Gabrielle Giffords Misleads Her Constituents

Once again, Gabrielle Giffords misled her constituents, this time in her Health Care Reform statement praising the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Her politically biased, one-sided description speaks volumes about her lack of integrity and how she views seniors in her congressional district . . . with cold-hearted loathing.

 Giffords stated the Act “will provide security for seniors, guarantee access to health insurance coverage for the uninsured and make health care affordable for the middle class . . .” and  that the Act will “[i]mprove Medicare for 135,000 beneficiaries . . .”  What Giffords did not tell her constituents is 279,833 Arizona seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage coverage because Giffords voted to gut Medicare funding by $500 billion. Giffords cannot gut Medicare and simultaneously improve it.

 2010

Giffords announced a number of “benefits” to health reform:

*  New health care plans and select grandfathered plans will allow 57,000 young people in District 8 to remain on their parents’ insurance policy until their 26th birthday.

Children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage. The law prohibits that practice for new health plans as well as grandfathered group plans.

 *  Children covered by Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Programs cannot be dropped from the plan.

*  Adults covered by State Medicaid programs cannot be dropped from the plan.

 What she failed to tell her constituents is the federal government will reduce Medicare reimbursements for hospitals who provide seniors with long-term and inpatient and rehabilitation care. Giffords certainly made her seniors feel more secure. First she eliminates their Medicare Advantage coverage then reduces Medicare reimbursements to hospitals.

 2011

Here are Gifford touted benefits of health care reform in 2011. First, Medicare Part D recipients who fall into the “donut hole” will receive a 50 percent discount on their prescriptions. A new, voluntary insurance plan providing modest cash assistance for long-term in-home or nursing home care becomes available.

 Insurance companies will be held accountable for unreasonable rate hikes. The law supports states in requiring that insurance companies submit justification for requested premium increases. Any company with excessive or unjustified premium increases may not be able to participate in new health insurance exchanges.

 Employers will start reporting the value of employees’ health care benefits on their W-2s. Community health centers will get increased funding to treat low-income and underserved individuals.

 What did Giffords fail to tell her constituents?

 *  Medicare Advantage cuts begin.

 *  Seniors will be means tested and forced to pay higher Medicare Part D premiums.

 *  Medicare reimbursements will be reduced for seniors who use MRI and CT scans begin.

 *  Medicare reimbursements for seniors’ use of ambulances and durable medical equipment will be reduced.

 2012

Giffords noted that nonprofit insurance co-ops will be created to compete with for-profit insurance companies. Physicians, hospitals and payers will be encouraged to band together in “accountable care organizations.”

 What did Giffords fail to tell her constituents?

 *  The federal government will cut Medicare reimbursement rates to any hospital with high readmission rates.

 *  The federal government will cut Medicare reimbursement rates for seniors on hospice care.

 *  The federal government will cut Medicare reimbursement rates for seniors on dialysis.

2014

 Giffords stopped describing the “benefits” of the Democrat health care reform act at 2012. Do you wonder why? Here’s the reason.

 The federal government will establish an Independent Payment Advisory Board with powers to make further, draconian cuts in Medicare reimbursements.

 2015

The federal government will cut Medicare reimbursements for seniors who depend on home health care.

 Giffords failed to tell her constituency the truth, the whole unvarnished truth. Giffords has betrayed her senior constituency. She repeatedly failed to inform them of the draconian cuts in reimbursements . . . only in Medicare.

The federal government is not making any cuts in reimbursements for the federal employees’ health plan. Tri-care (for military dependents) reimbursements are not being reduced. Only Medicare reimbursements are being reduced. Only Medicare Advantage health coverage is going to be slashed.

 Giffords and her fellow progressive-socialist Democrats  have targeted seniors for health care coverage reduction, health care reimbursement reduction and health care premium increases.

 Giffords claims to be a fiscally conservative blue dog but she is just a Pelosi lapdog who willingly and knowingly put a knife in the back of every senior in her congressional district.

Thank you to Congressman Mark Kirk, R-ILL, for his permission to use information from his web site. And good luck to the Congressman as he runs for Barack Obama’s old Senate seat.


