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Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): frankly, it looks like a campaign mailing (July 7, 2011)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r) wants to kill Medicare… (April 6, 2011)

We received another franked campaign style mailing today from Representative Vicky Hartzler (r). This time it’s propaganda trying to sell Representative Paul Ryan’s (r) republican House majority plan to kill Medicare.

From Representative Hartzler’s (r) mailing:


…Medicare is one of our nation’s most valued programs, and we need to protect it for the millions of seniors that currently rely on Medicare for their health insurance…

That’s interesting, this appears to be at odds with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (r) view of Medicare:

…As Cantor sees it, the existing Medicare program simply must be eliminated for fiscal reasons, replaced with a privatized system. In other words, the Paul Ryan plan that was soundly rejected by voters and policy experts alike is still the preferred model for the House Republican leadership…

…Also note the rhetoric the oft-confused House Majority Leader uses: the United States has made promises to the public, and as far as Eric Cantor is concerned, “many” Americans will simply have to accept that those promises “are not going to be kept.”

Why not? Because Republicans say so. Promises to Grover Norquist are sacrosanct, but promises to senior citizens are not…

Again, from Representative Hartzler’s (r) mailing:

I support a plan in Congress that will help protect Medicare for current seniors and preserve it for generations to come. The proposal is similar to Medicare Advantage in that it would enlist health insurance companies to offer insurance for future seniors that would be subsidized by the federal government…

[emphasis in original]

Really? Medicare Advantage will save money? Really?:

The Cost of Privatization: Extra Payments to Medicare Advantage Plans-Updated and Revised [pdf]

ABSTRACT: The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 sharply increased payments to private Medicare Advantage plans. As a result, every plan in every county in the nation was paid more in 2005 than its enrollees would have been expected to cost if they had been enrolled in traditional fee-for-service Medicare. The authors calculate that payments to Medicare Advantage plans averaged 12.4 percent more than costs in traditional Medicare during 2005: a total of more than $5.2 billion, or $922 for each of the 5.6 million Medicare enrollees in managed care. This issue brief updates an earlier analysis of Medicare Advantage payments in 2005 previously published by The Commonwealth Fund; the updated estimates in this report are based on final 2005 enrollment figures that were not available at the time the previous estimates were developed, and they include the effect of policy decisions that were not reflected in the previous estimates….

[emphasis added]

Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) must think her constituents are stoopid.

Yep, it’s a franked mail piece. Any idea what it cost taxpayers? Just asking.

It gets even better, on the B side of the mailing:

From Representative Hartzler’s (r) mail piece:

No changes to medicare for Americans 55 years and older

[emphasis in original]

It’s just the people 54 and younger who are gonna get screwed so that the top 1% can continue receiving their tax break windfalls.

…In Congress, I’m fighting to:

Protect Medicare and ensure doctors receive fair compensation for treating Medicare patients…

Because Medicare is all about increasing payments to doctors rather than making access to affordable health care a reality for all seniors, right?

Bragging on that nice plaque from a republican astroturf organization paid for by corporations. Here’s to looking after the little people.

The 60 Plus Association honored Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) for her work? Really?

The 60 Plus Association: A Corporate Assault in “Good-for-Seniors” Clothing

The 60 Plus Association, a pharmaceutical industry front group, claims it is a “nonpartisan senior advocacy group,” but it really operates counter to elderly citizens’ best interests. 60 Plus advocates positions on issues that benefit big corporations but that stand to harm seniors….

A Scary Primer on the 60-Plus Association

The “60-Plus Association” was AstroTurf before AstroTurf was cool. These kinds of right wing phony groups are a dime a dozen now. 60-Plus is a DC outfit mostly made up of longtime Republican operatives that pretend to be concerned about senior issues. In reality they appear to exist for little more than to help Republicans win elections and to scare the elderly….

….The 60-Plus Association fancies itself as a right-wing version of the AARP but its IRS filings show that it derives zero dollars from actual membership dues, even though it lists over $1.8 million in revenues. So if they are not getting their money from their nonexistent “membership” then how are they paying to scare… seniors? [60-Plus Association 2008 IRS Form 990]

Some of that question was answered when AARP hired an independent investigator to thoroughly research the phony group and they found that the pharmaceutical industry is actually paying a lot of the bills. The report revealed that in 2001 alone, 60-Plus got hundreds of thousands of dollars from some of the following: the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA); drug companies like Merck, Pfizer and Wyeth-Ayerst, and even from Hanwha International Corp.; which is the U.S. subsidiary of a Korean conglomerate with chemical and pharmaceutical interests. For this reason a Public Citizen report described 60-Plus as being part of “PhRMA’s Stealth PACS” [pdf]. [AARP Bulletin Today, “Pulling Strings from Afar”, 2003]….

Carrying water for corporate interests gets you a plaque and screws the seniors in your district, but you shouldn’t be bragging about it in your taxpayer paid for mail pieces. Yep, Representative Hartzler (r) thinks her constituents are stoopid.

Does anyone think that private insurance companies are going to insure seniors with credible health insurance at a cost less than Medicare? Anyone? Anyone?