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Obama’s Medicare hypocrisy

Original post made by Hank Lawrence on Apr 20, 2011

Dick Morris wrote a great article on how Obama is throwing seniors under the Medicare Bus. Please refer to this article on The Hill.com

Web Link

If you are a senior, voting for Obama in 1012 could be dangerous to your health.

Comments (123)

Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm

There was a typo. It should have read 2012 and not 1012.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Hank:

Do you support the GOP/Ryan plan of privatizing Medicare with coupons for our seniors?

You've been asked before in another thread, but repeatedly dodged the question.

Do you support the GOP/Ryan plan of privatizing Medicare with coupons for our seniors?

80% of Americans do not. Web Link

"The Republican budget plan, drafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) and approved by the House last week, calls for a major restructuring of Medicare and Medicaid, with sizable savings in future costs. Obama, in his plan, opposes the GOP's restructuring, but he has said that future savings will be needed to keep Medicare solvent.

The Post-ABC poll finds that 78 percent oppose cutting spending on Medicare as a way to chip away at the debt. On Medicaid — the government insurance program for the poor — 69 percent disapprove of cuts."

Hank: Do you support the GOP/Ryan plan of privatizing Medicare with coupons for our seniors?


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

yo, Hank:

You've been on other threads since this fella asked you a pretty straightforward question. Can't imagine you skipped viewing your own thread in that time.

Are you going to answer the man's question?

You're the "host" here on your thread, seems the polite thing to do, giving a direct answer to a direct question.

They covered this one on Fox, didn't they?

Oh, sorry, my bad...


Posted by David Catron, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:26 am

[Post removed; column lifted from another website.]


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:05 am

Wow. Scary, scary death panels are back. Next time, use a link to catron's claptrap.

Do you have a personal opinion? Support Medicare? Support changing medicare by privatising it with coupons like the GOP voted and passed this week?

Let's ask you and Hank the same question: Do you support the Ryan plan that the GOP passed in the house?

Voted on and passed by every GOP house member (except 4)

The GOP Ryan plan that gives huge tax breaks to millionaires, privatizes medicare and does not balance the budget for a couple decades.

Do you support the GOP plan that seeks to privatize Medicare and gives huge tax breaks to the ultra wealthy?

Hank? I see you've been on several threads since I last posted.

What up, brother?

Do you support the GOP plan that seeks to privatize Medicare and gives huge tax breaks to the ultra wealthy?

It's your thread on Medicare. Share with us, bro...


Posted by Woody Wilcox, a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:23 am

[Post removed; same poster using different names on a single thread.]


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Woody: thanks for the anecdotal data on Medicare

The GOP promised repeal and replace. In lieu of replace, they passed the bill referenced above that calls for ending Medicare as we know it by privatizing it with coupons as a payback to private insurance companies.

Woody:

Do you support the republican passed house bill that seeks to privatize Medicare and gives huge tax breaks to the ultra wealthy?

Hank: the question is still open for you, also, here in YOUR thread.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2011 at 9:57 am

Hank:

We're getting worried about you.

You haven't even checked your own thread. Are you okay? Maybe you're just busy this weekend.

I took another look at the GOP/Ryan bill the republicans in the house passed.

Adds six trillion to the debt and will require a debt extension, yet they are threatening to ruin America's economic status by not extending the debt ceiling.

I'm confused about that massive hypocrisy and game playing brinksmanship with the America economy.

Are they for or against their own plan?

Hank: are you for or against the GOP Ryan bill that adds 6 trillion in debt while privatizing Medicare, giving more corporate welfare subsidies to big oil, and cutting taxes for millionaires?

Your buddies Wilcox and Catron won't answer the question either.

[Editor's note: Portion removed. Ask the question and point out that the poster failed to answer if you like, but please don't hound the poster by repeating the same question and point.]


Posted by Concerned resident, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 24, 2011 at 9:54 am

During the past several days, I have heard that 20-29 major companies, including SEIU had requested exemption from Obamacare. Today on the radio, a caller stated that his company was only renewing their insurance program for two years because they didn't know if they could afford the proposed Obamacare. If these companies cancel their programs, then their employees will probably automatically be enrolled into the Obamacare programs and this program will essentially become the single payer program Obama wanted — without even having to make any concessions.

It has been announced by Rory Reid (Senator Reid's son) that Obamacare will definitely raise the cost of health insurance for everyone. (What a surprise!)

For all of the small businesses, as well as all of the other businesses, they will be required to keep track of all expenditures and for every $600 spent, they must fill out a 1099 form. Do you realize how cumbersome and expensive this is going to be on all businesses, especially the little guy.

Some of the cities and states are going crazy with regulations — San Francisco has banned all soda drinks from public vending machines. It also wants to require all fast food companies who offer a toy with their meals to only offer fruit or a vegetable in place of french fries. They want french fries to be hard to find on the menu.

Another state is attempting to make it an offense to smoke in your own back yard or at the beach.

Due to the EPA, and with Barbara Boxer's help, supposedly protecting a species that lives near the river and the EPA felt might become extinct, has turned off the water to Northern California, effectively destroying the livelihood of farmers and their families in the area (land is now a dust bowl) and we have had to get the produce from other areas and at a higher price.

Public Domain — this is a very scary proposition. Cities and States and using this regulation to take homes from people who have paid for many years and could now enjoy their home, but because it was on the beach or was now considered a "select" location, the City felt that it should be taken under the Public Domain rule and then sold the property to large corporations to either set up Malls or expensive Hotels. Another example is a businessman owned his building and the city wanted it because it could generate more revenue as a parking structure, so they condemned the property and gave the owner a fraction of what the building was worth and also destroyed his livelihood at the same time.

