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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Deep cuts to medicare is not reform

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dear Nebraskans,

The health care debate has most recently been focused on Medicare. Some would have you believe the proposed cuts to Medicare in the Senate health care reform bill will have no impact on services or benefits. They will try to convince you the cuts will simply eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse of the system. Unfortunately, this is not true: these cuts will compromise care and access to services. You cannot siphon $466 billion from Medicare to help fund a new government entitlement program without having a real impact on Americans who rely on the current one.

Last week, I hosted a video teleconference with Medicare providers throughout Nebraska, all of whom outlined exactly how these cuts to Medicare would impact Nebraskans. Ninety-three million dollars will be cut from Nebraska nursing homes. Our hospitals will see a loss of $910 million. Sixty-two million dollars will be cut from Nebraska hospices.

One area that will be hit particularly hard is Nebraska home health services, which are set to see $120 million in cuts. Home health plays a crucial role in our state's health care system. Home health nurses and therapists drive many miles every day to serve elderly and disabled patients who are unable to leave their homes. One-hundred thirty-five home health agency facilities currently operate in our state, serving Nebraskans with a variety of ailments. Home health providers in Cherry County are currently caring for a patient awaiting a heart transplant and another who recently lost a leg from complications of diabetes. Across the country, these are the Americans targeted to make sacrifices in the name of government health care. Imagine what would happen to them if home health services are no longer offered. Not to mention the fact that home health services deliver services at a fraction of the costs of hospital and nursing home care, which will be the only alternative if home health cuts drive providers out of business.

Last week, I introduced an amendment to eliminate the cuts to home health services. The Senate had previously agreed on a unanimous yet non-binding vote to protect home health, but when the time came to pass my binding amendment, the votes disappeared. The Senate, largely on party lines, failed to protect home health. While the government increases its role in our economy, creates another expensive and expansive entitlement program, and levies taxes and mandates upon all of us, those patients most in need will bear the burden.

The message is simple: don't erase access, services, and benefits for our most vulnerable Americans. Health care reform is important, but when it comes to cutting billions of dollars from home health, hospices, nursing homes, and hospitals, which even today struggle to provide care for the elderly and the disabled, we must find another way. Robbing these Americans of the care they deserve is not true reform.

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"... Harry W. Colmery, a World War I veteran and the former RNC chairman, wrote the first draft of the G.I. Bill.[1][2] He reportedly jotted down his ideas on stationery and a napkin at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.[3] U.S. Senator Ernest McFarland was actively involved in the bill's passage and is known, with Warren Atherton, as one of the "fathers of the G.I. Bill." One might then term Edith Nourse Rogers, R-Mass., who helped write and who co-sponsored the legislation as the "mother of the G.I. Bill". Like Colmery, her contribution to writing and passing this legislation has been obscured by time.[4]

The bill was introduced in the House on Jan. 10, 1944, and in the Senate the following day. Both chambers approved their own versions of the bill.[1]

The bill which President Roosevelt initially proposed was not as far reaching. The G.I. Bill was created to prevent a repetition of the Bonus March of 1996 and a relapse into the Great Depression after World War II ended. ... " (partial copy from Wikipedia)

Sorry fredd, the "R" part of the designator, behing the names, above, indicate "Republican," unless Wikipedia is fibbing.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Wed, Dec 9, 2009, at 4:36 PM

I know being a doctor is a hard job,but maybe reform needs to start with salary caps,more nurse practitioners,and cheaper med supplies.Reduce the cost of healthcare and spend less money for medicare.also should medicare pay for smoking related diseases the tobacco companies should be taxed themselves to pay for the damage theyve done.

-- Posted by paintdestiny on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 7:57 AM

fredd, I sure am glad you're stepping up to the plate to pay the rent, food, healthcare, daycare, medicine, etc for all the drugged up losers that are popping out babies cuz they just don't. They don't want to work, they'd rather sit around drinking and smoking, living off the rest of us, sot they don't have to do anything. Meanwhile, they expose their kids to it so the cycle keeps on going. I hope you pay a hell of a lot in taxes so you can support this system!

You want to simplify every arguement down to utter ignorance and falsehoods....fine.

Democrats are the party of baby killers and sexual deviants! Enough said.

Your party stands for killing babies, rape (those who are standing up for Roman Polanski are all liberal democrats), drugs, etc.

See fredd, ignorance is bliss. Your comments borderline on sheer rediculousness. Tobacco Co's had scientist? Maybe they were paid lobbists, but scientists? Come on, how stupid do you think we are? The republicans were just looking out for their tax paying/working constituents just like the democrats are now cartering to their illegal, baby killing, gay, jobless by choice, freeloading, America-hating, Muslim, rapist constituents.

See, I can be absurd too. Do I think that all democrats reflect what I just said? No. I can tell the difference that you can't. See, you take one little slice out of a whole ball of wax and plaster everyone with your misconceptions. I can do the same thing to prove a point. Did you get that point? Or do I need to simplify it further?

The republicans are NOT always on the wrong side of history. You really need to be a little more educated when start ranting and raving.

This is not reform. Changing who pays for the healthcare and then forcing those who don't have it on to it isn't going to fix anything other than give democrats more votes from the downtrodden welfare community who are slaves to them.

Maybe you could start with tort reform to start to limit the high rate of costs with healthcare...but then your beloved senator Nelson would never allow that to happen would he?

You still sit here and wonder why we pay so much in this country and have such a health issue. Look no further than your poor diet and lack of exercise that is crippling this nation. We are in a reccesion, yet people still have enough money to buy enough to make them get fat! I wonder.

Maybe it's a decline of intelligence that comes from the reduction of the evolutionary effects of fool proofing everything so that even the most moronic people in this country can survive and reproduce. You just can't live off of processed foods and fast food and expect not to have health issues latter in life. I think all the scientific data is there for you to learn from. Whether you want to is up to you.

This reform has nothing in it to make any American, any healthier. It's just a way to shuffle around money form those who work hard to make to those who choose not to. And it for political power and greed. I'm glad I'm not ignorant enough to fall for the DC spin!

-- Posted by Justin76 on Fri, Dec 11, 2009, at 1:02 PM

actually, you have fallen for the D.C. spin, its just the spin on the opposite side.

-- Posted by president obama on Wed, Dec 16, 2009, at 12:51 PM

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Sen. Mike Johanns
Sen. Mike Johanns
U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns is a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Nebraska governor and Lincoln mayor.

Address: 404 Russell, Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-4224
Fax: (202) 228-0436

You may contact Senator Johanns by emailing mike_johanns@johanns.senate.gov. If you would like to receive a response from Senator Johanns, please ensure you include your name, full address, and phone number.