(Extensions of Remarks - September 13, 2012)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1512]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                          HON. DENNIS A. ROSS

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, September 13, 2012

  Mr. ROSS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, the President has twice told the 
American public, through his budget and deficit reduction proposals, 
that he believes our seniors should be paying more for Medicare if they 
want to stay in their homes. Twice in the past two years, President 
Obama has proposed mandating that Medicare beneficiaries pay--for the 
first time since the Medicare program came into existence--an 
additional out of pocket charge for their home health care services. 
Twice, President Obama has told seniors that they must choose between 
getting their care at home, where they have lived for years, and moving 
away from their homes, their belongings, and their communities to get 
their daily care at a nursing home or hospital.
  Mr. Speaker, this choice is not only unnecessary, it is inefficient. 
Home health care providers deliver care management services, vital 
daily care, and in-home health care services at a low cost. We 
shouldn't tell our seniors, our parents, that they must choose between 
their home or their health care. We should keep home health care free 
of co-payments to ensure that they have the ability to remain in their 
homes, in their communities, and with their families and memories.
  This is just another example of why ``Medicare as we know it'' will 
be bankrupt in ten years. Seniors who prefer home health care should 
always retain that option and be provided choices of plans that will 
ensure their wishes are granted, rather than live at the whim of 
unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats. Dignity, care, and being home 
are small comforts when one is ill, or dying. But, eliminating a cost 
effective provision of care that current seniors expect, paid into and 
bargained for, is wrong. Medicare must change for the future, and 
seniors deserve choice, but for those currently or near entering the 
system, the rules should not be changed at the last minute.