Obama Goes There: Sources Report WH Proposal To Raise Medicare Eligibility Age

Sam Stein:

According to five separate sources with knowledge of negotiations -- including both Republicans and Democrats -- the president offered an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare, from 65 to 67, in exchange for Republican movement on increasing tax revenues.

The GOP won't do it, thank Gawd. But Obama is reallllly eager to please Pete Peterson isn't he?

< Obama On 'Entitlement' Programs | Raising Medicare Eligibility: Obama's Pink Slip Notice >
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    When you find yourself (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:20:56 PM EST
    thanking God for the GOP obstructing Obama can you really continue to advocate for Obama's re-election?

    NO you cannot (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:29:10 PM EST
    Yes (3.00 / 1) (#28)
    by denise k on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:05:27 PM EST
    I would prefer a better candidate, but considering what Republicans are doing in the States and on the Supreme Court, I will work for Obama.  As bad as he is, he is better than the full corporate, right-wing take over of the US of A.  That is the real alternative.

    IMO Obama is the (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by observed on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:19:44 PM EST
    Reason the GOP  is so strong now. 4 more years of Obama and Hitler could win

    As near as I can tell, both parties (5.00 / 5) (#65)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:45:11 PM EST
    are headed to the same place, and the only difference is which one will get there first; Obama seems determined to govern as an even better Republican than any Republican candidate out there, and at this stage, with a Supreme Court that is already working for the interests of corporate America and sanctioning the ability of the government to pretty much do what it wants without accountability or disclosure, I'm not at all convinced that a second-term Obama would, if he had the opportunity, nominate anyone who would match the liberal leanings of Ginsburg and Breyer.

    Try as I might, and with the understanding that we all have to do what we think is best, working for a party that clearly does not have the best interests of the people at heart just makes no sense to me.  At best, it gives Obama absolutely no incentive to move in a better direction, and at worst, it enables him to retain hold on the office that is allowing him to keep moving us to the right.


    Considering that the next President (none / 0) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:48:05 PM EST
    serving the next term is likely going to be picking Supreme Court justices I really don't know what the hell to argue for at the end of this upcoming election day.  

    I have given this so much thought (5.00 / 6) (#108)
    by sj on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:42:22 PM EST
    The Supreme Court is important, but they address law.  Which starts with Congress.  And Congress has a greater impact on my day to day life than the SCOTUS.  Plus they make the laws.

    And right now the WH is leading the Democrats in Congress around by the nose.  Not that it's a difficult job -- they're largely corporatists also.  After Obama -- either in 2012 or 2016 -- there will surely be a Republican President.  It is inevitable.  The country will be in such shambles no one is going to trust a Democrat in office.  

    So the "best" case scenario is 8 years of Bush, 4 years of Obama and then 4 years of a Republican and only then the possibility of a traditional Democrat.  The possibility of a traditional Democrat. 6 years from now.  16 years of plutocracy.  Reelecting Obama extends this to a minimum of 20 years.  

    Add to that dismal, demoralizing situation the fact that I don't have faith in any nominations Obama would make to the Supreme Court in his second term.  He'll pick someone that will go through the Senate with a minimum of effort on his part.  And that largely share his world view.  His world view is not in line with mine.

    I don't see an up side to a second Obama term.  The only possible up side I see to a Republican President is based solely on Hope and Change.  I hope that congressional Democrats change into an opposition party.  How pathetic is that?  No wonder I'm always tense and borderline depressed.  

    Whoever becomes President in 2012 does so without my help.  I'll vote downticket, but not the top.


    That's what I'm thinking (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 12:57:21 AM EST
    We'd be better off with a semi-sane GOP pres like Romney or Huntsman and a Dem. Congress than the really diseased situation we've got now.  (Obviously, if it's Bachmann, the calculus has to change, but I don't think it will be.)

    Romney or Huntsman (none / 0) (#111)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 05:58:59 AM EST
    will go for total union busting (maybe you may want to google Boeing and South Carolina and nlrb) in the intervening years. By the time their terms are over, the left will be even less organized than they are now. You will even have difficulty getting Democrats like me (every poll indicates that I fall among the 15% that is identified to be in the left most part of the political spectrum in America) to be on your side after what you did.
    BTW, I can never be on the side of anyone who thinks Romney is semi-sane.

    Here's my take, sj (none / 0) (#110)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 02:01:33 AM EST
    Throughout history mankind has been propelled by major movements. Within those movements the people might make some small changes one way or the other, but the movement is the dominant force, and will move inexorably to its logical  conclusion. Nothing but an equally powerful force can change the direction of "the movement."

    Post WW1, and prior to the outbreak of WW2, our movement was towards isolationism. It took the catastrophic attack on Pearl Harbor for us to change direction. In the decades of the 80's, 90's, and 2000's, the movement was: stock market, up, up, up; easy credit & indebtedness, up, up, up; and prudent regulation, down, down, down. It took the catastrophic,  inevitable collapse of 2008 to change our direction.

    So, to your dilemma: Post Reagan, Post Clinton's Impeachment, Post GWB, and now, Post the Imposter Obama, our country has built up the inertia for its most powerful "movement" yet: an inextricable, unyielding, and unstoppable drive towards Insanity & Armageddon.

