Friday, March 19, 2010

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics!

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

The very famous quote above is popularly attributed to Mark Twain. But Twain himself attributed the quote to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881). Historians, however, can find no reasonable explanation for Twain to have attributed the quote to the equally famous Disraeli. Its real origins will probably never be known.

It is ironic and somewhat appropriate that many people today know the quote from the popular political television series, The West Wing. In today's hyperventilating political environment, it is certainly reasonable to think the quote applies to politicians.

Numbers are easy to misuse, misquote and misrepresent. Hide money here, move money there and you can get any result you desire. Sadly, that is exactly what Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are doing with the Health Care Restructuring costs.

Frankly, I think it's just a damned lie.

You can't cut Medicare by $500,000,000.00 and then say there will be no change in the program and no reduction in benefits. It is a lie. And if you're a senior on the excellent Medicare Advantage Program, it's a damned lie. It is mostly the very poorest seniors on Advantage and it saves them, literally, hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Medicare IS NOT the wonderful medical insurance some might claim it to be, There is much Medicare doesn't cover and much more with often huge deductibles. Advantage almost eliminates all these deductibles and covers many procedures at a much lower cost.

Seniors can be forced into bankruptcy just covering Medicare deductibles or paying fro procedures Medicare doesn't cover. Thanks to Nancy Pelosi's damned lie, this is going to happen 500 million dollars more often than it did before.

What really pisses me off, as a Democrat, is that if some Republican President proposed gutting $500,000,000.00 from Medicare every Democrat would have stood in lock step to prevent it. Now Nancy Pelosi just pretends it isn't happening. And most Democrats will vote Sunday to kill the enormously popular Advantage progam.

By the way, Health Care Restructuring won't reduce he deficit one penny once Congress permits cost of living increases for Doctors as they have every single year since Medicare first began. The bill being voted on Sunday has doctor's reimbursements going down every year for the next 20 years. That is just another damned lie.