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AP Carries Water For Hospital Lobbyists

The Associated Press dutifully takes some dictation from the ‘healthcare reform’ lobbyists:

Jay and Sheryl Raether of Oconomowoc, Wisc., with their triplets, from left, Vincent, Mira, and Luk [sic], on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 15, 2010.

First health overhaul provisions start to kick in

By Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Associated Press Writer Tue Jul 6, 2010

WASHINGTON – The first stage of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is expected to provide coverage to about 1 million uninsured Americans by next year, according to government estimates.

That’s a small share of the uninsured, but in a shaky economy, experts say it’s notable.

Many others — more than 100 million people — are getting new benefits that improve their existing coverage.

Overall costs appear modest at this point, split among taxpayers, employers and individuals who directly benefit, although the biggest part of the health care expansion is still four years away.

For weeks, the White House has been touting the new law’s initial benefit changes, even as Obama dares Republicans to make good on their threat to repeal his signature social policy achievement. Now, a clearer picture is starting to emerge from the patchwork of press releases

At least the AP admits where it gets its ‘news.’ – From press releases.

Among the beneficiaries will be many people locked out of insurance because of medical problems.

The Raether family of suburban Milwaukee will gain from two of the changes: Elimination of lifetime coverage limits and a ban on insurers turning away children in poor health.

Four-year-old daughter Mira, who was born prematurely and has kidney problems, exhausted the lifetime limit on her parents’ policy earlier this year. Mira now has temporary Medicare coverage because of a kidney transplant, but her parents were worried about what would happen when they have to get her back on private insurance.

"A huge weight has been lifted," said Sheryl Raether, the mother. "She has ongoing health care needs, and I was afraid she’d hit another lifetime limit." Medicare not only covers seniors, but people of any age with permanent kidney failure.

So their daughter already had guaranteed coverage — under Medicare.

The major early coverage benefits include:

Allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ coverage until they turn 26

• A health plan for uninsured people with pre-existing health conditions…

Ending lifetime limits on coverage, and restricting annual limits. As many as 20,400 people a year hit lifetime limits, as did Mira Raether. Many more — an estimated 102 million — are in plans that impose such limits and will no longer be able to do so.

Requiring insurers to cover children with medical problems. An estimated 51,000 uninsured children are expected to gain coverage. Another 90,000 children who have been excluded for coverage for a particular condition — asthma, for example — will also benefit

Note how all of these so-called reforms are being done in the name of ‘the children.’ Even ‘children’ up to the age of 27.

What that entails for costs is a matter of intense speculation. A recent survey of employers by Mercer, a major benefits consultant, found that 42 percent expect an increase of 2 percent or less, while one-fourth expect an increase of 3 percent or more. Government estimates are generally lower…

Does anyone really believe that such ‘reforms’ will cause prices to rise more than 2% or less? That is truly laughable, and it merely demonstrates the outrageous mendacity at work in propagandizing for these ‘reforms.’

And speaking of propaganda, for some odd reason the Associated Press failed to mention how the Raether family of suburban Milwaukee happened to be in Washington, DC. As is usually the case in these tear-jerking stories, they were sent there by lobbyists for ‘Children’s Hospitals.’

From the archives of the Green Bay (WS) Press-Gazette:

Oconomowoc’s Raether family to illustrate how health-care reform benefits 4-year-old daughter

State family in D.C. to illustrate need to lift lifetime insurance cap

By LARRY BIVINS • Press-Gazette Washington Bureau • June 15, 2010

WASHINGTON — Among the provisions in the federal health-care reform law, the one that hits closest to home for Sheryl and Jay Raether is a ban against a lifetime cap on insurance coverage.

The Raethers, of Oconomowoc, are breathing a little easier knowing that their 4-year-old daughter, Mira, can get the necessary treatment for her kidney condition for the rest of her life.

"With (Congress) lifting that cap for children, we won’t have to worry about her health care," Sheryl Raether said in a recent interview.

Again, the Raethers had nothing to worry about, since Medicare covers kidney failure anyway.

The Raethers will be in Washington, D.C., today and Wednesday along with more than 200 other child patients, family members and hospital leaders from 21 states to share their personal stories, thank Congress for passing health-care legislation and press lawmakers and President Barack Obama’s administration to be mindful of specific pediatrics issues in the implementation of the health-care law.

The event is part of an annual lobbying campaign by the National Association of Children’s Hospitals, and the Raethers were chosen to represent Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee

From the aforementioned National Association of Children’s Hospitals website:


Patient Families Advocate for Children’s Hospitals at 2010 N.A.C.H. Family Advocacy Day

June 2010

N.A.C.H. hosted its sixth annual Family Advocacy Day on June 15 -16 in Washington, D.C. which involved 240 participants from 34 children’s hospitals across the country. Participating families and hospital staff met with their U.S. Senators and Representatives to share their stories. The families also helped carry forward N.A.C.H.’s messages urging Congress to ensure that children continue to have access to quality and affordable health care during the implementation stages of health reform

Needless to say, these ‘Children’s Hospitals’ are fulltime ‘advocates’ for increased healthcare insurance for children. And why not? They profit handsomely from these ‘healthcare reforms’ which put no limits on how much taxpayer money they can spend treating their charges.

But for some reason the AP doesn’t believe that their readers should be allowed to know such minor details.

After all, they are advocates, too.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 6th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “AP Carries Water For Hospital Lobbyists”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Jay, Sheryl and the kids look like they need to worry less about legislation and more about why they’re spongy soft and tubby. Maybe get salad on the menu, folks?

  2. swee says:

    It’s probably likely that Jay and Sheryl used fertility drugs to conceive their triplets. Who paid for that? If they did in-vitro fertilization, this couple obviously has no scruples about going against natural law in their quest for offspring. If this is all true, then why should they have any qualms about taxpayer-funded “healthcare reform”?

  3. proreason says:

    “Mira now has temporary Medicare coverage because of a kidney transplant, but her parents were worried about what would happen when they have to get her back on private insurance. ”

    Now the untold numbers of children who were allowed to die by private insurers can live.

    Not to put too fine a spin on it…..it appears our little boy king is god himself. He has given life to the multitudes.

    Perhaps soon he will teach us how to fish.

    Or so the Associated Propagandists would have us believe.

  4. canary says:

    “Allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ coverage until they turn 26”
    is going to bankrupt private insurers.

    1. Will they change the law that parents will also be legally responsible to pay their adult children’s medical insurance “deductions & co-payments”.?

    2. If not, will doctor’s refuse treatment to adults under parent’s plan?

    3. Is it “retroactive” where adults will be calling their parents and telling them to add them to their insurance?

    en who have difficulty conceiving, but the well known effect of having multiply births, to include a problem with females born from mothers who use the medication are known to get cervical cancer.

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