Letter: Rooney Survey Is Misleading

Florida Republican Rep. Tom Rooney has been conducting a yes/no survey regarding support (or not) of $716 billion Obamacare cuts to Medicare that (he says) will directly impact seniors. This survey is misleading because it leaves out very important facts related to these cuts.

Cuts actually come from eliminating a massive subsidy to private insurers and a gradual cut to some providers (Medicare Advantage, for instance) as well as reduced fraud. Other cuts are in payments to hospitals and other facilities that are expected to experience increased funding as a result of required health insurance — costs that are now passed on to people who do have health insurance coverage to pay for those that don’t. These “cuts” are good things in achieving the goal to keep Medicare solvent.

This is just another example of Republican disinformation (lies) based upon the GOP philosophy that if you tell a lie often enough, it will be believed. And unfortunately for the too-often-mislead public, the lie is believed and perpetuated.

Congressman Allen West suggests that Obama is feeding Americans a “crap” sandwich. West is crass and incendiary with his political remarks — untruthful as well.

Congressmen like Rooney and West should be ashamed for perpetuating misleading information regarding Obamacare (actually, the Affordable Care Act). Better, they should promulgate a law that requires factual and truthful information in all political ads — and surveys.

Patricia Abbott
Royal Palm Beach


  1. Socialized medicine in Britain, France and Germany has failed. U.S. healthcare is failing and is about to get much worse.
    Here in the U.S. to limit services, seniors are being moved into Health Maintenance Organizations [HMO]. Savings are realized by rationing services. One-third of doctors who were asked to comment on HMO’s said that they patients were harmed by delays or not treated. Everyone agrees that Medicare will be bankrupt the only question is how soon. Given this experience what makes anyone believe that expanding government healthcare to everyone will work better?

    Medicare is not the only failed government health program. According to the Washington Post citing Sandra Decker, an economist with the Center for Disease Controls, reported that one-third of all doctors will not accept new Medicaid patients. The reason is simple. When you pay a doctor less you get less access to health care.

    Progressives, most of whom vote for Democrats, want us to look to Europe and Canada for proof that universal healthcare is a good thing. The fact is that Greece will have to cut its government healthcare benefits along with many other social welfare programs that have bankrupted that country. In essence conservatives are witnessing the death of the welfare state and trying to find solutions. Progressives are still infatuated with big government solutions to problems created by government. They simply do not recognize that insurance has been heavily regulated by State bureaucrats and there has not been a free market economy in healthcare for at least 60 years. So if you are not happy with your insurance company, perhaps you should phone up your State regulators, and in a few months you can call your Washington D.C. regulators, all thousands of them who will be in charge of your healthcare choices.

    Great Brittan began its socialize medicine program in 1948 and raised taxes high to pay for it, but now the expense is so great that Brittan will cut $31 billion by 2015. This means less medicine for the sick patient. Surgeries that are “non life threatening” are being postponed. There will be 50,000 fewer doctors and other critical health professionals in order to reduce the cost of providing socialized medicine.

    Fortunately Brittan allows private hospitals to operate that are self-pay. There has been a steady increase in their business for “clinically necessary procedures”. This is convincing evidence that a move to single payer government socialized medicine provides less care and not more. Assume that the number of persons covered increased under socialized medicine, but the fewer people receive treatment they require we are arguably worse off overall. In Brittan more than one million people are waiting for medical procedures at any one time. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3559748?uid=3739616&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101022941053

    While we can find some people who will testify that Canada’s healthcare is working fine, a survey shows that most believe that “fundamental changes are required to make the system work better and 10% believe it need to be completely rebuilt.” Rationing of healthcare means that the infirm, the young and old will not receive the treatment they now enjoy. Using Canada as our model according to reports hip and knee replacements are not given to those deemed obese or to those who are not in “extreme pain”. Unless a person to too blind to work they will not be allowed cataract surgery. Tonsillectomies and surgery to improve hearing in children is being denied. Other patients are being referred for homeopathic care instead of traditional medicine. These are rationing decisions that Americans can count on under government healthcare.