Every time we turn around, it seems that government is trying to affect every aspect of our lives — from what we make, what we eat, and how we live. It must stop — everyone needs to become more aware of how these regulations will not only impact your life, but the lives of future generations. Don't let the government take your health benefits and/or wealth and give it to someone who didn't work for it, or lend money to some country to drill for oil and not give the United States and its people the same opportunity.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2011 at 11:05 am

Wow. Trashing the Affordable Care Act (Romney wouldn't agree with you) to public domain to smoking to soda. Feel better, now?

Concerned resident: how about something real?

your: "Don't let the government take your health benefits"

Concerned resident: are you for or against the GOP Ryan bill that adds 6 trillion in debt while privatizing Medicare and cutting taxes for millionaires?

It's real - they passed it with ALL but 4 republican votes in the House. They want to take away your health care benefits by giving you a coupon to go shopping with.

Do you support the GOP bill?


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm

norte:

Seems all the posters who used to trash ObamaCare appear quite afraid of answering your fact based question.

Much more fun to rant about talking points over answering a reality based question.

Thanks for scaring them off!

AEN


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Some progressives finally fight back against the GOP-passed Ryan "plan for prosperity":

"If Republicans have their way, there would be no more guaranteed Medicare benefits for America's seniors, only a guarantee of paying more and more out of pocket for less care after being left to the mercy to the private insurance industry. There would only be a guarantee that millions of Americans would lose their jobs - only a guarantee that America's poor and disabled will live sicker and die younger while millionaires get another tax break they don't need and the nation cannot afford. This is not a path to prosperity, only a path to bankrupting seniors so Paris Hilton and BP can have another tax break. And there's nothing courageous about that."

Web Link

Privatize Medicare while giving tax cuts to Paris Hilton and BP.

Geez, did the GOP overreach, or what?


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Alfred:

"Geez, did the GOP overreach, or what?"

Yes. Potentially, the GOP/Ryan budget is the game changer of 2012.

Overstatement? Dunno, but if this forum is any indication, there hasn't been a conservative come back and answer the GOP/Ryan question I've asked in this and other threads:

"Concerned resident: are you for or against the GOP Ryan bill that adds 6 trillion in debt while privatizing Medicare and cutting taxes for millionaires?"

Note that CR, Walter, Sharon, Woody and all the other conservatives WON'T TOUCH IT. If they answer it the way they feel, it will show just how far out of the mainstream they are. The exception is that they may also be offended by the GOP/Ryan bill (assuming they are already on Medicare.)

Even Hank won't touch it, and it's his thread. That shows what a game-changing event the GOP/Ryan budget may turn out to be. This group (Hank, Walter, Sharon, etc..) are not easily silenced.

It was a preposterous plan that the GOP voted on; it will be a lesson taught to freshman for years to come. Harry Reid should force a vote in the Senate on it, asap, upon his return. The GOP will do anything to block the vote, scream that a vote on their budget is just Harry playing politics, etc...

Maybe let the blue dogs vote with the GOP and pass it in the senate, letting BHO veto it. How's that for a 2012 commercial: "My name is Barack Obama and I approve of this message: As your President, I vetoed the GOP budget that privatized Medicare just to give Paris Hilton a tax break. Mitt would have signed that death panel on Medicare. Who do you want protecting Medicare, Social security and you?"

Florida would no longer be a swing state.

Good fun, eh?

GOP/Ryan could be the goose that laid the golden egg for the left in 2012.

There's only one group dumb enough to ruin such a good thing for the left:

The Democratic Party.


Posted by ??? , a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Apr 26, 2011 at 7:31 am

{Post removed. This looks like a USA Today story by Susan Page. But the same poster who started this thread posted as "Susan Page, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood."

If you see a story that you think is relevant to the discussion, post under your own name, cite a few sentences, attribute them to the source, and link to the source if you wish. ]


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:00 am

Hank:

Did your removed post link to this: Web Link "GOP's gamble on the budget pays off, so far"

Hadn't seen that one. Polling on the "plan names" with those results doesn't surprise, that is "plan names" vs "plan content". Note in the article: "The poll also shows the perils ahead for the GOP in moving from general principles to specific actions. Two-thirds of Americans worry the Republican plan for reducing the budget deficit would cut Medicare and Social Security too much."

Too much? Think tea baggers want Medicare cut AT ALL?!?

As I noted above, the way the Dems sell it isn't as "that evil Ryan plan" but as:

"the GOP/Ryan budget that privatizes Medicare and cuts foodstamps just to give Paris Hilton another tax break."

But Hank, glad you're back on your feet and posting in your thread again. You owe us one little thing:

Hank: are you for or against the GOP Ryan bill that adds 6 trillion in debt while privatizing Medicare and cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires?


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Al:

Your wish comes true:

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced on Wednesday that he would host a vote on Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget..."

Lucky Senate Republicans! They get to vote on the GOP/Ryan budget that gives tax breaks to millionaires/billionaires while dismantling Medicare!

Hank? Which way do you fell the Senate should vote? Pass the plan to dismantle Medicare and give tax breaks, or do what mainstream Americans want, and vote no?

The birth certificate thing is settled, so you can spend time on this question now....

Conservatives? I hear crickets!


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Be careful what you wish for...

Web Link


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Pogo:

Per your suggestion: I very "carefully wish for" folks to pay attention; those that do poll quite differently than those that do not. To my point...

Thanks for the link to the much highlighted article by Susan. It's top line numbers are much like a Gallup poll espoused by the weekly standard Web Link . From Susan's article, I'd like to point out two sets of numbers that perfectly sum up the trouble facing the GOP/Ryan budget passed by the House.

First set: Obama vs GOP (the top line numbers, no detail on what's inthe budget)

- "Americans are evenly divided between the deficit plan proposed by President Obama and the one drafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan..."

Second set: Take away the "Obama vs GOP" story, and ask substantial questions about what's actually IN the budget plans:

- "The poll also shows the perils ahead for the GOP in moving from general principles to specific actions. Two-thirds of Americans worry the Republican plan for reducing the budget deficit would cut Medicare and Social Security too much."

