I'm writing in reference to the letter entitled "Don't be confused about the Two Ryans." While I agree with the writer that Paul Ryan and Tim Ryan are in no way related, the differences between the two are more enormous than just that simple fact.
During the Health Care Summit with President Obama, Paul Ryan took the entire cost of the health care bill apart, paying special attention to the fact that Obamacare takes $716 billion out of Medicare. Paul Ryan did not walk blindly into this meeting, but researched the bill and verified his figures with the CBO and Obama's Chief Medicare Actuary.
Included in these cuts is a $416 million cut in payments to doctors and hospitals. As the average current rate of reimbursement from Medicare to primary care physician is 40 percent, this $416 billion in extra cuts means that your doctor will be severely underpaid. Imagine going to work and putting in a 40-hour week at $15 an hour, payday comes and you find that instead of receiving $600 you receive only 40 percent or around $240.
Another startling reality came on Oct. 1 of this year when hospitals started being penalized for not staying under the quotas set for "Medicare 30-day readmissions." This was a major factor why the renowned Mayo Clinic now declines to accept Medicare patients. In comparison, the Romney / Ryan plan does not change any of the current benefits enjoyed by our seniors 55 and older, but rather seeks to ensure making Medicare solvent for the upcoming generation, by having the choice of traditional Medicare paid by the government or a private policy that will be subsidized depending on the size of policy that the individual chooses.
In contrast, Tim Ryan is like the proverbial teenager on a spending spree with his parents' credit card. He has proven this by voting for a massive health care bill that takes over one-sixth of the economy without ever reading it. Now I guess his fall-back position could be that he was unaware of the cuts to Medicare because he did not do his job and read the bill, but I would submit that if he is not forthcoming with the information now three years later, then he has either still not read the bill or is lying by omission. Either truth is completely unacceptable and does not make him a friend of seniors.
I would like to end my letter by politely making a suggestion to all seniors in our community. During your next doctor's appointment, ask your physician for an honest five-minute discussion about this issue. Since not a single primary physician was asked for feedback when Obamacare was being crafted, don't you think it's about time to hear what they have to say about how these cuts will affect their ability to care for you?