Friday, June 3, 2011

Medicare at the Center of Continuing Debt Stalemate, More Mediscare, Medicare for All

Democrats are determined not to cave on Medicare or Taxes.  "House Democrats emerged from a White House meeting with President Obama confident that the GOP Medicare plan has Republicans on the ropes and more determined than ever to ensure that tax increases on the wealthiest Americans are included in any long-term debt-reduction package.  Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the meeting was 'very productive' and a 'great exchange of ideas.'  In negotiations with Republicans to raise the debt-ceiling and reduce the ballooning debt, Pelosi said Democrats and the President are committed to strengthening the middle class and reducing the debt with 'balance' and 'fairness.'"  I've been saying that the Democrats need a Medicare-Budget-Debt mantra, and "balance and fairness" sounds good.  Oh, but wait.  Didn't Fox News already take that one?

Talk about scary.  Newt Gingrich still is linking Medicare and the budget -- still trying to sell a cause-effect relationship where none exists.  Really, Newt Gingrich: Help Me Rescue The Ryan Plan From ‘Mediscare 3.’
"Newt Gingrich, fading fast in polls of the GOP field, is making support for Paul Ryan's budget -- which he once dubbed 'right wing social engineering' -- his top cause.   In a letter sent out by Human Events on Wednesday, Gingrich asked Republicans to help him defeat 'Mediscare 3,' an effort by Democrats to 'divide Republicans and to lie about our efforts to save both Medicare and America from fiscal collapse.'"  Give him credit for keeping up their mantra.

But, talk about scary (again) ....  It looks like Republicans still want to play a game of chicken.  It does not seem logical that taking steps -- as the Republicans are -- that might cause the United States to default on its loans would "save America from fiscal collapse."  Moody’s says they will downgrade the U.S. credit rating if the Republicans and Democrats don't reach a deal on the debt ceiling by Mid-July.  "Moody's Investment Service will likely downgrade America's credit rating if Congress can't reach agreement on a debt ceiling increase by mid-July, the firm said in a statement Thursday.  The major credit rating firm warned that political bickering has gotten out of hand and that they were concerned the two parties' may not reach a deal before the country defaulted on its obligations, which the Treasury Department warns will occur in early August, setting off a financial crisis."   Republicans continue to demand mainly unspecified cuts in the Federal budget.

Not done with scary yet.  At least one Republican House freshman has taken the "slap Medicare around" message to heart:  Rubio Regurgitates FreedomWorks' Medicare Memo, Claims Democrats Don’t Have A Plan To ‘Save’ The Program.  "This morning during an appearance on Fox News, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) followed the messaging points to a T, fear mongering about Medicare’s imminent demise and claiming that Democrats don’t have a plan to 'save' the program."  We need to mention that the program needs saving from plans (by Republicans and Conservatives) to abolish it; it needs real improvements (through cooperation in Congress) to strengthen it.  "This long history of crying wolf doesn’t mean that we can allow the program to grow at its current rate, however.  In fact, the Affordable Care Act -- which Rubio voted against -- reduced the rate growth of the program."

Medicare for All!  Editors at The Nation argue that Medicare alone is just not big enough to get the savings needed.  "The Democrats do need a winning Medicare plan, but they’re not going to find it by meeting Republicans in the middle (as Clinton’s former budget chief Alice Rivlin does with her Ryan-lite voucher proposal).  And they’re not going to find it by only running against Republican ideas.  Indeed, the main strategy Democrats seem to have adopted in the wake of Hochul’s victory is to force Republicans to double down on Ryan’s agenda and pray that voters, particularly seniors, remain alarmed enough about the right’s shock doctrine tactics to throw the bums out.  That might be a winning electoral formula, but how about some leadership and a plan to deal with rising healthcare costs?  Where Democrats should look is Medicare itself -- Medicare for all."


No comments:

Post a Comment