BY TONI SOWA
Rally For America and Tea Parties United held a joint meeting Sunday, April 15, at the West Nyack Library to voice their concerns about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which came into affect two years ago in March.
Their guest speaker was Ms. Betsy McCaughey Ph. D., a patient advocate, and former one term New York lieutenant governor under Governor George Pataki. McCaughey is an outspoken opponent of government healthcare plans, and has advocated against them since the Clinton administration.
McCaughey proudly states that she is perhaps, one of the only people to have read the entire 2,700 pages of the Affordable Care Act bill. She strongly opposes the law, and sees it as an attack on American liberties. As a result of free enterprise, McCaughey says, America has the best healthcare in the world.
But she also supports aspects of the current government run system Medicare which she says is threatened by the Obama bill. Under the Affordable Care Act, she believes senior citizens’ costly life prolonging procedures, such as heart surgery, and experimental cancer treatments, will be targeted. She stated the bill mandates that $575 billion earmarked for Medicare be transferred to the Medicaid program over the next decade. This will happen just as the “Baby Boom” generation is reaching Medicare age.
According to McCaughey, federal oversight of reimbursements will ultimately control the entire medical profession including the research community, which she believes will result in fewer medical breakthroughs.
McCaughey also says there will not be a lowering of premiums when the Affordable Care Act covers an additional 30 million people. She believes insurance companies will continue to pass on costs to the consumer as they seek increased profits. Companies may find it less expensive to pay the penalties, than to provide their employees with health insurance.
Those attending the rally expressed concerns about privacy and the possibility of identity theft, since health information will be shared between the IRS and several government agencies.
When asked about Romney’s Massachusetts health care program, McCaughey answered that the people of Massachusetts voted and chose the state’s plan, so it was not federally mandated. The Affordable Care act, she said, is the government demanding we “purchase an insurance product” or be penalized.
McCaughey has written a 21-page alternative healthcare proposal, and submitted it to several members of Congress. So far she has received no responses. Her healthcare proposal can be viewed on her website, Defendyourhealthcare.com.
McCaughey’s only other suggestion was to vote in November and let your officials know you have an opinion.