Same poll. Same article. Vastly different take-aways.

So Pogo, thanks again. I find you more thoughtful than the "all guvmint is bad", out of the mainstream, folks that seem overrepresented on this forum. A favor, perhaps: Hank Lawrence seems to be studiously ignoring his thread here, ever since he was asked a direct question by Al Norte. If you dialog on another thread with him, please point him back here to his thread. I, for one, am most curious about how he can be so interested in Dick (toe) Morris's opinion piece and ignore the Medicare reality of the Ryan/GOP bill.

In the meantime:

Pogo: are you for or against the GOP/Ryan passed house budget that adds 6 trillion in debt while privatizing Medicare and cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires?



Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm

"Are you for or against the GOP/Ryan passed house budget that adds 6 trillion in debt while privatizing Medicare and cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires?" That's a loaded question, especially the way you worded it.

I've said it before - I'm for ALL of the recommendations made by Obama's bipartisan Fiscal Commission. The Commission recommended lowering the tax rates - actually a bit lower than Ryan's plan. But they also proposed eliminating ALL deductions and applying the new lower rates to every taxpayer and to every company. That way there are no subsidies for oil companies... or homeowners. Everyone pays a fair share. They also propose some relatively modest entitlement program reforms. I endorse them all because EVERYONE shares the pain.

Unfortunately, everyone, including Mr. Obama and our Congress, has ignored them.

We have become a society where it has to be all one way or the other. My default reply is usually, "can't we do BOTH?" It isn't about raising taxes versus government cuts. Can we do BOTH? And you don't have to raise taxes to raise revenues. You can just eliminate deductions that seem to bother everyone.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Pogo:

Thanks for the prompt reply. You stand above the hypocrites that scream about saving Medicare, cutting government, etc.. but refuse to comment on an actual House passed budget bill.

re: loaded question - it is loaded "factually" (with the facts according to Ryan and the CBO.) But yes, of course, it's loaded. See the example set forth above by the USA Today poll: "name" plans vs descriptive plans and the difference in comprehension by those polled.

So, unloaded: would you vote for or against the House Ryan/GOP budget bill?

The deficit commission was a fantasy world, much like the CPC budget that balances the budget faster, highlighted in the Economist thread.

Removing the mortgage deduction is a non-starter to most of us in the homeowner class, much the way revamping the corporate tax code to require profitable corporations to pay SOME tax, is a nonstarter, as well. Imagine GE paying SOMETHING on their $15B in profits, instead of a credit.

Both adjustments have the Grover Norquist/Americans for Tax Reform crowd screaming "tax increases!!!!" so it will get few, if any GOP votes. Kudos to, of all people, Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) for standing up to Grover, at least on the ethanol subsidies.

Agreed, generally, we need to do both. A number of big name righties are saying so, including Reagan's budget director David Stockman, and Alan Greenspan, who has recently reversed course on the Bush tax cuts.

But this thread is about Medicare. Interested if you are a ya or nay on the House bill.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I thought I was clear. I'm no on the House bill, but it's certainly far braver than Obama's plan. I would invite you to read Gerson's commentary in today's Washington Post which echoes my sentiments.

But you said, "Removing the mortgage deduction is a non-starter to most of us in the homeowner class..." And so it goes - everyone is for reform EXCEPT when it impacts YOU. And here I thought we wanted EVERYONE to share the load.

So it's okay when we talk about removing subsidies for big bad oil companies and greedy farmers. Don't you realize that the mortgage interest deduction is a subsidy too? The difference here is that it's YOURS. Why should people who buy homes get a break? Renters don't. Isn't that unfair? Why don't we subsidize Rolex watches or Mohawk carpets or suntan salons?

So let's go back to the Fiscal Commission proposal. Do the math - you probably come out better with a lower tax rate and doing away with all of those messy deductions. And remember to add in the cost of your accountant who you need to calculate it all.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Here's a link to the Gerson opinion piece: Web Link

It's pretty blunt.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Pogo:

1. Obama's plan adds 7 trillion, the GOP budget adds 6 trillion (once you take away the dis-proven Heritage sourced fantasies about tax cuts generating revenue.) They're a lot closer to each other than they are to the catfood commission or the CPC. The CPC balances the budget FAR faster than Obama or Ryan.

2. Now it's my turn to say I wasn't clear. I don't mind taking away the mortgage subsidy under similar circumstances that you outlined (corporate tax breaks, etc..)

I'd add the loopholes for commercial real estate at the state level to my druthers, as well (prop 13 commercial loopholes.)

I just stated it's a nonstarter, a POLITICAL nonstarter.

Much like privatizing Medicare is a nonstarter that will kill the GOP.

Unless the Dems cave and compromise, thus saving their opponent from certain losses...

Again.




Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Hank:

Back to Medicare. The Ryan/GOP house bill that privatizes Medicare is facing the number crunchers at this point, and it's looking ugly.

I'm sure this has you concerned.

" A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research ... shows that the Ryan proposal will increase health care costs for seniors by more than seven dollars for every dollar it saves the government, a point missing from much of the debate over the plan.

"The Ryan plan does nothing to control private-sector waste in health care costs," said David Rosnick, an author of the report. "As a result of the waste in the private system, beneficiaries will end up paying substantially more for Medicare, in effect paying a hefty new tax on their health care.""



Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Hank:

Let's bring this one back up to the top for you.

Looks like the GOP got spanked pretty good in their town halls the last couple weeks, over Medicare and the tax cuts for billionaires.

Now it looks like they are retreating on Medicare.

What do you think about that?

"House Republicans signaled on Thursday that they were backing away for now from the centerpiece of their budget plan — a proposal to overhaul Medicare..."

So brave.

Any word on how Dick Morris is going to take this? Work on some toes, maybe?


