Friday, June 26, 2009

Health Care at the Expense of Our Seniors is Shameful Change

A Column by Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite:
{{w|Ginny Brown-Waite}}, member of the United ...

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As you may know, Democrats in the House of Representatives recently introduced an 852-page bill to reform our entire health care system.  My continuous fear throughout the health care "reform" process has been that Democrats will opt to pay for changes to the system on the backs of seniors.  This is unfair to Florida's Fifth District, where more Medicare beneficiaries reside than anywhere else in the country.  Our nation's 44 million elderly who have worked hard all their lives cannot be ignored in favor of trying to provide coverage to a few million people.   

The Democrat bill contains a section regarding comparative effectiveness research.  Comparative effectiveness research is a government analysis to determine which treatments are more "effective" than others in terms of medical application.  Many have expressed concern that comparative effectiveness will lead to government-run health care programs refusing to provide certain prescriptions or other treatments if they deem them not effective enough.  This is the case in other countries, such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in England, which has infamously denied expensive cancer drugs to its citizens.  What is most alarming about this proposal is that the Democrat bill takes funding from the Medicare trust fund to pay for the comparative effectiveness research provision.  I am adamantly opposed to taking money from the Medicare trust fund.  It is certain that this nation needs health care reform, but I will never in good conscience support a proposal that cuts benefits to those who have already earned them.  You can be sure I will monitor this issue carefully and if the House tries to pass the Democrat's proposal through Congress, I will fight as hard as I can to stop its passage.  

Throughout my tenure in public service, I have always kept an open door and an open dialogue with my constituents.  As Congress addresses the many challenges facing our nation, I hope you will share your thoughts and views with me.  Accordingly, I encourage you to visit my Web site at to email me and find useful information about our 5th Congressional District.

Thank you,  


Ginny Brown-Waite M.C.