Pelosi on GOP proposal to eliminate M...

Pelosi on GOP proposal to eliminate Medicare: 'This has to be snuffed out'

Posted in the Minnesota Forum

Chris Bowers

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

#1 Apr 6, 2011
Nancy Pelosi on Republican proposal to eliminate Medicare:'This has to be snuffed out'

by Chris Bowers.

On a conference call with progressive new media types today, Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi made her view on the Republican plan to end Medicare crystal clear: "This has to be snuffed out."

Pelosi expansively defined the ultimate goal in the fight over Medicare as winning the debate in the eyes of the American people, rather than just winning the next election. This is standard political organizer thought. First, get the public on your side, and then the public will influence Republican behavior no matter the outcome of the next election.

Under the political circumstances we have faced for most of the last several decades, that line of thinking certainly makes sense. However, one has to wonder if the public at large is really what influences Republicans anymore. Will the real decision makers in the GOP—the uber-wealthy, the tea party, big corporations—ever back down from their proposals to privatize Medicare and Social Security, no matter how unpopular those ideas may be with the general public? For that matter, will the front groups that those right-wing decision-makers have inserted into the Democratic Party, most notably Third Way, ever back down from their support for watered-down versions of those ideas?

Pelosi also talked of the strategy Democrats should use to win the public debate. She spoke of drawing a contrast with Republicans, and alluded to a tactic employed by Democrats in the 2005 Social Security fight. During that fight, she noted, "We couldn't have our own proposal on Social Security," since presenting one would only lead to confusion and blur the differences between the parties. So instead, Democrats decided that "we have a proposal on the table—it's called Social Security."

One imagines, or at least hopes, that Democrats will adopt the same plan on Medicare. The proposal they will put on the table will simply be called "Medicare," while the Republican proposal is to end Medicare. Such framing would help provide the strongest possible contrast.

When I asked her to comment on the Republican offer of a one-week continuing resolution (even though a two-week recess is coming up) that funds the Pentagon for a full year at elevated levels while making $12 billion in cuts elsewhere, Pelosi didn't mince her words. "Out of the question." "Going nowhere." "A waste of time." "Clearly not even a good faith effort." "As a policy, terrible." "April Fool's day came and went." Due to the clarity of her response, I did not ask a follow-up.
Talk Left

Denver, CO

#2 Apr 9, 2011
Republican Budget Plan to Kill Medicare Gets Vote Next Week

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan proposed a budget plan for 2012. It's scheduled for a vote next week. Among its features: Ending Medicare and gutting Medicaid.

[T]he nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has outlined what adoption of this proposal to supplant Medicare with vouchers and private insurance exchanges would mean. The overall cost of healthcare would go up, and retirees' out-of-pocket medical expenses would double — an increase that would push tens of millions of people living on fixed incomes over the financial brink.

Ryan calls his plan "The Path to Prosperity." For who? No surprise here: it calls for further tax reductions for corporations and wealthy individuals. He claims to be saving Medicare, notwithstanding his plan would push tens of millions of people over the financial edge. Ryan writes:[More...]


The open-ended, blank-check nature of the Medicare subsidy threatens the solvency of this critical program and creates inexcusable levels of waste. This budget takes action where others have ducked. But because government should not force people to reorganize their lives, its reforms will not affect those in or near retirement in any way.

Starting in 2022, new Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in the same kind of health-care program that members of Congress enjoy. Future Medicare recipients will be able to choose a plan that works best for them from a list of guaranteed coverage options. This is not a voucher program but rather a premium-support model. A Medicare premium-support payment would be paid, by Medicare, to the plan chosen by the beneficiary, subsidizing its cost.

The Ryan plan, which Republicans present in their own words here, is unlikely to pass the Senate. But depending on what happens in November, 2012, it's still a menace.


The Path to Prosperity also repeals and defunds the president's health care law, ends expensive taxpayer support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and calls for a free and open market for American energy exploration and production. And there's much more.

“Progressive USA”

Since: Apr 11

Phoenix AZ

#3 Apr 11, 2011
Cantor: Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries 'don't need' safety net

by Joan McCarter.

People on a fixed income or unemployed who wouldn't be able to get healthcare without a government program aren't really in need of that assistance, says House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). They've just been being coddled, and "do what most Americans are learning how to do, which is to do more with less."

CANTOR: We are in a situation where we have a safety net in place in this country for people who frankly don’t need one. We have to focus on making sure we have a safety net for those who need it.
WALLACE: The Medicaid people — you’re going to cut that by $750 billion.

