Kissell will not break promise to protect Medicare, will vote against healthcare bill

I'm not surprised Larry would keep his promise. I might not always agree with his fiscal conservatism, but I agree that we don't improve healthcare in this country by taking away almost $400 billion in benefits from senior citizens. What are octogenarians to do? Go get jobs for the benies?

Kissell's statement:

"From the day I announced my candidacy for this office, I promised to protect Medicare," Kissell said. "I gave my word I wouldn't cut it and I intend to keep that promise to the citizens of the Eighth District and the senior citizens of this nation. While I believe comprehensive health care and insurance reform is necessary, I cannot vote for H.R. 3962 in its current form, which cuts $399 billion from Medicare."

My goodness! He almost sounds like a liberal in that quote. I mean, literally a very well-known liberal.

Ted Kennedy on his triumphant return to Washington last summer to cast a vote to protect Medicare:

“I return to the Senate today to keep a promise to our senior citizens,” Mr. Kennedy said in a statement released by his office, “and that’s to protect Medicare. Win, lose or draw, I wasn’t going to take the chance that my vote could make the difference.”

We're going to have to reform Medicare and Social Security to meet future demands, but sacrificing $400 billion in benefits here and $200 billion there is not the way to do it.

I don't want to agree with him. I don't want the choice to be between healthcare reform and Medicare. I don't want to agree with him at all on this one, but I do.

The bill in the house stinks. House leadership gave away too much to Blue Dogs and Republicans - two groups that were never going to vote for the bill in the first place. Screw that and while you're at it screw the whole deficit neutral crap too. Healthcare pays for itself in ways the CBO can't measure. Healthy children do better in school and lead more productive lives. Parents of healthy children spend less time away from work and can be more productive workers. Small businesses can compete for employees and they can be more profitable.

Healthcare reform is vitally important but we shouldn't have to "steal" from 80 year olds to make it happen.

Tags: 

Comments

Where does he stand on abortion funding?

From watching how Larry has approached other progressive issues, I have a feeling he'll have a boatload of reasons to oppose reform. He's not alone in that position, which means, in my jaded view, that nothing will get done.

The failure of our Do-Nothing Congress will be the major theme in 2010. Larry will keep his seat, I'm confident, fiddling in the 8th while the whole nation burns.

Larry was very clear that he supported the President's original

healthcare reform specifics. He is not part of the Heath Shuler/Mike McIntyre crowd. He said from the beginning that he would not vote for the package if it reduced Medicare benefits.



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Cutting Medicare Advantage

has always been part of the plan.

Kissell

Betsy, As I understand it, the $400 million from medicare does not reduce "benefits," but identifies money the taxpayers are spending on medicare that does not benefit anyone but providers and middle men who are profiting from the current system. I admit I do not know the details of the House bill, but exactly what services are being reduced for folks on Medicare?

Old Blue

I supported Larry and still do

but given that his office told me earlier that he would not support Medicare + 5 rates in the public option because they were afraid too many people would take it, it honestly looks like he's looking for reasons to vote against the bill. He's a Blue Dog and has so far acted a lot like one (this and Waxman-Markey.)

I gave him more money and more time than I've given any other candidate, and being disappointed like this does not encourage me to help him next time.

I guess you could call doctors "middle men"

The bill reduces Medicare Advantage payment benchmarks to levels paid by traditional Medicare—which provides less options of care to seniors..

The Medicare Advantage plans from which $170 billion would be cut currently enrolls about a quarter of all Medicare recipients. Some feel the plans are too generous to the insurance companies that offer them, because the companies get as much as 14% more from the government than providers receive under regular Medicare. While casting out the demon insurance companies as the middle man might sound good here, if you take a step back and look at the whole picture you can see the big problem with this. First, Medicare reimbursement to doctors is too low as it is and the program is bleeding providers. This in and of itself means seniors see a reduction in available doctors and services. The whole point of the Advantage program was to pay insurers more so they would offer managed care plans which could give those enrolled more options for managing multiple health problems, enter preventive care programs, etc.

