Thursday, July 10, 2008

Garrett vs. Medicare - Again

Back when I was busy pointing out the misleading and patently false arguments being made by Representative Scott Garrett with regard to SCHIP, one of his more cynical defenses was that seniors would lose coverage if the bill was passed.

Garrett was laying the foundation of the argument currently being used in defense of Medicare Advantage, one of Garrett's favorite taxpayer fleecing programs. Garrett argued against reforming the program then, and was one of 59 Representatives to vote against fixing it last week.

The bill he voted against also prevented doctors treating the elderly from having to take a 10% pay cut for their services, which would have creating fewer choices for seniors. However, as commonsense and fiscally sound as this bill is, the President is threatening a veto. Here's how Herb Jackson summed up the President's stance on the bill:
The White House complained in a statement this week that the bill pays for restoring the doctors' fees by reducing subsidies for Medicare Advantage, an experimental privately managed insurance program for about 2.3 million elderly residents nationwide.

Here's what the CBO said about Medicare Advantage in April 2007:
Such growth, under current payment policies, increases net costs to Medicare because payments made to Medicare Advantage plans exceed costs under the traditional fee-for-service program.

Defending a program that sucks more money out of the trust than is needed to deliver care, to guarantee a profit margin to vendors regardless of their performance, is an absolutely ridiculous position. Part of me kind of hopes that AARP will put Garrett and the other 58 folks in their magazine and explain to people how they were defending bankrupting Medicare.

Garrett may someday realize that consistently voting to have taxpayers pay more for services than things cost is not being a fiscal conservative. $900 hammer anyone?

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