Comments

  1. By all the foaming about cuts to Medicare, you apparently really support this government run health care program.

    Do you support the public option that would provide Medicare for everyone?

  2. x4mr Says:
    “April 17th, 2010 at 8:00 pm
    By all the foaming about cuts to Medicare, you apparently really support this government run health care program.

    Do you support the public option that would provide Medicare for everyone?”

    I care for a vunerable population that has paid its dues. The Government made a pact with seniors to provide Medicare.

    But for Obama’s reckless spending Medicare defunding would not have occurred.

    My beef with Gifford is not only with her vote for a horrific health care reform bill but also the way she omitted telling her senior constituency the effects of the bill.

    If you actually read her statements and press releases, the health care bill is perfect.

    She put a knife in the back of every senior in her congressional district. Come November, the electorate will turn this local Quisling out of office.

  3. I got the same letter from Harry Mitchell telling me the same thing. I think they all received the same letter from the speaker to send out. The problem is….none of us believe them. That is because we have actually READ the bill….

  4. A Marine Mom says

    I cannot wait to vote Harry Mitchell out of office. Bye bye Harry.

  5. Doris,

    You hit the nail on the head. Giffords and Mitchell are just pawns for Pelosi.

    Mr. Brinkley,

    Thank you for your post.

    There are a lot of elderly in C.D. 8 who will be contrasting Giffords lies with the truth.

    She’s toast (and of so out of touch, she doesn’t realize it).

  6. Without even getting into the persnickety details that show how this will not actually take health care away from seniors, your concern for the elderly and lack of concern for the millions of uninsured children is so, uh, Christian.

    So government has a duty to insure health care for those over 65, but those under 65 are on their own, even if the 67 year old is worth $35 million and the 50 year old works overtime at Walmart?

    So I am supposed to think that a person authorized to post at Sonoran Alliance is actually formulating an opinion of Giffords based upon developments? Au contraire, what we have here is formulating an opinion of developments based upon an established opinion of Giffords.

  7. To x4mr:

    The government is unable to bestow unalienable rights beacuse what the government gives it must take away from someone else.

    An expanded version of this article titled,”Democrat Medicare Rationing is Reality,”was originally posted in December 2009. You may find it insightful.

    “Medicare is a social contract with America’s senior citizens to provide important health care services, including physician and hospital services, as well as prescription drugs.

    The latest data for 2008 shows that approximately 45.2 million people were covered by Medicare: 22% in Medicare Advantage with 78% in Traditional Medicare.

    An historical note of interest is the creation of Medicare Advantage was in response to the fact that the federal government could not manage Medicare itself. Medicare Advantage allows senior citizens to enroll in private health plans with benefit plans richer than traditional Medicare.

    Medicare benefits paid in 2008 were $462 billion. The Congressional Budget Office shows FY 2009 Medicare spending projected at $500.7 billion. President Obama’s FY 2009 budget called for a net reduction of Medicare spending of $33.8 billion for the period 2009 to 2013. This reduction does not include the full $400 billion reduction, over 10 years beginning in 2013, included in the Senate’s health care bill currently being debated.

    Drilling down into the numbers, let’s look at per capita cost projections from the original baseline to the revised budget. Already, we can see the beginning of health care rationing for Medicare recipients. FYs 2012 and 2013 show decreases of 2.1% and 2.8%, respectively.

    Now, assume that the Democrat controlled Congress opens Medicare to everyone 55 years and above. The result will be a draconian reduction in Medicare per capita cost due to the opening of Medicare to those 55-64 years of age. Obviously, Congress will have to shy away from this poorly thought out proposal.

    Whether one looks at the Zogby or Rasmussen polls, the American people overwhelmingly are against the Democrat health care reform initiative. Democrats in the Senate are revealing that they don’t have the answers. They have bounced from a public option to a public trigger to a Medicare buy-in for those aged 55-64. At every turn the cost of the initiative, at $2.5 trillion, are too high. At every turn, the amount of health care rationing increases disproportionately for Medicare recipients. In Part II, we’ll look at Fiscal Years 2013-2019.

