"Hand over that $342, you stupid Senior", says the masked Mitt Romney. "And I'll be back for more! I also want that $700+ billion from Medicare! It's been going into my pocket, and that's the way we're going to keep it. Now, down on the floor so I can kick you! "
That's what's behind Romney's false claim that Obama is "cutting" $700+ billion from Medicare. Obama is actually cutting unwarranted "wasteful" payments to people like ROMNEY!
It's Romney who is stealing from Medicare AND from each individual senior. He and the insurance companies and Bain Capital and the hospital chain HCA are right now pocketing a large chunk of the $700+ billion Obama wants to cut in unwarranted payments to hospitals. He and Bain, insurance companies, and HCA are the ones who will lose out - NOT SENIORS! - if Obama's cost-cutting prevails.
That's why Romney and Ryan are divided on the $700+ billion. Ryan's budget kept the Obama cuts to providers. Ryan didn't know that Romney is personally pocketing some of that $700+ billion RIGHT NOW!
How do I know about Romney's robbery of Medicare? Because the New York Times told me so. Or at least it explained how Bain was soaking Medicare, though the Times failed to mention that Romney's still pocketing big bucks from Bain.
In my blog on August 14, I wrote about that day's NYT top front page story on Bain Capital acquiring HCA and then immediately "coding-up" the giant hospital chain's claims for reimbursement from Medicare. "Coding-up" is a soft term for price gouging. Or fraud. Under Bain's new ownership, suddenly all the HCA Medicare patients were - on paper - a whole lot sicker and needing a lot more expensive procedures. At the same time, bed sores - the recognized indicia of inadequate nursing care - soared through HCA's collective ceiling. Bain was cruelly cutting nursing care costs while defrauding Medicare by upping its claims.
Was I the only one in the world who read that NYT story? It was on the top spot of the NYT front page for only about five minutes and then disappeared into the business section which is read only by the rich guys who figure Bain deserves a cigar for its sharpster practices.
No one - not the NYT, not anybody in major media that I can find - picked up on the fact that Romney still pockets earnings from Bain. In fact, the media let the Bain/HCA story just blow on by. The story got no play. And it should have! I'm a journalist by training, and this is a big story!
But now Romney is being so shrewd (hard to think of him that way, isn't it, but he is) that he's using Obama's planned $700+ billion savings in Medicare to attack Obama. Romney will "save" Medicare, he claims, by "restoring the Obama cuts".
NO, NO, NO! Romney is restoring the "cuts" to his own wallet!
In reality (again per the NYT front page today) NOT cutting the $700+ billion in costs means Medicare runs out of bucks by the end of 2016! How about that, President Romney! You will have milked the Medicare cow dry! But you and the GOP have always wanted to kill Medicare anyway. And now, having bankrupted Medicare, your hospitals can charge whatever they want without the policeman Medicare setting limits! Cool move, Mitt!
And between now and the death of Medicare, medical out-of-pocket expenses for seniors will keep going up without those Obama cost cuts. Each senior will on average pay an extra $342 yearly in increased co-pays and insurance premiums. This will rise to $577 by 2022, should Medicare somehow survive that long.
Whoa, you say! "Doesn't Medicare pay full freight for seniors?" No, sweeties, it sure as hell doesn't. We seniors still have to pay premiums to private insurance companies for "supplemental" insurance or get stuck with horrendous hospital bills. These supplemental plans used to cost about $100 a month but have soared to about $3600 to $4800 per year, depending on where you live. And we seniors pay a percentage of all Medicare services, not a flat rate. Absent Obama's $700+ billion cost cuts, we will be paying higher and higher co-pays and higher and higher premiums for the absolutely necessary supplemental insurance.
PLEASE explain this to the seniors you know. Not all seniors are complete idiots. A vote for Romney is a vote to cut our own wrinkled necks.
But why has the media turned its back on the story of Romney/Bain/HCA stealing from Medicare? Why isn't the media making the connection between Romney "restoring Obama's cuts" in order to line the capacious Romney pockets?
Meantime, Obama's edge in the swing states is dropping, and Nate Silver, the premier stats analyst, keeps lowering the likelihood of Obama winning. This down-trend emerged right along with Romney's attack on the "Obama cuts to Medicare."
I am today a very gloomy old woman. Frustrated too as an old fire horse who can't respond to the clanging alarm. In the old days before I got old, I'd be doing press for a candidate, and right now that candidate would be in front of the TV cameras explaining the Great Romney Ripoff. In fact, I did press work for candidates not for the money (which was pathetic) but to advance good causes and get some truth out there before the American public. I dug out real stories and spoon-fed them to the media.
Where's my counterpart now?
P.S. And where's the tax returns, Mitt, that would show your Bain/HCA income? Your money from bedsores? Your money stolen from Medicare?