    What to do, and how to vote? There really is nothing we can do, and it doesn't matter how you vote. "The Movement" is just too powerful, and the outcome will be same regardless. But, like I said, this movement will end when an equally powerful force meets it head-on. And that will happen, regardless of what any of us do now, when it inevitably self destructs in its predestined, cataclysmic ending.

    What will rise from the ashes to replace it? Its anybody's guess; either a total military dictatorship, instead of the Plutocracy-masquerading-as-a-Democracy we have today, or some Hero will emerge as The Leader who can organize the masses and provide the leadership to try again for some sort of Democratic Republic. Or something all together beyond our imagination today.

    The point is, we are pretty much helpless, and all we are debating is really just so much kabuki.

    So, stock up on some good booze (or whatever,) kick back, and enjoy "the movement." It should be quite a show.

    (p.s. The incoming Flameballs sure to follow are all you need to see how successful "the movement" has been in brainwashing us all)


    Hyberbole aside (none / 0) (#117)
    by Faust on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 10:38:16 AM EST
    I basically agree with this, at least as far as economic policy is concerened.

    Congressional Democrats (none / 0) (#112)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 06:06:28 AM EST
    changing into an opposition party? Ha Ha Ha. Remember Scalia was confirmed 98-0.

    yes (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by sj on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:57:45 AM EST
    Scalia was in 1986.  And subsequent appointments had much narrower margins.  

    But I have already said that:

    1.  The "Supreme Court" argument no longer sways me, and
    2.  I clearly recognize that my hope for that change (an opposition party) is pathetic.

    And it may be pathetic, but I can't laugh about it.

    Yeah... (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by DancingOpossum on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 09:25:33 AM EST
    Obama has really stood tall and strong against right-wing corporate takeover of the government, hasn't he? We live in a socialist workers' paradise now and it's so wonderful...here, have another shot of this tasty Kool-Aid.

    Continuing to enable abuse does not end abuse. Why "progressive" Dems fail to remember this simple rule is something I've given up on trying to understand.


    Indeed, of course: Enabling abuse (none / 0) (#119)
    by Towanda on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 11:16:58 AM EST
    not only does not stop abuse, it encourages more abuse.

    I cannot do so.  

    So, if I have to leave the top of the ballot blank, that may be the most moral thing to do in 2012.


    Whoever downrated this comment (none / 0) (#90)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:45:56 PM EST
    Do we really need to go there?  If someone is a democrat and they say they will still be voting for the democrat candidate do we really need to downrate that choice and that opinion?  This person has a valid, liberal reason to do so whether I like it or not and whether or not I make a different choice for myself when the time comes.

    Since when is a 3... (none / 0) (#95)
    by Romberry on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:51:44 PM EST
    ...considered downrating? I rated it that way. The way I look at it, a 3 is average. 4 is above average. 5 is outstanding. 2 means get a clue. And a 1 is just a troll.

    Why did I rate a 3? Because the Supreme Court excuse is worn out. And with the court already divided 5-4 for the conservatives, and Obama absolutely unwilling to nominate and fight for an actual liberal, I see the argument for the rest of his term as moot anyway.


    It isn't an excuse (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:56:04 PM EST
    It is a reality so I fail to see how it can get "worn out".  I don't know what sort of Justice I can trust Obama to choose in a second term.  He doesn't appear to be what any of us would consider a man of Democrat or Liberal principles.  Who would choose the next Supreme Court Justice is at this point frightening though, particularly for women and the right to choose.  This topic IMO needs a lot more exploring, a lot.  I don't see how the topic can be worn out.

    It's been the scare tactic... (4.60 / 5) (#100)
    by Romberry on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 07:00:36 PM EST
    ...used to keep Democrats in line for years. And I'm sick of scare tactics. That's why it's worn out. And as far as a woman's right to choose, Obama isn't exactly standing firmly on the side of pro-choice. He's ambivalent at best, and seems always be willing to compromise ever further on women's reproductive rights.

    As far as what kind of justices Obama would choose in a second term...yeah...I think I do know. He would choose justices he felt could get by a Republican senate without a fight. Obama doesn't do nominations that he has to fight for. At least not liberal ones.


    How is it a scare tactic (none / 0) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 07:03:24 PM EST
    if it is reality?

    We have a choice (5.00 / 7) (#107)
    by sj on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:42:13 PM EST
    between those who would restrict reproductive choice and those who will not defend it.  I'm not sure what the difference is.

    It is a subject (none / 0) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:31:14 AM EST
    I want more discussion on.  I sure don't want to stiffle discussion on it.  Too be very honest at this point though, I don't feel like I can a trust a word out of Obama's mouth about defending my reproductive choice.  I'm really up in the air about whether or not I can actually just trust him on this.  And if I can't trust him on this one thing, the final thing....the only thing I have left that would lead me to support him, and with the policies that he is attempting to implement and how horribly poor his leadership skills are, I am torn.  I am tired of trying to find reasons to support this person when in the end he just phucks me over every single time and doesn't even blink when doing it.  That is the only time he doesn't blink if I'm to believe he was ever on my side.

    That's reasonable and understandable (5.00 / 5) (#115)
    by sj on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:47:16 AM EST
    It is a subject (none / 0) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:31:14 AM EST
    I want more discussion on.  

