Republican Budget Plan to Kill Medicare Gets Vote Next Week
[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.
Back to last night's budget deal: For those that think Planned Parenthood funding and Obama's health care bill survived, think again. In exchange for dropping thedemand for the ban on funding in the 2011 budget, last night's agreement promised Republicans a stand-alone, up or down vote on both:
A provision barring federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the women’s health provider that offers abortion services in some locations, was dropped in exchange for a commitment that the Senate would vote on defunding the organization.
Republicans dropped their bid to use the measure to cancel funding for the health-care overhaul enacted last year, and Democrats in turn agreed to hold a separate Senate vote on repealing the law, according to a summary of the deal released by Boehner’s office.
Hypocrite John Boehner, who is crowing about the cuts in the new agreement, and who claimed the standoff was all about spending cuts, not policy, managed to get a funding increase included for one of his pet projects. The agreement includes:
$2 million for a voucher program that is a personal cause of Boehner’s and provides low-income students in the District with federal money to attend private schools.
That money had been stripped when Republicans lost the House in 2009.
One budget cut in the agreement I doubt anyone will disagree with: the denial of "additional funding to hire more IRS agents."
Boehner's description of last night's agreement doesn't quite mesh with Obama's. Either we'll be back to counting down to a shut-down next Thursday night, or the Dems are whitewashing the compromises they made.
Boehner's version reads like the Dems opened the door to the candy store and ushered the Republicans in, promising all they could eat, purchased on credit. The tab coming due: standalone votes to repeal Obama's health care law, public funding for Planned Parenthood, and Ryan's bill to end Medicare.
Can things get any worse?
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