President Obama is wooing seniors with promises to protect Medicare as they've known it. On the defensive because of the $716 billion his health care law takes from Medicare, Obama assures seniors he's cutting payments to hospitals and other providers, not their benefits.
Don't be bamboozled. It's illogical to think that reducing what a hospital is paid to treat seniors won't harm their care. A mountain of scientific evidence proves the cuts will worsen the chance that an elderly patient survives a hospital stay and goes home. It’s reasonable to conclude that tens of thousands of seniors will die needlessly each year.
Under ObamaaCare, hospitals, hospice care, dialysis centers, and nursing homes will be paid less to care for the same number of seniors than if the health law had not been enacted. Payments to doctors will also be cut.
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Politico on the Hatch Act violation by HHS Secretary Sebelius:
INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: SEBELIUS CROSSED THE LINE - Limits on political maneuvering by public officials working on the taxpayers' dime are nebulous, byzantine and often blurred. But the Office of Special Counsel - an independent prosecuting authority - has concluded that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius broke the law when she exhorted a North Carolina crowd last February to reelect her boss, President Barack Obama, during what was supposed to be an official visit. The determination - which OSC said was an isolated incident - creates an immediate headache for the Obama administration on a day that Census data showed a dip in uninsured Americans, partly because of the Affordable Care Act.
--From the OSC report: "[Sebelius] noted that North Carolina is critical in the next election and emphasized that it is 'hugely important to make sure we reelect the president.' These statements were made in Secretary Sebelius's official capacity and therefore violated the Hatch Act's prohibition against using official authority or influence to affect the results of an election."
--Sebelius admitted she shouldn't have injected politics into an official event but pointed to her office's immediate decision to reclassify the event as a campaign stop and to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for her travel. More telling, though, was her explanation for the lapse: "As I have also explained, keeping the roles straight can be a difficult task, particularly on mixed trips that involve both campaign and official stops on the same day."
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