If the Medicare Advantage ends, many services available through the program that aren't available through regular Medicare will end. That is a reduction in benefits.

Now, House Dems are saying they will pass a bill that fixes this, but from what I've witnessed I'm not sure my party could pass a bill declaring that grass is green...and why the hell are we playing games with this whole deficit neutral pledge anyway? If we're going to break the pledge, then let's be bold about it. Screw the game-playing. Go for broke...I mean, we already are, right? (Broke..that is.)

On top of this, anyone who cares about Medicare (and I'm sure we all do) should be following what is happening in the Senate. Every year Congress has to deal with a scheduled Medicare reimbursement cut to Doctors and other providers. That's the same vote I link to above that Senator Kennedy returned to Washington for in the Summer of 2008. Last week 13 Senate Dems joined with Republicans to reject a bill introduced by Debbie Stabenow that would provide a permanent fix for this annual rush to prevent Medicare reimbursements from shrinking. So, every year Republicans and Democrats scramble to prevent Medicare reimbursement from being cut by 21% because they don't like the cost of fixing the problem permanently. The yearly fix still costs money, but it wastes taxpayer dollars b/c our government is busy fixing the same damn problem year in and year out instead of fixing it long-term.

Medicare needs to be reformed, but this buffet style slice and dice isn't the way to do it.



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Medicare reimbursements are too low?

I don't mean to quibble, but what exactly does the statement "Medicare reimbursements to doctors are too low" mean, exactly? Are they too low compared to some benchmark? Do they not cover doctors' actual costs for services?

I think the commenter was simply asking the question that is reasonable to ask: are we confusing proposed cuts in the Medicare budget with reductions in medical care to seniors who depend on Medicare? If a basic premise of health care reform is to deliver better quality care at lower costs, why can't apply that premise to Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VA health care, government employee health care, and all other government-run health care that currently accounts for 60 cents of every health care dollar spent?

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Yes, Medicare reimbursements are too low

We face an almost constant threat that we will lose doctors who participate in Medicare b/c reimbursement rates are too low and there is the risk they will be cut further b/c Congress hasn't and won't commit to a long-term solution.

I never said we shouldn't do a better job of delivering Medicare and all other public health options that exist. I said we shouldn't take a piecemeal approach to improving/reforming it. I think we need to take a comprehensive approach to reforming Medicare.



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I never said we shouldn't do

I never said we shouldn't do a better job of delivering Medicare and all other public health options that exist. I said we shouldn't take a piecemeal approach to improving/reforming it. I think we need to take a comprehensive approach to reforming Medicare.

What I think you said is that we can't deliver Medicare and simultaneously cut costs by $400 billion over 10 years. I take issue with that.

Here in Haywood County, a large proportion of our population is on Medicare. But I don't see many docs down at the soup kitchen or the homeless shelter, suffering because "Medicare reimbursements are too low."

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

too low for some things, not others

Reimbursement rates for primary care physicians, for example, are VERY low and reimbursement rates for certain specialists are fine or actually a bit high. I have to disagree with Betsy and Rep Kissell here. This idea that we're funding health insurance for the uninsured on the backs of our senior citizens is just bullshit right-wing scare tactics used to rile up the most reliable voting bloc who, not coincidentally, are the beneficiaries of a very nice system of socialism in this country.

I go back to usernamehere's comment the other day

We need our leaders to lead. Nancy, Harry, Barrack - stop worrying about appeasing conservatives. They sure as heck didn't vote for you and never will.



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Ho-hum

Another day, another sell out.

Read the information contained in the CBO report that I am linking to and you will see that medicare will not be losing funding at all, but will be taken care of by cost savings. You know, getting rid of the middle man and all.

http://cboblog.cbo.gov/?p=403

Attempting to make it seem as though there will be CUTS to Medicare or Medicade as a reason not to vote for this is disingenous at best.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Read my comment above

There will be a reduction in benefits and programs available to seniors.

The CBO measures numbers and the total impact of our laws can't be measured by numbers alone.



