Thursday, August 4, 2011

Republicans Still Pushing to End Medicare, Here Comes the Super Committee

They're still at it.  It didn't take long for any hoped-for truce on Medicare to completely disappear as Conservative Republicans re-double their attacks on Medicare.  We know there's an ideological divide, and we also know that there is very strong support for Medicare.  Simply put, Conservatives and Republicans just can't stand having government take care of the aged, the disabled, and the poor.  Too bad for you if you grow old, need health care, or don't have enough money to pay for health care bills -- the leading cause of bankruptcy in America.

Ryan Resurrected by Tea Party

"With Medicare at the top of lawmakers' fall agenda, Tea Party movement leaders hope to ignite support for Republican plans to transform the popular federal healthcare program for the elderly.  . . .  Their priority is a plan to slash Medicare costs proposed by House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, which could gain momentum now that a debt-limit deal between President Barack Obama and Congress has made potential Medicare cuts a centerpiece of the deficit debate."

The rallies are this month; get ready.  Looks like it's time for everyone who supports Medicare and wants to see it protected and strengthened to plan ahead.  Create your own Medicare Support Rally where ever the Tea Partiers go -- especially in swing states.  It's time to get excited for a cause; it's time to come to Medicare's defense.

No Medicare for "Younger" People

And, the Conservative Republicans are telling "young" people -- those under age 55 -- don't expect that Medicare will be there for you.  "Republicans' pledge to never raise taxes is inviolable whereas the government's pledge to provide retirees with health care will have to be broken at some point, according to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor."  Once again, politics trumps a covenant between generations, and , once again, significant ideological differences are apparent between Republicans and Democrats.  "The Republican plan for dealing with the exploding cost of health care is to phase out Medicare and replace it with a system of subsidized private insurance for elderly Americans.  . . .  Democrats tend to favor Medicare reforms that enhance efficiency, and curtail ineffective health treatments."

As usual, the debates themselves are framed in terms of "EITHER / OR" and "US / THEM."  Assuming at least something useful in each approach, It would be more realistic and more productive to consider the possibilities of using a little from both or even from third (or fourth) possibilities.  It's  when EITHER / OR becomes the framework for debate that new, creative solutions are lost.

Looking Ahead to the Super Committee

There are many questions about "how a special 'super committee' established by the law will affect federal health care programs.  By the day before Thanksgiving, the bipartisan, bicameral panel of 12 lawmakers must report recommendations to trim at least $1.2 trillion in federal spending over the next decade."  Learn more about how the panel's deliberations could influence Medicare and Medicaid.

The Conservative Republican Reality-Free Zone

O’Reilly Blames Women’s Health Care ‘Breast Feeding Stuff’ For High Unemployment.  "Last week he declared that women don’t deserve government subsidized birth control because they’re too 'blasted out of their minds' during sex to use it."  "O’REILLY:  Now the federal government is ordering the health insurance companies to pay for all breast feeding stuff, all female birth control stuff, all preventative measures for doctors for ladies that go in.  What do you think that’s gonna do?  That’s going to inhibit hiring even more!"

There you have it.  How Democrats are causing high unemployment.

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