Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Spinning something that can't be spun... again

Yesterday I posted about how, in the eyes of the Bush(whacked) Administration, that an up-tick in violence in Afghanistan was a good thing… and this administration's knack of spinning bad things as good. They’re doing it again...

This time it’s healthcare.

Back in 2000, the WHO ranked the US 37th in health care out of 191 countries… not soon after, “President” Bush said; “we have fabulous health care.” All fine and good, but when millions of your citizens aren’t covered, something’s amiss… and it’s not fabulous.

Fast-forward to this week and OMB Director Jim Nussle echoing Bush’s inaccurate claim while explaining Bush’s new (historical – and not in a good way) budget... that US healthcare is the “best,” saying;

“So beneficiaries, I don’t think, will see the differences. … We have the best health care in the world. And our seniors especially get great health care. And that will not be affected by this small drop in percentage increases over the next five years.”
He apparently wants all of us to ignore the $200 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts over the next five years, which will make the dismal state of U.S. health care even worse… yes, that’s possible. Scary, but possible…

The way that Bush’s budget cuts Medicaid, by $18.2 billion over five years, essentially shifts costs to the states and thus will force the states to institute even bigger program cuts or tax increases to cover the expenses. So who gets screwed in the end? Well, it’s the Bush(whacked) Administration… so naturally it will be the little guy… and senior citizens, and in turn the people that care for them.

Nussle wasn’t done spinning as he continued by saying that Medicare “access and quality should not suffer at all.”

Uh-huh… why do I not believe that? And I’m not the only one, as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) also disagrees, strongly;
“Many of the proposed cuts go well beyond the reductions that MedPAC, Congress’ expert advisory commission on Medicare payments, recommended and considers safe. […] These reductions could drive some health care providers to limit the number of Medicare patients they see or drop out of the program entirely. That, in turn, would jeopardize health care for significant numbers of people who are elderly or have serious disabilities.”

Remember that a majority of Medicare savings would be achieved by reducing the annual update in federal payments to hospitals, many of which service large numbers of the uninsured… thus creating an incredibly large lack of funds to help the uninsured…

Bush is a lame duck and it’s high time Congress starts treating him like one. They need to get it through his thick skull that he’s screwed up big time and that he needs to stop doing stupid things before he pushes the populace even further into an economic pit of darkness… the likes of which this country has not seen in a very long time.

As if his legacy is not battered enough and rife with both moral and fiscal irresponsibility, he has to pull something like this in the last act of what is a very sad presidency… and an even sadder time in the history of the United States.

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