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Your comments were duly noted prior to my previous comment

I've also been reading comments from other places, such as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and again, my comment stands and Larry is at best being disingenuous in the reasoning he is stating that he will not vote for this bill.

Making Medicare More Efficient and Slowing the Growth in Health Care Costs
The House bill includes a number of provisions that would make Medicare more efficient, which would help slow the growth in health care costs as well as help pay for health reform and desirable beneficiary improvements to Medicare (including improvements to the Medicare drug benefit and making more low-income Medicare beneficiaries eligible for help with their premiums, deductibles and co-payments). Many of these provisions are in line with the recommendations of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), Congress’ expert nonpartisan advisory body on Medicare payment policy, on how to modify provider payment rates and encourage efficiency while ensuring that payments are adequate so that beneficiaries continue to have access to health care providers.

Elimination of Medicare Advantage Overpayments
One key provision in the House bill, which MedPAC has long recommended, would eliminate the overpayments that private insurers receive through the Medicare Advantage program. Even though private plans were brought into Medicare to lower costs, it currently costs the federal government 14 percent more on average, or over $1,100 more per person, to cover the same beneficiaries through private plans than through traditional Medicare. These overpayments drive up beneficiary premiums and advance the date when the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is projected to become insolvent by 17 months. While the Finance Committee bill significantly scales back these overpayments (thereby saving nearly $120 billion over ten years), the House bill would phase these overpayments out altogether over three years, as MedPAC has recommended. Along with other Medicare Advantage savings in the House bill, eliminating the overpayments would lower Medicare spending by $170 billion over ten years.

Reductions in Medicare Drug Costs
In addition, the House bill would lower the cost of prescription drugs in Medicare. Prior to the establishment of the Medicare Part D drug benefit, Medicaid provided prescription drug coverage to more than 6 million “dual eligibles” (low-income Medicare beneficiaries who also are enrolled in Medicaid). In 2006, drug coverage for these dual eligibles shifted to Medicare. When Congress created the drug benefit, it assumed that the private insurers participating in Part D would be able to negotiate larger rebates from drug manufacturers than Medicaid had required. But an increasing body of research demonstrates that the rebates negotiated by Part D plans are well below the Medicaid rebates, which means the federal government is incurring significantly higher drug costs for dual eligibles than it previously incurred under Medicaid.

The House bill addresses this problem by requiring drug manufacturers to provide, at a minimum, the same rebates for drugs provided to dual eligibles under Medicare Part D as Medicaid would require. The bill would devote some of the savings from this provision to filling the so-called “doughnut hole” in the Part D drug benefit.[7] Even after financing this improvement to the Medicare drug benefit, CBO estimates that this provision of the House bill would still produce net savings of $42 billion over ten years to help pay for health reform. The Finance Committee bill does not include this provision (or the closing of the doughnut hole in the drug benefit).

Other Medicare Reforms
In addition to instituting cost efficiencies in Medicare, the House bill (like the Finance Committee bill) takes important steps toward restructuring Medicare’s payment system to promote effective, high-value health care. It reduces Medicare payments to hospitals with high readmission rates to encourage them to do a better job of preventing avoidable readmissions. It creates an alternative payment model to reward Accountable Care Organizations — physician-led organizations that take responsibility for the cost and quality of the care they deliver. It expands efforts to assess the feasibility of paying for qualified patient-centered medical homes and of bundling payments for hospitals and post-acute providers. To the extent that these approaches prove successful, the bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement them on a larger scale. The bill also contains numerous provisions to improve program integrity and reduce fraudulent payments in both Medicare and Medicaid. Because Medicare has served in the past as a leader in developing and testing effective payment reforms that are later adopted widely by private insurers, these reforms have the potential to slow health care growth not only in Medicare but throughout the U.S. health care system. [8]

At some point, facts must be used to overcome rhetoric. This is certainly one of those times.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Actually, I could not have. Then again, I didn't know that was

the comment you were refering to, since you had more than one available at the time I posted.

So, let me look for the one you posted at 11:57 and I'll get back to you.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

We aren't talking about the Senate here.

