Mr. Speaker, this year at Halloween, the Feds will be going door to door playing trick or treat on seniors by taking their Medicare coverage. When they knock, seniors should not answer the door. When they peek through the peephole, the bureaucrats will be dressed as snake oil salesmen because they are cutting Medicare parts A, B, C and D. They are going to try to sell seniors on the new bill which we call Medicare part E, but it doesn't cover one senior citizen. Not one. Just call it Halloween health care because it is really scary.
What is in this Halloween health care bill? Well, just look at the latest and greatest Senate bill. You know, that is the bill that is being drafted in the dark corners and the dungeons of the Capitol where the light of transparency and truth never reaches.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the Halloween health care will do the following things: It will cut Medicare part A for hospitals by $128 billion. It will cut Medicare part B for doctor reimbursement $130 billion. It will rob Medicare part C, Medicare Advantage, off $133 billion. We are not through yet. And yes, Medicare part D for prescription drugs is cut $20 billion. The total: $411 billion cut for seniors and Medicare. That is enough to scare everybody.
This new Medicare part E takes a half-trillion dollars out of Medicare, but it doesn't cover the seniors. In this new Medicare part E, the ``E'' stands for everybody else, including those in the country illegally.
I know, they keep talking about and saying that illegals will not be covered. But when attempts were made to require proof of citizenship to sign up for Halloween health care handouts, the amendments were voted down. The bill also raises $424 billion in new taxes.
Now why would they do that when the country is in a recession? The country is broke. We don't have the money. Well, Halloween health care will cost a trillion dollars, and they have to get the money from somewhere. We can't afford another thousand-page, trillion dollar bill. Our seniors are going to pay for more than half of the tab out of Medicare, and not one single senior will get more coverage out of this new health care bill.
Here is where it really gets dicey. The new Halloween health care proposal still rations health care services based on age. If you need a pacemaker, the snake oil salesmen are going to look at your age, the cost in what they call survivability rates. If the bureaucrats think your health care needs are just too expensive, they will hand out pain pills instead of approving that new pacemaker. That is what they already do in other countries where the government runs the health care system. In England it is called, and get this, the Quality Adjusted Life Years, and they have the power to make these life-and-death decisions on seniors.
When the Federal Government is in charge of health care, they are the only game in town and this so-called public option will be costly. You think health care is expensive now, just wait until it is free.
There are commonsense health care reforms we can all agree on. We don't have to have the government take over the whole system to fix what is specifically wrong with the system. That is like pulling all of your teeth when you have a toothache.
Halloween health care will be another thousand page, trillion-dollar bill. It will raise Medicare and other premiums, raise taxes, and slash Medicare coverage for seniors. This is not reform, that's abuse. But that is Halloween health care and it is coming to your door. Trick or treat.
And that's just the way it is.