    As to his defense of reproductive rights, I always remember this caveat:

    I trust women to make these decisions in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy.

    That gave me pause in 2007.  In 2011, my view is that he hasn't held fast on anything resembling Democratic platform positions.  I don't trust a word he says -- except when he says that he is willing to anger the Democratic base. Then, I believe him.  Because his actions bear that out.

    But that's me.  Everyone has their own threshold.


    By the way.... (5.00 / 4) (#98)
    by Romberry on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:56:40 PM EST
    In my world, Obama is a Democrat in much the same way as Joe Lieberman. I don't consider Obama to be a Democrat at all. I consider him to be an enemy of the principles that the Democratic Party I grew up believing in and supporting are supposed to hold and fight for.  If I wanted a Republican president, I'd vote for a Republican president. And since I don't want a Republican president, I'll not only vote for someone other than Obama but will in fact work against him in whatever way I can.

    As I have posted elsewhere (and here too): Even though he is no liberal, Barack Obama has succeeded in discrediting liberalism...even as he seeks to continue tearing down what is left of the New Deal.

    Obama must go. And Democrats must be the ones to take him down. The future of the Democratic Party and liberalism depends on it. Failure to remove this president from office is not an option. Disapproval must be such that he declines to even run. We must replace the head of the party with an actual Democrat. We must.


    Good Luck to Obama in 2012 (none / 0) (#104)
    by Captain Renault on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 07:54:08 PM EST
    As Miss Ayn Thrope, would say: Frankly I am not sure what side Obama is on.  Were I to meet him, I am not sure whether he deserve a reasonable kick in the ass. Or a bipartisan kick in the balls.

    And this "couragous leader" (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:23:51 PM EST
    is making sure that any cuts onot start until 2013.

    Oh, silly - that's because that's how (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:35:41 PM EST
    we address things that are in crisis...we make  tough decisions and then push the effective dates to after the next presidential election.

    And, in the meantime, there are a good 18 months left in this administration - one can only wonder what other goodies are in store...


    "If not now, when?" (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:42:34 PM EST
    "Um, 2013.  After I've left office."




    Imagine that :) (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:24:48 PM EST
    And Canada (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:24:01 PM EST
    The doomed welfare country of everyone gets that government run healthcare, created more jobs last month than we did.

    In real numbers? (none / 0) (#5)
    by masslib on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:26:27 PM EST

    I believe it (none / 0) (#10)
    by CST on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:32:15 PM EST
    it was something like 18,000 total.

    Shoot, the state of MA has beaten that a few times in a month.


    Doesn't Canada have 1% of our population (none / 0) (#103)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 07:25:08 PM EST
    They should have around 1% of our demand then too since our cultures and countries are nextdoor to each other and share much commonality, yet they manage to create more jobs in the midst of a global downturn than we do.  And they have a real social safety net too to boot.  They are literally beating the hell out of us if you want to compare the ability to live in the two countries right now.

    28,000 new jobs (none / 0) (#11)
    by BTAL on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:35:00 PM EST
    However, 21,000 were part time and only 7,000 were full time.



    Canada's unemployment rate is 7.4 (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:51:33 PM EST
    too :)

    I'll bet this figure isn't one of those (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:53:54 PM EST
    nasty Must Be Revised figures too that our country is always coming up with.  Our revised May jobs created number became -44,000 jobs created verses what they originally spewed out that was not negative at all :)

    I believe (none / 0) (#32)
    by CST on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:18:36 PM EST
    the adjustment from May, was -44,000 from what they had originally thought, but it was still a positive number overall (I believe they were originally saying 80,000).

    And despite what it may seem like, a lot of those monthly jobs numbers have been revised up after the fact too.  It's just usually not a headline around here when that happens.  Almost every month in 2010 was revised up, with the exception of June.

    These aren't good numbers, but I think it's important to deal with what they are not what we think they are.


    There are a lot of things (none / 0) (#102)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 07:09:13 PM EST
    that aren't talked about.  First of all where the economy has gone, Bonddad has been horribly wrong and is now for the most part a huge Obama apologist at best.  And that's fine, he can be that.  If you want to talk real figures though then talk about the real unemployment rate in the United States too verses the make believe version we are spoon fed for the sake of downplaying how bad things really are.

    apples to apples (none / 0) (#118)
    by CST on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 10:44:04 AM EST
    whether the base numbers are what we should be talking about or not doesn't affect how they go up or down month to month.

    Well, at this rate, my blood pressure (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:29:15 PM EST
    will kill me long before I reach whatever the magic age of eligibility turns out to be, so, problem solved!

    But, boy, the opposition campaign ads are writing themselves now, aren't they?

    I hope everyone is as awed by the brilliance as I am...


    Nothing like the president (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:42:49 PM EST
    making sure the 2010 Republican ads about the Dems wanting to take away your Medicare are true.

    Not to mention (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:50:57 PM EST
    the more relevant 2012 ads. Relevant, that is, if you care about Obama's re-election. I become more and more indifferent about that with each passing day.

    I truly believe that he doesn't (none / 0) (#37)
    by suzieg on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:36:08 PM EST
    want to be re-elected but wants to go on the speakers' tour for high fees. This will surely make his wish come true!

