Tell Ron Wyden to Say No to the Privatization of Medicare

The Lund Report

OPINION December 16, 2011 -- Last time we checked, Senator Ron Wyden was elected to represent the tate of Oregon. Now that he's forged a dangerous Medicare compromise with the leader of the Tea Party caucus, we're not sure he remembers what state he represents.

Here in Oregon, we like our Medicare just the way it is. 

Tell Ron Wyden that working with Paul Ryan is a bad move for Oregon's Working Families.

Senator Wyden and Congressman Ryan are telling us that their bi-partisan "agreement" is only a push to "modify" Medicare and lower costs.  However, this compromise would actually eliminate Medicare all together by driving program beneficiaries into private insurance plans. 

This proposal is so bad that the Gray Panthers--the organization that Ron Wyden helped found--had this to say about it: 

"If this plan were implemented, retired, elderly persons would be responsible for health care cost inflation caused by a grossly inefficient and corrupt medical-industrial complex, over which they have absolutely no control."

Sorry, Senator Wyden, but this deal is hardly our idea of finding a sensible middle ground.

Tell Ron Wyden to protect Medicare, not sell it off to private insurers.

Back when Gordon Smith was in the Senate, this kind of political triangulation would have made Mr. Wyden look progressive.

The fact is, Oregon has changed, and Oregonians don't believe in undermining Medicare by giving in to the unfettered market ideology of the Tea Party. Working Oregonians deserve better, and Senator Wyden needs to know.

Steve Hughes is State Director of the Oregon Working Families Party

News source: 

Comments

Wyden: Have you joined in selling us, the majority of the American public, out. If there is ANY case to be made for conniving with Ryan then make it public, quick and detailed. If not then you have no shot at gaining my vote or the vote of those I can influence. I quit the Democratic party the day after Obama caved on the Bush tax cuts, and I'll quit on you more rapidly yet.

We do not like Wyden-Ryan proposal and will fight it with our votes. We already are having problems in Oregon finding a doctor who will take new medicare patients. Lets fight for single payer. George & Penny Wees

Medicare as it currently exists is unsustainable. This may be an unpopular notion, but is nevertheless true. I applaud Sen, Wyden for having the courage to cross the aisle and work for a solution to the ticking bomb that is Medicare. As an almost 60-year-old Oregonian, I do NOT want Medicare to stay as it is, even if it weren't fiscally endangered. And for those of you who oppose "privatization," you seem unaware that Medicare is already, in many respects, privatized. It is administered by third party insurance companies, and 40% of Oregonians also have private Medigap coverage. This would provide additional options, for those of us who want them - and I do - while preserving the current Medicare option for those who do not. For those that are presently having difficulty finding a physician, this option should open up more possibilities. Not everyone in the state is in favor of single payor. I am not, and I am not alone.

The current machine of Medicare is broken if one looks at the rising costs. We need new thinking to keep providing care to people. Visit any doctor and ask if they will accept Medicare and you will see a declining number of them saying yes. Senator Wyden's plan may not be the best, but I commend him for trying. Does your organization have a plan to offer? Sincerely, Doug Fullaway Concerned Citizen

Medicare "just the way it is" stays for those that want it, that's the benefit of the plan being proposed. And by the way there are a lot of Oregonians, working families included, that would like to see Medicare, Social Security and all the rest of the entitlement programs fixed. So you're not representing your "constituents" either so your name or your grandstanding should change. If you think that leaving Medicare as it is solves your problems there's more than a Medicare policy that needs fixing.

I appreciate Ron Wydens courage in actually tying to actually accomplish something to deal with this complex issue.

The Democratic Party is selling us out on a national and state level. I have been so discouraged by the top-down reforms in both education and healthcare in Oregon. Ordinary people are never at the table in creating policy. Our vote feels wasted when both parties give in to writing laws and policy with behind-closed-door deal-making. We know that when "stakeholders" are hand-picked to promulgate big business reforms, we are being taken for a ride. Yet they call it "consumer-driven"... Gross income inequality makes us feel powerless. The Occupy Movement enlightens and informs us otherwise. You see, the market cannot exist if there are no consumers. We need to oust career politicians who don't listen to the people and replace them with strong leaders like Senator Merkley and Represative DeFazio. Call, fax or email Senator Wyden to tell him he is failing his constituents! Phone: (202) 224-5244 Fax: (202) 228-2717 http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/ Kris Alman MD

wyden just got caught taking bribes from the health insurance industry. He has thrown in his lot with the prostitutes and thieves among the worst of the R party. Get money out of politics so that DC doesn't attract so many criminals.

