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End of Medicare in our state

Michael Hight

The Texas legislature dominated by Republican right wing extremists ended Medicare on Tuesday, June 28. They finished the necessary work, which in practice represents a savage ideological attack on the elderly, poor and the most vulnerable among us.

They will take over every healthcare program in the state with the exception of the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Indian Health.

The only thing standing in the way of dismantling Medicare in Texas is the democratically controlled Senate of the United States and the signature of the President. Who will it affect? Answer … everyone.

When will it affect you? Answer … immediately, upon the signing of the waiver by President Barack Obama. Will you have a choice to stay in the federally funded Medicare? Answer … No. This is the Frankenstein version of Paul Ryan’s bill. Republicans have finally fulfilled their dream of killing Medicare. Hope you conservatives out there like it.

When the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 7 (SB 7) it included Section 12: The Interstate Health Care Compact. This section will allow the state of Texas to end the federal healthcare program for seniors called Medicare. If you’re wondering, yes, we will have our own little Texas “Death Panel”. It’s called the “Interstate Advisory Health Care Panel”. Our representatives, Rep. Jim Pitts and Sen. Brian Birdwell enthusiastically supported the passage of SB 7.

If Congress agrees Medicare funds would be turned into block grants capped at 2010 levels with increases based on population growth.
In return Texas would be freed from federal Medicare laws that determine both eligibility and benefits.

Of course this law does not discuss what the new eligibility and benefits would be. It would make no difference if they did, as they could be changed at the pleasure of the state, i.e., the insurance companies.

Senate Bill 7 amends Title 15 of the insurance code by adding “CHAPTER 5002 INTERSTATE HEALTH CARE COMPACT”. The operative words here are “Insurance Code”. Insurance companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Healthcare, etc… are licking their chops.

Unfortunately, you’re on the menu as the main course. The goal is simple: enrich the insurance companies, enrich the politicians, and if the healthcare you receive in your old age is shredded…so be it.

The author of the Interstate Healthcare Compact, Representative Kolkhorst, explains that this action is necessary to protect our liberties from the intrusive power of the federal government. You see, the Texas government is not really government at all.

It is an altruistic organization, which just represents the benevolent healthcare industry. It is important to understand that their corporate health and their corporate bottom line are so much more important than your physical and financial well being. It’s a good thing in this Orwellian construct.

Proof? The silence of the healthcare insurance industry says it all.

This shameless, craven Republican Texas government is poised to take away the Medicare program that works for millions of our elderly Texans. Along with their healthcare their lives will be torn apart.

Where is the “Keep Your Hands Off My Medicare” Tea Party when you need them? I think Cigna’s party is Friday night. Hey, it’s a chance to meet your state Rep.

Michael Hight is a retired pharmaceutical executive. His education includes a Bachelor’s degree in microbiology, with graduate studies in political science and additional courses in business management abroad. He can be reached at michael_hight@sbcglobal.net.

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Posted by on Jun 30 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment for “End of Medicare in our state”

  1. AlwaysAskWHY

    I guess there will be no end to the political crimes, resulting in MASS MURDER FOR PROFIT… until the people of this nation RISE UP. Unfortunately, they won’t even WAKE UP until they are standing beside the DEATH BED OF A LOVED ONE… a senseless, sickening, intentional death as the result of SELFISH, DEMONIC, INDIFFERENT Republicans, who, by the way, USE THE SATANIC STAR ON THEIR LOGO. THAT, my friends, is NO ACCIDENT.

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