March Monthly Update

Beware the Ides of March, so the saying goes. Julius Caesar ignored this bit of advice to his detriment, but you don’t have to be a Roman emperor to find some meaning in this ancient wisdom. In Washington, all eyes are on the November elections, but the cold Winter months prior hold much peril for politicians who continue to abuse power and common sense with the hope that most Americans aren’t paying attention.

At 60 Plus we and our 7.2 million supporters like you are paying attention to every word and every deed. We’re keeping a close eye on all of the Capitol Hill shenanigans so you know what your elected officials are up to, and can hold them accountable at the ballot box later this year. Ides or no ides, we’re here to remind ALL politicians to beware this month and every month, so that when they vote for more debt, more spending, bigger government, raiding Medicare and higher energy prices, they know we’ll be watching them every step of the way.

In this issue:

  • 60 Plus Fights Back Against Obama’s War on Medicare
  • More Obamacare Delays Intended to Help Democrats at the Polls
  • Obama’s Budget Continues Spending Binge, Proposes Death Tax Hike
  • 60 Plus in the News


60 Plus Fights Back Against Obama’s War on Medicare

If you took your car to the shop with a flat tire, you might become a little concerned to see your mechanic with his head under the hood, tinkering with the engine. Unfortunately the ‘policy mechanics’ in the White House (you know—the ones that created Obamacare) keep tinkering with seniors’ healthcare, slashing $300 billion out of Medicare Advantage to fund Obamacare, and attempting to ‘fix’ the one government healthcare program that actually works well and comes in under budget — Medicare Part D, which funds the senior prescription drug benefit.

Passed by President George W. Bush and a Republican Congress, Medicare Part D has proven astoundingly successful, coming in 48% under budget and holding the cost of prescription drugs steady without increases the past three years. All this was accomplished by using free market competition and consumer choice, an approach to which Washington bureaucracies are practically allergic.

But the same people who brought us skyrocketing costs for health insurance, reduced access to care, and costlier medical treatment under Obamacare, don’t like Part D’s success, since it is not completely controlled by the government. Instead of addressing the real issues with Medicare, such as the rapidly depleting trust fund, they are instead targeting Part D with new regulations that will cause it to become as expensive and inefficient as the rest of their proposals. This would be a catastrophe for millions of seniors.

60 Plus rallied against this rule change by promoting legislation proposed by Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina that will stop the attack on Part D and champion the program’s continued success. Titled the Keep the Promise to Seniors Act, H.R. 4160 will force lawmakers to take a position against the Obama Administration’s backwards proposal that would otherwise result in “cancelled plans, fewer choices, and higher costs for seniors and taxpayers.”

Another key legislative proposal for seniors comes from California GOP Rep. Jeff Denham, titled the Seniors Right to Know Act. This bill highlights Obama’s $300 billion cut to the wildly popular Medicare Advantage (MA) program and aims to slow or even stop the cuts by making it law that seniors be informed of any change to their Medicare Advantage benefits due to Obamacare. Unfortunately thousands of seniors have already lost their doctors due to MA cuts, and the problem will only accelerate in the next few years.

Said Denham, “As you know the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains approximately $300 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage that will increase costs and reduce choices for seniors. The Health Insurance Tax also included in the law imposes an additional 2.4 percent burden on MA plans starting this year. Given that a large number of individuals enrolled in MA have a yearly income under $20,000, these changes will have a significant impact on their ability to afford the healthcare they need.”

Sadly, instead of borrowing the winning ideas in Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage to help fix the chronic problems with Medicare, President Obama is instead attempting to junk them and hand them over to the failed, bloated federal bureaucracy, snuffing out competition and consumer choice in the process. But thanks to Ellmers’ and Denham’s efforts to defend seniors’ healthcare, we may not be able to get the mechanic to fix the flat tire, but we may prevent him from ruining a perfectly good engine.

Update: Just as we were going to press, the Obama Administration announced they are backing off the planned rules change to Part D, at least for the time being. This is in no small part due to the millions of seniors we represent. A pro-senior ally on Capitol Hill passed this note on to 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin:

“Because of the pressure you helped generate and the introduction of the Ellmers bill, the Administration had to withdraw most of the Part D proposed rule. We will continue to monitor the situation and be ready to activate the coalition should the Administration stray from their new decision.”

More Obamacare Delays Intended to Help Democrats at the Polls

There’s no doubt about it, Obamacare is growing more unpopular each day and will cost Democrats dearly at the ballot box this November. A preview of the coming November battle took place this month when a special election was held in Florida to fill the seat of the late Rep. Bill Young (R-13). Republican David Jolly handily defeated his Democrat challenger in a district won by President Obama in 2008 and 2012. The main issue of the March 11 contest? Obamacare.

While Republicans are literally ‘Jolly’ over the results, Democrat prospects are sinking faster than stock in Radio Shack. Just months ago Washington prognosticators were calling this race a ‘must win’ for Democrats while listing all of the obstacles the GOP faced in holding the seat. What a difference even a few months make.

