Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Dangerous Health Care Compact, Tea Party Losing Ground

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Creative Death for Medicare

"Longtime political operative Eric O’Keefe has a new plan to undermine health reform.  Called the 'Health Care Compact,' the effort is a legally dubious campaign to enroll states in an interstate compact to take control of all federally funded health care programs.  As reporter Stephanie Mencimer notes, the law would not only unravel the Affordable Care Act, but also major health programs like Medicare.  The Compact, once approved by Congress, would allow states with Compact laws to use Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health program funds any way they wish, with no 'strings' attached, like reimbursing doctors at a fair rate or ensuring program money is spent on actual health services."

Conservative Republicans are devising more and more creative schemes for killing off Medicare and Medicaid.  The same tricks could apply to Social Security.  Deceptive is hardly a strong enough word for this attack on the pre-paid public benefits for which we've already worked.

Tea Party More and More Unpopular

"The Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we [New York Times poll] asked about -- lower than both Republicans and Democrats.  It is even less popular than much maligned groups like 'atheists' and 'Muslims.'  Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right."

"GIVEN how much sway the Tea Party has among Republicans in Congress and those seeking the Republican presidential nomination, one might think the Tea Party is redefining mainstream American politics.  But in fact the Tea Party is increasingly swimming against the tide of public opinion: among most Americans, even before the furor over the debt limit, its brand was becoming toxic."  "On everything but the size of government, Tea Party supporters are increasingly out of step with most Americans, even many Republicans."

This is an interesting analysis of polling data which confirms what I have been saying for months: the Republican Party needs to divorce itself from the extreme Conservative ideology of the Tea Party.  This piece is informative for anyone who wants to better understand the make-up and positions of Tea Partiers.  Personally, I find the results of this study brutally damning to the Tea Party.  However, their few and faithful supporters are likely to proudly stand their ground.  It seems that they have been this way for a long, long time.

Republican Shame-Free Zone


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