Battleground State Nurses: Future of Medicare Depends on Election
Suggested Script: The Presidential candidates are visiting battleground states in the final days leading up to the election, and among the critical issues they're talking with voters about is the future of Medicare. Both President Obama and Governor Romney have stopped in Wisconsin, where Dee Ives lives. As a nurse, she says she sees the ways the health care law is improving Medicare for seniors – through fighting waste, fraud and abuse in the system, closing the prescription drug “donut hole,” and delivering free preventive screenings. Ives says Romney's plan would take all this away and force seniors to pay more for less care.
AUDIO 451 Ives 1 :09 "This law is currently saving older Americans who fall in the Medicare Part D 'donut hole' about $700 a year – and under Romney and Ryan, those savings are gone."
The candidates also both visited Iowa, where R-N Renae Council says plans to privatize Medicare and have seniors shop for health insurance with a voucher won’t work for her patients.
AUDIO 452 Council 1 :08 "I don’t think that they should have to have a certain amount of money allotted to them and then have to figure out which insurance company they’re going to get the best benefits from."
Council says she doesn’t want to see patients on Medicare pushed out into a system where insurance companies rather than nurses and doctors make decisions about their care. And with the election only days away, she says Americans need to think about what kind of health care system they want for the future.
Ives points out that Medicare funds health care for two-thirds of older Americans, and many of them could lose their nursing home care or in-home care if if drastic cuts are made. She adds she is also concerned about her patients losing another important benefit of the health care law...
AUDIO 453 Ives 2 :13 "The repeal of Obamacare means that I could be denied even having coverage for a preexisting condition. How many older people do we know that do not have a preexisting condition? Where are they going to get insurance?"
Supporters say Romney’s plan will let the private market compete for more business, but Ives is convinced it will hurt seniors and their families. She and other nurses say older Americans need to know the facts to be prepared for Election Day on November 6th.