News and Tribune

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November 2, 2012

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS: Nov. 3-4, 2012

(Continued)

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — State Rep. Ed Clere

 R-New Albany

Editor’s Note: This is in response to Chuck Simons’ letter published in the Oct. 30 edition of the News And Tribune.

GOP chair address previous letter

 I would like to address the fallacies contained in the Oct. 25 letter to the editor.

I know that Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett believes education is the key for unlocking Indiana’s full economic potential. That’s why he’s made it easier and more transparent for taxpayers, parents and educators to understand school performance.

The new grading system reflects the notion that all students, regardless of race, socioeconomic status or zip code, have the ability to learn when provided quality instruction.

Let’s also understand that evaluating school performance is nothing new. Doing so in a transparent manner is. Indiana’s A-F grading system, which now includes the Indiana Growth Model, allows for a fair and balanced approach to examining schools.

Before Dr. Bennett implemented the new school letter grades, educators and community members were confused every year with two separate announcements as well as complex jargon to describe them. Now, it’s as simple as A, B, C, D and F. Parents and communities can now make informed decisions for the very first time about the performance of their schools.

To this point, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce recently endorsed Tony Bennett. This is only the second time in history that the Chamber endorsed a candidate for statewide office. They cited Bennett’s understanding that education is the key to future economic success. I agree with the Chamber of Commerce and Tony Bennett, and that’s why I plan on voting for him on Election Day.

Jamey Noel

Jeffersonville

Who is protecting the public?

News reports today indicate that California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has just now issued subpoenas seeking documents regarding the outrageous plot of the Health and Human Services Secretary to waste $8.35 Billion on a meaningless “demonstration project.” The sole purpose of this ploy is to delay the first of some $200 Billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage from taking effect on Oct. 15, now past, to a date AFTER THE ELECTION.  

The Democrats, in other words, want to keep Medicare Advantage participants from learning of the damage they will suffer from ObamaCare until it is too late. This self-serving waste of taxpayer dollars is all too typical of this “most transparent” administration.

My question is, Why did the Republicans wait until too late to reveal this outrage? How many seniors will never learn of this until they are denied coverage next year? How many have already voted?

Who, if anybody, is trying to protect the public from these liberal fanatics whose schemes are invariably hatched out of public view and would drastically change this country for the worse?

This scheme surfaced several months ago. My letter to the editor published on these pages on Aug. 1 read as follows:

“If you are on or approaching Medicare, you probably know that Medicare Advantage provides additional benefits that are quite attractive to many people.  

“AND IT COSTS THE GOV’T LESS PER INSURED THAN DOES REGULAR MEDICARE. More benefits for less cost.Sounds good.

“Too good. Obamacare provisions will gut this program, to provide the bulk of the $500 Billion that was counted twice in the false and oft-repeated assertions intended to mask the horrendous cost of this new entitlement.

“The first of those cuts originally were scheduled to take effect on October 15 of this year.

“The Obama Administration does not want this chicken to come home to roost before the election. So a “Demonstration Project” provision in the law is being utilized by the Health and Human Services secretary, at a cost to taxpayers of $8.35 Billion, to delay these cuts until 2013 – AFTER the election.

“This $8.35 Billion is real money. Taxpayer dollars that do not benefit the taxpayers at all. This expense exceeds the COMBINED annual profits of America’s two largest and most profitable health insurance companies (entities that Obama repeatedly attacks as greedy parasites extracting obscene profits from the nation’s ill and incapacitated). It exceeds the COMBINED costs of all of the other eighty-five such Demonstration Projects since the provision came into effect seventeen years ago.  

“The Government Accountability Office has recommended that this project be canceled, because it does not at all benefit the seniors intended to be served, it does not identify successful projects intended to be highlighted and it costs far more than the total of all similar projects conducted to date.  In short, it is a sham, and its legality is questionable.

“However, it will keep millions of seniors from learning of the impending cuts to their Medicare Advantage benefits until AFTER the election, so the Administration will ignore the GAO. The sole reason the Administration is pursuing this outrageously expensive fraud is to keep voters, particularly seniors, in the dark regarding the impending cuts to Medicare Advantage resulting from Obamacare until the election is over and it is too late.

“The Congressional Budget Office projects that $204 Billion will be cut from the Medicare Advantage program by Obamacare during the next eight years, and far more in the years to come. The TWELVE MILLION seniors presently enrolled in Medicare Advantage will lose that coverage and be forced to accept other lesser benefits.

“Speaker Pelosi famously asserted that it would be necessary to pass Obamacare so “you could find out what’s in it.”  Clearly the Administration wants to take that opportunity from you until it’s too late.”

Now it may well be too late. Unless this letter is published here and forwarded by seniors to others in the same boat.

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