    • Mr. Morelli, yet again we agree on some things and disagree on others. Our main disagreement is that you seem to believe that removing regulations from insurance companies will bring healthcare premium prices down and that care will be better, with free market competition causing all of this. Well, insurance companies are not in business for the good of people, despite the claims of being “in good hands”. I am basically pro-big business (and small business as well), yet feel that some regulations are needed to keep some companies/industries in check. I agree that there are a lot of outdated, ineffective and too costly regulations around and many of them should be revisited as to whether they make sense in the current environment. However this does not mean removing all of them and letting companies run amok.
      As far as people in countries with socialized healthcare wanting change, I agree that people do complain (some people complain about everything), but try to take it away from those people and it would be suicide for any political party suggesting it, much like removing Social Security or Medicare here. No party would dare say to end those “socialist” programs. Can government healthcare in many countries be more efficient, better run? Of course it can, governments are not always known for their efficiency and ours is a prime example of that! And even though I am a supporter of universal national healthcare do I think our government can run it efficiently and effectively… let’s just say I have my doubts and worries.
      It is also still obvious that you do not understand what “panels” will be used for or that insurance companies now use panels to decide on coverages and that they are far less people friendly and are more bottom-line friendly. Please stop believing Glenn Beck in everything he says about this and the whole ‘death panel’ idea, this is certainly not accurate.
      One great thing we agree on, and something I have been railing about for years is the use/acknowledgement of homeopathic medicine. This “medicine” is totally useless, ineffective, and unscientific. Not only should it not be used, it should be banned!! Mr. Morelli, write a letter on the evils of homeopathic “medicine” and not only will I write a letter supporting your position I will do my best to add even more information to back up this cause. Readers: Do not use homeopathic products, they are useless, expensive, they prey on the unknowledgeable/unscientific, well, I better stop now as this subject really gets me riled up……

      • I approve of regulations, but I would use a cost/benefit analysis before putting any regulation into effect. If that were the case the deindustrialization of America would not have occurred. Energy prices will not “necessarily skyrocket”, and new and safe nuclear power plants would not have stopped being built decades ago. China would not be the industrial power it has become, and the environmental protection agency would not be imposing café standards on automobiles that will make them lighter and therefore more dangerous to human life.

        The free market would most certainly bring insurance prices down and care would be better, without a doubt. Insurance companies in a free market would go out of business if their main objective was not to supply the best service at the lowest price. But to appreciate these economic principles one has to be educated in Austrian Economics.

        Progressives in both parties have put Americans between a rock and a hard spot. I believe that I cited the riots in England and Greece as proof that taking away government handouts results in riots and threats on the lives of the Royal family by rioting crowds chanting “off with their heads”.

        The reason democracy does not work is that when people know that they can vote themselves handouts they will do so. The reason that a Republic may not work is that men of great integrity and character may not be elected. Only men of great integrity and character will choose to do the right thing even if it means they might lose the next election, or be vilified by the media, or by their adversaries. I can think of one man who exemplifies integrity and character with honor and courage. That man is Congressman Col. Allen West.

        Government has always been inefficient every student of history knows this, and any good economist knows that the free market is much more efficient than government bureaucrats and central planning.

        So far no one who has told me not to watch Glenn Beck has even watched Mr. Beck. What I see is that he shows videos of radicals, Democrats, Communists, and Fabian Socialists setting forth their ideology in their own words. As a lawyer that is the most compelling evidence I can offer an impartial jury. I would offer such statements [declarations] as proof of one’s state of mind, and even what that person intends to do that is consistent with their declarations. Beck makes compelling arguments.

        As for Beck’s popularity, let me say that millions of views cannot be all wrong and millions agree with Mr. Beck. 65,000 of them packed Cowboy Stadium to hear him speak. Incidentally it surprised me that Mr. Obama may not fill 20,000 seats for his second nomination as President. What does that say about public opinion?

        Once again to be clear, insurance companies DO NOT decide what coverage they will offer. In order to be licensed to do business in very State that I am aware of insurance companies have to offer coverage that is mandated by State bureaucrats, and insurance rates are set by State bureaucrats. Therefore the only “panels” that exist in insurance companies are there to prevent fraud, and private insurance does a much better job of it than the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. who are in charge of Medicare and Social Security. Furthermore if you want death panels then it must be composed of bureaucrats who decide upon what coverage will be offered and to whom. Also in order to compose a true death panel there can be no competition so that people are unable to switch to a company that provides better coverage. The name I give to such a system is “universal government healthcare”.