    What I'm wondering about is if the democrats in Congress are willing to go off the cliff with him like good little sheep


    I wonder if he quit (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:42:17 PM EST
    last year, what we used to call "Retirement In Place," after he cost the party the midterms.

    Now he wants to glad hand, give the occasional presser, and get photographed at exciting, interesting places.

    "Hmmmmm. When was the last time an American president visited Tonga, or Pago Pago?  Let's look for a three-week trip in late January."


    Anne you make me laugh....The Brillant One (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by samsguy18 on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:21:32 PM EST
    And our esteemed leader wants to get this off the table ASAP....he wants to focus on his re-election. I'm sure he thinks because he's so likeable if he has enough time he can sweet talk the public into forgetting his abominable record especially with the MSM helping him.

    If the Republican candidate (none / 0) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:50:22 PM EST
    pulls left in the race when they face off, I think he's doomed to fail and not get re-elected.

    I hear that green tea is good (none / 0) (#62)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:30:34 PM EST
    for high blood pressure. Thankfully, you won't need to go through your insurance company to get it...

    More giveaways to the private (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:40:27 PM EST
    insurance industry!  Surprise!  Not.

    I think you will appreciate this BTD... (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:42:36 PM EST
    "Republicans Say They've Already Agreed To A Concession In Debt Fight: Raising The Debt Limit."

    Maybe we will get a $500 billion - $1 trillion cuts package.

    Clearly Obama's not positioning himself as a defender of these social programs as is, he seems to buy the need for budget cutting, so I can see him accepting a "small," cuts only package.

    Ha! (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:51:41 PM EST

    You got to hand it to them, they know how to play the game.


    They make it look easy (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:24:03 PM EST
    and Obama is not helping.

    Meanwhile, Kent Conrad, he of the 50/50 spending/revenue proposal that was some of the most comical bullsh*t EVER, due to its source, says today:

    "In the Senate I believe there is support for the so-called 'big deal' among Democrats and Republicans because that's what it takes to change our fiscal condition and get us moving in the right direction," Conrad (D-N.D.) said on MSNBC.

    Not like this was unknown, but the pressure is clearly on the House Dems to accept big cuts for little revenue.


    As I said in the other thread (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:39:38 PM EST
    this strategy is even dumber that it seems. Obama is saying to the GOP 'I will let you do the damage you want to the economy (spending cuts) in exchange for the damage I want to do to the economy (more revenue)'.

    I agree with BTD that Obama gave away all of his bargaining power in December when he agree to extend the Bush tax cuts. And he got nothing in return for them. Imho the only decent bargaining chip he has left is tax cuts. I want to see him propose a nice big tax cut for all middle class and working class families, and no spending cuts at all. Force the GOP to come out and say that a tax cut for the middle class and working class is a bad idea because of the deficit, even though they supported such cuts just last year for the rich.


    The direction where citizens get less (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by masslib on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:44:02 PM EST
    social security and medical coverage?  I don't understand why the pols think we want to trade the programs we actually like for deficit reduction.

    he's making it harder and harder for me to vote (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by kempis on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:46:52 PM EST
    for him in 2012.

    Obama offered to kill more Americans (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by BDB on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:05:44 PM EST
    so that taxes can stay low on the rich.  He could've avoided cutting "entitlements" by letting the Bush tax cuts expire, but thinks killing grandma is the better course of action.

    The man is a horrible human being unworthy of support.  I don't care who his opposition is.  How can anyone support a person who does this kind of thing routinely?

    I should've added (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by BDB on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:08:37 PM EST
    that this essentially guarantees this will happen.  The GOP now knows they can get this.  They may not take it now, but they will take it - and get it - in the future.  This is the new starting position for any negotiation over Medicare.

    To me, it just makes it clear that the Ryan plan will eventually pass.  It's just a matter of time.  The Democrats aren't going to stop it, at most they'll just slow it down.  


    IMO Obama is accelerating, (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:52:32 PM EST
    not slowing, the move to the Ryan plan by his actions.

    In terms of potential "savings" (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:19:53 PM EST
    by increasing Medicare eligibility to 67, there is less than meets the eye.  For those with health care tied to jobs, there will likely be more workers staying longer involuntarily in the labor market, and further impacting the job market.  Moreover, the ability to delay retirement is dependent on having good health.

    For those who retire at 65 or earlier or do not have employer-provided health insurance, it may mean more federal expenditures for Medicaid, increased federal support for premiums and cost sharing subsidies under the Exchange.

    Of course, there will be reduced Medicare premium receipts for the missing two years. Surely premiums in the Exchange will rise and premiums for those covered by Medicare will rise from losing the relatively healthier and less expensive 65 and 66 year olds. Costs to the economy with include the costs to employers for providing insurance for workers until 67 and the increased out of pocket costs for all.

    Well,r (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:38:40 PM EST
    I'm going to re-read my AirLand Battlefield Logistics books.

    Trust me, the log train's importance can't be underestimated. I bet MT will back me up on this.

    Since I'll be unemployed and uneployable for the forseeable future, I might as well learn how to supply a brigade, since angry, hungry, homeless people might want to create a voice.

    Yeppers. Obama's first fix for anything except banks?  CUT!!!

    Fire this pathetic public employee.

    After W, I was told that anyone would be better.

