Vel Rae Burkholder, Fargo, Published October 07 2012
Letter: Berg’s TV spots are not truthfulTelevision ads airing now, paid for by some outside interests and Rep. Berg against Heidi Heitkamp, contain erroneous information about the Affordable Health Care Act. The act does not cut $700 billion from Medicare for patient care. These cuts do not cut any access to care for seniors but are savings over time in Medicare by cracking down on waste and high costs throughout the health care system.
The ads state that the “Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) ... will ration care for seniors by imposing strict controls on the amount and volume of future Medicare services and payments.”
The law bars IPAB from rationing care, restricting benefits, increasing seniors out-of-pocket costs or changing eligibility criteria. Anything that IPAB recommends in reductions in Medicare will be sent to Congress, and if they don’t like them, Congress can pass alternative cuts of the same size. This means that Congress has the final say on what is done to lower Medicare costs.
There are many references on the Internet that explain what and how the IPAB works. The IPAB is not a death panel, nor does it cut Medicare service on its own as many people believe. It is Congress that ultimately has the final say on what is done to cut costs.
It seems that Berg doesn’t know what the law does. Maybe he should check it out before he says he supports this message in his ads.
Seniors on Medicare have to be concerned with the budget cuts in the Paul Ryan plan instead of the Affordable Health Care Act. The plan is the budget that Berg voted for in the U.S. House, so we need to ask ourselves: Can we really trust him to stand up for us in the Senate?
If the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed, we will be back in the doughnut hole for our drugs, and who knows what else we will have to pay.
Heidi Heitkamp will defend Medicare and Social Security. We need to support her for the Senate.