CANTOR: The medicaid reductions are off the baseline. so what we’re saying is allow states to have the flexibility to deal with their populations, their indigent populations and the healthcare needs the way they know how to deal with them. Not to impose some mandate from a bureaucrat in Washington.

WALLACE: But you are giving them less money to do it.

CANTOR: In terms of the baseline, that is correct…What we’re saying is there is so much imposition of a mandate that doesn’t relate to the actual quality of care. We believe if you put in place the mechanism that allow for personal choice as far as Medicare is concerned, as well as the programs in Medicaid, that we can actually get to a better resolve and do what most Americans are learning how to do, which is to do more with less.

I'd love to hear Cantor's definition of "safety net." And why he thinks Medicaid and Medicare patients are already doing more with less. This is a continuation of Paul Ryan's efforts to equate Medicaid recipients with welfare queens, old and disabled people living high off the hog, taking all the good medicine in their nursing homes.

The Ryan and Cantor approach to healthcare reform is to take it away from those who might need it most. Alan Grayson was ridiculed as a crazy radical back when he said this about Republicans: "The Republican health care plan: don't get sick.... The Republicans have a back up plan in case you do get sick.... This is what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly!"

That's exactly what the Ryan/Cantor message, and plan will achieve.
Jed Lewison

Skopje, Macedonia

#4 Apr 13, 2011
Paul Ryan upset over Obama's rejection of his plan to eliminate Medicare

by Jed Lewison.

Getting his ass whooped for trying to eliminate Medicare
made Paul Ryan very, very sad (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

FLCB*:

Just hours after sitting in the front row while the president verbally walloped his plan to reduce the debt, Rep. Paul Ryan called President Obama’s speech on deficit reduction “a political broadside” and accused the White House of “poisoning wells” on the budget debate.
"What we heard today was not fiscal leadership from our commander in chief,” Ryan said.“What we heard today is a political broadside from our campaigner in chief.”

Calling the president’s speech “very sad,” the House Budget Committee chief said he had previously viewed Obama’s invitation to attend his remarks at George Washington University as an “olive branch."

“Instead what we got was a speech that was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate, and hopelessly inadequate to addressing our country's fiscal challenges,” he said.

I don't see what he's getting so pissy about. I mean, seriously, did he really expect to get a lollipop for proposing the repeal of Medicare? Welcome to the big leagues, sonnyboy.
Health Care Reform

Thailand

#5 Apr 14, 2011
Yesterday’s revelation that former Aetna CEO Ronald A. Williams was compensated $72 million in 2010, including $14.3 million in stocks, wasn’t good news for Americans who had to forgo coverage because insurance is simply too expensive or the insured population dealing with ever-growing premiums and it established another argument against the GOP budget. The details of Willliams’ compensation package are rather impressive. Williams received “$50.4 million in value realized through the exercise of options,”“$1.1 million in salary,$2.75 million in incentive pay, an additional $2.3 million in pension value and other compensation of $299,838.”

These numbers are even more stark within the context of the GOP’s Medicare reforms. Under the budget plan introduced last week, seniors would be forced to enroll in a private health insurance plan by 2022 and, as the CBO has found, would actually end up paying more for the coverage they are currently receiving through traditional Medicare. That’s partly because insurers have to set aside a greater chunk of money to cover their administrative expenses and profits — including compensation packages like Williams’.

For instance, a comparison of traditional Medicare and private insurers in Medicare Advantage demonstrates that while both operate under the same rules and enroll the same population, traditional Medicare spends less than 2 percent of expenditures on administrative costs, while private plans in Medicare Advantage spend approximately 11 percent on additional expenditures like profits. Republicans want the taxpayer to subsidize these increased expenses through fixed vouchers and place seniors in a situation where they have to spend more on coverage every year so that CEOs like Williams can have a comfortable retirement.

“Progressive USA”

Since: Apr 11

Phoenix AZ

#6 Apr 15, 2011
House votes on killing Medicare today

by Joan McCarter

This is a bit awkward for Republicans, but never mind, they'll bluster through as if there is no hypocrisy inherent in their position and vote today to replace Medicare with something that looks an awful lot like what they call "Obamacare" when they pass Rep. Paul Ryan's budget.

The long-term Republican budget plan proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) phases out Medicare as a guaranteed, universal, single-payer system and replaces it with a government-subsidized private insurance program. If that sounds familiar, it should.
"It's exactly like Obamacare," said NRSC chairman Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in the Capitol Thursday. "It is. It's exactly like it. Which strikes me as bizarre that you're seeing so much pushback [from Democrats]."

