Obama's Inching Closer to His Pink Slip
The SuperCommittee Henchmen meet today. Raising medicare eligibility to age 67 is on the table for discussions. The Democrats have submitted a memo with various proposed changes and a discussion of each. Here's the memo. Raising the eligibility age appears on page 7.
President Obama proposed raising the Medicare eligibility age as part of the debt-ceiling agreement, but Democrats are hardly united behind the policy.
The Democrats note that it's not going to be a money saver -- it's just going to shift who pays the money. They give the same reasons I gave last month. [More...]
Raising the age of medicare eligibility won't save the Government money in the long run due to the huge numbers of 65 and 66 year olds who will shift to Medicaid. It will break the backs of small businesses providing health care to elderly workers. It will force middle class, elderly workers who don't have employer-paid health care to pay premiums of ten thousand dollars a year or more for the extra two more years, on top of hefty deductibles and out of pocket costs.
The memo writes:
Even assuming current law with respect to the ACA, some people over age 65 who are subject to the new policy may become uninsured if they no longer have access to employer sponsored insurance (ESI) and cannot afford coverage through the exchanges. Furthermore, this policy does nothing to control costs, it simply shifts substantial costs from Medicare to other parts of government and to private and public employers. More specifically, this policy would increase costs for employers as more near-elderly retain employer-sponsored insurance. It will increase Medicaid costs, as more low-income near-elderly would remain on Medicaid for longer and others who would become eligible for coverage through the exchange may be eligible for the new Medicaid expansion through the ACA. It would also increase government costs for subsidies in the exchanges, because some people who would otherwise receive Medicare will remain in the exchanges for longer. It would increase premiums in the exchanges – raising costs for other individuals and raising government spending for the tax credits – as the risk pool gets a little worse when the population shifts to be slightly older and more costly. Similarly, this policy may also slightly increase Medicare per capita costs as the population shifts to be slightly older.
The gang of henchmen is at our door and not only is Obama not trying to protect our medicare, he's on their side on this.
This is the last straw for me. If President Obama doesn't change course fast and mount an aggressive opposition to raising medicare eligibility, he's lost me. I will not vote for him. I will choose not to exercise my right to vote for a President. If millions of others join me in refusing to pull any lever in the race, rather than switch to the batty Republicans with even worse plans, so be it. The country will go to hell in a hand-basket faster than you can count 1-2-3, and they will be booted out in masse in 2016 when we get a real Democrat to run and win the Presidency.
In the meantime, we'll have to put up with imbecelic Republican proposals to get tougher on crime, to treat immigrants as criminals, and find new ways to curtail our civil liberties.
If there'a a low turnout for Democrats, and all their votes came from their beloved Tea Party section, they will win with the smallest number of votes ever. And when they fail miserably at governing this country, there will be tens of millions ready to boot them out so we can start over with a Democratic President with Democratic principles.
I was not an early supporter of Obama. I wrote post after post attacking his record. But once he became the nominee, I thought, as a good Democrat, I should do my part to help get him elected. Not this time. Obama will not get a dime from me.All he'll get is blogposts that make their way around Google and Facebook and end up with five times the traffic they would otherwise get. That's how movements are born.
Obama was inexperienced although intelligent. He's now had three years to get something done we can feel hopeful about. I don't think there'a a person in the country, no matter what economic bracket they are in, that feels hopeful. And the people I talk to feel as I do -- we got tooled.We didn't get the hope or change he promised us when he campaigned for the job. We got a conciliator, a bargainer, a President who was always willing to give up something his supporters wanted in the name of bi-partisanship and compromise.
Four years later, the problem isn't Obama's lack of experience that's causing his supporters to desert him in droves, it's his lack of judgment. President Obama makes poor policy choices. Either he's not creative enough or interested enough to come up with a solution those in his party want, or he's too weak or fearful of Republicans to take a stand and stick to it.
He promised to equalize the crack-powder cocaine ratios for sentencing. He settled for 18:1 from 100:1. Can't he ever put his foot down and stick to his guns? He's continued many of George Bush's invasive electronic monitoring and wiretapping programs. He's backtracked in his candidate promise that there would be no federal raids on medical marijuana. He's ramped up the war on drugs allowing the DEA to become a global police force working with the military in countries like Africa making busts where drugs were never intended to reach this country. He's done nothing to lean on Congress to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders -- even first time, non-violent offenders. He's failed to appoint judges in districts in dire need of more judges. As for U.S. Attorneys, he's managed to appoint a Republican in each of the four districts in Texas. The job is a political plum. surely there were qualified Democrats seeking to be appointed.
If the Republicans win and we end up with more right-wing judges, that too will be Obama's fault. All he had to do was uphold Democratic principles and values in his first term and he would have sailed on to this second term, retaining the ability to shape the Supreme Court for decades to come.
So, President Obama, since it seems all but written that you will be endorsing raising the age for Medicare to 67, I'm done. Except for going Facebook and starting a run at all the high school classes that graduated in 1967 and 1968, and encouraging them to abandon you as well. You have thrown us under the bus once too often, and we've gotten nothing good to balance it out at the other end.
Like they tell drug addicts, you have to sink to rock bottom before you can get whole again. We're going to have to sink into the bowels of the earth and wait out a Republican Administration before we can turn it around.
So here's your pink slip. It will be issued formally the day you endorse the plan to raise the eligibility age for Medicare. Think long and hard, that's a bell you can't unring. You will have destroyed whatever is left of the trust we had for you.
You and your partner Joe Biden need to go ride off into the sunset. You've brought us as much hope and change as we would have gotten from your father's Oldsmobile.
Please,President Obama, if you want a second term, switch parties and run as the Republican you've become, and let us Democrats run a true Democrat against you. Better yet, bow out of a second term and go back to teaching and the state legislature. With the record and non-record you've managed to accumulate in 3 years, we've changed our mind about you. You're not for us.
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