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Medicare reform is positive for seniors.


Once again liberal Democrats have shown that they are intent on taking their party completely out of mainstream America with their latest vote against Medicare reform and prescription drug coverage for senior citizens as only 11 Senate Democrats voted for the legislation.

"Today we had a major victory to improve the health-care system in America," President Bush announced in Las Vegas at the Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center. "This is a good bill, and Im looking forward to signing it." With the signing of that bill he will have accomplished one of his campaign promises to provide prescription drug coverage for senior citizens, something that has never before been achieved by Washington bureaucrats who often promise but very rarely produce.

Some from both sides of the aisle, but the over-whelming majority from the left, are already attacking the bill. "This bill is a calculated program to unravel Medicare, to privatize it, to voucherize it and to put seniors in the cold arms of HMOs," spouted Senator Ted Kennedy (D)-Mass. Senator Kennedy needs to check his history, it seems he thinks hes back in 1993 instead of 2003 and he squeezed in many of the scare tactic clichés liberal Democrats use incessantly to demagogue Republicans.

Senator Tom Daschle (D)-SD also seems to be in a time warp when he attacked the bill saying it was a, "bailout for the HMOs and insurance companies." Senator Daschle has obviously confused helping senior citizens with the multi-billion dollar bailout his wife, who is a lobbyist for the airline industry, garnered for her clients from the federal government in the wake of the 9-11 tragedy.

The accusation that seniors health issues were being, "trumped by the interests of those who have money to make and are taking advantage," was made by senator Hillary Clinton (D)-NY. Really now! Lets look at the numbers and how they relate to North Carolina and its senior citizens.

In six months seniors in North Carolina will be able to get prescription drug discount cards, while some of the low income seniors will also receive an annual subsidy of $600. 1.2 million seniors who receive Medicare will have prescription drug coverage, about 449,000 should qualify for no premium and a co-payment of no more than $5 for brand name drugs. Medicare will cover the costs of prescription drugs for seniors who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and will pay no more than $3 for brand name drugs, this alone will save the state Medicaid program $882 million over eight years. Rural NC hospitals will receive a government match in payments which means an additional $29 million in revenue. Richmond County alone could save $150,000 per year.

It seems Senator Clinton was somewhat misguided in her audacious accusation or was it something else? Maybe all this animosity comes from the Republican victory of Medicare reform with prescription drug coverage that also came with the support of one of the nations largest and most influential lobbying groups, the AARP, which has an enrollment of 35 million members and has been a staunch supporter of the Democrat party.

Its also possible America is seeing the undercurrent of hatred some feel these liberals share for President Bush as it begins to crack the fallaciously polished veneer liberals have always put forth to the public and it cracks a little more with each vote they cast against the very Americans they've always claimed to represent.

They have voted against tax cuts that helped working middle-class families and has rejuvenated the economy, tried to deny legislation that provided funding for our troops, prevented the advancement of women and minorities by filibustering judicial nominations, and currently arent supporting Medicare reform that finally provides prescription drug relief for seniors.

The Republican party is more textured than the image the elite media has tried to present, and behind the leadership of President Bush its getting harder for them to suppress the message of the Republican spirit any longer. Thats the reason for the recent increase in liberal vitriol: voting against what Republicans support is a vote against President Bush even if it means voting against what may be best for America!

Lee P Butler