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August 13, 2010 - 1:14pm

This entry concludes Sunday's article on the comments of Victor DeSa, M.D., who spoke to senior citizens at Batavia's First United Methodist Church last week.

Please remember, this is a summary of DeSa's presentation and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Batavian:

Medicare, Medicaid and senior services

By requiring insurance companies to expand coverage, the new health care law will drive costs up, according to DeSa. The government has told consumers that these costs will be offset by subsidies for people making less than $80,000 per year.

These subsidies will be coming, in part, from a $500 billion cut from Medicare -- and that's where senior citizens and others eligible for Medicare should be concerned.

But this is not the only problem. Both Medicare and Medicaid, which DeSa called "the original two public options," have met with disaster. Medicaid has already failed, and Medicare is on the brink of failure.

"The government has no idea how to handle the rising costs. Their idea of handling the costs is to take a machete to (the programs) and cut."

August 8, 2010 - 12:33pm

Dr. Victor DeSa talked with seniors Friday about the federal government's new health care legislation. This followed his hour-long presentation, sponsored by the "Older Adult Ministries" program of Batavia's First United Methodist Church.

DeSa is a retired surgeon who had a private practice in Batavia for many years and currently serves on the United Memorial Medical Center Board of Directors. He is well renowned and respected in the community and very knowledgeable about how the health care field works -- including the role of legislation and the relationship between health care and the government.

There is a lot of misinformation about the new health care law and how it could affect  people -- especially Medicare and Medicaid recipients.

The doctor expressed disappointment in the mainstream media's handling of the topic.

"The people in the media are not doing their job," DeSa said. "The media used to look out for the common man, but now they have a bias and a preference. (Consequently), the news we get is filtered and we don't have all the information we need in order to make informed decisions."

For those who could not be there, here's the gist of DeSa's presentation (it will be divided into two parts for the reader's convenience) -- it reflects the arguments he made based on careful and meticulous research, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Batavian.

July 23, 2010 - 8:25pm
Event Date and Time: 
August 6, 2010 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Batavia's First United Methodist Church invites everyone to attend "Health Care Reform Laws -- An Update," a community presentation that will take place on from 7 until 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6.

The church is located at 8221 Lewiston Road.

The discussion will be led by Victor Desa, M.D., a retired general surgeon who worked in Batavia for many years and is currently on the Board of Directors for United Memorial Medical Center.

September 22, 2009 - 9:46pm
posted by Jeff Allen in politics, health care reform.

In an attempt to get Americans to turn against the health insurance companies and to the Presidents plan, MoveOn.org has paid for and produced this PSA starring Will Ferrell and other celebrities sarcastically mocking insurance company executives as overpaid and pampered.  Does MoveOn really not see the hypocrisy in using overpaid, pampered celebrities to deliver the message?  Do I think health insurance executives are overpaid, yes I do, as are most CEO's in this country.  But using high-priced actors can't be the best use of spokespeople.  Notice also that they rehash antiquated statistics like 80% of Americans support the public option when the true number is almost half of that, and yes we have put that argument to rest previously.

To highlight the hypocrisy of the ad, I've attached links to Forbes list of healthcare CEO salaries as well as the net worths of the same politicians who are trashing CEO's and their salaries.  Will Ferrells yearly income is estimated in ther $31 million dollar range and I'm sure each of the other celebrities net worths equal or surpass many of the executives they feign outrage towards.

What's next, overpaid athletes in commercials demeaning the salaries of oil company CEO's?




September 10, 2009 - 4:17pm
posted by Bea McManis in health care reform, heckling.

Representative Wilson admits that he was asked by the GOP leaders to apologize.  His outburst was just the icing on the cake of GOP hissing, booing, waving signs and otherwise letting the president know he wasn't welcome in their house.


September 10, 2009 - 4:00pm
posted by Bea McManis in health care reform.
September 10, 2009 - 8:08am
posted by Bea McManis in National Politics, Obama, health care reform.

In his address to a joint session of Congress tonight, President Obama said,
"The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action," the president told members of the House and Senate who showed their partisanship in their reactions throughout the 45-minute speech.
"Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do," Obama said. "Now is the time to deliver on health care."
Obama was interrupted more than 50 times by applause from members of Congress, including a few bipartisan gestures of approval.
But one member, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., interrupted the president's speech to yell, "You lie!" after the president asserted his proposals would not provide health insurance to illegal immigrants.
Later, Wilson offered a written apology.
"This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill," he said. "While I disagree with the president's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility."
Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany delivered the Republican response to President Obama's speech on health care.

The President's Plan for Health Reform

“It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance.
It will provide insurance to those who don’t. And it will lower the cost of health care
for our families, our businesses, and our government."