    Looking at the years 2013 through 2019, the focus of the health bills in Congress, the situation for Medicare recipients looks dim. Under Title III, Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Health Care, the Democrat controlled Senate has reduced funding by $3.4 billion in three areas: Physician Quality reporting Initiative, Expansion of the Physician Feedback program and Reducing Health-Care Acquired Conditions.

    In Subtitle B, Improving Medicare for Patients and Providers, Part I, Ensuring Beneficiary Access to Physician Care and Other Services, the Democrat controlled Senate eliminated the Medicare Improvement Fund for a “savings” of $22.3 billion. This fund, enacted in 2008, was designed to avert reductions in payments to physicians, which would otherwise have occurred by law.

    In Part III, Medicare Part D Improvements, the Democrat controlled Senate reduced the Part D Premium Subsidy for High Income Beneficiaries (however “high income” is defined) by $10.9 billion, the “generic First-fill” program by $3.0 billion and the Long Term Care Pharmacy program by $6.1 billion, for a total of $20 billion.

    Egregiously, the Democrat controlled Senate, under Subtitle C, Medicare Advantage, gutted the program by reducing expenditures by $104.5 billion. This program was created to relieve the federal government of onerous administrative duties it was unable to perform. Fully 25% of Medicare recipients are in a Medicare Advantage program and the Democrats in Congress recklessly want to take it away.

    Under Subtitle D, Improving Payment Accuracy, Senate Democrats have reduced Home Health Payments by $31.8 billion, reduced Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Adjustments by $22.5 billion, and Imaging Use-Rate Assumption program by $3.0 billion. The Medicare DSH was established to reimburse hospitals that served a disproportionate number of low income patients.

    Under Subtitle E, Ensuring Medicare Sustainability, the Democrat led Senate created a category called “Market Basket Cuts and Productivity Assumptions,” where arbitrary reductions to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospices Home Health and Part B Physician Schedules in the amount of $156.3 billion were made. In addition, Democrats slashed Temporary Adjustment to the Income –related Part B Premium program by $20.9 billion and Medicare Commissions by another $22.8 billion.

    For Fiscal Years 2013-2019, the Democrats in the Senate have slashed $401.7 billion, primarily out of Medicare. The proof of the pudding is in the Per Capita cost of Medicare after the Democrat imposed reductions.

    The Democrat led Senate is effectively reducing Medicare outlays by over 10% by 2019, a form of rationing that cannot be denied. From 2013 to 2019, the Baseline Per Capita rate of increase is 25%; the rate of increase for Net Per Capita is just under 14%.

    The Democrat plan for health care reform does not improve health care quality; it does not improve health care affordability; it does not even improve health care.

    The Democrat plan for health care is simply a plan for centralized control where the uninsured gain some coverage at the expense of Medicare recipients. The so-called cost cutting is nothing more than health care rationing with the victims being among the most vulnerable: Medicare recipients, who have paid into this program all their working lives.

    Democrats in Congress are breaking a sacred social contract and should be held accountable for their acts. Their treachery against America’s senior citizens shall be avenged at the next election.”

  8. Phillip D says

    Mr. Brinkley,

    I can’t remember ever seeing more misinformation in one place. You really believe some bizzarro stuff you read on the internet.

    You said: “An historical note of interest is the creation of Medicare Advantage was in response to the fact that the federal government could not manage Medicare itself.”

    I say — go back and look at the historical record. Republicans, like Jon Kyle, argued that private insurance companies could provide services to seniors cheaper and more effectively than the regular Medicare could through the federal government. Thus Medicare Part D was created. But it turns out they couldn’t, and it turns out this program resulted in a huge payments from the federal government to the private insurance companies, and their services ended up costing all of us a whole lot more. Instead of costing the tax payer $350 a month, the payment scheme set up by Medicare Advantage had us, the tax payer, subsidizing the private companies $800 a month instead. In short, it was a scheme cooked up to get the gov’t to subsidize the profits of insurance companies. No wonder deficit hawks in charge of health care reform quickly cut that program, because it was always just a boondogle.