        I never said that I do not trust homeopathic medicine. I have no opinion on that subject. What I wrote was that since it is less expensive it is offered by socialized medicine as cheaper alternative to the more traditional and more expensive medical treatment offered by medical doctors and pharmacologists. You seem to be saying that homeopathy is worthless, so you are telling us that socialized medicine offers useless medical treatment. Thank you for making my point

        • Mr. Morelli, I am going to keep this short with only a few points, and finally end this discussion, we could go on and on.
          1) Again you use the term Progressive in a derogatory way. Better Progressive then Regressive.
          2) I have watched Glenn Beck and that is why I find him ridiculous, and you say that millions of people who view him cannot all be wrong. Illogical thinking, the millions of people who packed stadiums and followed Hitler would now be considered ‘wrong’. Just because a lot of people follow someone does not mean they are correct. For many years most people believed the earth was flat, yet now we know they are wrong.
          3) Insurance companies do not have panels that decide on coverage or on whether certain procedures will be covered or on whether to deny coverage? Mr. Morelli, your understanding of the insurance industry is fuzzy.
          4) Your understanding of economics and the free market is also scary when you only care about using a cost/benefit analysis to decide before putting any regulation into effect. While I agree that this should be a consideration other aspects such as the impact on people’s lives and the environment also need to be understood (and didn’t Milton Friedman, the architect of Reganomics dismiss the Austrian Economists?).
          5) People have been saying “off with their heads” about all royal families for millennia!
          6) Lastly, your understanding of Homeopathy is lacking. From your last letter I had thought that you understood the lack of science behind it. Go into any drug store, you will find that these treatments are not cheaper, less expensive. Especially considering what is in them. And later you can add in the cost of properly treating patients with real science and medicine. Homeopathy is worthless, but it does far from prove your point that socialized medicine is worthless. Even some insurance companies approve worthless treatments (can go into this another time).
          Mr. Morelli, your basic thinking and logic is so flawed, despite the umpteenth time you have told us that you are a lawyer, and it is so obvious that you are against anything Progressive. Sad really….

  2. This is in response to all the people who have been writing in about the insurance company/ national health debate going on. I once spent four years living under a system of national health care and loved it (U.K.). Are there some drawbacks? Of course, but in the long run I think it is the best system going. Mr. Morelli is correct in his letter that the total costs won’t change to each person whether we pay insurance companies or in our taxes. But this is only at first, and in the short term. He is also correct that it would hurt insurance companies, and though I have no love lost for them I do not want to see more people put out of work, we have enough out of work already. At the moment we pay insurance companies premiums and we also have money we pay in taxes to fund Medicare, Medicaid and many other programs. What I would love to see is one integrated national healthcare system, paid for through some equitable form of taxation where every citizen has access to healthcare. In the long run this should save money by using economies of scale to do things like buy drugs en masse, buy equipment in bulk, etc. The panels the government sets up to decide what will be ‘covered’ will be fairer then the panels the insurance companies currently set up as there is no profit margin that needs to be addressed. They will be made up of scientists, ethicists, doctors, etc. This is in an optimum world, of course. Do I think our current government, with all it’s in-fighting, can they do this? Let’s just say I have my doubts.
    Just like I think health care should be nationalized I also think that (higher) education should be as well. The best way for America to grow is to have a healthy, well-educated population. We have the resources, I just hope that political differences can be put aside and bring us back to the best-educated, healthiest country in the world.

    • The U.K. has had to cut back on benefits and there is rioting in the streets, fire bombs, and the Royal Family has been harassed and threatened in the streets with shouts of “off with their heads” – all because the “free stuff” is ending. STEP TWO of single payer healthcare, or Obamacare, or government healthcare, whatever you choose to call it are the riots in the streets, and it has never worked in any country. Russia collapsed under the weight of this own government, and the Euro is imploding, the United States will be next unless we elect candidates who will control spending. The current national debt is already unsustainable so why would be add another trillion dollars of healthcare to it?