If You Have Health Insurance,
the President's Plan:
•Ends discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.
•Limits premium discrimination based on gender and age.
•Prevents insurance companies from dropping coverage when people are sick and need it most.
•Caps out-of-pocket expenses so people don’t go broke when they get sick.
•Eliminates extra charges for preventive care like mammograms, flu shots and diabetes tests to improve health and save money.
•Protects Medicare for seniors.
•Eliminates the “donut-hole” gap in coverage for prescription drugs. 
 If You Don’t Have Insurance,
the President's Plan:
•Creates a new insurance marketplace — the Exchange — that allows people without insurance and small businesses to compare plans and buy insurance at competitive prices.
•Provides new tax credits to help people buy insurance.
•Provides small businesses tax credits and affordable options for covering employees.
•Offers a public health insurance option to provide the uninsured and those who can’t find affordable coverage with a real choice.
•Immediately offers new, low-cost coverage through a national “high risk” pool to protect people with preexisting conditions from financial ruin until the new Exchange is created. 
 For All Americans,
the President's Plan:
•Won’t add a dime to the deficit and is paid for upfront.
•Requires additional cuts if savings are not realized.
•Implements a number of delivery system reforms that begin to rein in health care costs and align incentives for hospitals, physicians, and others to improve quality.
•Creates an independent commission of doctors and medical experts to identify waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system.
•Orders immediate medical malpractice reform projects that could help doctors focus on putting their patients first, not on practicing defensive medicine.
•Requires large employers to cover their employees and individuals who can afford it to buy insurance so everyone shares in the responsibility of reform. 

September 5, 2009 - 12:21pm
posted by Bea McManis in health care reform, tracking poll.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll—August 2009
The August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds a slim majority of Americans continues to favor moving forward on health care reform now despite an intensifying ad war and a political climate of contentious town hall meetings that coincide with rising concerns about the reform effort.

Fifty-three percent of the public believes that tackling health reform is more important than ever, compared to 42 percent who say we cannot afford to take on health care reform right now.  The gap between those points of view has narrowed in recent months as criticisms and doubts about reform plans seem to be registering.  Sixty-three percent of the public say they are “hopeful” about reform, 41 percent are “afraid” and 46 percent are simply “confused.”

The August poll was conducted during a period in which politically active members of the public vented their fears and hopes about reform plans in fiery and widely-publicized town hall meetings with elected officials, and at a time when an increasing number of Americans (45%, compared to 31% in July) reported seeing advertisements having to do with proposed changes in the health care system.

The August poll, the fifth in a series designed and analyzed by the Foundation’s public opinion survey research team, examines voters’ specific health care issue interests and experiences and perceptions about health care reform.

September 5, 2009 - 8:34am
posted by Chelsea O'Brien in NYtimes, health care reform.

There are a lot of problems posed in this well-written article about the problems with the proposed health care reforms

“There are serious questions that are associated with policy aspects of the health care reform bills that we’re seeing,” said Gail Wilensky, a veteran health care expert

Dr. Scott Gottlieb...his critique is based on related fears that the plans being discussed would inevitably lead to increased government involvement in personal medical decisions and eventually affect vital services.

But, starting out with a general distrust of government solutions, even conservatives who agree that tens of billions of dollars are wasted annually are dubious about the government’s ability to find significant savings without eventually affecting care negatively.

In the meantime, Mr. Goodman said he hoped his side could do a better job at making clear it had genuine misgivings about Mr. Obama’s proposals.

“I think the critics have approached this in the wrong way; saying there’s going to be a death panel is not the right way,” he said. “The right way to approach it is to put the burden of proof on the administration — tell us how you’re going to do that without denying care to people who are really in need.”

So someone explain to me how problems will cease to exist when the government takes over? Money needs to come from somewhere and then choices need to be made on whom and what to spend that money on. That means some people will not get the medications and treatment that they need, and may end up dying because the government chooses to not fund their treatment. In the current proposed reforms this question is not and has not been answered.

September 1, 2009 - 6:38am
posted by Bea McManis in health care reform.

Lie #1: President Obama wants to euthanize your grandma!!!

The truth: These accusations—of "death panels" and forced euthanasia—are, of course, flatly untrue. As an article from the Associated Press puts it: "No 'death panel' in health care bill."1 What's the real deal? Reform legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP, to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with information on preparing a living will and other issues facing older Americans.2

If you'd like to read the actual section of the legislation that spawned these outrageous claims (Section 1233 of H.R. 3200) for yourself, here it is. It's pretty boring stuff, which is why the accusations that it creates "death panels" is so absurd. But don't take our word for it, read it yourself.

August 18, 2009 - 10:41am

It was a hot, humid night but Senator Gillibrand looked cool and comfortable at the Sweet Briar last evening. 

A small group of protesters gathered at the front entrance and were treated to the Senator walking up the hill to meet with them.

The Senator discussed issues facing local dairy farmers; jobs; and health care reform. 

Her message on health care was clear, concise and easy to understand.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand believes that the high cost of health care is a serious problem for families and for employers, who struggle with the high cost of providing health insurance for their employees. The problem is getting worse - more than 45 million Americans, and 2.5 million New Yorkers, are uninsured and millions of families and businesses are struggling with skyrocketing health care costs. In Congress, she will continue to fight to expand health care access and protect the coverage for those at risk of losing it. In the Senate, she will work with President Obama to reform our health care system and make it work for all of us.

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