Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Debt Gridlock, Conservative Medicare Defectors, "Wean Them Off Medicare," More Ad Wars, Home Care for Seniors, FYI

Debt Limit Faces Impasse

"With just over one month left until the government begins to default obligations to creditors, vendors, and entitlement beneficiaries, leaders of both parties in Washington made clear Monday that the underlying gridlock isn't going anywhere.  That means a half-trillion dollar impasse will have to be bridged, quickly, if the country's to avoid a domino effect of economic consequences.  And with the White House and Congressional Republicans staking out incompatible positions, it's unclear how that will happen."

"In the hours before an evening meeting with President Obama, and in a number of different venues, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell renewed his insistence that Republicans will not accept any tax increases as part of a trillion-dollar deficit reduction package the GOP is demanding before agreeing to let the country pay all its bills on time."  Statesmanship, please.

Conservative Republicans Abandon Medicare Repeal

Yes, it does appear that even Conservative Republicans are retreating from the Ryan budget plan.  For example, Jim Sensenbrenner Backs Off Medicare Plan.  "One of the most conservative veteran Republicans in the House, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, backed away from the GOP's controversial Medicare plan at a town hall in his Wisconsin district."

"Sensenbrenner declined to back Ryan's plan on Sunday, backtracking from his earlier support of the proposal.  'I'm not here to say he's right or he's wrong, but at least he's got a plan,' he told the town hall.  But when the same Medicare-altering proposal came before the house in April, Sensenbrenner voted to support it."  Even the most Conservative Republicans are having trouble sticking with the Ryan plan.  (See many of our previous Medicare Daily Reports for more about that.)  Will Paul Ryan himself be left abandoned by his former allies?

Bachman:  "Wean Everyone Off Medicare"

"This past weekend, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) addressed the right-wing Constitutional Coalition’s annual conference in St. Louis.  She had dropped out of the Tea Party Convention occurring on the same day in Nashville to make the appearance."  She has a plan to deal with the debt; put simply, We Must ‘Wean Everybody’ Off Social Security, Medicare.

Here's what she said:  "So, what you have to do, is keep faith with the people that are already in the system, that don’t have any other options, we have to keep faith with them.  But basically what we have to do is wean everybody else off."  This appears to be part of the slightly altered direction recently taken by Right Wing Republicans and Tea Partiers.  Clearly, they are feeling the political heat from people on Medicare and their defenders.  So, now they are emphasizing "keeping faith," but not with future generations --  our children and younger workers.

By the way, this is the same Michele Bachman who confused John Wayne (the actor-governor) with John Wayne Gacy (the notorious serial killer).  Sometimes it's like a contest between Bachman and Palin to see who can make the most outrageous and ignorant mistakes.  But, watch out; they both have followings (or followers).

Continuing Ad Wars

"Eight members of Congress are the targets of ads, released Monday by the Democratic House Majority PAC, that criticize their votes on the House GOP budget proposal."  See Dem group keeps up budget attacks.  "According to the group, minute-long radio spots will run in the home districts of Arkansas Reps. Rick Crawford and Tim Griffin,  Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton,  Iowa Rep. Steve King,  Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling,  New Hampshire Rep. Charlie Bass and Nevada Rep. Joe Heck.  The ad against Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaack will run on cable television."

Home and Community-Based Care

Kenneth Thorpe, Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management at Emory University's School of Public Health says, "Based on my experience, common ground on Medicare is possible and, in the short term, policymakers have an immediate and time-sensitive opportunity to prevent and manage costly chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension through a coordinated approach to treating patients led by home health care.  By strengthening options that let people get much-needed care at home, policymakers can save money, give older Americans what they want and address the chronic disease epidemic facing our nation."  Read more about Why America Needs Seniors to Remain Healthy and in Their Homes.

For Your Information

FYI . . . .  "At a critical juncture in the deficit reduction talks, the leaders of prominent national religious, civil rights, charitable, economic research, and low-income advocacy organizations are calling on Executive and Congressional leadership to honor the precedent set by previous deficit reduction negotiations that have reduced the deficit without increasing poverty."  We agree.  See Leading National Groups Urge Importance of Reducing Deficits Without Increasing Poverty.


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