Hands Off My Medicare

We enjoyed that often-quoted Tea Party line from eight years ago: “Keep the government’s hands off my Medicare.”

Sorry, dude. Looks like the government is putting its hands on your Medicare after all—at least if Republicans in Congress have their way.

They say Medicare costs are going to have to be reduced. And they want to repeal Obamacare. But Obamacare has improved Medicare’s finances by cutting down on fraud as well as less spending on medical procedures and practices that don’t produce positive results.

A full repeal of Obamacare would also eliminate us old folks getting free preventive services like flu shots and screenings for cancer and diabetes. Obamacare also reduces the so-called doughnut hole that puts limits on reimbursement for prescription drugs.

Of course there’s no plan by Congress to let Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices. That would reduce Medicare prescription costs a lot, especially when drug companies buy up old generics and then hold them ransom until they’re paid 5-10 times more than their former cost. The cost of my long-time generic statin went up even more than that.

Hopefully, the fever to use all that power the Republicans got in the last election will subside as they figure out the discrepancies between reality and campaign rhetoric.

Chuck Wellborn

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