Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Threats to Medicare & Social Security, Doc Fix in Jeopardy, PolitiFact Gets It Wrong

Once again, we have heightened tensions in our Nation's capital as intransigence gets in the way of progress.  From our view, it is the Republicans who continue to push the envelope and refuse to engage in reasonable discussion.  Who can blame Democrats if they finally lose their patience and become just as hard-nosed as the Republicans have been?

2012 Elections

"With Social Security and Medicare facing harsh threats from various politicians, retirees must keep a close eye on the 2012 elections.  The recently-deadlocked super committee was the latest in a line of blue-ribbon panels -- preceded by Domenici-Rivlin and Simpson-Bowles -- that have debated, and in two instances recommended, drastic cuts in Social Security and Medicare, landmark programs that have helped generations of seniors stay healthy and out of poverty."

"These threats to retirement security will continue unless two pillars of our fiscal debates change:  1) the false but widely-held belief that Social Security increases our deficit, and 2) our fundamentally-flawed tax and spending policies that drain federal coffers to benefit corporations and those in the top one percent of incomes."

MUST READING:  Right on, Barbara J. Easterling! (President of the Alliance for Retired Americans)  We all need to educate our family and friends to the truths about Medicare and Social Security.  This Holiday season is one opportunity but it must not be the only opportunity we take.  Keep on talking and keep on writing to Congress.

Medicare Cuts for Physicians Ready to Go

"Raising the stakes for a gridlocked Congress, Medicare officials said Tuesday hundreds of thousands of doctors will get a steep cut in payments on Jan. 18 unless lawmakers issue a reprieve.  A provision waiving a scheduled 27.4 percent cut in physician reimbursement was included in the payroll tax legislation now ensnared in partisan political wrangling between the House and Senate."

In what was once an almost meaningless annual ritual, once again, the Republicans have found a way to create chaos.  They are pushing everyone to the brink.  It's actually virtually impossible to fathom a "real" reason for this -- until you remind yourself that this is politics, and that means that someone (a politician him/herself or his/her sponsor or friend) is gaining an advantage in return.  The trick is to understand who is gaining.  Then, you better understand politics.

Wrong, Again

"Here’s a long, sad story about how Democrats’ basically true claim that House Republicans voted to end Medicare ended up 'winning' PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year award -- a development that will help the right and the GOP create their own reality as the future of the social safety net becomes a defining issue of the 2012 campaign.  Back in April, House Republicans passed a budget that included a plan to phase out Medicare over several years and build in its place a subsidized, private insurance marketplace for seniors."

There goes PolitiFact's credibility.  Not that they care, but they're off my bookmarks list.  It's NOT a matter of opinion; it's a fact -- Medicare is gone under the Ryan plan.  PolitiFact should talk with experts and gain some knowledge and understanding of Medicare.  Unfortunately, I suspect that PolitiFact knows the truth; it's PolitiFact who becomes the liar.

The Republican Reality-Free Zone


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