These are my links for May 25th from 18:08 to 18:28:
- OBAMA’S MEDICARE HYPOCRISY – Piously posturing as the savior of Medicare, President Obama lashed out at the House Republicans for embracing the budget proposed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). But a comparison of the president’s own plans for Medicare with those in the Ryan budget shows that the Democratic cuts are far more immediate and drastic than anything in the GOP proposal.
While the Republican Medicare changes only take effect in 2021, Obama’s cuts will begin hurting seniors right away. The president’s healthcare legislation imposed a hard spending cap on Medicare ?– the first time it has ever had one — which he has just proposed lowering by another one-half of 1 percent of GDP (a further cut of about $70 billion a year).
Obama’s cuts, which will take effect immediately, are to be administered by his newly created Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) of 15 members appointed by the president. Its recommendations for cuts in Medicare services or for reductions in reimbursement will not be subject to congressional approval but will take effect by administrative fiat. Right now.
The IPAB will be, essentially, the rationing board that will decide who gets what care. Its decisions will be guided by a particularly vicious concept of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QUALYS). If you have enough QUALYS ahead of you, you’ll be approved for a hip replacement or a heart transplant. If not, you’re out of luck. Perforce, many of these cuts will fall on those at the end of their lives, reducing their options to accommodate Obama’s mandate to cut costs. If death comes sooner, well, that’s the price of aging in Obama’s America.
Ryan’s approach is totally different.
Read it all
- NEWT’S RIGHTabout Ryan’s Medicare Cuts – In the 1980s, the pre-Blair leftist Labor Party issued its campaign manifesto to oppose Thatcher’s Conservatives in the coming national election. Its loony, leftist proposals were so extreme that the Tory media promptly dubbed it “the longest suicide note in history.”
The Republican proposal to shift Medicare from the current system to a voucher-based program of private insurance – in TEN years – falls into the same category. Don’t blame Newt Gingrich for saying so. In fact, we have to hope that Romney, Bachmann, Daniels and the other candidates join him in distancing himself from the plan if we have a hope of electing any of them president!
Worse, the Ryan budget continues the $500 billion in Medicare cuts which formed the basis of the Republican critique of Pelosi and Obama in the 2010 election. It keeps the money in the Medicare system rather than spending it on other entitlements as Obama did, but that is scant compensation for someone seeking care now to stay alive!
(When I first endorsed Ryan’s plan in a column and video, I was under the impression – as he had told me – that he would eliminate the $500 billion cut. I must have misunderstood him because his plan keeps that very cut on which we based our entire 2012 campaign. When I found that out, I switched to opposing his plan).
- Paul Ryan: 2012’s Goldwater? – I used to worry that Sarah Palin would be the Barry Goldwater of 2012. My bad. Paul Ryan is the Barry Goldwater of 2012.
The Goldwater effect continues on this morning after the NY-26 debacle. Henry Olsen of AEI, as smart a political numbers guy as can be found on the political right, crunches the numbers to compare the performance of the 2011 special election candidates with the district-wide performance of all other GOP and Democratic candidates in 2010. He finds:
Republican congressional candidate Jane Corwin is running 18 points behind the worst-performing Republican of 2010
Democrat Kathy Hochul is running even with Barack Obama’s performance in the district in 2008 – the best Democratic showing in NY-26 in three decades.
The Republicans suffered their worst losses in the least-educated portions of the District, where former GOP voters seem to have deserted the party for an independent candidate, Jack Davis.
What should make this race all the more alarming for Republicans is that NY-26 turned into a referendum on the Ryan plan for Medicare. As Henry Olsen says:
blue-collar voters react differently to issues than the GOP base does. They are more supportive of safety-net programs at the same time as they are strongly opposed to large government programs in general. These voters crave stability and are uncertain of their ability to compete in a globalized economy that values higher education more each year. They are also susceptible to the age-old Democratic argument that the secret Republican agenda is to eviscerate middle-class entitlements to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.
The Ryan budget is uniquely vulnerable to that attack because it fuses very tough Medicare reforms with big tax cuts in the same document.
Read it all.
Frum is right in part and the GOP should not in lockstep endorse the entirety of the Paul Ryan Budget Plan.
- Bill Clinton to Paul Ryan on Medicare Election: ‘Give me a Call’ – The day after the stunning upset in the special congressional election in upstate New York, Rep. Paul Ryan is a man under fire.
But ABC News was behind the scenes with the Wisconsin Congressman and GOP Budget Committee Chairman when he got some words of encouragement none other than former President Bill Clinton.
"So anyway, I told them before you got here, I said I’m glad we won this race in New York," Clinton told Ryan, when the two met backstage at a forum on the national debt held by the Pete Peterson Foundation. But he added, “I hope Democrats don't use this as an excuse to do nothing.”
Ryan told Clinton he fears that now nothing will get done in Washington.
“My guess is it’s going to sink into paralysis is what’s going to happen. And you know the math. It’s just, I mean, we knew we were putting ourselves out there. You gotta start this. You gotta get out there. You gotta get this thing moving,” Ryan said.
Clinton told Ryan that if he ever wanted to talk about it, he should “give me a call.” Ryan said he would.
Better start the discussion because the numbers will become real soon enough.
- Five GOP senators jump ship in Ryan budget vote – Five Republican senators jumped ship and voted against House Republicans' 2012 budget on Wednesday.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined four other Republican senators who'd previously announced their opposition to the budget, which has sustained withering criticism by Democrats who say it would end Medicare as Americans currently know it.
Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) voted against it as they'd previously said they would, largely because of the reforms contained within the budget to Medicare, transforming it into a voucher-based system for Americans under the age of 55.
Also as expected, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted against the plan because he views it as not going far enough.
The budget, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), had been the subject of scrutiny from Democrats, who credited its Medicare provision for a victory on Tuesday night in a special election to an upstate New York congressional district.
The underlying bill failed in a 40-57 vote, with 60 votes being needed to bring up the Ryan budget for debate. Two Republican senators did not vote.