the republican medicare disaster

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Free Thinker, May 27, 2011.

  1. GOP ignored Ryan plan red flags
    By: Glenn Thrush and Jake Sherman
    May 23, 2011 04:48 AM EDT

    It might be a political time bomb — that’s what GOP pollsters warned as House Republicans prepared for the April 15 vote on Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed budget, with its plan to dramatically remake Medicare.

    No matter how favorably pollsters with the Tarrance Group or other firms spun the bill in their pitch — casting it as the only path to saving the beloved health entitlement for seniors — the Ryan budget’s approval rating barely budged above the high 30s or its disapproval below 50 percent, according to a Republican operative familiar with the presentation.

    The poll numbers on the plan were so toxic — nearly as bad as those of President Barack Obama’s health reform bill at the nadir of its unpopularity — that staffers with the National Republican Congressional Committee warned leadership, “You might not want to go there” in a series of tense pre-vote meetings.

    But go there Republicans did, en masse and with rhetorical gusto — transforming the political landscape for 2012, giving Democrats a new shot at life and forcing the GOP to suddenly shift from offense to defense.

    It’s been more than a month since Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his lieutenant, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) boldly positioned their party as a beacon of fiscal responsibility — a move many have praised as principled, if risky. In the process, however, they raced through political red lights to pass Ryan’s controversial measure in a deceptively unified 235-193 vote, with only four GOP dissenters.

    The story of how it passed so quickly — with a minimum of public hand-wringing and a frenzy of backroom machinations — is a tale of colliding principles and power politics set against the backdrop of a fickle and anxious electorate.

    The outward unity projected by House Republicans masked weeks of fierce debate, even infighting, and doubt over a measure that stands virtually no chance of becoming law. In a series of heated closed-door exchanges, dissenters, led by Ryan’s main internal rival — House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) — argued for a less radical, more bipartisan approach, GOP staffers say.

    At a fundraiser shortly after the vote, a frustrated Camp groused, “We shouldn’t have done it” and that he was “overridden,” according to a person in attendance.

    A few days earlier, as most Republicans remained mute during a GOP conference meeting on the Ryan plan, Camp rose and drily asserted, “People in my district like Medicare,” one lawmaker, who is now having his own doubts about voting yes, told POLITICO.
  2. Yannis


    Morris Is Right

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  3. Everyone likes medicare. The question is how to pay for it. The current system will go broke. Apparently obama is not concerned about that, sicne he will be a bad memory by then, and the democrats think the ensuing crisis will let them raise tax rates to the sky.

    Gingrich is a moron but he was right when he said Ryan got too far in front of public opinion. You have to build a consensus for this type of change. That's why the democrats are always wailing about some sort of made-up crisis when they want to get something enacted.

    I don't know if the Ryan plan is the best approach, but it is a viable approach. Obama by contrast has offered zip. His plan is to demagogue this and every other issue endlessly, and count on his media cheerleaders to demonize republicans.

    Republicans need to call a summit and tell voters they want to preserve medicare but the current system is not financially viable. They should reassure everyone on it or within planning distance of being on it that they will be covered, which Ryan did but no one paid attention to that aspect. Then challenge the democrats to come up with something better.
  4. Ricter


    We are a low tax country with moderate spending. Were we a moderate tax country with moderate spending I guarantee we could pay for this. How do I know? Because other countries can and do.
  5. Is that today's official GOP sound bite?
  6. BSAM


    I believe we need a complete government takeover of healthcare in the USA. End the cartel once and for all. It's not about liberal or conservative, it's about the citizens of this country.
  7. Ricter


    That feels too extreme to me. I'd like to retain some form of competition, though I don't know what path there to take at the moment.

    A big part of our trouble is on the supply side. We seem to prefer fewer, higher priced (and better trained) healthcare providers over more, lower priced. It's a positive feedback loop, since better training is more expensive. But given the demographic bulge of the baby boom generation, I would think we could shift our priorities for a couple of decades, and then perhaps return to our preferred state.
  8. "Retaining" competition suggests that it presently exists in some form.
  9. BSAM


    Okay, well you can keep supporting the AMA, the overpaid hospitals, doctors, nurses, the megagiant pharmaceuticals, the evil insurance companies, all the politicians on the take from all these, etc. I'm not.

    I bet you could be trained to do 90% of what a doctor does in a typical day in 12 months.
  10. Ricter


    I can understand why the AMA controls supply, doctors have huge bills to pay after they begin practicing.

    You might be right about about the 90% of a doctor's typical day, and I think physician's assistants and nurses, for example, could be getting more responsibility and authority. Perhaps they are already, I don't know.
    #10     May 27, 2011