Who in Washington really cares about women, especially the oldest, poorest, and sickest women in America, those so sick they can’t even leave their homes?
Of the 3.5 million elderly seniors in America who qualify for the home healthcare Medicare benefit because they are too sick to even leave their homes, about 2,060,000 are women. And needlessly, they are the targets of the latest Obama administration Medicare healthcare cuts. They will be hurt, along with the 480,000 women nurses who are scheduled to lose their jobs as 40 percent of the home health agencies for whom they now work are predicted by these latest cuts to go “under water.” And they would be joined by the 2,625,000 young daughters who tend to be their family caregivers, and who would feel the weight of these latest 14 percent so-called rebasing cuts that come right out of ObamaCare.
So who really cares about these women, cares enough to author legislation to stop these across the board cuts; cuts that hurt the best performing home health agencies along with the worst performers, alike?
Interestingly, it is Republican Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), along with 31 other prominent Republican House members - including Reps. Charles BoustanyCharles BoustanyLouisiana dishes last serving of political gumbo We can't let tax extenders obstruct comprehensive reform GOP seeks to make it 52 MORE (La.), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), Sam GravesSam Graves19 pledged Missouri delegates go to Trump House GOPer eyes McCaskill challenge 5B highway bill limits teen truckers MORE (Mo.), Walter B. Jones. Jr. (N.C.), Peter King (N.Y.), Tom Latham (Iowa), David McKinleyDavid McKinley10 Senate seats that could flip in 2018 Ethics panel scolds GOP lawmaker over namesake firm Lawmakers press concerns over fuel efficiency rules MORE (W.Va.), Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersGreens slam Trump’s Interior Department pick The Hill's 12:30 Report Trump to pick Rep. McMorris Rodgers for Interior secretary MORE (Wash.), Jeff Miller (Fla.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Moore CapitoRepublicans want to grease tracks for Trump Republicans face divisions over ObamaCare repeal High out-of-pocket prescription drug cost: the patient perspective MORE (W.Va.), Jim SensenbrennerJames SensenbrennerGOP rep presses Trump to meet with Dalai Lama Allow states to require remote sellers to collect legally owed taxes Justice reform is still alive and well after Trump election MORE (Wis.), and Lee Terry (Neb.) - who have authored the Securing Access Via Excellence for (SAVE) Medicare Home Health Care Act of 2014, designed to replace these unnecessary cuts with a budget neutral “value purchasing” plan that protects the best quality home healthcare providers while penalizing only the questionable performers, truly a health care quality outcomes based idea.
Now it’s time to find out who really cares about these, the most vulnerable women in America. Who will join these thoughtful, caring Republicans in sponsoring this bill and helping to preserve home health care services and jobs for millions of women who would love to spend their elderly years in the warmth and comfort of their own homes, rather than being denied their home healthcare benefits and forced into expensive institutional care?
Will more Republicans demonstrate how much they truly care for their aging mothers and grandmothers by co-sponsoring the bill? Will Democrats, who earlier urged the President not to approve these unnecessary cruel cuts, also join them in supporting this good bill? Only time will tell. But in time, we all will learn who really care and who only say they do.
Tauzin served in the House from 1980 to 2005, as a Democrat until 1995 when he swiched to the Republican Party. He was president and CEO of PhRMA, the pharmaceutical industry lobbying group from 2005 to 2010 and is currently with Tauzin Consultants, a government relations and advocacy firm.