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Alfred:

in case you hadn't noticed, that horse is dead.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Menlo:

Agreed. It's just amusing to see how long it took the GOP to figure that out.

There will be a legacy though, starting next year, for each republican that voted for it.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm

"There will be a legacy though, starting next year, for each republican that voted for it."

Dream on.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on May 5, 2011 at 11:20 pm

This may be a dead issue on this forum, but I can assure you that cutting spending and entitlement reform will regain the public's ire as soon as Congress engages on raising the debt ceiling.

I love how politicians - on both sides - say that we have to reform entitlements - but we cannot possibly touch Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security! I would respectfully ask them exactly what entitlements do they plan to reform?

The current level of benefits and funding is just unsustainable. I would hope people would realize that we'd better change course before we crash into the wall.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 6, 2011 at 10:22 am

MV: "Dream on."

No. I feel it's reality. The House Minority Speaker thinks so also. You probably detest her, though I imagine part of that dislike is because she is clearly one of the most effective politicians of our time (again, effective, not being on your "side")

back to the GOP vote to end Medicare as we know it, and the GOP somersaults this week to try backing away from their absurd decision to privatize Medicarer - the leader's office sent them a reminder that she won't forget: Web Link

"To: Congressional Republicans
Fr: Democratic Leader's Press Office
Da: May 6, 2011
Re: "Confusion?" Not When It Comes to Your Vote to End Medicare As We Know It

"On the table." "Off the table." "Absolutely not." No "Grand Slam." "Singles." "Doubles." <ed: these are quotes from GOPpers just this week!>

There appears to be a lot of "confusion" coming from your side of the aisle, but there is one thing you can be certain of: your vote to end Medicare as we know it is anything but confusing to the American people.

Have a good weekend. "

MV: you won't see any of the 2012 ads about GOP dismantling of Medicare, because you choose to live in a blue district. But here's a quick list of folks who will:

Web Link



Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

Al:

I say "dream on" becasue Americans have notoriously short attention spans. These politicians will fall off their radar and there will be no fall out and the same people who are upset now will reelect these people. If you don't believe me, look at history. Americans hate incumbents. EXCEPT their incumbants.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 8, 2011 at 8:14 am

menlo voter:

Don't know, think Norte's got a point. The ads are already made to remind folks that the GOP voted to take away Medicare. That's going to ring loudly in certain states.

Now, it's coming out that with the GOP walking away form the Medicare portion of Ryan/GOP budget, the bill won't come close to balancing the budget EVER (was slated to eventually, like 2031.)

re: "...there will be no fall out and the same people who are upset now will reelect these people. If you don't believe me, look at history."

Okay, let's do so. I offer 2006, 2008 and 2010 as evidence to the contrary.

Leadership change, huge lead built by the leader's side, and change again.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on May 8, 2011 at 8:18 am

I'm just fine with making NO CHANGES to Medicare or Social Security... or to pension plans for that matter.

It will be very exciting to accelerate this fat, bloated government bus as we get closer to a very large wall.

Remember, the FIRST Obama budget proposal - just two months ago - called for NO SPENDING CUTS AT ALL.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 8, 2011 at 8:27 am

Pogo:

Really?

From the AP in February:

"Obama's new budget puts forward a plan to achieve $1.1 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade, according to an administration official who spoke to the Associated Press... "

"Less than two months after signing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans into law, President Barack Obama proposed a spending plan to Congress that cuts funding to programs that assist the working poor, help the needy heat their homes..."


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on May 8, 2011 at 9:28 am

Yes really. It was in all the papers.

Deficit reductions - as you state - are not spending cuts. That distinction should not be lost on you.

Web Link From this link...

But as to the biggest federal expenditures -- entitlement programs including Social Security and Medicaid -- as well as an overhaul of the nation's tax laws, the president's budget offered little guidance.

In a press conference the same day, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jack Lew spoke -- however obtusely -- to the question of what to do with Social Security, saying that "the president wants to work together on a bipartisan basis to have a conversation about how we can do this in a way that meets our values."

Indeed, Obama's proposed spending increase stood in sharp contrast to an aggressive Republican campaign to immediately reduce federal spending by as much as $100 billion before the end of the year.

As I said, Obama proposed NO SPENDING CUTS. Even he admitted that...

So how would YOU reform entitlements. The democrats say Medicare, Medicaid and SSI are "off the table." And reform isn't just increasing the funding for them. That's like a heroin addict saying he plans to reform his habit by robbing more banks.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 12, 2011 at 10:42 am

Pogo:

I believe we've discussed this before: lumping Medicare and Social Security into the same discussion is disingenuous.

Social Security has never added a cent to the deficit. SS is solvent until the 2030's.

Even if NOTHING is done to SS, after the 2030's SS will be able to pay 80% of it's benefits into the next century.

The easiest fix for Social Security is NOT CUTTING BENEFITS, but simply to remove the cap to payroll taxes on any income above the current cap (about $110K). Even having a tax free donut hole (say, from $110 to $250k) makes SS solvent forever.

So back to Medicare, as the mysteriously vanished (from his own thread) Hank Lawrence started.

Lovely to see the mainstream media (ie.. this morn's Chron)pick up on the anger being directed at those who passed the Ryan/GOP house bill.

Note across the page the article about Vermont's approach - kicking out the private, money sucking, for profit insurance companies out of the system. The exact opposite of Ryan/GOP, which wants to funnel Medicare into the for-profit, bloated bureaucracy insurance systems of for-profit "death panels".

In other news, Mitt delivers his "Romney Care is NOT ObamaCare, just ignore the man behind the curtain" speech, today. The WSJ has already panned it.

Looks like Murdoch and Ailes don't care for the Mormon option this cycle. Web Link WSJ still has great reporters, but their "opinion" section sure leans in a particular direction, eh, Rupert?