With 2014 now looking like outtakes from the Poseidon Adventure for Obama’s supporters, the President is once again trying to minimize the damage by issuing yet another delay in the employer mandate, a component of Obamacare that when fully implemented could cause anywhere between 60 and 90 million Americans to lose their personal or employer-provided health insurance. That’s a lot of potentially angry people heading to the polls, so, Obama must think, best to destroy their lives after the election.

With headlines such as “New O-care delay to help midterm Dems,” even the media is acknowledging that Obamacare is a double-decker train wreck that Americans want no part of, and that is starting to include the Democrat lawmakers who passed it. The media are also unintentionally admitting that Obamacare isn’t actually good for America or a workable healthcare reform, but a political calculation that has big government as its main constituency. Preventing pain to Americans isn’t Obama’s concern, preventing pain for his party is.

As their boat takes on more water, desperate Obamacare supporters can’t stop flailing as they drown in their own ridiculous rhetoric. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) essentially claimed “all” Obamacare victims are liars. And flip-flopping, party-hopping Democrat Charlie Crist in Florida gushed about Obamacare saying, “I think it’s been great” when just a few years ago he was running for U.S. Senate opposed to Obamacare.

It’s clear as day that as the tide continues to turn, Democrats are willing to do and say anything to distract the public from the massive failure of their big-government healthcare “solution.” As Obamacare enrollments drop, as Americans keep losing their health plans and losing their doctors, and one in three Americans now claims to have been personally hurt by Obamacare, the latest delay shows once again that the President is still bitterly clinging to his healthcare law. If the special election in Florida is any indicator of things to come this November, those Obamacare delays may just become permanent sooner rather than later.

Obama’s Budget Continues Spending Binge, Proposes Death Tax Hike

There’s an old joke made famous by the iconic red-nosed imbiber, W.C. Fields. “I’m not drinking anymore,” he would announce to his female co-star, to which he’d add, “I’m not drinking any less either.” Ahead of his time, Fields provides an apt metaphor for President Obama’s recently unveiled 2015 budget blueprint.

Coming in just a shade under $4 trillion, the President’s spending plan actually does continue the trend of lower deficits from previous years, but still proposes a deficit of $564 billion. This is Obama’s lowest deficit to date, yet still $110 billion higher than George W. Bush’s biggest budget shortfall. So while Team Obama may not be spending more on higher deficits, overall they’re not exactly spending much less either.

America is currently more than $17 trillion dollars in debt, and though deficits are down the past couple of years, they will start rising again after 2015 and will once again top the trillion dollar mark before the end of the decade. What’s worse, according to Obama’s own Office of Management and Budget (OMB), America wasn’t supposed to hit the $17 trillion dollar debt mark until 2019, but we reached that dubious distinction last year, six years ahead of schedule. Keep this in mind the next time you hear some rosy budgetary scenario from an Administration mouthpiece.

The Obama Administration is predictably patting itself on the back for their “fiscal responsibility” in cutting their trillion dollar deficits down to a mere $560 billion, which is like a sailor demanding praise for walking past a bar as he stumbles home drunk. Spending increases of $600 billion over the last five years isn’t responsible, and it isn’t sober. No less than the Washington Post, has given Obama “three Pinocchios” in the past for false claims of fiscal restraint.

And once again the President takes aim at family businesses and farms with a proposed increase in the death tax to a whopping 55%, while cutting the exemption 30%. Thankfully Republicans in Congress will ensure this proposal is DOA and make it a casualty of budget negotiations, but Obama’s continued attempts to raise the death tax at nearly every opportunity now appears to be bordering on an obsession.

Electing true fiscal conservatives who will cut taxes and reign-in spending to help unleash the full power of America’s energy and ingenuity remains the only solution to both our economic and fiscal crises. Since we can’t count on Obama and the Democrats to exhibit a little spending temperance, it’s up to responsible voters to cut them off, and call them a cab.

60 Plus in the News

60 Plus has been active on a variety of issues this month, including some samples below. Clips include President Amy Frederick moderating a heavyweight panel of experts on the topic of Obamacare that appeared on CSPAN-3, Chairman Jim Martin fighting for telecom reform in Pennsylvania, 60 Plus Death Tax expert Palmer Schoening highlighting the attempt by Obama to raise Death Tax rates in his latest budget, and Jim Martin funding a journalism internship position at the Washington Times.

  • 60 Plus President Amy Frederick moderating a key panel at the 2014 gathering of CPAC on the issue of Obamacare – click here.
  • Chairman Jim Martin fighting for telecom reform in Pennsylvania that will lower the price and expand the choice of digital entertainment and phone service for seniors – click here.
  • Palmer Schoening discussing Obama’s plan to raise the Death Tax with Chris Woodward at OneNewsNow – click here.

60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin funds journalism internship at the Washington Times; announces it at CPAC 2014- click here.