Republicans just got it wrong…passage of the GOP tax plan is the “real” death panel
OREGON—(ENEWSPF)—November 14, 2017
By: Rosemary Piser
A few years ago, I moved to Eugene, Oregon. I had lived in Park Forest for more than 35 years and intended that this would be my home until they carried me out in a body bag. But as my health issues worsened, I knew that I needed to make a move that would improve the quality of my life.
I chose Eugene for two main reasons. First, they have a working medical marijuana program in place here. While Illinois was on the brink of enacting its medical marijuana “pilot program” before I headed West, upon close analysis, I did not have a qualifying condition that would have made me eligible to participate. And as I entered my 60s, I knew I would never do well in prison had I been arrested for marijuana possession. Marijuana is the one thing that takes the edge off my chronic pain much better without the side-effects that the prescription drugs my doctors had ordered. It was the marijuana that allowed me to maintain my ability to walk well enough to take care of myself. The reality of staying in Park Forest meant that I would soon be in a wheel chair.
The second reason I chose Eugene was because of its Death with Dignity law. While I do not believe that I could ever avail myself into using the law, I’ve reached the point in my life where it’s a good idea to keep my options open. As a nurse, I learned long ago that there is a great difference between quality of life and a quantity of days. So I find a great deal of comfort knowing this law is on the books.
You’ll recall that when the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was being debated, the Republicans had numerous gloom and doom scenarios about what would happen if this bill were to become law. One of my favorites, was that Obamacare would include “Death Panels” that would decide when it was time to end the lives of the elderly and/or disabled.
Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the GOP tax legislation could put billions of dollars in Medicare spending in danger. Because the GOP bill would add an estimated $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years, the government would be required to automatically cut mandatory spending should the bill pass under the “pay-as-you-go” rules or PAYGO.
So to make up for the increase in the deficit, the government would have to cut $150 billion in spending EVERY year for the NEXT 10 years.
So where are the biggest pots of money in the federal government that can be cut? Those money pots belong to defense spending, social programs and Medicare and Medicaid. Now we know how the GOP feels about cutting defense spending. No matter how large the defense budget gets, the GOP never thinks it’s enough.
So it looks like once again, the elderly, the disabled, the lower middle class and the poor are going to be expected to take the hits so that those in the 1% can get a much needed tax cut. Is it just me that sees a problem with this?
Many elderly and disabled are doing all they can do to keep their heads above water under the current tax structure. And many, like myself, took big hits in our retirement accounts following the last “market adjustment.” Unfortunately, my health also took a big hit at the same time. Since I was no longer able to work full-time, there was no way to put any money back into retirement savings.
If this GOP tax plan passes, I like many others will have to start thinking about what to do when my Social Security check does not keep pace with expenses. Like most people in similar positions, we’ve cut our budgets to the point that there is nothing left to cut.
And since 90% of most funding for nursing homes comes from Medicaid, how long will they be able to stay afloat if this money continues to be cut? It will be all these places can do to keep their current residents with a roof over their head, let alone take in any more people.
So while the GOP thought that Obamacare would bring about “Death Panels,’ the REAL death panels will be due to this GOP tax proposal.
Guess I’ll get busy and write a letter to my Oregon Congressmen and find out how to expand those Death with Dignity laws to include “victim of the GOP tax plan.”
And while I’m writing my letter, be sure to contact your Congressmen/women and tell them to reject this GOP tax plan.