Haven't we learned after three years of filibusters and "Just say NO" politics? We do not want you aligning yourself with the Republicons and possible compromising even more of what your base wants. Drop the work with Ryan!

For those interested in showing your disapproval of Wyden's plan please take a moment to sign this petition which we will be sending to his office: http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1306/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5185 Steve Hughes Oregon Working Families Party

It's time to look for solutions by working together and not just deciding because it's Republican or Democrat. Let's look at the proposal. Wyden has always tried to work with the other side. He worked with Smith. The problem with Congress now is that everyone just takes a side and there's no compromise.

THE ONLY THING TO MAKE IT ALL WORK IS EVERYONE GETS MEDICAL CARE. EVERYONE. THEN ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT TO USE ITS BARGIN POWER TO GET THE BEST PRICE. WE DON'T NEED INSURANCE. WE NEED FREE MEDICAL LIKE ENGLAND, FRANCE OR CANADA. ITS THE BEST AND LEAST EXPENSIVE. PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE IS A MUST!!!! EVERYONE COULD HAVE MEDICAL CARE LIKE THE VETS ADMIN. ITS INEXPENSIVE IN COMPARISON AND EVERYONE GETS WHAT THEY NEED. MEDICAL CARE FOR EVERYONE VIS THE GOVERNMENT. NOT INSURANCE (PROFIT MOTIVE ONLY) MEDICAL CARE. INSURANCE COMPANIES OUT OF THE MEDICAL CARE BUSINESS. NO MORE PROFITS EARNED OFF OF SUFFERING OF OTHERS!!!

I fear that this agreement with Rep. Ryan is simply your way of rewarding Regence BC BS for its political contributions to you. Your pact with Rep. Ryan does several things [and all of them bad]: 1. Moves the medical model farther away from Single Payer and less focused on improving care to the patient. 2. Gives "cover" to the GOP dream of Medicine as a For Profit Operation with vouchers and huge bonuses to insurance CEOs; 3. Takes away a strong difference between GOP and Dems by saying that, despite years of obstruction and saying "NO" to anything that does not benefit the Top 1%, the GOP really does care about the other citizens; and 3. Creates another layer of managers, who suck off 30% or more for "management" of the for-profit system.

I like all of these comments about free government health care. Cost effective, altruistic, not profit driven. All excellent qualities. For the reality, look to Europe. These countries are going broke. Health care is an extremely complex process, and it will take a multifaceted approach to solve the problems. Government alone is not the answer. Remeber, the Pentagon is a government run institution.

How about a dose of rationality--we must change the health system, including Medicare! Let's see the details of the proposal and an estimate of its consequences first--then react to alter it or dump it.

Seems to me that there is a lot of talk about what people don't want or what they do want but there is a real lack of solutions on ways to get there. Bottom line: people have to pay for their health care--one way or another. Through taxes (meaning tax everyone but me????) or direct payment. There is no free lunch. Solutions anyone? Wyden should continue his search into facts supporting privatization and then we should be able to look at the facts and see if they fly. But people, we still have to pay in some way for health care. Allowing insurance companies to make a fortune off the business of providing "health care" is appalling. So who should administer this and how?

I am on Medicare and it is such a sweet deal at someone else's expense, I harbor a desire to be bought out of Medicare such that I can support myself and not continue to leach off my kids and grandkids. Maybe the costs of benefits going out should have more of a connection to what is put in?

The private voucher is intended as an option for the delusional free-marketeers who believe that insurance companies have their interest at heart. Don't worry, they'll opt right back into Medicare as soon as they figure out that insurers don't pay claims. You single-payer advocates need to wake up: What do you propose to do with the multi-billion dollar health insurance infrastructure currently in place? Do you think it will just melt away? Like it or not, we the people have invested heavily in a private insurance industry. I have yet to hear one lucid proposal for what to do with the physical, fiscal and human resources currently tied up in it. The German model uses private insurers as payers while heavily regulating them by limiting profits. Companies must accept all applicants no-questions-asked, charge on a sliding scale, and spend at least 85% of revenue on health care. If our country were to enact these controls on the existing insurance industry we could insure everyone within a year and still save money. Obamacare takes the first baby steps toward accomplishing this.