not have the authority to limit any treatments but instead will allow doctors to inform patients of the efficacy of various treatments. That’s information I want to have, don’t you?
And yes, Obamacare does raise taxes on prescription drug makers, whose profits are obscene and who are not re-investing those profits back into research. We are the only country in the industrialized world that doesn’t regulate drug prices. I think the least we can do is make these companies pay their fair share in taxes.
So, there you have it, the truth about that flyer you got in the mail yesterday. If you want to know more, go to www.healthcare.gov. The truth is there for you to read.Leslie Boyd, a former newspaper reporter, is president of the health care advocacy nonprofit, WNC Health Advocates, founded in memory of her son, who died in 2008 because he couldn't access health care. E-mail her at leslie at lettersfromtheleft dot com or follow her on Twitter @leftyletters1, visit Letters from the Left on Facebook. For more information about WNC Health Advocates or to read Boyd's health care blog, visit wncha.org.