Government-subsidized private insurance is SOCIALISM, unless of course, Republicans are proposing it as a way to achieve their decades-long goal of abolishing Medicare. Cornyn is pretty much the only one who's admitting that it's the same idea. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says "I don't think that there are that many similarities, the way you suggest, as far as our proposals to reform Medicare and ObamaCare."

At any rate, the Republican Medicare "reform" plan is going to hit a major roadblock on the other side of the Hill, called the Senate.
Massive tax cuts for the wealthy, massive cuts to the rest of us. That's the Republican way.
Le Jumbo Soros

Black Canyon City, AZ

#8 Apr 15, 2011
RealCaptCrunch wrote:
House votes on killing Medicare today
I hope you people who read this thread are not puzzled by all the posts containing the same message that appears to be coming from a variety of people and from many different places on the globe.
The truth is that they are all coming from me, Le Jumbo. You see, I have a full time job with the SEIU backed by George Soros, with the task of filling up as many boards as possible with left wing messages which are supplied to me from the SEIU Information Board.
To do this job, I have adopted hundreds of names,backed by many proxy sites all over the world.
As you can imagine, i have generated many objectors to my tactics of cutting and pasting long left wing diatribes. I have learned to deal with them by stealing the identities of those objectors and posting fulsome crap in their name.
Many would call me a lowlife for doing these things, but remember that I was unemployed until one of the Soros backed organizations offered me this job, and I will be forever grateful.
Bruin

Skopje, Macedonia

#9 Apr 15, 2011
House GOP votes to end Medicare

Wow, I can’t believe they actually did it. In a stunning repudiation of American values, the House GOP voted nearly unanimously to end Medicare. It’s worth noting that they did so in the face of unanimous Democratic opposition.

This is the grand event — the culmination of decades of trying to kill our social safety net. And the Republicans are going to find out that Americans value that safety net. Oh, sure, we quibble about making it more efficient, but ultimately we believe that in a nation as wealthy as ours, we can and should provide a certain level of care for the poor and elderly.

What’s incredible to me is that the GOP somehow thinks Americans will support them in their effort. On the heels of an election victory achieved largely by attacking Democrats over Medicare cuts, the Republicans have now voted for those same cuts and much worse. How did they convince themselves that they had a mandate for this?

This vote truly is stunning. The Republicans’ nearly-unanimous rush headlong into political suicide is a monument to groupthink. After decades of trying to subtly undermine the safety net, they somehow managed to convince themselves that in the wake of the 2010 election, Americans would now support a blatant repeal. Now they can’t take the vote back. It will forever stand as proof of the Republicans’ true intentions.
Sam Ting

Black Canyon City, AZ

#10 Apr 16, 2011
Bruin wrote:
House GOP votes to end Medicare
From Argentina to Phoenix ,Az. in one gigantic leap, our boy Le Jumbo has stumbled onto another huge story. The Kochs are about to replace Jesus in the minds of all Tea Party members.
Wait a minute! If the end is near, and the Kochs replace Jesus, who will represent Satan in the coming final battle?
Could it be,oh no... could it be...George Sros? Is that why Le jumbo is warning us to be ready for these fearful changes?
Someone who could jump from Macedonia to Albania to Argentina and then to Phoenix Az. in just a few hours, must know something. Please, Le Jumbo, tell us the bad news.

“Progressive USA”

Since: Apr 11

Phoenix AZ

#16 Apr 16, 2011
GOP hopeful Pawlenty doesn't want to talk about Ryan's Medicare cuts

by Joan McCarter

The House Republicans' Medicare-killing plan has at least one GOP presidential hopeful a little tied up in knots over the fact that it actually retains some of the costs savings from the dreaded "Obamacare." Igor Volsky caught up with Tim Pawlenty in New Hampshire:

During a Tea Party rally in New Hampshire, likely presidential candidate and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) endorsed the Ryan proposal, saying,“as a general matter and directionally, I think Paul Ryan’s plan moves in the right direction.” But when I pressed him over whether he supports maintaining some of the Medicare cuts that are part of health care reform, Pawlenty demurred, and took another question:

PAWLENTY: I like Paul Ryan’s plan directionally.
I don’t think it’s fully filled out in terms of the fact that we still have to address Social Security and when we issue our plan later in this process, it will have some differences[...]
VOLSKY: Do you support the Medicare cuts in his plan that he keeps from Obamacare?

PAWLENTY: Anybody else have a question besides this guy?

