OBA: No Change To FutureCare Benefits

November 16, 2012

[Updated] Under an OBA Government seniors currently enrolled in FutureCare will see no change in their benefits, Spokesman for the Shadow Health Board and OBA Candidate for #C17 Pembroke Central Andrew Simons said.

“So shame on the government election machine for trying to win seniors’ votes through fear-mongering and lies. The OBA believes seniors deserve better from their leaders,” Mr Simons continued.

“They deserve the truth. And the truth is: FutureCare is not perfect. Bermuda’s healthcare system is not perfect. It’s too expensive.

“Government’s administrative costs are too high. And serious clinical and administrative reforms need to take place at Bermuda’s hospitals to reduce costs and correct the mistakes of the last five years.

“A financially responsible OBA government will continue the FutureCare system and make it better for all Bermudians. It will be fair, and it will be sustainable,” said Mr Simons.

Mr Simons’ full statement follows below:

We are here today to talk briefly about Bermuda’s seniors and healthcare, specifically FutureCare.

For most seniors, health care is their number one concern. They worry about getting sick, about having access to good doctors and about how they will pay for their medical care and prescriptions.

That’s why FutureCare is so important to them. It answers many of their needs. And that’s why it is so shameful that the government election machine keeps lying to our seniors about the One Bermuda Alliance position on FutureCare.

Once more, for the record, the OBA supports FutureCare. We will not abolish FutureCare. We will not cut FutureCare.

In fact, under an OBA Government seniors currently enrolled in FutureCare will see no change in their benefits.

So shame on the government election machine for trying to win seniors’ votes through fear-mongering and lies. The OBA believes seniors deserve better from their leaders.

They deserve the truth.

And the truth is: FutureCare is not perfect. Bermuda’s healthcare system is not perfect. It’s too expensive. Government’s administrative costs are too high. And serious clinical and administrative reforms need to take place at Bermuda’s hospitals to reduce costs and correct the mistakes of the last five years.

A financially responsible OBA government will continue the FutureCare system and make it better for all Bermudians. It will be fair, and it will be sustainable.

We also believe Bermuda’s current healthcare system requires change. And this change must be planned carefully in partnership with healthcare providers and private insurers. We believe that radical reform, like the Government’s proposed National Health Plan, is unnecessary to achieve the goals of universal access to basic care, affordability, fairness and sustainability.

Our entire healthcare platform will be available before the election and debated on its merits. But for now, we ask request the government to stop spreading untruths and to stop misleading our seniors.

-

Update 6.34pm: Response from the PLP below:

The OBA continues to try and have it both ways on FutureCare. In May, the OBA’s C. Anthony Francis said, “The current model of FutureCare will be scrapped because it is unfair and unsustainable.” (2012 Bermuda Election Facebook Page, 16/5/12)

Yesterday, the OBA’s Andrew Simons said, “the OBA supports Future Care.” (OBA Press Conference, 16/11/12)

In March 2011, the OBA’s Louise Jackson said about FutureCare, “It has got to be means tested as it is not fair.” (Royal Gazette, 31/3/11)

Yesterday, OBA Deputy Leader and Former UBP Leader Michael Dunkley said, “Seniors enrolled in FutureCare will see no change in their benefits.” (OBA Press Conference, 16/11/12) Who is really in charge over there and is the OBA more concerned with gaining power than standing strong for our seniors?

The fact is, the OBA is telling you what they think you want to hear and not being honest about what they will cut or how much they plan on adding to the debt. So what is the OBA all about? We don’t know what the OBA is about but we sure know what the PLP is about – we have been and will continue to stand strong for Bermudians!

Update 6.35pm: Counter-response from the OBA below:

The Government continues to stoke fear amongst seniors about the security of FutureCare health benefits. That’s the nature of their election campaign. It’s reprehensible politics, but that’s what we’ve come to expect.

As our spokesman for the Shadow Health Board Andrew Simons reiterated yesterday:

“Once more for the record, the OBA supports FutureCare. We will not abolish FutureCare. We will not cut FutureCare. In fact, under an OBA Government seniors currently enrolled in FutureCare will see no change in their benefits. So shame on the government election machine for trying to win seniors’ votes through fear-mongering. The OBA believes seniors deserve better from their leaders.”

FutureCare benefits will not change under the OBA. Period.

Update 7.51pm: Additional response from the PLP below

“How can the PLP be stoking fear about FutureCare when OBA candidate C. Anthony Francis is the one that said, and we quote, “The current model of FutureCare will be scrapped.” (2012 Bermuda Election Facebook Page, 16/5/12)

On the floor of the House of Assembly OBA Seniors Spokesperson Louise Jackson opposing FutureCare said, that they would “re-calibrate FutureCare.” and then said, “What we are going to do is legislate changes to FutureCare.” (2011)

The OBA are so desperate to seize power that they’ll spin up whatever fairy tale they think will fool voters into supporting them.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. Yes Aye says:

    Ooooookkkkk OBA….

