Betsy McCaughey, PhD, describes how Senior Citizens will be hammered by HR-3200, the Health Care Bill.
Since Medicare was established in 1965, access to care has enabled older Americans to avoid becoming disabled and languishing in nursing homes. But legislation now being rushed through Congress — H.R. 3200 and the Senate Health Committee Bill — will reduce access to care, pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely, and doom baby boomers to painful later years.
The Congressional majority wants to pay for its $1 trillion to $1.6 trillion health bills with new taxes and a $500 billion cut to Medicare. This cut will come just as baby boomers turn 65 and increase Medicare enrollment by 30%. Less money and more patients will necessitate rationing. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 1% of Medicare cuts will come from eliminating fraud, waste and abuse.
The assault against seniors began with the stimulus package in February. Slipped into the bill was substantial funding for comparative effectiveness research, which is generally code for limiting care based on the patient’s age. Economists are familiar with the formula, where the cost of a treatment is divided by the number of years (called QALYs, or quality-adjusted life years) that the patient is likely to benefit. In Britain, the formula leads to denying treatments for older patients who have fewer years to benefit from care than younger patients.