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GOP: Seniors Should Pay More, Have Fewer Choices

By The Reverend Published: February 21, 2014

I see that Akron General Hospital invited Laura Ingraham as keynote speaker for their 100th anniversary shindig. Paying Ingraham to talk about health care is like paying Rush Limbaugh to talk about the sacredness of marriage to a group of marriage-counseling professionals....but hey, freedom, right?

The GOP has decided to clear the deck of all things not related to bashing Obamacare in their one-trick-pony plan to gain more congressional power this November. Talk radio hater Ingraham fits right into that plan.....and Akron General officials, apparently, are playing along with the GOP's plan. That's too bad. Ingraham is one of the worst far-right propagandists out there.

Elsewhere in the GOP's one-trick-pony plan to only bash Obamacare this year we find the NRCC ( National Republican Congressional Committee) issuing statements yesterday critical of Obamacare provisions for Medicare Plan D....provisions which will LOWER drug costs for seniors.

"First ObamaCare and now Medicare Part D. … Seniors are being thrown a one-two punch from Ron Barber and House Democrats who have supported this failed law," said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek in a release.

The statements accused members like Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) of allowing the federal government to interfere with seniors' healthcare and sought to tie new rules in Part D to ObamaCare.

What is it that the GOP is "one-two punching" exactly?

Thursday's statements on Part D refer to wide-ranging regulations published in January by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The proposed rules would empower the agency to participate in Part D negotiations between insurance companies and pharmacies for the first time out of concerns about cost and access.

The regs would also open plans' preferred networks to a wider range of pharmacies, limit plan bids within a region and remove "protected class" designations for certain types of drugs.

More choices for seniors, fewer arbitrary designations of drugs by for-profit skimmer pharma companies and...most importantly....a provision empowering the CMS to participate in negotiations over drug pricing for Medicare recipients.

All these provisions are good things for seniors participating in Plan D.....and yet, because 2014 is the year of singular bashing of Obamacare for GOP hopefuls....provisions lowering Plan D pricing and giving seniors more choices are being touted as BAD THINGS by the Republican Party's official campaign body.

And this is only February.

Apparently, it is the desire of the GOP to see seniors paying more for their already-overpriced pharmaceuticals. Apparently, the GOP would rather see fewer choices offered to seniors when it comes to their pharmacy needs. What else could a person conclude from the NRCC's propaganda blitz yesterday?

Americans already pay the highest prices in the world for their pharma products.....because, I've been informed, profits before people equals freedom, or something. Yet, the NRCC's effort yesterday seems to convey the idea that Americans are not paying high ENOUGH prices for pharmaceuticals. Other than in the world of for-profit skimmers, in what universe does that make any sense?

Yesterday's basically unintelligible NRCC campaign letters have only one purpose. To keep the word "obamacare" out there in front of as many people as possible leading up to November's midterms. Over seven million people have now signed up for health coverage thanks to the ACA. No longer can skimmers reject customers with pre-existing conditions. Seniors will see their Plan D pharmacy costs reduced, part of Bush's trickster "donut-hole" closed.

But Republicans see those positive benefits as a total negative.....and are banking on a midterm campaign singularly focused on trashing and/or eliminating the ACA.

Laura Ingraham and the NRCC do not care about the positive aspects of the ACA. They don't care if seniors will have more choices and pay lower costs for their drugs under Obamacare. They don't really care whether pre-existing condition customers can no longer be denied health coverage by for-profit insurers. They don't really care if 7 million Americans who couldn't afford health insurance now have health insurance.

They only care about regaining power in D.C.

It is our job as citizens to deny power to people who prefer that America's seniors pay higher costs for their already-overpriced pharma products. It is our job as citizens to protect seniors from the corporate skimmers who harvest profits from the backs of our most vulnerable. It is our job as citizens to reject power-seekers who have so little to offer the populace that they would only focus on one issue....bashing and trashing Obamacare.....and nothing else.



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