Friday, February 24, 2012

NCPSSM Critiques Budget, Romney Vouchers, Who Uses Government Programs

Budget Proposal Lacking for Medicare

From NCPSSM:  "On February 13, 2012, President Obama submitted his Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget to the Congress.  This budget proposes a total spending level of $3.8 trillion in FY 2013, and includes $3.2 trillion in budget reductions during this period that require some tough choices.  While we are pleased that there is nothing in this budget that reduces or targets Social Security beneficiaries or the Social Security program, we are disappointed that it recommends further shifting health care costs to current and future Medicare beneficiaries."

"The National Committee opposes proposals in the President's budget which would shift additional costs to Medicare beneficiaries.  Over half of Medicare beneficiaries have incomes below $22,500 per year, and they are already paying 27 percent of the average Social Security check for Part B and D cost-sharing in addition to paying for health services not covered by Medicare.  Medicare beneficiaries with annual incomes over $85,000 for individuals and $170,000 for couples are paying higher income-related premiums.  We are troubled by the Administration's view that people will make wiser choices about using health care services if they have to pay more of the cost . Rather, we believe it is likely that these additional costs could lead many seniors to forego necessary care, which, in turn, could lead to more serious health conditions and higher costs down the road."

This is an advocacy organization that works hard for the aged and disabled to protect their rights and their pre-paid public benefits.  You should support them, too.

Romney: Vouchers for Medicare

"The Detroit Economic Club was supposed to be the venue for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to detail his economic plan.  But Romney released his 'Restore America's Promise' plan Wednesday in Arizona, calling for tax cuts for individuals and corporations, changes to Social Security and Medicare and eliminating the inheritance and Alternative Minimum taxes.  His campaign said he released it early so he could talk about it at Wednesday night's debate."

Among the points:  "Create a voucher system so future senior citizens have the option to buy private insurance instead of using Medicare."

"Options" sound good, but they're not good if the choice is of no benefit or actually harms citizens or the Country.

What People (Don't) Know

"Finally, Cornell University's Suzanne Mettler points out that many beneficiaries of government programs seem confused about their own place in the system.  She tells us that 44 percent of Social Security recipients, 43 percent of those receiving unemployment benefits, and 40 percent of those on Medicare say that they 'have not used a government program.'"

"Presumably, then, voters imagine that pledges to slash government spending mean cutting programs for the idle poor, not things they themselves count on.  And this is a confusion politicians deliberately encourage.  For example, when Romney responded to the new Obama budget, he condemned Obama for not taking on entitlement spending -- and, in the very next breath, attacked him for cutting Medicare."

Very interesting.  An article that you should read, because it will help you think a little about how perceptions operate in the political world.

The Republican Reality-Free Zone


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