And yes, Vicky Hartzler (r) voted for it.
Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) at a town hall in Blue Springs, Missouri on April 28, 2011.
From a report by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Democratic Staff – Impacts of the Republican Medicare Plan In Missouri’s 4th Congressional District [pdf]:
This analysis shows the immediate and long-term impacts of these changes in the 4th Congressional District in Missouri, which is represented by Rep. Vicky Hartzler.
The Republican proposal would have adverse impacts on seniors and disabled individuals in the district who are currently enrolled in Medicare. It would:
• Increase prescription drug costs for 8,500 Medicare beneficiaries in the district who enter the Part D donut hole, forcing them to pay an extra $83 million for drugs over the next decade.
• Eliminate new preventive care benefits for 120,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the district.
[emphasis in original]
That’s just the current beneficiaries.
For those aged fifty-four and younger:
The Republican proposal would have even greater impacts on individuals in the district age 54 and younger who are not currently enrolled in Medicare. It would:
• Deny 480,000 individuals age 54 and younger in the district access to Medicare’s guaranteed benefits.
• Increase the out-of-pocket costs of health coverage by over $6,000 per year in 2022 and by almost $12,000 per year in 2032 for the 103,000 individuals in the district who are between the ages of 44 and 54.
• Require the 103,000 individuals in the district between the ages of 44 and 54 to save an additional $24.1 billion for their retirement – an average of $182,000 to $287,000 per individual – to pay for the increased cost of health coverage over their lifetimes. Younger residents of the district will have to save even higher amounts to cover their additional medical costs.
• Raise the Medicare eligibility age by at least one year to age 66 or more for 57,000 individuals in the district who are age 44 to 49 and by two years to age 67 for 377,000 individuals in the district who are age 43 or younger.
[emphasis in original]
You can check out the impact of the republican plan district by district via an interactive map.
Yep, it’s a buzz saw. From Representative Hartzler’s (r) town hall in Blue Springs on April 28, 2011:
….Question: I’d like to focus just a minute on Medicare which is a big part of the [inaudible]. And I understand, a big part of the concern is the increase in the medical costs.
Representative Hartzler: Yes.
Question: Going up and up and up and up.
Representative Hartzler: Yes.
Question: Uh, as I understand it [inaudible], it is going to decrease and put a lid on the contribution that the government is going to pay on the medical bills. And I’m wondering does it do anything to address the rising costs so the unpaid balance, that comes from patients is going to be something they can afford.
Representative Hartzler: Yeah. Excellent question. Um, I don’t believe it has the proactive new plan for health care in it as part of the Path to Prosperity. But, we are working on those proposals and we’re gonna move them out of the House very soon, too, because many of us feel like we’ve got to do something to rein in these health care costs. It is crazy, the increase. But, we don’t think that the government takeover was the answer last year [crosstalk], and so…
Question: What, what, what article? [crosstalk]What is this?
Representative Hartzler: Yeah, yeah. [crosstalk] We are proposing to increase competition, is one thing, between, across state lines. You know, there are some states like Alabama, there’s only one company. You have no choice, it’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield [crosstalk] if you got a j…
Question: I’m not talking about insurance coverage. And I know they’re gonna go get it, uh, under their [inauadible], they’re [inaudible] a chunk of profit when that’s private. I’m asking about the medical costs.
Representative Hartzler: Yeah.
Question: What is being charged.
Representative Hartzler: Right. Well, it’s several things. There, there’s the, uh, liability reform, so it lowers the defensive medicine. That’s a plan that’s put out there. There’s a lot of, I talked a lot of doctors, they will tell me, I am ordering more procedures than are necessary just to make sure and cover all the bases so I’m not sued. And so we have some tort reform in there, that would help drive down the costs. Uh, [crosstalk] transparency [inaudible]…
Question: Have you seen the studies on how, how minimal that is? [voice: “Yeah.”]
Representative Hartzler: Uh, I know in Missouri it dro, it lowered it when the State of Missouri passed it a few years ago, when they did some changes and it’s, it’s bringing it down. [crosstalk]
Voice: How much did it drop? [crosstalk] How much did it drop?
Representative Hartzler: I’ve heard that it’s fif…
Question: Are you going to work on fee for, are you going to do something about fee for service? Are you gonna change that?
Representative Hartzler: I don’t believe that’s directly something, like the government saying you can’t charge more than x? But we’re trying to increase competition [inaudible crosstalk] and, and that would reduce costs and, and, you know, there’s several proposals out there. But I welcome your ideas because that’s, we’ve got to come up with solutions for [crosstalk] that.
Question:My, my idea is Medicaid paying is great for me, now I’m worried about, I’m sorry, Medicare. I’m worried about the people who are fifty-five and under.
Representative Hartzler: Yeah, yeah, well, we’re gonna be [crosstalk]…
Question: [inaudible] who have been paying on it for forty years already.
Representative Hartzler: Yeah, we’re gonna be workin’, workin’ on that to bring, bring down the costs, too, ’cause you’re right, it’s a big, big cost driver….
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get your question answered….
The question remains, if the republican plan for Medicare is so fabulous, why aren’t the provisions for folks under fifty-four applied to those fifty-five and older and current beneficiaries? Just asking.
….Representative Hartzler: Yeah. And, and the thing is it could be done faster if people want to and this is what we need to discuss if you’re willing to cut Medicare people, uh, at, right now. You know, uh, who are, these changes are for fif, age fifty-four on down. But, most people feel like that that’s probably not gonna be, uh, acceptable by the American public, you know….