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 RetireSafe Blasts Plan to Pay for Health Care Reform with Huge Medicare Cuts

(Washington, DC) June 10, 2009 . . . Today the 400,000 strong senior-citizen group RetireSafe blasted President Obama and his Congressional allies for proposing to cut $500 billion or more from Medicare to pay for “health care reform.” Thair Phillips, the new president of RetireSafe, called the plan "an insult to every older American."

Said Phillips, "I’m outraged that President Obama would first plan to reform health care on the backs of seniors, and secondly propose to set up MedPAC as the final Medicare payment authority with a primary mission of cutting Medicare services that seniors need and depend on. If America needs health care reform to cover the uninsured it should be accomplished without cutting and gutting Medicare."

Phillips also blasted AARP for abandoning seniors by supporting this plan that can only be described as void of fairness and compassion. He asked, "Who’s best interest is really at AARP’s heart here? Themselves or the people they are supposed to protect? Why isn’t AARP opposing this catastrophic plan?"

According to Phillips, seniors will be the ones to pay. He said, “What services will be cut by these politicians and bureaucrats? Will they cut home health care services, forcing seniors into institutions? Will they ration drugs and diagnostic services, forcing more beneficiaries to emergency rooms and hospitals? Will they put the best hospitals, hospitals that specialize in orthopedic or cardiac care, off-limits for Medicare patients? Will they continue to cut physician pay until every good doctor flees Medicare? Or will they use price-controls that will destroy the innovation we need to conquer diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart attacks and strokes? Over 10 years, how many seniors will suffer and die because of this outrageous plan?”

Phillips pointed out that 40 million plus older Americans will be forced to foot the bill for this ambitious reform scheme. He said, “This is doubly offensive because many of these same older Americans have paid Medicare taxes for their entire working lives. And now they will be cheated out of the benefits they’ve earned. Where is the fairness and compassion in that?”

On behalf of the 400,000 senior-citizen supporters that RetireSafe represents, Phillips promised to spread the word to every Medicare beneficiary, as well as to the millions of Americans who plan to join Medicare in the coming decade. He said, “We want these Older Americans to know they are the targets of this plan, the people who, at the expense of their health care, will be made to pay for health care reform. This fight is far from over.”

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