    I was misinformed.  The damage Obama does daily ezceeds W Bush damage by an order of magnitude.

    So true. So many recently unemployed (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:48:43 PM EST
    friends who had good jobs until a couple years ago and are not yet eligible for Medicare--under the old rules.  

    keep your damn government hands (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:41:41 PM EST
    off my Medicare

    we are all Tea Partiers now

    Biblical (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:44:32 PM EST
    There is something Biblical here, Solomon and babies cut in two.  Who is the real mother of the baby?  Then  I keep thinking of multi-dimensional chess and I get all confused.  

    Is Obama Solomon, or one of the Mothers?

    Thinking more of Abraham. Quite willing (5.00 / 5) (#46)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:50:08 PM EST
    to sacrifice his young son, Isaac.  Until God walked it back.  But, who is God in this scenario?  The GOP?  

    Wishing it was Absalom, (none / 0) (#50)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:53:29 PM EST
    and his pretty hair could be caught in a tree...the other stuff not so much, but I wouldn't mind him taking a vacation from now till, oh, DEC 31.

    Does W have any extra brush that needs clearing?


    Or maybe Lot bargaining w/God. So-- (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:22:35 PM EST
    I couldn't come up with 10.  How about 15?

    Obama is as shrewd (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by observed on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:51:59 PM EST
    As Esau...well almost.

    I'm thinking (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:55:12 PM EST
    this sub-thread answers who went to VBS (Vacation Bible School) back in the day...

    Don't remind me. The Lord's Prayer (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:06:27 PM EST
    in macaroni letters.  Idea was to shellac a popsicle stick background.  Those letters were darn slippery.  

    I didn't have the pleasure (none / 0) (#83)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:29:48 PM EST
    but your description gave me the best laugh of the day -- or perhaps this season when there's so little to laugh about....;

    How about this hypothetical? Assume the (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:15:24 PM EST
    following facts are true:  Obama pushes Congress for $4.5 trillion in cuts w/minimal new tax revenue.  Then he pushes for raising the eligibility age for Medicare to 67.

    Then he is defeated in the next Pres. election.  

    In you expert opinion, will the Pres. claim he was powerless to avert his defeat?  

    likely answer to hypothetical question (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:29:22 PM EST
    Obama pushes Congress for $4.5 trillion in cuts w/minimal new tax revenue.  Then he pushes for raising the eligibility age for Medicare to 67. Then he is defeated in the next Pres. election. . . will the Pres. claim he was powerless to avert his defeat?

    he won't have to

    his pep squad will come here to tell you it was your fault


    I can hear them already. (none / 0) (#71)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:03:28 PM EST
    So true, we will have failed "Teh One," "Bodaciously Kewl Leader" because we don't accept his crap. But I'm a Boomer, so I'm part of the problem, nor the solution.

    Guess I"m too far away from "The Creative Class."

    I almost vomited typing that. I'd like to create a can of whupass for a certain president to ingest. It would give one a spine, huevos, a conscience, and a center. Oh, and a uterus.


    I'm no expert & have (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:35:06 PM EST
    no inside info, but I get the sense that Team Re-Elect Obama believes in its electoral infallibility.  They have not quite figured out that those pissed off Dems will not turn out, the students without jobs will not turn out, and his approval rating with the independents -- whom he needed in order to win in 2008 is below 50%.  &, if Repubs manage to nominate a decent candidate, and add a Latino to the ticket, there goes the election -- if not gone already.  Perhaps Prez has decent approval ratings with the Dems, but has Team Obama checked to see how many Dems left the party in 2007 - 2008?  and this year?  And those 60+ - do we really have the luxury of believing they have 'no where else to go'?  I think we are be witnessing the incredible shrinking movement.

    The only thing we have to fear (5.00 / 6) (#58)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:25:07 PM EST
    is Obama himself. Apologies to FDR, whose most enduring legacy is now in full destruction mode at the hands of a DINO president.

    Brilliant! (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by mjames on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:49:41 PM EST
    First, we have the insurance companies drooling at the prospect of a whole new pool of forced consumers - consumers who will not be able to make the co-pays, much less the premiums. And there will not be an Exchange of any real import. That's a joke. But we will be taxed if we don't sign up for some type of coverage. Now there's some revenue for you.

    Next, we'll have as many employers as possible dropping employee health insurance because it's too expensive - or converting employees to independent contractors or part-time workers with no benefits. And who can blame them? Those costs destroy profits.

    After that, we'll have employers getting rid of us oldsters as quickly as possible. And certainly never hiring anyone over the age of 50. Sure, age discrimination is wrong, but so what? You think the Supreme Court is going to do anything about it?

    This is all without considering the pre-retirement folk who are already ill and those willing to work who can't find a job.

    Medicare isn't that great right now. Part D is an abomination. I won't sign up. Part B is pretty terrible too and you need to have a supplemental plan or no doctor will touch you. I won't sign up for that either. Out of an average Social Security check of about $1,500, that's close to $300 and rising rapidly.  

    Obama is convinced of his brilliance, though. He will go down in history, in his mind, as the great one who made the peons eat peas, when in reality he will go down in history as the one who gave away all our hard-earned money to the banksta gangstas and the insurance scam artists.

