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Candidate Obama VS President Obama On Fixing Medicare

by on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 10:55 am EDT in Healthcare, Politics

On the campaign trail, CANDIDATE Obama was very specific on how he intended to fix Medicare:

1. To lower Medicare costs, Candidate Obama said he would permit Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices with the price-gauging pharmaceutical industry:

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SEN. OBAMA: But one thing I have to say, we are not going to make some of these changes unless we change how business is done in Washington. The reason that we can’t negotiate prescription drugs under the Medicare prescription drug plan is because the drug companies specifically sought and obtained a provision in that bill that prevented us from doing it.

MS. WASHBURN: Thank you.

SEN. OBAMA: And unless we change that politics, we’re going to continue to see the waste that we’re seeing in the entitlement programs.

2. He would increase revenues by $300 Billion simply by ending Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and use that to shore up Social Security and Medicare:

 

We’re not going to solve social security and Medicare unless we understand the rest of our tax policies. … Let’s be clear about my tax plan and Senator McCain’s, because we’re not going to be able to deal with entitlements unless we understand the revenues coming in. […]

Senator McCain wants to give a $300 Billion tax cut to — $200 Billion of it to the largest corporations and $100 Billion of it going to people like CEOs on Wall Street.

If we get our tax polices right so that they’re good for the middle class. If we reverse the policies of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place, and that Senator McCain supported, then we are going to be in a position to deal with Social Security and deal with Medicare, because we will have a health care plan that actually works for you, reduces spending and costs over the long term, and Social Security that is stable and solvent for all Americans, and not just some.

 So let’s see how PRESIDENT Obama fared in advancing his progressive platform for saving Medicare:

 1. Promise to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices:

In August of 2009, the Obama Administration admitted to cutting a secret back room deal with Big Pharma which SPARED the wealthy drug industry from having to negotiate drug prices with Medicare. Obama, additionally, broke another promise by dealing away Americans’ ability to import cheaper drugs from Canada.

In return, the drug industry agreed to kick in $80 Billion in savings over ten years (a mere 2.6% of the $3 Trillion Americans are predicted to spend on drugs over that same time period), and the industry additionally agreed to toss Obama $150 million in television ads to sell his “health reform” bill.  

2) Promise to add $300 Billion in revenues by allowing Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy to expire (which he would use to shore up entitlements): 

Now you might have expected, by the way Candidate Obama tied Bush Tax Cuts (as a source of revenue) directly to offsetting entitlement expenditures during his campaign, that he would have made entitlements the central focal point last December to make the case for allowing Bush tax cuts to expire.

But to the shock and dismay of his own party, Obama flipped on this campaign promise, quickly agreeing to extend Bush Tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. And only THEN, after it passed — thereby ensuring there would be no additional revenues — did he moves on to addressing entitlement expenditures. 

His NEW PLAN For Fixing Medicare:

Here was Obama over the weekend, revealing his new — perhaps undisclosed would be a more accurate depiction? — plan for fixing Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid:

Essentially, what we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.

Who the hell is this guy?

Send President Obama A Loud Message: Unsubscribe From Organizing For America

by on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 1:07 pm EDT in Healthcare, Politics

I just got the following email this morning from Organizing For America, asking for my support in getting the Senate’s health insurance industry giveaway passed, so Barack can claim he delivered ‘health care reform’:

Stan —

If we don’t pass health reform, millions of Americans will be trapped in a broken status quo, unable to pay their bills or see a doctor when they need one.

More and more employers will drop coverage for employees. And Medicare and Medicaid will blow a hole through our budget.

There’s too much at stake to not get this done. That’s why OFA supporters have made 849,856 calls to Congress in support of health reform since August.

And that’s why today, with the Senate locked in last-minute negotiations, our goal is to hit one million calls.

Can you help? Please call your senators now and help us “ring in reform.” Then click here to let us know you called.

This holiday season, millions of Americans will go without desperately needed care simply because they can’t afford insurance.

But insurance lobbyists are desperate to pull apart the bill and derail reform, so your voice is needed now.

Senator Hagan is already fighting hard for reform, and deserves our thanks. Senator Burr needs to know you are counting on him to do the right thing.

Just dial the numbers above, then tell the staffers who answer where you live — so that they know you are a constituent — and that you support reform.