We are talking about the Bill in the House of Representatives. What Kennedy or Stabenow or any other Senator did or didn't do has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand. Larry Kissell is a Congressman. Please read the information I posted in my above comment. Information regarding the House Bill which again is where this bill will be voted on.

Doctors as middle men was pretty funny though.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Read much?

I did talk about the bill in the House and if you had read my complete comment you would have seen that. I pointed out something that was happening in the Senate because I believe it is important to be aware of everything that is happening in regards to this one issue. Are you now telling me that taking a comprehensive look at all legislation that affects Medicare isn't important? We'll just have to disagree.

I did read your copied and pasted comment.



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Rude much?

I understand you talked about the house in your comment. I also understand that your arguement doesn't hold water, so we will just disagree.

By the way, my copied and pasted comment has actual information in it that tells about what is in the bill. It's called information straight from the people who put the bill together and who are explaining what the expected outcome of the bill might be. You might want to read much more in order to become educated on issues instead of just throwing out rude comments when someone doesn't agree with you, or as you put it, you choose to disagree.

Now, see ya later.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Funny that the man who responded to my post with "Ho Hum"

and tried to dictate to me which topics I could and couldn't address in my comments is calling me rude.

I actually do read a lot and then put it in my own words to make sure I understand what I'm talking about.

You got that STRAIGHT FROM THE PEOPLE WHO PUT THE BILL TOGETHER That is very telling. Their objectivity is crystal clear. Not a bit of spin included in that bit of copy/paste artistry.

I do find it hilarious that the man who was (1) rude first and (2)copied and pasted information directly from the source trying to spin this bill is trying to lecture me on (1) being rude and (2) not being well-read. Hee-frickin-larious.



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To the Master of Bullshit

You don't read much, Besty. Or if you do, you only remember what you wanted to remember of what it was that you read.

Rude first? Check the rude comments regarding the TIME, skippy. Check your comments to others, skippy.

You find yourself to be above reproach when you have come to a decision in your mind. All other opinions could not be correct because you thinks so.

Holier than thou, Besty? Yes, it would seem you are. Smarter than the CBO or any other ACTUALLY knowledgeable entity other than your Know All See All Self? Absolutely! What do they know? As you stated:

I actually do read a lot and then put it in my own words to make sure I understand what I'm talking about.

that makes what YOU tell us here at BlueNC more important than those that actually know what the hell they are talking about? Right, Betsy? You are it! You know! Just look in the mirror and ask yourself.

Again, you missed the point by attempting to change the conversation from one of information and learning to one of YOUR personal feelings. Larry Kissell cannot be touched because he told us "blah, blah, blah"

Fool's I can abide. You I cannot.

Enjoy bullshitting the people here with patchy information that matches your mindset but brooks NO discussion once you've made up your mind.

I've enjoyed my time here.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Sorry to see this meltdown

You two are on the same side of 99% of all issues, and I'm very sorry to see this contretemps flare up and explode.

Betsy is my friend and she is a loyal friend of Larry Kissell's. I would even venture to say that he wouldn't be in office were it not for her ... and to some extent me. I did a fundraiser for him early on ... which some say jump-started his momentum. All that said, I'm not happy with him and have told him so personally.

Now to matter of this thread. Betsy is doing what she thinks is right and has a view of Medicare based on personal experience. You (and I) have a different view. But those differences don't warrant this kind of infighting. It's destructive and distracting ... and serves no one well.

I used to get down and dirty with this sort of thing myself, but then I became a born again nice guy and peacemaker. That's what I'm trying to do here. I hope you'll both shake it off, apologize for whatever you can, and then move on.


And always keep this question in mind
. None of us is infallible.

Advantage plans

I saw an excellent program on CSPAN explaining Medicare Advantage....here's what I learned:

To be clear, Medicare Advantage was introduced by GW Bush in an attempt to privatize Medicare by giving private insurers the opportunity to administer medicare and add a profit to it while doing so. We are basically paying a profit to private insurers to provide medicare services; something the medicare system can do without the 17% extra margin private insurers collect to provide medicare service.

