Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Budget and Medicare, Payroll Tax Round 2

The President's budget proposal is the big news of the day.

President's Budget Not Favorable

From NCPSSM:  "President Obama released his 2013 budget today with predictable howls from Republicans that there should be more cuts in Medicare and Social Security to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy.  While the President’s budget projects a deficit below $1 trillion and foresees the federal shortfall declining to sustainable levels by 2017, it doesn’t overhaul Social Security or turn Medicare into 'coupon care' so for conservatives, it’s considered dead on arrival."

"We applaud the President for rejecting the loud and well-financed Washington clarion call for balancing the budget with massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  However, we do not support the President’s plan to expand Medicare means-testing.  While it may sound logical that so-called 'rich' seniors should pay more during tight budget times, the truth is that’s not what means testing will actually do."

We agree.  Read it and learn why.

FROM THE PRESIDENT:  "I am proposing more than $360 billion in reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs over 10 years.  The goal of these reforms is to make these critical programs more effective and efficient, and help make sure our health care system rewards high-quality medicine,” Obama writes.  “What it does not do -- and what I will not support -- are efforts to turn Medicare into a voucher or Medicaid into a block grant.  Doing so would weaken both programs and break the promise that we have made to American seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income families -- a promise I am committed to keeping."

He is doing his best to make his proposals different from the Conservative Republicans, and still give himself room to make changes that he might think are needed.

Payroll Tax Extension and Medicare

"After a few hours of thought, Democrats have decided the GOP’s blink on the payroll tax cut is an unvarnished good, not some devious trick.  Republicans have all but agreed to renew the payroll tax cut through the end of the year without paying for it -- a huge tactical swing for them.  But they’re still insisting that the other expiring measures -- extended unemployment insurance (UI), and Medicare physician reimbursements (the 'doc fix') -- are somehow offset with cuts elsewhere."

Fox Reality-Free Zone


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