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LAWRENCE T. SMEDLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SENIOR CITIZENS, ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING THE PRESIDENT'S HEALTH MESSAGE

LAWRENCE T. SMEDLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SENIOR CITIZENS, ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING THE PRESIDENT'S HEALTH MESSAGE
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Lawrence T. Smedley, executive director of the National Council of Senior Citizens, released the following statement:
 Instead of reform, President Bush has proposed shell-game gimmicks to deal with the nation's health care crisis. It is voodoo health economics.
 It is shameful that he would cut care for the poor and for vulnerable elders under Medicaid and Medicare to shift resources to finance bare-bone health insurance for some low-income persons and to give health premium payment relief to persons with family incomes of $80,000 and above.
 Instead of firm cost-containment measures, he would sign a blank check to the private health care industry which already costs the public $100 billion a year in private bureaucracy, red tape, waste, duplication and excess profit.
 Instead of comprehensive and guaranteed health coverage, he calls for self-discipline and the use of a "Bluebook" of health care costs. The President seems to think that meeting America's health care needs is like shopping for a used car.
 He failed to say one word about the fastest-growing health care need -- long-term care for millions of persons with disabling conditions.
 He misused the occasion to bash "government bureaucrats" and phantom "care rationing" in national systems more comprehensive and efficient than our own.
 The National Council of Senior Citizens believes that there are good models of how to accomplish the goals of universal coverage, cost containment, comprehensiveness and progressive financing. He should reexamine Medicare here and the national health systems in industrial nations around the world.
 Last minute, Rube Goldberg plans that cynically shift costs without increasing quality or coverage are an insult. The American public, young and old, deserves better.
 -0- 2/6/92
 /CONTACT: Dan Schulder of the National Council of Senior Citizens, 202-624-9539/ CO: National Council of Senior Citizens ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: EXE


SC-LM -- DC044 -- 7914 02/06/92 16:48 EST
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Date:Feb 6, 1992
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