In order to maintain Medicare for future generations, and provide insurance coverage to all Americans, we must find a way to cut the waste out of our current system. Medicare Advantage programs are an obvious place to start....why pay private insurers to offer medicare at a premium when good ol Medicare can administer benefits at a lower cost?

Republicans talking points claim benefits will be cut, but that is not true. Medicare will still provide all the healthcare seniors need. Dropping advantage will save us billions, and other Medicare savings will come from efficiencies, not cuts in benefits. Not sure why Mr Kissell is using R talking points, but we won't be taking from 80 year olds, just administering our programs more efficiently and effectively...something we're all supposed to want.
Does anyone really believe Dems would mess with the most reliable voting block (Seniors), and cut their benefits? On the other hand, we need to make some tough choices if we are going to fix our broken health care system. We can't all have everything we ever wanted if we going to have sustainable healthcare for all and for the future. Our Reps should be out explaining these things, not recycling R talking points. Rep Kissell, please lead, don't cave into fear-mongering and deceipt.

This is exactly correct

Especially the last paragraph.

I don't expect Kissell to lead on anything ... that's asking too much. But at least he could learn how to follow somebody besides Republicans when it comes to on important issues like this.

Those aren't Mr. Kissell's words they are mine

...and I'm not taking it from Republicans. I'm taking it from a friend whose mother is using Medicare Advantage. Both are Democrats here in Union County. Regular old Medicare won't offer her what she has now. At least one of her doctors doesn't provide services for regular old Medicare patients. That's what got me started on this whole kick anyway. I started hearing about Medicare before I heard Larry's reason for not supporting the current healthcare bill.

I'm talking specifics from personal (and almost personal) experience - not quoting teevee shows and copy/pasting someone else's text.

If 1/4 of all seniors are using Medicare Advantage and many of their doctors will not provide services under regular old Medicare how is that not a loss of benefits for these seniors? One of the ideas behind MA was for it to provide services not available under regular old Medicare. Now these services and benefits will not be available at all.

You can claim that these are talking points and I would encourage you to look in the mirror. To deny that there will be a loss of benefits to some Medicare recipients is dishonest.



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AARP to Endorse House Bill!

This speaks for itself....

What this means is that the House Bill will have the backing of the largest group on behalf of seniors. As we all know, seniors is the most skeptical group for health care reform. They are more likely to believe in the LIES of death panels and medicare cuts. As a result, this is HUGE.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/11/4/800635/-BREAKING:-AARP-to-Endorse-House-Bill!

Crunch time for reform

One thing we all will have to swallow with the health reform legislation is we can't have everything exactly like we want. It would be nice to keep paying private insurers 14% more to deliver Medicare, but we simply can't afford that. If we do nothing - as Kissell is threatening - then we face a huge crisis just to save Medicare and keep it solvent. This isn't a mystery, we've known it for years. The Medicare changes in the bill represent the best way to preserve Medicare in its current form and start to bring costs under control.

There are things I'm sure I won't like about the entire final health care bill. Premiums may not be affordable enough, or the public option won't be strong enough, etc. etc. However, this is it! We will not get another chance like this to reform our system for a generation or more and it's time to get it done. The basic outline of what is almost certain to pass - strict regulation of insurers, strong safety net expansion of Medicaid, subsidies for premiums for individuals and small businesses, requirement to offer and buy coverage, and moving the system more towards prevention and cost control represent an enormous positive change in our society.

It sounds corny, but history does call. Too bad Kissell feels that he can't participate.

I second this!

Adam sums it up much better than I could. The primary objective is to get a health care bill passed that expands good affordable coverage to the majority of Americans. Any bill passed is going to upset some segments of the voters. I sure that Congressman Kissell is afraid of the backlash from the senior voters from the cost savings (or cuts) to Medicare Advantage. This backlash would be nothing compared to the effect to the base of the party if Congress fails to pass some form of universal healthcare coverage. I put many volunteer hours in for the Campaign for Change last election like many of you working for a change. If the Democratic Party fails to deliver on one of their core platform items I am sure that there will be many like me who would be less likely to work for Congressman Kissell and other Democrats in the future.