    This is all kabuki. When they put those worthless IOUs into the lock box, they knew they'd never honor them. That's why Social Security and Medicare are being tied to the deficit. They had and have no intention of ever paying us back. Good thing Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. have all been such raging successes.

    I know I'm raging on. I'm ready to march on Washington right now and throw the bums out - every single last one of them. The Repubs are nauseating beyond belief. And Obama has the goods on all the Dems (see Weiner) to keep them in line. It's the Chicago way.

    most salient point of BTD's post (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:35:27 PM EST
    The GOP won't do it, thank Gawd.

    & if there is palpable relief here, on TL, it's folly to imagine that the same relief is not being felt in considerably more centrist & conservative venues

    stupid, Obama



    If (2.00 / 1) (#63)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:37:18 PM EST
    Your position is that the GOP will not agree to tax increases, and that everyone knows that the GOP will not agree to tax increases, what would be the purpose of signaling that you will raise the medicare age if tax increases are agreed to by the GOP?

    Hint: It is impossible to make a campaign ad (or refute another campaign ad) with a completely unsourced leak.  

    How would that ad work exactly? We the dems were on the line protecting medicare from Paul Ryan and others.

    GOP counter: No you weren't because unconfirmed leaks of an unconfirmed arrangement voted on by no one and formally proposed in public by no one say otherwise.

    Public: "wait, what?"

    When you have someone on record saying that Obama's position is to raise the retirement age, I will agree with the political analysis here.

    Till then, it's a bunch of leaks that help Obama while harming none of the dem caucus in the process.

    Your spin has become utterly ridiculous (5.00 / 5) (#64)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:44:18 PM EST
    It''s (2.00 / 1) (#70)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:02:39 PM EST
    not spin at all. It just sounds radical in a forum in which Obama is a republican whose primary goal is to assist rich people and kill the poor.

    The sad part about that last sentence is that it isn't an exaggeration. That's what people on this website have said today.

    I disagree with raising the medicare age as well, but I also think that the whole point of the press conferences and leaks and a bunch of the noise we are hearing from all side is to position the parties for the final show down.  

    It's as if we were watching the pre-match weigh in with  Mayweather v. Pacquiao and the fighters went through the trash talking and posturing that they always do before the real fight begins the next day and the sports fans in the audience somehow ignore the fact that the fighters are trying to drive interest in the fight and believe that the statements made are real.

    None of this stuff is real people.  Everything said publicly and leaked between now and the time that the deal is signed is designed by either side to achieve a larger goal. Because the Obama strategy for winning involves projecting the view that dems will agree to compromises that make their base unhappy, watching the game is a little harder for us but that doesn't mean that our ractions aren't strengthening reinforcing Obama's message.  With every Krugman post, Obama looks more and more pragmatic.  Themore he embraces his good buddy Boehner the angrier Ameriblog gets but the more credibility Obama builds.

    Because honestly, if no agreement is reached and this really does all blow up, the ramifications are going to be so bad that we will all by very happy that all fingers will point to the GOP as the cause.

    Now it could be that Obama really does raise the medicare age, but I'd bet a beer that that never happens. It just makes no sense


    You have no proof at all that he won't do it (5.00 / 7) (#73)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:08:59 PM EST
    All you have is your belief  -- and your relentlessly laughable SPIN -- that anything he does is brilliant.

    It wasn't just one person "leaking" to the papers. It was five people, both Dem and Repub. That reporting has more credibility than anything you have offered to counter it.


    really? really? (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:13:21 PM EST
    With every Krugman post, Obama looks more and more pragmatic.

    Krugman deserved his Nobel


    so your position is (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:21:12 PM EST
    that BTD and Jeralyn and commenters here and everybody else raising the alarm about a Democratic president's reported willingness to raise the Medicare eligibility age -- we're all just dupes and puppets?

    ABG is a 30-something Wall Streeter (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:24:12 PM EST
    He can take care of himself. No shared sacrifice necessary.

    Is he even that old? (none / 0) (#88)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:43:24 PM EST
    He called himself a 'kid on the street' during the Iraq run up.

    BTW, who cares what is said on Americablog? (none / 0) (#74)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:11:02 PM EST
    Certainly not me. But we can add that one to your long list of straw men talking points.

    ABG (none / 0) (#78)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:17:39 PM EST
    is a clown.

    If your tire was going flat, but you (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:59:04 PM EST
    couldn't find the leak, would that mean there was nothing wrong with your tire?


    The reason for offering to raise the Medicare eligibility age is that...he wants to raise the Medicare eligibility age.  

    Other likely possibilities:

    (1)  He just plain thinks it's a good idea to raise the age.  We're living longer, working longer, so what the heck - why not wait longer to get government-administered health insurance?

    (2)  He thinks it will save the government money because that will be two years when individuals will have to stay on private individual insurance, or essentially force people to keep working in order to hang on to their (marginally) less expensive group insurance.  Either way, that's a win for the insurance industry.

    (3)  He thinks that if people have been responsible and taken care of themselves, in addition to having saved and invested wisely, they should be healthy enough on all counts to be able to afford to postpone getting health coverage on the government's dime - in spite of having paid into the system for years and years.

    And trust me - none of this is helping Obama, not even with the independents and so-called moderate Republicans whose votes he wants in the worst possible way.  Maybe because he's going about it in the worst possible way.