Then click here to make sure you call is counted in the race to a million:

http://my.barackobama.com/RingInReform

Thanks for standing up,

Mitch

Mitch Stewart

Director

Organizing for America

Can you believe this?  They’re still pretending to be fighting against the health insurance industry.  I’ve had enough!

I immediately unsubscribed, and gave this as my reason:

Barack Obama was a fraud. I was duped.

I NEVER should have voted for him. He cut back door deals with the insurance and pharmaceutical industries before the debate had even begun, and he and Rahm and others in the Administration then proceeded to undermine the public option and real health care reform for the entire process.

He is WEAK, DUPLICITOUS, and has betrayed everyone who believed in him.

I’m finished with the Democratic Party and, in particular, Barack Obama.

The only language these political whores understand is the one that threatens their own political self-interests.

I propose that everyone immediately do as I did, and send a loud denunciation to Barack Obama by unsubscribing to his political arm, Organizing For America, and when they ask you for the reason, tell them exactly why. Here’s the link to unsubscribe:  Organizing For America.

If everyone does this at once they’ll realize they’ve got a serious problem on their hands from the Left, and perhaps they’ll reconsider pressuring Harry Reid from pursuing reconciliation.

NY Times: Congress Should Abandon Obama’s Deal With Pharmaceutical Industry

by on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm EDT in Healthcare, Politics

It’s been long reported now how President Obama — who had promised total transparency in all health care negotiations during his campaign (stating he would have them all televised on C-Span) — proceeded to cut a secret backroom deal with the pharmaceutical industry as far back as summertime.  The terms of their deal violated several additional promises he’d made during the campaign — terms he explained at the time which had long kept meaningful health care reform from ever being realized.  As candidate Obama he vowed that he would do it differently, yet once elected he quickly abandoned his ‘change’ agenda and embraced the much easier ‘status quo.’

The terms of his pharmaceutical deal assured the industry that they would give up no more than $80 billion over the next ten years (an insignificant fraction — 2.6% — of the $3 trillion Americans are predicted to spend on drugs over that same time period).  This was EXACTLY the kind of deal Obama criticized during his campaign — the types that were written by industry lobbyists and only benefited them.  For that $80 billion, Obama promised them that Congress wouldn’t use its bargaining power to lower prescription drug costs, and that Americans would be prohibited from importing cheaper drugs from Canada.  And the pharms agreed they’d throw in $150 million to pay for his ‘health reform’ advertising, and not attempt to block his efforts.

Today’s NY Times Editorial blasted the deal yet again, on the recent revelation:

Now come the price increases. As Duff Wilson reported in The Times on Monday, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of prescription drugs by about 9 percent in the past year. That appears to be the highest annual increase since 1992.

Duff Wilson/NY Times earlier reported:

[This] will add more than $10 billion to the nation’s drug bill, which is on track to exceed $300 billion this year. […]

The drug trend is distinctly at odds with the direction of the Consumer Price Index, which has fallen by 1.3 percent in the last year.

The Times contends that the drug companies are trying to establish a higher price base, before any legislation tries to reign them down — thereby negating any real price reductions.  Sort of like the old retail trick of raising prices thirty per-cent, to then offer customers a 30% off sale.

The Times states that:

The industry’s maneuver suggests that the Senate’s deal with the industry should be abandoned in favor of the much tougher demands in the reform bill passed by the House. The House bill requires rebates and discounts from drug makers that may save the government about $150 billion over 10 years, according to the chief actuary for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The House bill also authorizes the secretary of health and human services to negotiate with the companies to obtain lower prices for drugs sold to Medicare beneficiaries and to a new public plan if one is approved.

The government needs every penny it can get to help cover the uninsured. Given the industry’s last-minute price increases, it seems prudent to ignore the supposed deal and demand a greater contribution.

I couldn’t agree more.

The thing Obama seems to forget is that pushing ANY OLE deal through (regardless of its merit) for the sake of being able to claim he achieved ‘health care reform’ will only harm him, the left, and the American people down the road.  Because by appeasing the pharmaceutical and insurance industries — i.e. protecting their profits — he’s foregoing any real savings to the American taxpayer and public.   And, as a result, his plan will end up costing both the tax payer and the consumer even more than they’re paying now — all of which will be used by the GOP (in their talking points) four years down the road as PROOF that this entire government intervention into the corrupt health care industry was a fiscal calamity — which will set back any hopes for real reform for decades.

When will Obama learn that he will NEVER achieve meaningful change, if his primary concern is to keep every special interest group happy with him?