The politics of Medicare


Sadly the raw video is nowhere to be found and what you will see here is highly edited by ABC News.  But what you are seeing here is a frank backstage meeting between two powerful guys.  Watch this exchange.

The video here was exactly what was on ABCnews.com but when I sent the link for the ABC video is telling me the page is not available.  Odd. But what we see is the cagey old veteran telling the young guy he was brave for doing what he was doing but he hopes it goes the other way.   Ryan to his credit challenged the ex-President on what would happen next.  His comment about paralysis.  Frankly Ryan said all that could be said about Washington when one party does not control the process.  We the People have also seen over the last 10 years that one party rule from either party can led to some dumb legislation.  The Medicare drug bill being a great example of Republican shepherding.  And on the other side of the aisle the Democrats showed how well that can herd the sheep with the Affordable Care Act and the second stimulus package.  For clarity I will say that the Bush stimulus was direct payments to the taxpayers.  The plan was to give everybody a little extra money and hope it jump starts the economy.  We know now the folly of this thought process.  So here is Paul Ryan who looked at the budget of the United States and came up with a proposal.  The idea being that we create state grants for medical assistance.   Here is the Roadmaps plan as shown on the web page for the plan.

The plan ensures universal access to affordable health insurance by restructuring the tax code, allowing all Americans to secure affordable health plans that best suit their needs, and shifting the ownership of health coverage away from the government and employers to individuals.

  • Provides a refundable tax credit – $2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families – to purchase coverage in any State, and keep it with them if they move or change jobs.
  • Provides transparency in health care price and quality data, making this critical information readily available before someone needs health services.
  • Creates state-based health care exchanges, so individuals and families have a one-stop marketplace to purchase affordable health insurance without being discriminated against based on pre-existing conditions.
  • Equips states with tools like auto-enrollment programs and high-risk pools, so affordable health coverage can be accessed by all.
  • Addresses health care’s growing strain on small businesses, by allowing them to pool together nationally to offer coverage to their employees.
  • Encourages the adoption of health information technology and assists states in establishing solutions to medical malpractice litigation.

Ryan is putting the ball right in the states hands with this proposal.  This is the way it should be.  The Federal Government empowering the states not controlling.

Back to this encounter.  Clinton gets his point across very clearly with the NY 26th results.  I am glad we won this one.  But he then says an odd thing.  He says he hopes the Democrats don’t use it as an excuse for inaction.  Ryan concurs but states the obvious to Bill.  It will go nowhere now.  And the proof is in the rhetoric and advertisements.  Here is an excerpt from The Hill about this debate.

When asked Tuesday the difference between voucher and premium support, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said there isn’t any.

“Whether you want to call it a voucher or call it a premium-support program, it all comes down to the same thing,” the Budget Committee’s top Democrat said. “Seniors no longer have the option to be in the Medicare program they are today.”

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), in a statement blasting Ryan’s proposal, said the GOP budget would transform Medicare into a “voucher-like” program.

But Republicans say that Democrats are trying their best to demagogue the debate over entitlement reform before it even starts.

“They’re going to want to slap a bumper sticker on it that will scare people, but we’re trying to have the adult conversation,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told The Hill. “If they have a better plan or suggestion, offer it.”

Van Hollen says Democrats will offer up an alternative budget, but he provided few details on Tuesday.

Clinton knows what will happen and says that to Paul Ryan.  The two agree to talk about it more.  What could be said?  My guess is Clinton wants to try to impart his wisdom onto Ryan, i.e. Back off the plan.

Now with both sides digging trenches and the people being scared to death by horrific ads from The Agenda Project.

There you go folks fear mongering at it’s best.  More on the Agenda Project in a later post.  There is some powerful Progressive forces at work there so the name fits.  But this ad was most assuredly paid for or prompted by the Democrat party.

Let’s be realistic.  Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are all going to fail us.  It will either bankrupt the country or just die all at once in the not to distant future.  We need to revamp this system now.   I am one of those people under 55 that would be affected.  But I would rather privatize all medical than let the idiots in Washington run it.  Look how well they have done so far.  Stop the Madness.  Fix the Government.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The politics of Medicare

  1. Mary Alden

    Hi Mad Mike,

    Reading your post here about Ryan’s medical care proposal, but what kind of insurance can an individual buy for $2300 a year ?

    A good policy these days easily costs $500 a month, and often more. Also, if you are 57 years old with a few heart attacks, kidney trouble, or any serious chronic disease, no sane private insurance actuary will underwrite such an individual a policy for any price.

    You’re no dope, so I’m kinda surprised you overlook all the above.

    • madmike59

      Thanks for both the compliment and the criticism. Here is my reality. No bill ever gets through as propose. We know we can not continue on the current course. That being said as Clinton said Ryan stuck his neck out. That is more than ANY Democrat has done since they took control in 2006. Instead we have had no real federal budget since then and that includes since 08 when BHO became President. SO is Ryan’s budget proposal perfect? Nope but it is certainly a bigger step than anything the Democrats have given us. Which is a series of Continuing resolutions designed not to help us (you too) but to keep them in power. Ryan’s bill could be the same but at least it was actually a budget proposal. Thanks again for the comment. Oh BTW I am one of the people you describe. I have preexisting conditions. And darn close to that age group

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