      Mr. Rosen may have loved social medicine, but what he did not tell us is that he got a heart transplant at age 65, or a new hip at that age, or was entitled to cataract surgery to restore his sight. Because if he had told you that he needed these treatments he probably would not have been so happy with the single payer, government healthcare system. Mr. Rosen must have been very fortunate that the death panels of scientists and experts did not decide whether he would live or die. The fact is that in every single social welfare state, including Canada, the very young and the vary old are given comfort care that assists them to die, and that is simply the way universal healthcare works.

      Universal healthcare has also failed when tried by State governments. In Hawaii government subsidized universal healthcare lasted only 7 months. People that had healthcare dropped it so that they could get it for free. Under Obamacare it will be less expensive for companies to pay the “fine” than to pay for healthcare for their employees. That means that you the taxpayer will pick up the cost for those employees who will be on the government program.

      In Massachusetts the cost of its universal healthcare was much higher than anticipated. This year Massachusetts has a $100 million dollar budget shortfall. No doubt the current economic depression was a factor as well, but just as any private insurance company that is failing would want to reduce its coverage, so a government that cannot afford all of the benefits it has promised will have to reduce benefits. In short the Federal Government cannot afford to pay for what it has already promised, so why would we think that adding another trillion dollars of debt for universal healthcare is a good thing?

      STEP TWO: Basically my pen pal Mr. Rosen has a good heart I am sure, and he will not be so high on Obamacare once government is unable to pay for all that it is promising, and God forbid people start dying of medical complications that are now covered by private insurance, because a failing government with unsustainable debt can no longer provide the same benefits. Why would we think that if in England there are rioters, and fire bombers in the streets that it will be any different in America?

      In simple terms, who do you trust more to guarantee your health care needs? Would you trust Harry Reed, Nancy Pelosi, or Barney Frank, or would you trust someone in the private sector with a proven business record like Mitt Romney. I believe that private enterprise is a better bet to guarantee my future medical coverage. I choose private industry every time over wasteful inefficient government. I will take my chances on the free market capitalism with competition to protect my future, rather than paid bureaucrats who do not have to vie for my business. No my friends STPE ONE always sounds good, but if you move your thinking and analysis to STEP TWO it does not look the same. We are currently in STEP TWO of poor government policies that has let to 15% real unemployment and 87 million people on food stamps. Do you really what the same people guaranteeing your future medical healthcare?

      It is a misnomer to refer to insurance companies in the private sector as “private”. After many years of law, many more than 4 years, my experience with private insurance companies is that they are very much controlled by State bureaucrats. Insurance rates are dictated not by the free market, but by State bureaucrats. Insurance coverage is not dictated by the free market but by State bureaucrats. So if you are not happy with “private insurance” it is probably because it has been strictly regulated by State bureaucrats. So why would you think you would be happy with government insurance that is strictly regulated by Federal bureaucrats? Think about it.

      Finally thank you to The Town Crier for providing this space and an opportunity for us to exchange our opinions without having to wait a week and possibly not be the letter chosen to be printed. Tell your friends and email a link to this page to everyone in Palm Beach County. This is our Town Hall meeting place.

      • Mr. Morelli, Just to inform you my godson was diagnosed with what was basically a terminal illness, he was supposed to die at the age of 1.5 years, very horribly. Under British healthcare he has lived quite a bit longer than that. He was ‘very young’ yet got the best of healthcare. So your case of the very old or very young not getting proper treatment is wrong. However I will agree that in every country more needs to be done to insure better, more progressive healthcare.
        Also your note about ‘death panels’ shows you do not understand what the panels are all about. You don’t think insurance companies have panels almost solely designed to stop covering things? They are made up more of accountants and actuaries (not that there is anything wrong with these professions) then scientists and doctors.
        This is the major point where we disagree. You ask do I trust in Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi to guarantee my future healthcare? As much as I lean Democrat the answer would be “No” (I actually do trust Barney Frank more as I think he cares more about people, like Obama does, then most politicians). So we agree there. However, do I trust Romney and Ryan or someone else with proven business experience? Again the answer is ‘No’. At the moment I have grave doubts about all politicians working together and solving a lot of the problems. Bu looking at it from their point of view…. every congressman and senator has better health insurance then I have and does not have to worry about their future. Mr. Morelli, I hope you would agree with me at least on this, that even a one-time elected official (House of Reps. Or Senate) is better off than either one of us. Maybe if they had to live with our worries, as opposed to worrying about getting re-elected things would be different!