In other words, "Get me out of this!"

Ryan would have made life a lot easier for these candidates had he not decided to crib from the Democrats' work on the Affordable Care Act. They can't say anything that is at all complementary about the ACA, and by extension, Romneycare. It's particularly difficult for Pawlenty to Ryan for his cost-cutting acumen that a) borrows from Obama, and that b) he himself criticized as "unrealistic assumptions regarding purported future cost-savings."

“Progressive USA”

Since: Apr 11

Phoenix AZ

#17 Apr 16, 2011
Hypocrite Erik Paulsen votes to end Medicare

"Jim Meffert, don’t cut my Medicare"
— Erik Paulsen campaign ad, 2010

Just a few short months ago, Erik Paulsen was pretending he cared about Medicare. In fact, he hit on it over and over again, lying about his opponent Jim Meffert’s position on Medicare. Medicare was so important to him that he had to make sure you knew his opponent supported cuts — even though that wasn’t true.

And now? House Republicans just voted to end Medicare, and Erik Paulsen voted with them. There’s no doubt in my mind that this makes Paulsen a hypocrite of the highest order. He ran for office under the guise that he cared about protecting Medicare. Just months later, he turned around and voted to gut the program.
Stan Squires

Vancouver, Canada

#18 May 16, 2011
I am from vancouver,canada and i wanted to say that Medicare in the USA shouldn't be privatized or done away with.This is a right that the american people fought for.All unions in the USA should fight against these reactionary measures.
Here in canada the gov. is trying the same thing.The working class in both countries will need to take to the streets so that these rights won by hard fought battles will remain.
Medicare Bull

Saint Paul, MN

#19 Apr 25, 2013
The hard working Americans should be able to keep their Health Insurance from their employer when they retire at the same cost (Not Cobra which is extremely high) and the employer should be able to deduct the cost they continue to pay for the employee from their company taxes. Medicare does nothing for people who have worked all their life. The limits appear to be astounding. No wonder there is so many articles about the up coming deaths of "Baby Boomers". Of course they are going to die because they won't get the quality medical care they deserve for doing it the right way!
Limit the welfare healthcare/Medical Assistance. Make Regions the Hospital they have to go to, as it was years ago when it was named Anker. No more choices for people who never work and pay their fair share!
Disgusted with the Greed

Saint Paul, MN

#20 May 1, 2013
Health Care Reform wrote:
Yesterday’s revelation that former Aetna CEO Ronald A. Williams was compensated $72 million in 2010, including $14.3 million in stocks, wasn’t good news for Americans who had to forgo coverage because insurance is simply too expensive or the insured population dealing with ever-growing premiums and it established another argument against the GOP budget. The details of Willliams’ compensation package are rather impressive. Williams received “$50.4 million in value realized through the exercise of options,”“$1.1 million in salary,$2.75 million in incentive pay, an additional $2.3 million in pension value and other compensation of $299,838.”
These numbers are even more stark within the context of the GOP’s Medicare reforms. Under the budget plan introduced last week, seniors would be forced to enroll in a private health insurance plan by 2022 and, as the CBO has found, would actually end up paying more for the coverage they are currently receiving through traditional Medicare. That’s partly because insurers have to set aside a greater chunk of money to cover their administrative expenses and profits — including compensation packages like Williams’.
For instance, a comparison of traditional Medicare and private insurers in Medicare Advantage demonstrates that while both operate under the same rules and enroll the same population, traditional Medicare spends less than 2 percent of expenditures on administrative costs, while private plans in Medicare Advantage spend approximately 11 percent on additional expenditures like profits. Republicans want the taxpayer to subsidize these increased expenses through fixed vouchers and place seniors in a situation where they have to spend more on coverage every year so that CEOs like Williams can have a comfortable retirement.
Williams should be ashamed of himself along with all the other big wigs in the healthcare insurance system who deny medications or other medical care. They are greedy low life's, who are no better than the common criminal.
We Need Term Limits

Saint Paul, MN

#21 May 8, 2013
Pelosi doesn't have to worry about Medicare because the Politicians in Washington get the best of healthcare for the rest of their life. It probably includes all their family members also. And we pay for it in our taxes. They pretend to care about the middle class and the poor but I don't see them helping them. Especially Seniors who worked and built this dam country.
Again, our nation needs term limits for these Politicians. No benefits when they leave. They should have to immediately go on regular Medicare at age 65 and purchase their own supplement healthcare the same as us. Lets see how they like being denied service, medications, etc.

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