    Man, you and christine should take this act on the road.


    Not to (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:11:46 PM EST
    a theatre near me, please.

    Raising the age is stupid in more ways than you mentioned. The older one is, the more chronic illnesses. Since the 65-67 demographic, who need on average much less care, no longer participate, costs won't drop much. Why?

    It's simple. End-of-life costs create the expense problem, not those pesky 65-67 year olds. Any figures that don't take  this fact into account? Their complete and utter foolishness.

    Don't even estimate what happens by delaying two years at 65, for instance, the likelihood of prostate cancer that MAY have been detected from a simple test.

    And don't tell me ABG, that suddenly companies will begin offering better insurance.

    And don't tell me, ABG, that Jesus will miracle up a superfantastic extra exchange plan.

    Propaganda begins to fall flat after the opposition forces enter your capitol. What was the Iraqui's name--Ali?  


    Again, I think (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:41:33 PM EST
    Team Obama is living in a 2008 post-election mirage where the Prez still has an enormous mandate back by the people's belief that he will use his power for the good of all. The mandate and the faith are gone, IMO, and only the President can earn them back.  

    perhaps your assessment (none / 0) (#89)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:43:50 PM EST
    is too generous

    perhaps Team Obama is strikingly incompetent


    Or Obama is tired of the job . . . . (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:50:06 PM EST
    He's not exactly known to be a workhorse . . .

    What do you call (none / 0) (#94)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:51:26 PM EST
    failing to change course when the state of things changes?

    when GWB did it (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:56:48 PM EST
    we called it "doubling down"

    If there was a report (none / 0) (#79)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:20:24 PM EST
    from unnamed sources, both Democrat and Republican, that Obama was planning to bomb Iran, I would flip my sh*t.  

    Same thing here.

    I don't know if you think political ads hew to some high standard of accuracy and detail in terms of sourcing, but let me tell you, they don't.


    Obama supports Ryancare for 65/66 year olds (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:28:36 PM EST
    Raising the minimum medicare age to 67 merely creates Ryancare for 65/66 year olds.  That's because, as we all know, Obamacare's just a slightly better version of Ryancare.  Kicking 65/66 year olds out of Medicare would merely push them into Obamacare and its exchanges ie Ryancare for 65 or 66 year olds.  So right now Obama is really fighting for Ryancare to replace Medicare for 65/66 year olds even though the American people have overwhemingly rejected Ryancare and Republicans are embarrased to be even seen connected to it.

    Is there any there there? (none / 0) (#9)
    by denise k on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:29:49 PM EST
    The Social Security age is already almost 67 for most of us who are not already getting it, starting with people born in the late 50s. (Note, these are the same people who Ryan wants to take Medicare from.)

    Oops! Nevermind (none / 0) (#13)
    by denise k on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:36:09 PM EST
    I just read the headline again and realized it it talking about Medicare!  It means like people like me are going to solve his budget problem by dying before we get on Medicare.  I am on the individual insurance market and cannot afford it now. In 15 years, insurance will be definitely out of reach.

    I'm screwed! (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by suzieg on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:47:40 PM EST
    The Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool has informed me that I will no longer be eligible as of August 1st because I'm turning 65 and will be eligible for Medicare, which I've applied for.

    If this goes through, I'll be without insurance coverage for at least 6 months. I'm a cancer survivor and the possibility of having no insurance for any amount of time is just too unbearable for me to think about!


    Don't think you have to (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:58:30 PM EST
    worry about not getting Medicare when you turn 65 in August. Our courageous leader will make sure that none of these cuts happen before 2013. IOW no one will feel the actual pain before the 2012 election.

    How long any of us are able to stay on Medicare or whether in will have any real value in a few years is another question all together.


    As I got a cortisone shot (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:03:23 PM EST
    in my finger today, I was thinking, probably just have to live with it "as is" in the future.

    BTW, how are you feeling today?


    Was waiting for next open thread (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:25:18 PM EST
    but what the heck.

    Went to primary doc today. Since the bite area has not gotten worse after starting on the antibiotics on Saturday, she is more inclined to think it is not from a brown recluse spider (hurray, if true). The current "action" plan is to continue taking the antibiotics, apply a stronger antibiotic ointment (new prescription) and see what happens. If it doesn't get worse before then, have it checked out again in a week.

    Feeling much better and definitely less stressed than when I was thinking about surgery to cut a large chunk out of my leg.

    Better make sure you get what ever treatment, including cortisone shots, between now and 2013. The sh1t (cuts) won't hit the fan until after the 2012 election.    


    Take care. Based on a friend's exper. (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:28:32 PM EST
    good you got ASAP medical attention.

    If the Pres. envisioned upping the (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:08:46 PM EST
    eligibility age for Medicare, wouldn't it have been more logical to do this as part of health care reform?

    Nah, (5.00 / 7) (#66)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:48:51 PM EST
    That might have made his health insurance legislation unpopular and resulted in big loses for the Dems in 2010. Oh wait.

    MO, if you can make (none / 0) (#77)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:15:42 PM EST
    a mustard plaster and place it over where you were bitten, it should draw, blood, serum, pus, and possibly any other nasty thing in there out.