    So what about:

    1) Future Care costs?
    2) What about future care eligibility?

    You’ve already said “future care should only be for those who need it”

    Who in your opinion “needs it???”

    • Webster says:

      Excellent questions.

    • liar pants on fire says:

      give me a break louise jackson repeatedly stated they were going to cut future care. now dunkley coming to do damage control. I don’t trust a man who changes all the time. Reminds me of Mitt Romney – even resembles Mitt. Mitt wouldn’t release his tax returns – michael dunkley and grant gibbons won’t release the secret plan. sounds familiar. Place you vote where it counts.

  2. Doubtful says:

    Oh, so OBA wants to cut jobs huh you said it “And serious clinical and administrative reforms need to take place at Bermuda’s hospitals to reduce costs” making such reforms means cutting clinical and administrative jobs.
    Futurecare is an option that seniors never had before, lets not forget that. And the PLP is improving Futurecare for our seniors increasing in allotment for prescriptions and other essential benefits and if seniors cannot afford futurecare, they can look to financial assistance for help. Our government is for people who need, not people who want.

  3. Hmmmmm says:

    This kind of evolution in thinking and policy positions is not unique among those who do not naturally connect with the average voter. In other words, this is a bonafide, genuine, classic flip flop from the OBA. They have been against FutureCare from the beginning and the PLP is smoking them out. Grant Gibbons in particular wrote a long Op-Ed a few years ago which tore FutureCare apart piece by piece. So they’re supporting it now for political expediency. Remember, these are the people who have no promised to re-open the Indigent Clinic and begin the march back to Victorian healthcare. Hopefully the PLP will remind them and the public of their previous statements and debate contributions on this subject because memories need refreshing.

  4. Vote for Me says:

    Whoa, now just hang on a minute… The OBA will now keep FutureCare??? MP Jackson has spent the last year lambasting Min. DeSilva and his PLP colleagues about the short comings of FutureCare under PLP.

    I guess this article is showing that the OBA are coming to realise that FutureCare represents a remarkable step forward for our seniors that were formerly unable to get health insurance in most cases once they passed age 65. This was in fact one of the undeniable investments by the PLP government!!

    If we add this information to the recent post from MP Wayne Scott, it seems the OBA are having a ‘Romneyesque’ moment. After claiming that Obama was terrible for the US he agreed with almost everything he had done at the last debate… and ended up losing the election.

    Have the consultants advised the OBA that they are on a losing streak and need to agree with some of the PLP policies?? It must be making MP Jackson need some of the very medical care that she criticises at every turn.

    In the longrun, this is good news… the seniors can be assured of future care benefits irrespective of who wins the election. GO PLP… the entire country endorses your decision to introduce future care for our seniors.

  5. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    @ Hmmmm: “They have been against FutureCare from the beginning” That is a blatant lie. The OBA has never been against Future Care. What they have repeatedly said is that Future Care in its present format is flawed, not equitable and is unsustainable. Ask anyone who didn’t get in on the first offering at $300+ a month, and now has to pay $600+ a month for the exact same benefits. In addition, what the OBA is saying is that hospital costs have risen so drastically that Future Care will cost the taxpayers and incredibly exorbitant amount in just a few years. We should all be glad they are looking into this issue rather than trying to pretend there is nothing wrong.

    How about Grant Gibbons’ Op Ed piece trying to make certain that Future Care actually worked as it was meant to, instead of being put into place without enough thought and consideration for the wider ramifications? Just because someone doesn’t agree with the WAY you are doing something doesn’t mean they don’t think it should be done.

    Since the closure of the Indigent Clinic, so many of our less fortunate population are falling through the health care cracks. Since they have no insurance, private doctors have a challenge accepting them as patients, thus forcing them to over-utilize the ER, which is one of the factors in increased health care costs for all of us. Since a standard practice of acute care is to recommend a patient follow up with their private doctor after attending ER, such folk are caught between a rock and a hard place. I remember that an uninsured friend of mine used ER as his primary medical care and his cancer was not recognized until it was Stage 3 or 4 because the ER treated for the presenting complaint of stomach pains. His story is just one of many, and many more to come as more and more of our population become unemployed and consequently uninsured. The proposed Medical Clinic, from what I understand, will be designed, like the original Indigent Clinic, to address the ordinary medical needs of uninsured people so they do not have to overload ER for issues that would ordinarily be handled by a private physician.

    As an addiction counsellor in a past life, I knew and appreciated the value and service given by the Indigent Clinic, despite a few flaws and glitches. I was very upset and disappointed when it was closed by our esteemed Dr. Brown, since the service could have been fixed rather than thrown away. I encourage the OBA to carry on with the plans to open a Medical Clinic. It just makes sense.

  6. Kiskadee says:

    The OBA need to check into the finances of the people paying only $300 a month . There are some wealthy people getting this who can well afford private insurance. It should only be for elderly people in need .

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