    Now, cutting Medicare Advantage is not gutting billions from Medicare, short shifting seniors as you say. Medicare still works. Medicare is still funded. Medicare Advantage is not. No harm to seniors. But definite harm to insurance company profits.

    Next, Democrats are not “breaking a sacred social contract.” That claim is just plain ludicrous, belied by the facts, and is a faulty foundation to the rest of your argument. Through the Health Care Reform act, Congress has put Medicare on a path to financial stability. Before reform, we were all worried about it not being funded after ten years. Now it is on much firmer financial footing, with assured funding through longer stretch of years. It would be a lot worse off without reform.

    You are trying to scare seniors. And you are using false information to do it. In my book, that is shameful.

  9. Phillip D says

    “The government is unable to bestow unalienable rights beacuse what the government gives it must take away from someone else.”

    “Unalienable” = can’t be given or taken away. So the Constitution gives me the right to free speech, does it take away that right from somebody else?

    So the Constitution gives me the unalienable right, as a citizen of this country, to practice religion as I see fit, does it take way that right from somebody else to give it to me?

    So the government gives me the unalienable right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment, does it have to take it away from somebody else in order to give it to me?

    You conservatives always think if the government does something for somebody, then you’ll get less somehow. When the government opened up the doors of public schools to racial integration, did away with “separate but equal,” did somebody lose something in that equation? No.

    And you know what, when the gov’t stops subsidizing insurance company profits through Medicare Advantage, it doesn’t have to take away Medicare services in order to do so.

    And when the government starts closing the so-called donught hole, it won’t have to take away prescription drug coverage from some people in order to do so.

    If that thought is the foundation to the intellectual construct you use to make sense out of life, then your foundation has huge cracks in it and the whole house is falling down.

  10. Philip D said:

    “An historical note of interest is the creation of Medicare Advantage was in response to the fact that the federal government could not manage Medicare itself.”

    “I say — go back and look at the historical record. Republicans, like Jon Kyle, argued that private insurance companies could provide services to seniors cheaper and more effectively than the regular Medicare could through the federal government. Thus Medicare Part D was created.”

    Philip D, take a deep breath. You just made my argument and Kyl’s argument. Medicare part D (Rx) was implemented and became the only Medicare benefit in history to come in under budget. This achievement was due t0 competition among medicare health plans.

    Furthur, Medicare Advantage health plans provide more comprehensive coverage than the Traditional Medicare plan. That’s why seniors have to add medi-gap insurance to cover what Traditional Medicare does not. Medicare Advanatge is a success and the Democrats can’t stand it.

    Philip D said:

    “The government is unable to bestow unalienable rights beacuse what the government gives it must take away from someone else.”

    “Unalienable” = can’t be given or taken away. So the Constitution gives me the right to free speech, does it take away that right from somebody else?

    So the Constitution gives me the unalienable right, as a citizen of this country, to practice religion as I see fit, does it take way that right from somebody else to give it to me?”

    Philip D, read carefully:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that amonmg these are life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed . . .”

    Philip D, the Constitution cannot “give” you unalienable rights, only our Creator can.

    To secure these rights, we instituted a Government, a limited Government, to secure these rights.

    The Constitution does not “give” you anything. The Constitution limits the power of government, which derives its power from the consent of the governmed. And we can withdraw that consent whenever Government attempts to violate our unalienable rights.

    Philip D said:

    “And you know what, when the gov’t stops subsidizing insurance company profits through Medicare Advantage, it doesn’t have to take away Medicare services in order to do so.

    And when the government starts closing the so-called donught hole, it won’t have to take away prescription drug coverage from some people in order to do so.”

    When the government begins eliminating Medicare Advantage, it will eliminate more comprehensive coverage in favor of less comprehensive coverage.

    When the government starts closing the donut hole, it will have to pay for it by taxing people more. The government cannot give anything to anyone that it first has to take away from someone else.

    The very first dollar government spends has to be taken from an individual. The government is a consumer of tax dollars. It cannot, by definition, invest. It can only tax, spend, consume and take.

    As long as the people concur, the government can continue this model. Once the people believe the government has become destructive, the people can alter it.

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