"More immediately for his Republican candidacy, the debate over ObamaCare and the larger entitlement state may be the central question of the 2012 election. On that question, Mr. Romney is compromised and not credible. If he does not change his message, he might as well try to knock off Joe Biden and get on the Obama ticket."

Ouch.

What do you think of that, Hank?


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 12, 2011 at 11:02 am

Hank:

You may have noticed this week all the republicans RUNNING AWAY from their vote, just a couple weeks ago, to end Medicare as we know it.

Here's a thoughtful note to some of them, the freshman members of the house who made that vote. Apparently, they would like a mulligan or a "do-over", perhaps a reset key.

It's from one of your favorite gals, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives; Links for all the facts mentioned are at this link: Web Link

"We know it's hard for you to accept the anger over your vote to end Medicare as we know it, but holding a press conference to ask the American people to ignore your irresponsible vote is, frankly, a bit puzzling. You defended your vote just two weeks ago, but you didn't like what you got back from your constituents. It's time to take responsibility for your actions....

In case you missed it, here's the helpful memo we sent your way yesterday.

To: GOP Freshman
Fr: Democratic Leader's Press Office
Da: May 10, 2011
Re: The Truth Hurts — You Did Vote to End Medicare as We Know It

Just half a day after Speaker Boehner said he wants to engage in "honest conversations about how best to preserve Medicare" (ie: the GOP's plan to end Medicare as we know it), you are trying to silence criticism of your vote supporting the plan....

Sometimes the truth hurts.

House Republicans voted for a GOP budget that:

* Ends Medicare as we know it.

* Forces seniors to pay over $6,000 more a year.

* Requires a 54-year-old today to save an additional $182,000 in his or her retirement account, or $250 a week, just to pay the costs of the plan.

Democrats have a plan to ensure older Americans have access to affordable, high quality care – it's called Medicare and it currently serves more than 46 million Americans."


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on May 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I'll say it again. Deficit reductions are not spending cuts.

And Obama's budget proposal had NO spending cuts. And no democrat proposed a spending cut until Ryan proposed his budget. NONE, not one. I sent you the link and it wasn't from Fox News.

And I think democrats are on the wrong side of spending cuts. Most people I know, even those that support higher taxes, are pretty fed up with government spending. Government seems to have an insatiable appetite for money.

And Vermont? Really? Not exactly a slice of America! We have as many people in San Mateo County as Vermont and they barely have any minorities, unemployed or homeless. When I used to hear Howard Dean talking about how they did things in Vermont, I was always reminded of an old-time Detroit politician who used to say how they did things in Grosse Pointe.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 13, 2011 at 9:23 am

Alfred forgot Massachusetts, which celebrated the 5th anniversary of Romney care last month, with almost universal coverage.

Mitt Romney was invited to celebrate the birthday last month, but declined. Can't imagine why.

"More than 98 percent of Massachusetts residents now have health care coverage, including 99.8 percent of children — the highest in the nation. The percent of private companies offering health insurance to their employees has increased from 70 to 76 percent and in 2011, the state spent $405 million on uncompensated care, nearly $300 million less than before reform was enacted in 2006. "


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 13, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Hey guys! Good news!

ObamaCare increases services as well as saves MediCare another $120 billion over 5 years.

Hank: did you hear about it on Fox today?

Web Link

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a new report on the projected savings to the Medicare program from adoption of the Affordable Care Act.

"The report finds that the tools in the Affordable Care Act and other steps we have already taken will save nearly $120 billion for Medicare over the next five years and help deliver better care to people on Medicare. " Web Link

A step at a time, real solutions to improve costs and quality to our seniors and our budget.

Or we can choose Ryan/GOP privatizing of Medicare.

Everyone gets a coupon!!


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on May 13, 2011 at 6:08 pm

TODAY's NEWS: SSI and Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected.

Web Link

Sorry, Alfred...


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on May 13, 2011 at 6:09 pm

By the way, the fastest rising insurance premiums in the country?

Massachusetts.

It all comes with a price, doesn't it?


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm

"TODAY's NEWS: SSI and Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected."

Alfred said above: "Social Security has never added a cent to the deficit. SS is solvent until the 2030's."

Pogo - from your link: "Social Security will have sufficient resources to pay 100% of promised benefits through 2036"

Seems like Alfred hit the nail on the head.

- - - - - - - - - -

Alfred said above: "Even if NOTHING is done to SS, after the 2030's SS will be able to pay 80% of it's benefits into the next century.

The easiest fix for Social Security is NOT CUTTING BENEFITS, but simply to remove the cap to payroll taxes on any income above the current cap (about $110K)." (it's $106k)

Pogo - from your link: "After 2036, the program will only be able to pay 77% of promised benefits."

Again, Alfred almost nailed that, didn't he? 80 v 77? Dang.

- - - - - - - - - --

Pogo: all in all, you picked a pretty good news article: with the worst economy since the Great Depression, Social Security is only effected by a year. Given the disaster we're in with unemployment, I would have guessed worse.

I'm sure Alfred appreciates your back up of his data.

We need to get Americans working again.

How's Job One, Mr. Boehner? You said it was JOBS. You said in November that was what the GOP was elected for.

It's not abortion in HR3 from last week. It's not repeal-n-replace (btw: where's your "replace" plan you promised?) It's not gutting Medicare in Ryan/GOP. It's not tax cuts for the rich in the same budget.

It's JOBS.

Where's the JOBS BILLS!?!!?

We MUST get America working again.

Everything gets better when we get America working again.

Except traffic.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on May 13, 2011 at 11:17 pm

You misattributed the quote - although that isn't the most dishonest part of your comment. The Social Security trustees did not say those words, they came from the "Strengthen Social Security Campaign" which is described as a "left of center coalition."

