McCaskill: Prop C won't change reform

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Senator Claire McCaskill met with a group of concerned citizens last Tuesday who mainly expressed their concerns with the upcoming health care initiatives and how they will be affected. With Proposition C, an initiative to block federal mandates to health care reform, on the voting table, McCaskill explained the myths about the bill she thinks will take effect despite the outcome.

Proposition C was passed in Missouri by 72 percent of voters, an overwhelming majority, but McCaskill said that shouldn't matter.

"Basically it's a referendum that doesn't have much legal impact. It was, I think, largely political, and I don't think it will have a large amount of impact on what actually happens with changes to health care in Missouri," McCaskill said.

That being said, McCaskill concentrated on the problems with the current health care system and what she is trying to do to change it. She said the major issues with health care are the same issues that are affecting the federal budget, and will not be curbed until swift congressional action is taken.

"If we took out all of the government spending for foreign aid, education, highways, economic development, agriculture and we just decided we weren't going to spend any of that money, we would still have a debt because of two things--Medicare and social security," McCaskill said.

She explained this is because of the demographics of our country today and increasing health care costs, which have gone up by huge percentages in the last 15 years.

"That contributes to the problem with Medicare. And then we have a lot more people coming into the system who are entitled to Medicare and social security because the baby boomers...," McCaskill said.

Checks from the federal government are being spent across the board and officials are not being very conservative with taxpayer dollars, a fact that she said has also been adding to the deficit. A perfect example of this overspending has come in the form of Medicare D, a bill passed to help with the costs of prescription drugs.

"It was all put on the credit card; there was no attempt to pay for it. There was no income coming in whatsoever to displace the expenditures," McCaskill said.

And worst of all, she said, there was no income test required to receive the benefit.

Because Proposition C is suspected to not affect the implementation of health care reform, McCaskill distributed a fact sheet about the bill and said she hopes United States citizens become more familiar with its benefits, like high returns up to 50 percent at the end of the year, and shortfalls, like the portion meant to collect taxes owed and produces an extraordinary amount of paperwork for those involved.

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