02 February 2007

Medicare cuts

The NYT reports that "President Bush will ask Congress in his budget next week to squeeze more than $70 billion of savings from Medicare and Medicaid over the next five years, administration officials and health care lobbyists said Thursday."
Mr. Bush is also expected to propose changes in the Children’s Health Insurance Program to sharpen its focus on low-income families. The changes could reduce federal payments to states that cover children with family incomes exceeding twice the poverty level. Under federal guidelines, a family of four is considered poor if its annual income is less than $20,650.
What should our response be?

Marilyn Clement, national coordinator of Healthcare-now writes, "if we allow the debate to go on in the beltway this year around trying to keep Bush from cutting $70 billion dollars from Medicare or other incremental cuts or $35 billion or a few bucks less and focus all of our time on trying to keep him from cutting dollars from Medicare and the CHIPS program for children rather than getting to the central debate, then the current (new) Congress will have lost its momentum and be subject to rebuke and likely defeat by the voters in 2008 who voted for real comprehensive change in 2006, not incremental reforms."

Just say no, congress.

Clements urges everyone to call or write Pelosi and other congressional leaders, as well as our own congresspeople, to urge support for HR 676, the improved Medicare for All bill — and to call our senators to ask them to create a complementary bill in the Senate.

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