The trustees did say this:

"The trustees might beg to differ about whether the program is in "crisis." The long-term gap between payroll tax revenue and the benefits promised to retirees is so severe, their report says, that closing it would require Congress to cut benefits 14%, raise Social Security taxes 17% or find an equivalent alternative. And as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner noted, the magnitude of the required changes will only grow if Congress waits. If it does nothing by 2036, benefits would drop an estimated 23%."

Yeah, these programs are just dandy. And this is only the latest update - they've come up with increasingly pessimistic projections for several years in a row.

The best part of Social Security is that I don't have to depend on it. If you choose to, you can live with the consequences.

And as far as jobs being the number one priority, I seem to recall Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Obama said the very same thing (he in a State of the Union address)... except that when they said it, they controlled the House, Senate AND White House, something Mr. Boehner and his fellow Republicans do not.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 14, 2011 at 10:46 am

"You misattributed the quote"

Huh? It's directly from your article: "according a report Friday from the programs' trustees. " The center/left group you cite isn't even mentioned in your article.

re: your quote - where did that come from? Not your link, that I can see. It appears to be from an LAT opinion piece, that coincidentally highlights Alfred's point about the simplest and least regressive fix, albeit without mention of the donut hole to help upper middle class incomes:

- - - - - - - - - -

Alfred said above: "Even if NOTHING is done to SS, after the 2030's SS will be able to pay 80% of it's benefits into the next century.

The easiest fix for Social Security is NOT CUTTING BENEFITS, but simply to remove the cap to payroll taxes on any income above the current cap (about $110K)." (it's $106k)

Pogo - from your link: "After 2036, the program will only be able to pay 77% of promised benefits."

Again, Alfred almost nailed that, didn't he? 80 v 77? Dang.

- - - - - - - - - --

re: jobs. Glad you agree the GOP is blowing smoke when giving lip service to jobs.

Obama? I'm sure you've seen the bikini graph.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

It's been called the bikini graph for over a year; with the recent job growth, it's sometimes called "the bikini graph with an Ipod clipped on"

From the Minority Leader: Web Link

"Bikini Graph" Update: Under Democratic Leadership More Jobs Created In 2010 Than In Bush's 8 Years" Web Link

That sounds fantastical, I can't believe Obama had job creation that high, but one forgets how bad Bush was:

"As the Wall Street Journal noted in the last month of Bush's term, the former president had the "worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records." And job creation under Bush was anemic long before the recession began. Bush's supply-side economics "fostered the weakest jobs and income growth in more than six decades," along with "sluggish business investment and weak gross domestic product growth," the Center for American Progress' Joshua Picker explained. "On every major measurement" of income and employment, "the country lost ground during Bush's two terms," the National Journal's Ron Brownstein observed, parsing Census data."

Before one of the crazies brings it up, note that all census hiring expired in 2009. You can see the census hiring "rise" in May 2009, if I recall.

Inconsequential. Despite all the blubbering about it in 2009 by Fox and the crazies.

Now, what has Boenher done about his professed "Job 1"?

Jobs?


Posted by Veronique Naro, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 29, 2011 at 8:15 am

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics during the Bush presidency, net total employment went up by 1.08 million jobs. So far, during the Obama presidency, total employment has been reduced by 3.3 million jobs.

Now, we can't really compare these numbers, because we have eight years of Bush data and only two years of Obama data. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were more jobs created monthly under President Bush than under President Obama.


Posted by Between Scylla and Charybdis, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2011 at 8:32 am

[Post removed. Copied from this source without credit: Web Link ]


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on May 29, 2011 at 8:53 am

"Those now scoring political points by demonizing Rep. Ryan's plan have an obligation to say how they would fix it."

Nicely put. If only... I won't hold my breath.

So don't fix Social Security and don't fix Medicare. We'll all drive off this cliff together, including that old lady in the wheelchair.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2011 at 11:29 am

Pogo:

You seem to insist on including Social Security into the Medicare discussion as if it is in the same financial difficulty. As Alfred highlighted above:

"...lumping Medicare and Social Security into the same discussion is disingenuous.

Social Security has never added a cent to the deficit. SS is solvent until the 2030's.

Even if NOTHING is done to SS, after the 2030's SS will be able to pay 80% of it's benefits into the next century.

The easiest fix for Social Security is NOT CUTTING BENEFITS, but simply to remove the cap to payroll taxes on any income above the current cap (about $110K). Even having a tax free donut hole (say, from $110 to $250k) makes SS solvent forever."

As far as privatizing Medicare and giving out vouchers and coupons to seniors, the part I don't get is why no one is talking about the massive overhead (for our economy) that gets built into the system of healthcare delivery when we send all our seniors into the private, for profit insurance market.

For profit insurance companies add a 20-40% cost structure over Medicare to our country's overall healthcare costs. Medicare, as a single payer system, keeps those costs out of it, and our economy benefits dramatically from keeping healthcare costs lower.

When seniors start paying thousands of dollars more to for profit insurance companies, that money has to come out of something. They will not be able to spend it elsewhere. If they have savings, it will come from there.

All bad things for the greater economy of America.

Overhead costs of delivery healthcare through for profit insurance companies is really expensive, adding something like a 30+% overhead.

Medicare, as a single payer system, without all the expenses of the for profit insurance sector, has an overhead of below 5%.

The only system more effective in delivering healthcare at a lower cost than Medicare is our socialized medicine arm: the VA, which has delivery overhead down around 1 or 2 percent.

Before Walter, Hank and others object to the VA being described as socialized, think about it - government owned buildings, government paid doctors and staff, the government negotiating with big pharma for discounts, etc... And no, Walter, this isn't about how Vets deserve it, it's about delivery. It's socialized medicine. It's good healthcare, delivered in the most cost effective way America can.

Excluding Medicare and the VA, America's healthcare is delivered with the highest overhead on the planet, with less than stellar results in terms of quality. The reason: private for profit insurance companies. Why do we want Grandma to have to take a voucher and negotiate with them on any pre-existing conditions?