        • Andrew I am so sorry to hear about your grandson. I cannot imagine the pain and heartache that a parent and grandparent must feel at the lost of such a precious life, but I know it is not something that one can possibly forget.

          I know you have a heart for good and I believe that you will also agree with me that using a tragedy such as yours to advance a political agenda is heartless. There is a video of Bill Clinton that I would ask you to watch. In it he speaks about how brave President Obama was to agree to allow Seal Team 6 to find and kill Bin Laden. I would like to know your opinion of the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1x-5pCSI84&feature=youtu.be

          My friend if you continue to vote for Democrats then I cannot comprehend your system of morality. Do what your conscience dictates, but this video is an example of why I am by default a Republican. Although there are progressives and pro-choice Republicans, still generally I find that the Republican Party presents intelligent arguments while the Democrats pass out attacks and propaganda to be repeated by the Democrat media, which is every one with the exception of Fox News and Glenn Beck. Frankly Democrat talking points should insult everyone that is intelligent and well informed.

          In order for insurance companies to exist when State regulators dictate their premiums and coverage insurers must try to prevent fraud, and they do a very good job of it. Naturally since the object is to prevent insurance fraud insurance companies investigate claims and sometime these efforts result in delay or denial. I have many years of experience, so there is very little anyone can tell me about the system that I do not already know. I do not expect Democrats to be persuaded by anything I say, but I assure you that I try to be truthful and when I make a mistake I am ready to correct it. Furthermore I stick to the issues and afford to my adversaries respect they deserve by not attacking them personally. As a lawyer I am bound by a code of professional ethics that I believe in and try to follow in my private life.

          I can agree with you that Barney Frank may well care about people. Unfortunately he was dead wrong about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when long before they failed he said they were financially strong. No doubt he wished it to be true so that people with bad credit who could not qualify for a private mortgage would be able to obtain a government guaranteed mortgage. I have a heart for people as well which is why I want government out of our lives.

          • Mr. Morelli, first, thanks for your concern regarding my godson, and just so you know he is still alive and is a productive (very) young man, yet has suffered his whole life (and still struggles) through issues that would break lesser people (and he does it with good humor).
            I watched the video link you provided, but I do not take my information from Youtube (many things can be changed, taken out of context, etc.). However, this link and some other comments in your letter are way off point. The topic was healthcare, but since we are already off topic let’s discuss some of the things you mention.
            1) In your letter you say: “My friend if you continue to vote for Democrats then I cannot comprehend your system of morality”, then you say “Furthermore I stick to the issues and afford to my adversaries respect they deserve by not attacking them personally.” I take your first statement as an attack on my morality. Mr. Morelli, just because someone does not ascribe to you political viewpoint or your religion does not mean you can attack their moral stance. As I have said in the past I am a Secular Humanist, yet feel that I am more moral then most hypocrite religious people out there who talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. I don’t believe in being ‘good’ for the sake of an afterlife in heaven (as opposed to one in Hell). I do the right/moral thing because it is the RIGHT THING TO DO TO PEOPLE (i.e. Golden Rule).
            2) you also say this “I find that the Republican Party presents intelligent arguments while the Democrats pass out attacks and propaganda to be repeated by the Democrat media, which is every one with the exception of Fox News and Glenn Beck. Frankly Democrat talking points should insult everyone that is intelligent and well informed.” Really? Honestly? They are the only true ones out there? Glen Beck is so far out on a limb he makes Rush Limbaugh seem like Marx and Lenin (and not Groucho and John)! For your information I am not a fan of Fox (I guess you know this already), but I do watch them so that I can get all points of view. I am not a fan of MSNBC either (to biased to the left). I do like when during an election CNN has panels of 3 republicans and 3 democrats (or 4 of each, etc.). At least that is ‘fair and balanced’ (is that trademarked???). Anyway with your comment here you are basically saying that I (or anyone) that is intelligent and well-informed cannot go/vote Democrat. Mr. Morelli, I know you are a lawyer and a Rutgers graduate (and a friend of D.D. Eisenhower), yet my education is also up to snuff and this education has taught me to question everything and to look at both sides and take salient/valid points from each and use them as is fit. I might vote one way because that way seems to hit more of the points I think are important, but I do not dismiss all the points of the opposition nor accept all the points of the party I vote for. However, it seems that you do not do this and dismiss everything Democrat all at once. So sad for an educated person to do this, but expected from a person who is close-minded and will not even look fairly at the ‘other side’.
            Mr. Morelli, I also believe you have a good heart and only want the best for everybody (wouldn’t it be great to have a country full of healthy, well-educated, happy people?), and I enjoy some of the give and take we have had going in our letter-writing. However, in this last letter I felt you have gotten personal questioning my (or anyone who votes a certain way) morality and intelligence, hence the diatribe above. Perhaps we can go back to on-point discussions.