    I'd advise doing so only if it looks worse, though.

    The other remedy I have sounds gross... spiderweb with urine. But looking at the chemical composition, gross isn't necessarily incorrect...

    Antibiotics trump these remedies, though.


    Thanks Jeff (none / 0) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:29:05 PM EST
    Looks like the antibiotics they put me on Saturday may be doing the trick since the effected area has not gotten worse. Was prescribed a prescription strength antibiotic ointment today from primary care doc. Hopefully that combination will make the whole thing go away without any other treatment.

    Are you on the beach? I am so green with envy. Circumstances have prevented me from taking "beach therapy" that soothes and balances me.  


    Cocoa Beach. (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:43:15 PM EST
    Can't afford it, in all honesty, but I have rice and beans for after my son goes home.

    He wants to leave tomorrow, instead of staying and spending more. I guess he'll never be a politician, he actually worries about things that aren't his to worry about.

    I can suggest this place to anyone. Inexpensive, pet and eco friendly, 20 yards from the beach, and we had some gnarly waves today. Breaking left to right, but low tide had some 5 footers. Tomorrow thoffshore wind is supposed to be coming straight in, maybe 6 footers... but we'll miss it. I can rec this inn to anyone who likes the beach, surfing, boogieboarding, swimming, travelling with pets/children/elderly... full fridge stove microwave coffeepot, some assorted pots and pans, plates, etc... doable. Bring a toaster, or buy one at the dollar General, though!


    Never stayed on the N. Atlantic side (none / 0) (#105)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 08:42:38 PM EST
    of Florida. Always visited cities along the gulf coast. Might email you one of these days soon for the name and rates of the inn where you are staying.

    No problem. (none / 0) (#106)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 09:33:31 PM EST
    The water's colder on the Atlantic side, but surfing is possible.

    Me? I like sitting on the beach with a beer, but I was helping my son learn, so... good day.


    U.S. plan to reduce health care costs (none / 0) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:39:14 PM EST
    Make it so expensive (premiums plus out of pocket exp.) only the rich can afford it.

    Raising the eligibility age for health insurance (none / 0) (#68)
    by hairspray on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:52:08 PM EST
    makes no sense at all.  No one can predict when a HC crisis will occur and medical coverage will be critical.  With a social security raise in age, at least it is predictable, not that I am in favor of that.  I would rather see these things means tested than raising the eligibility age.  If the rich don't want to pay more in taxes, raise the cap in social security to 1/2 million or more.  With Medicare, charge more on a sliding scale.  I met a woman who is well off and she told me about having Medicare and AARP gap coverage which covered almost everything in a costly procedure she had recently.  She could have easily paid $100,000 for it rather than the $2000 she paid.

    Means testing turns these programs (5.00 / 4) (#72)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:05:47 PM EST
    into welfare, and attaches stigma to participating in them; showing up at the doctor's with your Medicare card will be like standing in line at the grocery with your food stamps: everyone judges and finds you somehow wanting, leaching off the government on their hard-earned contributions.

    No, means-testing is, in my opinion, the wrong way to go on this.


    I think we need a ten year (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:53:12 PM EST
    sampling of "means testing" to be conducted in the WH and the halls of Congress. IOW any president or Congresscritter with income over the poverty level will not receive a tax payer funded pension or health insurance.

    I've heard that for years (none / 0) (#120)
    by hairspray on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 02:37:06 PM EST
    But the wealthy will not pay their share of taxes so they should be asked to pay their "fair share" of these program.  And if the wealthy want to use their Medicare card, they will be in the same line.  I did community health nursing and went to plenty of homes of wealthy recipients of Medicare. Since the need of average citizens is growing I think the stigma is vastly overrated.

    Medicare Eligbility (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:36:35 PM EST
    not SS eligibility.

    yup. got it. see next comment. (none / 0) (#16)
    by denise k on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:37:41 PM EST
    Any guesses as to what moving people (none / 0) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:37:08 PM EST
    65 and 66 into the private employer provided insurance market will do to everyone's premiums (young and old) especially when you consider the size of the population reaching 65 for the next 2 decades.

    Pew Research Center estimates 10,000 baby boomers a day are turning 65.

    Glad you asked. Stated very simply, the demographers, sociologists and the media define baby boomers as those born between (and including) 1946 and 1964. (There is no law or constitutional amendment so stating; and other boundaries have been suggested. But this is the time frame most commonly used.) In 2011, that would make us between 46 and 64 years old. There are about 75 million boomers in the U.S.; we currently represent about 29% of the U.S. population.

    yea (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by CST on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:40:29 PM EST
    this is beyond stupid.

    They are cutting out the youngest two years, which is people who pay the same and need the least amount of care.

    Lowering the eligibility to 55 would help "save" medicare a lot more, since it would include healthier people in the mix.

    but sure, let's make it older and sicker and see all our problems disappear.



    I'm on the private health insurance (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by suzieg on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:51:52 PM EST
    market - I was paying close to $2,000 monthly for my premiums in Houston and the main reason why we moved to Austin where I was able to lower them to $1,400. with the Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool.

    This is just another give away to the Insurance Industry. When will it ever end?


    Obama is a Republican .... (none / 0) (#31)
    by magster on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:15:42 PM EST
    ... in thought, word and deed.