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by Cheryl Seal
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2003 at 4:43 AM
Come on LA!! All those grandmas/abuelinas and granpas/abuelos are counting on you!!!!!
Do you Love Your Grandmother? Then Show Her and SPEAK OUT NOW against the Devastating Medicare Bill
Do you have grandmother, grandfather, or special elderly person in your life? Someone who has been there for you when you needed them. Someone who has made a contribution to the quality of this world just by being in it for the 65-plus years of their lives? Of course you do! We ALL do.
Do You care about them?
If you so, now is the time to PROVE IT! Now is the time to show your love. Call, e-mail or fax your representative and tell them to VOTE NO on the anti-elderly, pro-drug industry outrage known as the Medicare "Reform" Bill. DO IT TONIGHT! Bush's Congressional goons are COUNTING on "activist fatique" - that's why they are trying to push both the Energy bill and Medicare debacles through the same week. They figure after fighting the Energy bill all last week, no one will bother with Medicare this week. Show these creeps they ARE WRONG!!!
This odious, unconscionable bill reforms Medicare allright! It reforms it right out of the business of caring for the nation's neediest older seniors - the very ones it was designed to protect. It is nothing more than a thinly disguised barrel of greasy, choice pork to be gobbled down by the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries while that little old lady with diabetes down the street, or that elderly man with cataracts and crippling arthritis in that apartment upstairs, have to go without dinner or a winter coat to be able to afford a visit to the doctor's or the drugs they need to survive. Some elderly will suffer unspeakably from non-life-threatening but painful, life-degrading diseases because they will simply go without the treatment that could ease their suffering. What kind of monsters now preside on Capitol Hill? The worst kind: Corporate monsters.
Moveon.org has summarized this bill's two key points:
1. First, it would force people to make a stark choice: either pay sharply increased premiums to stay in traditional Medicare, where they can choose their doctor; or be forced out, into an HMO. Newt Gingrich, the former House Republican leader, said in 1995 that he wanted to let Medicare to "wither on the vine." This change would lead to that result, with cost incentives driving
2. Second, it offers a prescription drug benefit, but requires people who want this coverage to buy it from private insurance plans. This part of the bill also bars the government from doing the one thing it could do to actually reduce the cost of these drugs -- negotiate for lower prices, using the size of the Medicare program
as leverage. Drug prices are soaring now, and unless they're brought under control, they will eventually bankrupt Medicare.
In short, this bill dismantles Medicare for everyone who didn't retire wealthy. Like just about everyone.
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/ has a keyword search at the top of the page where you can pull your reps info right up. It also has info on the Medicare Bill. It is real one-stop shopping for the concerned citizen.
The elderly of America NEED YOU NOW. They have tried to voice their opposition to the bill through AARP. But guess what? Turns out that the slick suit in charge of AARP was none other than a Bush toady in the pocket of the drug-insurance industry. This creep sold his millions of subscribers out by claiming AARP supported the bill when in fact the VAST MAJORITY of AARP members do NOT. Back in 2001, AARP was accused of making millions off members by scamming them about the proposed social security ripoff proposed by Bush. So why has AARP become, incredibly enough, anti-elderly? Because it has received huge donations from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. However, AARP members PAY for their annual memberships. This being the case, there is no doubt that the actions of AARP execes constitutes fraud on a federal scale. So while you're at it, ask your rep to call for an investigation of AARP.
This bill is the darling of the Bush administration, which has no fewer than 5 former pharmaceutical execs, including Donald Rumsfeld. These people want one thing and one thing only: MORE MONEY FOR THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY. They are DETERMINED to pass this bill, and they do not give a rat's ass about anything else, especially not that special elderly person in your life. The key proponent of the bill in Congress is Bill Frist, who has made a KILLING off the health care industry. This man is to American heath care bills what Dick Cheney is to energy bills: A complete corporate-owned sellout.
