We reported last week that Rep. Mike McIntyre was spreading misinformation about health reform in the Robesonian newspaper. We also included a letter to the editor from an AARP member in his district. Below is another letter written in response to McIntyre’s misrepresentations. This does a great job of sorting out fact from fiction:
To the Editor,
It seems that Congressman Mike McIntyre opposes the health care reform bill.
But when he claims the bill provides benefits to illegal aliens he is either misinformed or misrepresenting the facts: The bill explicitly prohibits illegal aliens from getting federal dollars for health care.
When Mr. McIntyre puts the cost of the bill at $1.6 trillion, he is either misinformed or misrepresenting the facts: The Congressional Budget Office says that cost savings, coupled with the revenue package in the bill (which affects only families with incomes of more than $350,000) will fully finance the $1.042 trillion cost.
Mr. McIntyre suggested that any bill reforming the health care system should allow people to choose their own doctors, allow people to keep or change their insurance plan without being penalized for preexisting conditions, avoid penalizing or putting more mandates on small business, and avoid bankrupting the system with economic irresponsibility.
Doesn’t Mr. McIntyre know that the bill already does these things? It provides for an individual’s right to choose a doctor. It provides for wider insurance networks, thus making more doctors available to choose from. It provides that individuals may keep their plans or choose another, and requires insurance companies to provide coverage regardless of preexisting conditions.
Small businesses? Isn’t Mr. McIntyre aware that 76 percent of all businesses, the smallest, are exempt from the employer responsibility requirements?
Mr. McIntyre says he is concerned that Medicare reimbursements be “proper,” and set to attract doctors to rural areas. The bill does exactly that, eliminating a planned 21 percent cut in physician fees planned for next year, and increasing reimbursement for primary care. In addition, it extends protections for rural providers — already in the law — to ensure continuing access to health care in rural areas.
Mr. McIntyre says he is worried about the bill cutting benefits to seniors. But it has provisions that extend and improve benefits to seniors, like the eventual elimination of the “doughnut hole” that traps seniors into increased payments for medication, improve the Medicare low-income subsidy plans, and enhance nursing home transparency and accountability.
Mr. McIntyre, are you trying to scare us, are you misinformed, or are you simply ignorant?
Mr. McIntyre, you say we’re going too fast with health care reform, that members of Congress ought to have more time to read the bill. Where were you during the five-hour congressional briefing session during which the bill was fully discussed?
We’re not going too fast. We’re going too slow. The voters want you to go back to Washington and get the job done!