Just thinking out loud

I have been debating with myself whether or not to comment here. I have never been a fan of conflict, but that's just me.

Do I think that Betsy gave Kissell a bit of a pass on this one? Yes. I find Kissell's argument to be weak and quasi-genuine. But I also think some of the comments have been quite nasty.

We should disagree as a party. We should discuss and debate issues vocally and loudly. Recall the primary races in 08? We all came down on different sides with different candidates, but I don't remember it getting this heated.

Differing opinions should not lead to out and out war (see NY-23). I have no love for the Blue Dogs. I have no love for DINOs. I have no love for anyone who does not support health care reform. But I do have much love for BlueNC and all its members.

So let's all take a breath, a step back, and realize that we are all on the same team.

Darren

What Benefits ?

Betsy,
I asked you what benefits the House bill cut from Medicare. I have read the threads and it appears the only thing you have mentioned is that Medicare Advantage may no longer be available. What benefits are available with Medicare Advantage that are not available through Medicare? Thanks.

Old Blue

I don't have the entire laundry list

and it is different in different areas of the country. If it is OK, I'm just going to quote the Medicare site and various descriptions I've found of the Medicare Advantage program. Please understand that I'm not advocating for the program as a cost effective means of providing care. I'm simply trying to point out that the program does offer benefits, services and cost savings to recipients that will no longer be available if the program is ended and may no longer be available if there are further reductions.

First from Medicare

Medicare Health Plans (like HMOs and PPOs)
These plans are approved by Medicare and run by private companies. When you join one of these plans, you are still in Medicare. Some of these plans require referrals to see specialists. They provide all of your Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) coverage. They generally offer extra benefits, and many include prescription drug coverage. These plans often have networks, which means you may have to see doctors who belong to the plan or go to certain hospitals to get covered services. In many cases, your costs for services can be lower than in Original Medicare, but it is important to check with the plan because the costs for services will vary.

Actually, many of these plans have no monthly premium. It all depends on the plan chosen.

If you go to the Medicare.org site you can run a comparison of plans available in your zip code. If it is OK, I'm not going to spend my time doing that. I'm not trying to be rude, but I simply don't have the time to shop for insurance today. :D The friend I referenced earlier told me there were services for diabetics available through the Advantage program that aren't available through regular Medicare. (I'm almost positive she said her mom is on one of the BCBS plans, but I don't know which one.) She also said that since her mother has multiple health problems, the Advantage program actually does a better job of coordinating her mother's care. What I read on the Medicare website supported that statement, so I accepted it as fact.

Bill Clinton introduced private carriers into the Medicare arena in '97 or'98.(Medicare Part C) At the time it was called Medicare+Choice and was changed to Medicare Advantage when prescription drug plans were added in 2003 under Bush. (I think it was 2003) From what I've read it was introduced to not only provide seniors with more options - which it has, it was introduced to provide competition to help drive down costs - which I've read it has not. (I can't speak to that as a fact.) I also read (and I'm sorry I don't have a link...I did a lot of reading on this) that these plans were introduced to entice more doctors to participate as Medicare providers. While I've seen that written in a couple of places that I recall, I didn't find it in what I consider more "official" sources, but then I really wasn't researching that point as thoroughly.

The other interesting bit of information I found was on a healthcare provider's site(Kaiser), so I kept that in mind while reading it, but I found this interesting. I don't mean for it to sound like the government is ending the Advantage program, because I'm not sure that is technically what they are doing, but by decreasing the funding it appears from this article what happens is that providers no longer choose to participate. This gives seniors fewer choices and means some will lose coverage they currently have if their provider pulls out and equal coverage isn't found elsewhere.

I'm not offering a values argument here. I'm not saying that MA is better than regular Medicare. I'm not saying whether seniors need these additional services, products or reduced costs.

