Wednesday, December 10, 2003
::: Wow! Bubba Got the Rocky Tops In The Paper :::
Blog brigade marches on, although drums differ.
Right, left, light, deep, dialogue never quits
From the assessment by Michael Silence of KnoxNews.com,
I suspect Granny is a "moonbat," one of the left-leaners.
I'll take that label if it means I am no longer one of the
American Sheeple. Bloggers are usually far ahead of the
mainstream media at getting the word out to the public
on the latest hideousity (New Granny Word) from the
So .... since most bloggers are not held to strict
journalistic standards ... Granny will segue right
into a rant.
Lets talk about our strutting Peacock President, so
pleased at having another sham bill passed he can
tout for the 2004 campaign.
Seniors In For Big Surprise ~ Rocky Road
*** This is a really interesting section of the Heritage Foundation Site
*** where there are 90 Medicare Maladies listed and these objections
*** are from the wingnuts. Yep, just check out Malady 82
[...] [Excerpt from No. 82]
***** The first glaring hypocrisy came last summer, after both houses of Congress
***** approved separate versions of a Medicare bill. At that time, the House quickly
***** passed a measure that will guarantee federal retirees, including retired mem-
***** bers of Congress the prescription drug benefits they already receive from
***** their personally chosen plans. Some senators later sponsored similar legis-
***** lation. That means whatever lawmakers do to Medicare, it won't mess up the
***** health plan that most lawmakers already use, the Federal Employee Health
***** Benefits Program.
Ah, another interesting Malady ~ No. 88
[...] [Excerpt from No. 88]
***** The bill arrived just one day before [Nov. 20] and
***** it is not light reading: It is 681 pages long, three
***** inches thick and weighs nearly seven pounds.
Lawmakers were given one day to read the bill, a 681
page monster entitled: SHORT TITLE: "This Act may be
cited as the “Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement,
and Modernization Act of 2003.
Taking a page from Fox News, and in an effort to be "fair and
balanced," Granny has to admit being duped by someone
while watching the hearing on CSpan. I have no idea if the 3
inch estimate of the actual height of the bill is correct or not ...
BUT ... during the hearings, speakers, mostly Democrats, kept
gesturing toward a stack of papers behind them. I assumed the
stack to be The Medicare Bill ....and that stack was more like
one foot in height. Perhaps it was several copies stacked atop
each other ... a viewer would have no way of knowing.
I will concede 3 inches, a foot or whatever, one day is a woefully
short period of time to allow reading of a bill you are being asked
to vote on. The stack was in view as Republicans spoke as well,
but I do not remember them gesturing toward it ... that does
not mean they did not. I simply don't remember.
********** View From The Other Side **********
~ Battle Ends, But The Fight Continues ~
**** Choosing Profits Over People ****
"It's the first step toward a total dismantling of Medicare," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, who led the Democrats' fight against the measure and spoke at a rally organized by the Alliance for Retired Americans two days before the historic vote. "The moment it is implemented, it will make 9 million senior citizens, almost a quarter of all seniors, worse off than they are today."
The legislation could cause up to 2.7 million retirees to lose their existing drug coverage, unionists said, because it will encourage employers to stop their contributions. In New York, an estimated 215,000 Medicare enrollees are at risk of losing existing benefits, according to an analysis prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Ways and Means Committee. A special tax subsidy is available only to private employers but not to public plans.
And From Online NewsHour ~ PBS ~ Some Yeas and Nays
KWAME HOLMAN speaks with Frist, Lincoln, McCain, Breaux, Kennedy,
and Snowe relating their thoughts on the new Medicare Rx Drug Bill.
K. Holman says during queries for Senators:
The new government- sponsored drug program will begin in 2006 and will be available to seniors through traditional Medicare and those who choose private health plans. Seniors will get 75 percent payment of annual drug costs up to $2,250.
No payment of drug costs between $2,250 and $5,000, but 95 percent payment of costs above $5,000.
Starting next year, seniors will get a discount drug card for 15 percent or more off their drug bills until the new program begins. Seniors will pay an average premium of $420 and $250 deductible. Louisiana's John Breaux is one of the Democrats who helped negotiate the details.
The items mentioned above are only a few of the details I find
disturbing. The amount of premium is not "set", but could fluc-
tuate according to the whim of insurers. Seniors will have to
face the "gap" mentioned above, but must continue paying
premiums none the less. The percent for the discount was
reported during the hearings as 25%, not 15%, and I cannot
determine where the so called "discount" could be taken.
Who will provide it? In what I consider the most bizarre
provision, Medicare is prohibited from negotiating for drug
costs ... and pharmaceutical companies stand to make some
$39 Billion. There is a huge "slush fund" created to "entice"
HMOs to insure seniors. Enrollment could change on a yearly
basis and seniors will be more confused and are sure to miss the
deadlines for enrollment, making it certain they will have to pay
some rx costs out of pocket. (saves the taxpayers $$$, you know)
Granny must stop now, because I am trying to maintain the
Christmas spirit as employees at the pharmacy where I work
have been informed their insurance premiums will nearly
double January 1st.