Here's some stomach turning info on the AARP fraud ring:
Undermining Medicare: AARP Selling out its Members
AARP Makes Millions Scamming Elderly About Social Security
Here's partial list of "Doctor" Frist's "accomplishments":
****Frist pushed legislation limiting legal liability of drug barons who market vaccines containing mercury - vaccines that have been linked to childhood autism by more studies than those failing to find a link (those failing to find a link were funded, I hear, in large part by the drug industry, directly or indirectly).
*** Frist won his spot as head of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign by raising over 0 million for the GOP. A bigging whopping share of these funds came from the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries who are now expecting Frist to reward them. He plans to - with your loved one's health.
****Frist's own family founded the most corrupt hospital chain in America (if you go by size of fraud claims against it) Columbia/HCA. Even though this company has been found guilty of defrauding Americans to the tune of .7 BILLION dollars, Frist owned million in stock up until being forced to relinquish it to hold office. But his wife still has million in these dirty stocks! And Frist has used his influence in Congress to further Columbia/HCA's greedy, anti-human health agenda by fighting savagely against the Patient's Bill of Rights.
Now Frist is fighting for his friends in the pharmaceutical industry AND the health care fraud racket (yes, Virginia, healthcare fraud, under this administraiton, has become a bonafide, well-protected industry).
Like all slimeball corporate schemes, the Medicare bill goes under the title of "reform" and "modernization." It's supposed to sound positive and helpful - which, of course, it isn't. In this case, "modernization" means "dumping millions of elderly from access to decent healthcare" The way "moving forward" in Iraq is Bush lingo for "the bloodbath is getting worse."
They say you can tell the soul of a nation by the way it treats its children and elderly. Well, this administration has proven it has no soul. Just a great big black hole that is threatening to suck everything that the rest of us care about into it.
So let's prove to this heartless adminsitration and its goons in Congress that we Americans will not sell out our loved ones - no matter what fancy title or song and dance the flimflam men give us! If this bill passes, do not give up - DEMAND that it be "recalled." Start or join a movement to block its implementation in your state, in the same way that dozens of states and cities across America have passed resolutions to resist the Patriot Act's excesses.
We're talking lives here - the lives of special people who need us - and they NEED US NOW!!!
For More on "Doctor Medicare" Frist, read:
Frist Cares Most About Health of Corporations:Doctor To Turn House Over To Industry Interests
Lott to Frist: Racism to Medical Fraud?
Frist Puts Family Wealth First
"Good Doctor" Frist Doesn't Care About Women's Health
HERE'S THE SCOOP FROM MOVE.ON
Dear MoveOn member,
The Senate is scheduled to vote early this afternoon on the dangerous
Medicare bill we told you about last week -- details below. The House
approved a parallel bill under cover of darkness on Saturday morning,
amid much last-minute arm-twisting.
Today's vote could be our only chance to stop this bill. Please call
your Senators immediately, , get the info from http://congress.org/congressorg/home/
Urge them to:
"Please SUPPORT A FILIBUSTER to stop the Medicare bill."
Please take a moment to let us know you're calling, at:
The vote will come within hours. Please make your call now.
- Peter Schurman
November 24th, 2003
* For more information on filibusters, see:
P.S.: Here's the basic information on what this bill would do:
1. First, it would force people to make a stark choice: either pay sharply increased premiums to stay in traditional Medicare, where they can choose their doctor; or be forced out, into an HMO. Newt Gingrich, the former House Republican leader, said in 1995 that he wanted to let Medicare to "wither on the vine." This change would lead to that result, with cost incentives driving people out.
2. Second, it offers a prescription drug benefit, but requires people who want this coverage to buy it from private insurance plans. This part of the bill also bars the government from doing the one thing it could do to actually reduce the cost of these drugs --negotiate for lower prices, using the size of the Medicare program
as leverage. Drug prices are soaring now, and unless they're brought under control, they will eventually bankrupt Medicare.
The bill has been opposed by a host of liberal groups  as well as
by major conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, The
Heritage Foundation, the American Conservative Union, The Cato
Institute, and the National Taxpayers Union. It's also been assailed
by virtually every one of the Democratic presidential candidates. 
 See http://www.moveon.org/medicare.html for a complete list of
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