Maybe in making the statement that no Medicare benefits are reduced they are only talking about regular Medicare, but I think it is dishonest to sell the reductions to Medicare Advantage as "just cutting out the middle man" when there is a lot more to that story. The people on MA number in the millions. Not all of their doctors participate in regular Medicare. Not all of their benefits are available through Medicare. Not all of their services are available through Medicare. Some of them will pay more for regular Medicare. (Not all of them will see changes in their plans, and I know this.)

I'm sorry if this rambles. I've had another project going, so I've had to go back and forth and add bits and pieces. I have probably repeated myself. I'm sorry I don't have a spreadsheet or laundry list comparing all the different plans offered to each other and to Medicare, but if you follow the link I provided and fill in your zip code you will see why I didn't have time to put that together for you. Hopefully, you will understand my point without it.



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Disappointed again.

I know that Larry is "our guy" but this vote will make him zero for two on the biggest issues of the decade in Congress. First, climate change and energy, and now health care. I am personally familiar with the legislative process, as a local elected official and as a long-time pragmatic advocate deeply involved in state legislative negotiations. There are ALWAYS problems and shortcomings in the details of any complex legislation. You can ALWAYS find a "good reason" to vote no. Larry's explanations here and on climate change were the kind of arguments you make when you know that the right thing is to vote "yes" but you're taking a walk in order to protect yourself politically. Sometimes, legislators in competitive districts need to do that in order to fight another day.

But sometimes you have to stand up in the face of the heat. So far, Larry has not done so on what I count as the biggest ones. I am highly disappointed.

Can he redeem himself? Yes--by voting "yes" when the bills come back for final passage, and by voting "no" on amendments that would strip the public option. But I do not think he is off to a good start here.

Dan Besse

AMA endorses House Bill

Doctors' group backs U.S. House healthcare bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The influential American Medical Association on Thursday said it supported passage of the Democratic-written healthcare legislation that the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on this week.

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE5A44C020091105

Kissell

I called Kissell's office and they are reporting he is a NO vote on health care reform.
I'd suggest calling although I doubt it will do any good.
(202) 225-3715

Betsy, you are as wrong as he is

accepting the Republican frame of the issue is defeatism.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Well....I put hours of research into this

prior to drawing any conclusions and my research started after a phone call from one friend about her mother and an email from another about her grandparents. Quite frankly, I had always thought protecting Medicare was a Democratic cause.

Only someone predisposed to criticize anything and everything I say and do that doesn't fall perfectly in line with his views would accuse me of accepting the Republican frame. You have a long history of knee-jerk, over-the-top, asinine behavior on this site that pretty much discredits your opinion as far as I'm concerned.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

sometimes

you descend to self-parody. This is one of those times.

Look upthread for a kneejerk asinine response to someone who doesn't agree with you.

Larry Kissell has betrayed those who helped him.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

With this vote and the vote on climate

he has earned a primary challenge. And it hurts me to say that.

But this is betrayal.

More than that, it is betrayal without the balls to admit it is betrayal.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

A primary probably won't hurt

A primary probably won't hurt him. The people in his district seem to like a guy who toes the Republican party line.

I'm going to cut and paste from Fact Check

Medicare pays the private companies that administer Medicare Advantage about 14 percent more per beneficiary than it does for the rest of Medicare beneficiaries, who wind up subsidizing the program, according to government analysts.

If current law didn’t change, the value of the additional benefits given under Medicare Advantage would amount to about $85 per senior per month in 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office. If the Senate bill passed (and the House bill is similar on this point), that would be reduced to about $42 per month. But under no circumstances would any senior receive less in benefits than the other 78 percent of the Medicare population.

Update on Health Care Bill vote in congress

I have just read an update on the impending vote in Congress this weekend on the Health Care Reform Bill. Here's a link:

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/HealthCare/hoyer-house-health-care-bill-218-votes/story?id=9013981

House democrats are working on some last-minute efforts to make sure they've got the 218 votes needed to get this thing done and are saying the vote may go into Sunday and at the outside, early next week. Reading this story, sounds like it is going to be a done deal, just a couple issues to settle up on with some democratic representatives still waivering a bit.

This is an interesting update.