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Press Release

    Medicare Impact Update

    09/29/2000

    CSE Responds to Gore Medicare Rhetoric

    Earlier this week, CSE responded to Vice President Gore’s Medicare Proposal. “Evidently, Al Gore’s definition of Medicare reform is more accounting tricks and empty promises,” said CSE Director of Regulatory and Technology Policy Erick R. Gustafson. “The Gore plan ignores Medicare’s dire financial status by pretending that an undefined lock-box scheme will somehow secure the necessary funds that won’t even be there in the first place.”

    The Medicare proposals offered by Gore ranged from disingenuous to malevolent. For instance:

    · Gore’s plan for a lock-box relies on the failed assumptions that payroll tax revenue will continue to exceed outlays, and somehow Congress will be prevented from “picking the lock.”

    · Gore said that if Medicare were designed today it would undoubtedly have a prescription drug benefit. What Gore didn’t say is that it is equally true that if Medicare were designed today it would not be in the form of a hyper-centralized Soviet-style bureaucracy either.

    · Gore proposed “tough penalties against HMOs that try to exclude or drop seniors.” While the declining enrollment of seniors in HMOs is lamentable, ornery HFCA regulation has caused it. Gore wants to crucify HMOs for HFCA’s sins. Gore ignores the HFCA reimbursement miscalculations and relies on vilification of HMOs. This strategy is both ill conceived and deceiving.

    Once again, Gore has chosen political expediency over leadership. Gore would have you believe that seniors prefer HFCA regulation to the choice of private insurance and that Medicare can be rescued from bankruptcy by accounting gimmickry. Both accounts are patently false. Medicare needs to be fundamentally reformed it if is to survive into the next generation. Not only does its current bureaucratic structure make this impossible, it also acts as a shackle that prevents the choice and customized care seniors deserve.

    It is clear that Gore’s Medicare reform recipe is one-part demagoguery, one-part empty promises, and a pinch of deception. Such a concoction might smell sweet, but if enacted into law, the taste would be quite revolting.

    FL CSE Presents Medicare Message
    150 Attend Republican Executive Committee

    Florida Citizens for a Sound Economy once again demonstrated why they are the premier grassroots organization in the state yesterday. Before nearly 150 members of the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee, FL CSE Director Slade O’Brien gave a presentation highlighting the contentious Medicare and prescription drug debate. O’Brien educated the committee with a Power Point presentation which explained the Medicare system, the prescription drug issue, and which differentiated the two presidential candidates’ Medicare plans.

    O’Brien kicked off the meeting with this admonition: “If we aren’t educated and ready to talk about this issue, we will lose.” All participants received CSE’s Medicare fair card and the booklet “What is Washington Doing with Your Medicare.” Similar presentations will be given before several audiences in targeted Florida districts.

    Bill & Steve Promote Message in Michigan
    Lynne Cheney Gets CSE T-Shirt

    Immediately following the opening of Michigan CSE earlier this month, MI CSE Director Stephen Flaherty and Grassroots Manager William Turenne hit the road, educating citizens and delivering CSE’s Medicare and prescription drug coverage message. For the first stop, MI CSE attended the “Blueprint for American Families” event co-hosted by the Troy Chamber of Commerce and the Polish American Cultural Center. We were able to place CSE’s Medicare message front and center before vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney, his wife Lynne Cheney, and the more than 400 other citizens who were in attendance to listen to Mr. Cheney. After Mr. Cheney delivered his speech, Flaherty approached Mrs. Cheney and gave her one of CSE’s printed t-shirts, which read “Empty Promises are not the Prescription America’s Seniors Need.” Mrs. Cheney read the t-shirt out loud and said “This is great!”

    Spence Gets Medicare Fair Card

    Flaherty and Turenne were also at the Michigan State/Notre Dame football game on Saturday, spreading CSE’s Medicare message. And who should they run into but Senator Spence Abraham, who is running for reelection in Michigan. “I was able to chat a few words with Senator Abraham,” said Flaherty. “And then I handed him our Medicare fair card, which he kept,” he said.

    FL CSE Interviewed on Dick Ferrell Show

    FL CSE Director Slade O’Brien and Hispanic outreach coordinator Carlos Muhletaler appeared for 90 minutes on the West Palm Beach radio talk show, The Dick Ferrell Show, on WPBR 1340 AM. O’Brien and Muhletaler covered all the issues CSE promotes in the state and nation. “I read out loud our ‘Empty Promises’ t-shirt,” said Muhletaler, “and said ‘That’s right!’ we are tired of empty promises from this administration.”