  3. Ms. Abbott we have to look past step one. Insurance premiums will increase if the services provided increase, or if government subsidies are decreased. Government has done both, mandated greater coverage and cut subsidies. That’s not likely to work out well in STEP TWO..

    Actually government subsidies while they decrease insurance premiums they increase taxes so overall there are no savings. As you know for every dollar taken out of the economy for taxes, there is one less dollar to spend in the private sector for insurance.

    You seem to agree that $716 billion was cut from Medicare, but apparently think that Advantage plans are not Medicare. If so that is a difference without a distinction. I was offered an Advantage HMO plan that would not have cost me a cent. Essentially it was insurance coverage for free. I opted for the Supplement plan that costs the average person about $350/mo and pays only the co-pay of Medicare. Not a great deal either but better than Advantage plans in my opinion because we can choose our own doctors and do not need a referral from a gate keeper whose job it is to keep down cost and therefore render less medical treatment.

    I didn’t choose the Advantage plan because I knew that this would be the first place that government would limit coverage or cut subsidies. So by cutting $716 billion subsidies to Advantage plans which are private insurance plans, the government just created a $716 billion dollar deficit in the private insurance industry.

    STEP TWO: which you do not discuss is that now private insurance companies that insure seniors under the Advantage plan have just lost $716 billion in income. It doesn’t take an Austrian Economist to figure that private insurance companies will either have to cut their benefits to seniors or go out of business. You decide which is more likely. I’ll give you a hint.

    The government tells the private insurance companies that provide Advantage coverage for seniors what benefits they must provide. If government does not allow these companies to eliminate some coverage they will go out of business, and then the only coverage left will be single payer government insurance.

    If government could reduce fraud it should have done so many years ago. We have been hearing this cry for decades ever since government healthcare was established. So your point that fraud will save money doesn’t carry much weight.

    You seem to be making the point that hospitals will save money by not having to treat uninsured patients. But if Advantage plans reduce coverage or private insurance companies go out of business, hospitals will still have to treat patients for those causes that are no longer covered by either private insurance or government insurance.

    The bottom line Ms. Abbot is that we must look beyond step one. Your Democrat party only tells you about step one, and the Democrat mass media will not call them on it, so be skeptical about what you hear from you party officials and on the Democrat national media, because your life may depend upon it.

    May God bless you and God bless the United States of America

  4. $716 Billion was cut from Medicare and diverted to ObamaCare, so that the President could say that implementing ObamaCare was ‘cost neutral’ (it didn’t cost the public a penny-yeah, right- just the elderly on Medicare and their doctors).

    Part of the money is to be utilized for a 15 member panel in Washington, DC, which will be deciding what testing, procedures and medical treatment, you, as a patient, should receive. It is a medical matrix dictating to your local physician as to how to treat you, if your doctor wants to receive payment for their services to you.

    It is taking the health decisions out of your local doctor’s hands and putting it in the panel’s hands. It is centralizing medical care far away in Washington, DC.

    In addition, the raided Medicare billions are supposed to fight Medicare fraud. Instead of punishing ALL doctors, the focus should be on finding and prosecuting those who have committed fraud and let those doctors who have done the right thing, continue to treat their patients, without the government deciding on one’s medical care.

    Centralizing medical decisions in Washington, DC, is a dangerous way to practice medicine.

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