Thursday, February 22, 2007

Spitzer Fires Back..........

Newsday SpinCycle Partisan Twist II: Spitzer Condemns Critical Ads

Eliot has just fired up his steamroller....never knew that engine could be so loud.....the best advice here would be to...."get out of the way" while you still can............andy

In one of his broadest rhetorical blasts to date, Gov. Eliot Spitzer scorches the new ad campaign against his proposed health-care cuts as "a predictable response from groups dedicated to maintaining a status quo that does not work for anyone but them."
He calls the hospitals and health-care workers' union anti-reform -- and even goes so far to accuse them of engaging in "demagoguery" in the commercial. The ad dramatizes greedy, comfortable businessmen gaining, and victimized patients losing, under the Spitzer proposal.
For the full, fire-breathing text, click just below.
This is a predictable response from groups dedicated to maintaining a status quo that does not work for anyone but them.
These groups – 1199SEIU and Greater New York Hospital Association – receive billions of dollars in state subsidies without proper measures of accountability for how they spend taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Their goal is to block any attempt to reform the system.
No amount of distortion, scare tactics and mischaracterization will change the underlying fact that New York’s health care system is broken. We must not allow health care decision-making to continue to be co-opted by every interest other than the patient’s interest.
We believe health care reform that puts patients first must be comprehensive, not limited to an “everybody-but-me” mentality. That’s why our Executive Budget seeks fundamental reforms in every corner of the health care system so we can lower the cost of health insurance while increasing health care quality.
That is the simple choice lawmakers face: Will you side with the same old demagoguery of “everyone but me,” which has given us the broken system we have now and has prevented us from implementing a system that provides high quality, affordable health care to all New Yorkers? Or will you push for real reform that fundamentally restructures the health care delivery system to finally put patients first and control exploding costs that have led to our unsustainable tax burden and the highest health care spending in the nation?
Instead of taking a pledge to special interests and the status quo, lawmakers should keep the pledge they made to their constituents and pass a budget that provides high quality health care to New Yorkers at a price we can all afford.
We agree that reform includes doing more to lower prescription drug costs.
That is exactly why our budget strengthens the State’s preferred drug program, lowers the price the State pays pharmacies for prescription drugs and institutes a preferred drug list in the State’s EPIC program. That is also why we are actively pursuing the use of the federal 340B drug discount program and why we are working with other states to explore bulk-purchasing opportunities.
And we agree that reform includes stronger regulation of disproportionately high insurance rates and ending the gamesmanship of HMOs who deny or delay payment for care. That is why our budget proposes to freeze the trend rate increase to HMOs, increases the covered lives assessment paid by HMOs and why the State’s Insurance Department will propose legislation to reinstate prior approval of HMO’s insurance rates as well as other legislation that will ensure that HMOs can’t unfairly deny coverage for services.
However, we will not agree to protect special subsidies that have produced the highest health care costs in the nation without producing better care.
New Yorkers would be far better off if we reinvested these misallocated funds to provide access to health insurance coverage for all children and to make the other strategic investments that will lead to better care at a lower cost. That’s exactly what this Executive Budget calls for.
We must not be deterred in our attempt to provide better care and lower costs. The future of New York depends on it."

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