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

Scylla and Charybdis:

When you cut and paste complete articles, you should at least credit the original author.

Web Link

Or at least add your own opinion at the end.

re your moniker: do you feel providing healthcare to our seniors is an "evil"?


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2011 at 11:38 am

Recent polling, by Kaiser, of all places:

Web Link

The defense cuts seem rather shocking, still...


Posted by [Name deleted], a resident of another community
on May 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm

The Democratic plan will run off a cliff. The Ryan plan is too austere. Somewhere in the middle should be a compromise. But both parties have been inflexible and are not willing to negotiate with each other. Because someone disagrees with the Democrats running the economy off a cliff with their intransigent Medicare status quo does not mean tacit approval of the Ryan Plan. Both have their shortcomings.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2011 at 5:11 pm

terms of use

perhaps same as

Posted by [Portion deleted], a resident of another community, on May 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Web Link


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on May 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm

We want entitlement reform... but keep your hands off Social Security and Medicare.

I suppose that makes sense if you're a politician.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

Pogo:

A simple fix, highlighted above and elsewhere, to Social Security makes it solvent for the century.

Start fixing Medicare with a couple simple solutions that get a good return very simply:
- revamp Medicare part D to allow HHS to negotiate for better drug prices, as you would expect any large customer to do (and the VA already does)
- eliminate the boondoogle that is Medicare Advantage. All Advantage does is take Medicare dollars and funnel them to private, for profit insurance companies to provide what is essentially already the Medicare solution. It is corporate welfare for insurance companies.

There are other fixes, see www.whitehouse.gov


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2011 at 11:10 am

Person who loves the juvenile name calling above (portion removed/name deleted):

There is no compromise between Ryan and other plans. The GOP/Ryan house passed bill dismantles Medicare by forcing seniors to take coupons and vouchers to for profit insurance companies.

What is the compromise between:
- one side wants to lower costs (Medicare part D drug negotiations, revamping some parts of the program, is willing to talk about other cuts, etc..)

and

- one side wants to eliminate the program

Where is the middle on that?

One side says everything is on the table, the other said only cuts or elimination is on the table, but no revenue increases. Who's negotiating in good faith?

- - - - - -


"with the Democrats running the economy off a cliff"

Take a look at the economy in 2008. September? October? November? The Bear Stearns bailout? TARP? Wall street bailouts? Massive job losses. Stocks plummet? The first trillion dollar deficit looming?

Who was in charge?


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2011 at 11:43 am

one last thing:

When the forums here host a discussion on education costs, most everyone seems to want to take the cuts directly to the teachers.

This thread is about how healthcare costs need to be cut.

Doctors?


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 30, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Doctors?

Let's not carried away, now...


Posted by Ng, a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Democrats are once again using falsehoods to try to frighten the American people about Republicans and Medicare solutions.

Once again the Democrats have retreated from a responsible conversation about solving America's problems.

Once again the Democrats have been reduced to using fear instead of facts.

Once again the Democrats have to resort to lies to try to frighten the American people.

Think of this as "Mediscare 3," a bad sequel to two bad failures.

Mediscare I and II

The Democrats lost their first two Mediscare efforts because a "big truth" Republican campaign unmasked and repudiated the Democrats' "big lies."

The first time the Democrats ran a Mediscare campaign was in 1980. President Jimmy Carter and the Democrats tried to smear Ronald Reagan and frighten the American people into believing he would abolish Medicare. Yet every time Carter employed a falsehood as part of his scare tactics in the presidential debate, Ronald Reagan would answer "there you go again." The American people rejected the big lie campaign, and Reagan carried more states against Carter in 1980 than FDR carried against Hoover in 1932.

The second Mediscare campaign was in 1995-1996 when the Democrats and their allies tried another dishonest, big lie scare campaign over Medicare. They attacked Republicans in thousands of ads. The Democratic lies and distortions were so clearly dishonest that columnists and editorial writers across the country exposed them, told the truth, and condemned the Democrats.

After Mediscare 2 in 1996, the House Republicans were vindicated when we became the first re-elected House Republican majority since 1928. All those lies about Medicare led to public disgust with the Democrats, and they did not regain power until the Republicans had held the House for twelve years.

Mediscare Part III

Now we have the beginning of Mediscare 3.

The Democrats and their allies in the elite media are determined to divide Republicans and to lie about our efforts to save both Medicare and America from fiscal collapse. With no real answers themselves, the Democrats are launching a series of falsehoods.

Consider how dishonest and outrageous their lies are:

It is a "war on seniors." – Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

"The GOP wants to end Medicare in order to pay for an almost 30 percent tax rate reduction for the wealthiest Americans … and maintain the tax subsidies for oil companies." – Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Ryan's plan "is going to kill half the people who watch this show." – Chris Matthews, MSNBC

"We gave the blueprint for how we strengthen Medicare in the Affordable Care Act" – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (In fact, the Act cuts around $500 billion from Medicare.)

"It [the Republican plan] is a path to poverty for America's seniors." – Rep. Nancy Pelosi

"It would end Medicare as we know it and funnel Medicare dollars directly into private insurance companies' pockets." – Sen. Max Baucus

Even though it is the Democrats who will destroy healthcare for seniors through rationing and who will drive doctors out of Medicare, the Democrats claim: "Ending Medicare is the new GOP Litmus test."

In reality, saving Medicare so it is affordable with no government rationing of healthcare for seniors is the new GOP litmus test. Republicans are working to preserve a doctor-patient relationship and access to care for all seniors.

Congressman Paul Ryan and the House Republicans are trying to save Medicare in a period of enormous economic and fiscal difficulties.

Their plan is the beginning of a serious conversation with Americans about how to achieve real Medicare reform with more choice, lower cost and better quality for seniors while moving America back toward a balanced budget.

