What did Obama’s speech on the budget mean for elders? Here’s what Elderblogger guru Ronni Bennett has to say:
Did you watch President Obama’s speech yesterday afternoon? Whew! It was better than I feared it would be. Kinda busy today (Wednesday) so mostly I’ll stick to the major points affecting elders.
If you will recall, Paul Ryan’s deficit reduction plan, widely praised by Republicans, would turn Medicare into a voucher program which, as the president said, “would end Medicare as we know it.”
“It says that ten years from now, if you’re a 65 year old who’s eligible for Medicare, you should have to pay nearly $6,400 more than you would today,” said Obama. “It says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy insurance, tough luck – you’re on your own…”
“They want to give people like me a two hundred thousand dollar tax cut that’s paid for by asking thirty three seniors to each pay six thousand dollars more in health costs? That’s not right, and it’s not going to happen as long as I’m President.” [emphasis is mine]
Write that down, everyone. Paste it on your desk and as the debate on the budget continues in Washington, let’s not let him back down.
One of the biggest budget busters in Medicare is the prescription drug plan. Rammed through Congress during the Bush II administration by a Louisiana legislator, Billy Tauzin, who almost immediately left Congress for a $2 million per year job as head of the pharmaceutical industry lobby, the bill specifically denies Medicare the right to negotiate drug prices as the Veterans Administration does.
Yesterday, Obama sounded like he wants to rescind this horrendously expensive giveaway to big pharma:
“We will cut spending on prescription drugs by using Medicare’s purchasing power to drive greater efficiency and speed generic brands of medicine onto the market.”
Medicare is the largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the country and allowing negotiation would go a long way toward reducing Medicare costs. I’m pretty sure the board rooms of drug companies are going ballistic this morning while planning their assault on Congress members to reject this idea.
Continue reading at TimeGoesBy.net for more great analysis from Ronni on what the President had to say about Social Security and why it’s not courageous to ask for more sacrifice from those in our society who are most vulnerable and can least afford it.
If you missed the President’s speech, the full text is here.