December 2, 2009
A Bold Step -- But the Right Step
Senator John McCain earlier this week submitted an amendment to the Senate health care reform bill, an amendment that is the first and most important step to really reform health care. Senator McCain's bold amendment would remove the $483 billion in cuts to Medicare. The good news is that, if passed, this amendment would force the bill back to committee and maybe give it a chance for other important and needed changes. The bad news is that unless we contact our Senators now and tell them that we need this amendment to stop the proposed cuts to Medicare, this amendment will probably fail.
One of RetireSafe's senior supporters called me yesterday and told me that he was scared to death about the cuts in the proposed bill. He said, "What are they thinking? They take billions of our tax dollars and give them to banks to bail them out and then the banks turn around and charge me all sorts of sneaky fees. How can they give money to them but then turn around and cut billions of dollars from Medicare?" I didn't have an answer for him because I can't think of a logical reason; it seems common sense has gone out the window.
The Congress has been quick to blame lenders, mortgage brokers and Wall Street for the current recession. They said that all of them encouraged people to keep refinancing their houses at payments that were too big for their income and to spend the equity from their house on other things. "Don't worry about owing 100% or more of your house value", they said, "the value will keep going up and you can refinance again." That is what Congress wants to do with Medicare, they want to take the money from Medicare and use the money on other things, with projected payments (deficits) that are more than this country can afford and we, the lender… the people who pay the taxes, are going to let them, in some cases encourage them, to do it. When the bubble bursts and we are saddled with crushing debt and ever expanding government programs and we can't make the payments, we can blame the borrower (Congress) but, as in the financial crisis, the ultimate blame will be on the lender (the tax payer) for allowing this to happen.
We the people need to demand that the Congress and the Administration be fiscally responsible just like most of us are. It's time for them to live within their means, and to stop borrowing money from Peter to start a new expensive program for Paul. We need to tell our Senators that the McCain amendment is a black and white vote on drastically cutting the quality of Medicare, now and in the future. The vote on the McCain amendment is an up or down vote on rationing health care for older Americans to pay for a government takeover of 1/6 of our economy. Finally, the amendment provides an opportunity for every Senator to be fiscally responsible and keep their long-standing promise to older Americans. We should demand that all Senators vote for the McCain amendment, so that the Senate can go back to the drawing boards and find other, more efficient, ways to accomplish health care reform.
Contact your Senators now, and tell them that you're the lender and they can't have any more money, and they especially can't steal it from Medicare. Tell them to vote for the McCain amendment and remind them that you are watching how they vote, and that you vote too!