Monday, December 19, 2011

Romney Likes Ryan Plan to Weaken Medicare, GOP Would Smash Social Security, Medicare an Election Issue, Romney New to Medicaid, Gingrich Likes New Plan to Restrict Medicare

Romney is Ryan's Friend, But Not a Friend to Medicare

"While appearing on 'Fox News Sunday,' Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney praised Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) plan to replace Medicare with a voucher system in a shot at fellow presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.  During the Sunday show, Romney criticized Gingrich, the former House Speaker, for making a statement in May that 'cut the legs out' from under the plan, part of a 2012 budget Ryan proposed back in April.  'Are we going to deal with entitlement reform or not?'  Romney asked.  'Republicans came together, Paul Ryan was the author of the plan.  But almost every single Republican voted for it, and the Speaker said this is 'right-wing social engineering.' '"

Mr. Romney has been more and more vocal about the Ryan plan to repeal Medicare, and more and more wrong about America's best, and essentially lowest cost, insurance program -- Medicare.  We understand that he is scratching for votes in a very Conservative base of voters.  However, reasonable voters should expect one thing of any candidate: that he say what he means (and thus we should be prepared to see it  implemented if he or she elected.  Of Mr. Romney, it appears that we can expect him to say whatever he thinks will help him get elected, regardless of time or place or consistency or actual intent.  The truth be damned when he's scratching for votes.

Among GOP Candidates, Not a Single Friend of Social Security

From Strengthen Social Security:  "Social Security Works unveiled a new guide which reveals that the top six Republican Presidential candidates agree: If they had their way, they would cut or do away with Social Security, America’s most successful insurance program."

Is Medicare A 2012 Election Issue?

"Even with just two congressional supporters, a new Medicare overhaul plan could have big implications for next year’s congressional election.  Indeed, it could neutralize a political problem that has been plaguing Republicans since April, argues Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health."  " Blendon says that supporting this new proposal will help congressional Republicans to distance themselves from Ryan's earlier, controversial plan."

Romney Health Biz: Clueless on Medicaid

"Mitt Romney took a turn for the folksy in Iowa on Friday, telling an audience that, like many people, he didn’t fully understand what Medicaid did until late in life.  'You know, I have to admit, I didn’t know the differences between all these things until I got into government,' Romney said.  'Then I got into it and I understood that Medicaid is the health care program for the poor, by and large.'  It’s a bit of an odd claim considering that Romney, while at Bain Capital, led a $311 million buyout of a huge hospital business that drew its income primarily from health care entitlements."

Ron Paul: Also Clueless

"Ron Paul told supporters at a campaign event on Tuesday that Medicare and Medicaid programs, through which the federal government provides health care to retired and poor Americans, are unconstitutional."  However, "The Supreme Court ruled in 1937 that Social Security was permissible under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which reads in part, 'The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.'  Supporters of Medicare and Medicaid, which were established decades later as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society legislation, hold that these programs are similarly permissible under the 'general welfare clause."

Really?  Ron Paul clueless?  No, I don't really think he's clueless, but it is difficult to understand his opinion that Medicare and Medicaid (and probably Social Security, by extension) are unconstitutional.  The US Supreme Court makes decisions on the Country's major issues, and people do disagree with the Court.  Of course, if there weren't at least two sides, then there would be no debate and no disagreement and no decision.  However, Medicare is the law of the land, AND it is accepted and desired by the American people.  Ultimately, the issue really becomes less what the Constitution says and more what "we the People" say.  And, right now, the people understand that Medicare is a good thing for them.

Gingrich Speaks

From Kaiser Health News:  Gingrich Defends Record, Praises Ryan-Wyden Medicare Plan  "Both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney welcomed the Ryan-Wyden plan, announced yesterday.  Gingrich went on defense after Rep. Michele Bachmann actually [sic] him on his record on abortion legislation while he was in the House of Representatives."

The Republican Reality-Free Zone


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