The Road Ahead: Cheerfully Continue Telling the Truth

America faces great challenges.

America needs big solutions.

Unfortunately, President Obama and the Democrats are not offering solutions. They are offering more scare tactics.

We need to stand firm against these attacks. Republicans and all Americans need to be bold and offer real solutions that improve Medicare so we can preserve it for current and future generations.

The lessons of 1980 and 1995-96 are clear. The Democrats' big lie Mediscare campaign will inevitably collapse if we cheerfully insist on telling the truth and work with the American people.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Ng:

When copying and pasting Newt's payback-to-the-insurance-industry-editorial, one might consider providing attribution.

Like this:

CNN reports poll results - America hates the GOP/Ryan dismantling of Medicare:

"According to a CNN... survey, a majority also don't think the GOP has cooperated enough with President Barack Obama and, for the first time since they won back control of the House last November, the number of Americans who say that Republican control of the chamber is good for the country has dropped below the 50 percent mark.

The poll indicates that 58 percent of the public opposes the Republican plan on Medicare, with 35 percent saying they support the proposal."

Ng: then provide a link, such as this: Web Link

Useful for folks to verify the facts, they can also see...

What happened to Eddie Munster. (see photo)


Posted by Mike Walsh, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

After the lopsided Senate vote, 57-40, against his "Path to Prosperity" bud get bill last week, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin must be feeling like Paul Revere riding through Washington shouting "bankruptcy is coming" -- except that nobody is paying attention.
Certainly not the Senate Democrats -- who are in their second year of defaulting on their constitutional obligation to produce a budget.

Certainly not President Obama, whose laughable February budget proposal (which did nothing about Uncle Sam's hemorrhaging finances) lost 0-97 in another equally symbolic Senate vote last week. Democrats say it's been superseded by more recent proposals.

Meanwhile, long-suffering Americans living in the real world between Wall Street and Hollywood are crying: "When are the jobs coming back?"

Answer: Not until the government stops spending $1.5 trillion a year in money it doesn't have and shows that it's not going to "fix" the problem by sucking the life out of the private sector.

Last week, in a Bloomberg blog post that quickly went viral, Stephen Carter recounted a conversation with an executive who explained that, despite an improving business climate, he's not about to add employees. "How can I hire new workers today," he said, "when I don't know how much they will cost me tomorrow?"

Bingo. Battered by the soaring costs of regulation, and all too aware that Democrats would rather raise taxes than reform entitlements, private-sector businessmen are sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see which way the electorate tips next year.
The solution -- as both Republicans and Democrats know -- begins with fixing the budget-busting entitlement known as Medicare.

Ryan's proposal would transform Medicare -- which along with Medicaid now consumes nearly a quarter of the federal budget -- from a socialized program under which the feds directly pay medical bills for the elderly into a market-based plan of vouchers that would go toward the purchase of private insurance.

But the Democrats -- wedded to their outmoded "Great Society" fantasy -- can't have that.

That's why they pounded the issue in last week's NY-26 special congressional election, won by the Democrat in what had been a safe Republican district. Now they're crowing that Medicare reform will be the albatross around the GOP's neck come fall 2012.
Never mind that Ryan's Medicare reform wouldn't affect anybody who's now over 55. To keep their hold on power, the Democrats need to panic retirees.

In fact, the outlines of their 2012 campaign are already clear: Everything in Entitlementland is hunky-dory, and Republicans want to throw Grandma from the gravy train.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Really?

Posting entire articles from the NYpost, without attribution, without any linked supporting facts, posted under the "author"'s name, etc...

Terms of use for the last couple articles.

Come back and post your own opinion, not Rupert's rag.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Let's not forget that Congress is currently voting on the budget for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011. That's just FOUR MONTHS from now. As I recall, Democrats controlled Congress - the House AND Senate - when this budget first came up for a vote. They failed to pass a budget before the November 2010 elections. That's why we are in this predicament.

And let's not forget that there was a recent vote in the House to lift the debt ceiling. That vote failed 318-97. Democrats were almost evenly split on the issue. Their vote was 97-82.

And, as has been pointed out, the President's budget failed in the Senate by a 97-0 vote. The Democrats have yet to propose a budget or even make suggestions (on the record) on what spending cuts they would support.

Looks like lifting the debt ceiling without agreeing to spending cuts is unpopular with BOTH parties.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Pogo:

The "clean" debt ceiling bill was a political stunt, trying to get vulnerable House members to register a vote that could be used for 2012 TV ads. Before they put the bill up for a vote, the GOP leadership made calls to Wall Street to assess if their would be any harm to the economy by this stunt.

""Wall Street is in on the joke," said R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "

Web Link

The House passed budget (Ryan) requires at least two trillion dollar extension of the debt ceiling. The Dems will agree to a trillion in cuts.

Who's kidding who with this talk of NOT raising the ceiling?

Come August, if the House majority impedes it from being raised, all hell will break loose. There are predictions from economists that it will be worse than September, 2008.

Who knows?

Why risk economic damage to the US, when the GOP House bill already calls for a debt ceiling rise?

Oh, that's right.... politics.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm

The "clean" debt ceiling bill was a political stunt, trying to get vulnerable House members to register a vote that could be used for 2012 TV ads.

It was no more or less a stunt than Harry Reid's call for a vote on the Ryan bill in the Senate.

I never said we didn't need to raise the debt ceiling. I just think we should cut spending. The Ryan bill - with all of its flaws - does more spending cuts than anything else (except for the Debt Commission recommendation, which I personally favor).

Tell me again why the Democrats didn't pass a budget for FY 2011 before they lost control of the House? Maybe I missed that in your answer.

Another convenient change of subject and ignoring my point. I can wait.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 3, 2011 at 10:44 am

I haven't a clue. I haven't bothered to look up the reason and respond about it here on the Medicare thread, much the way that twice above you've brought Social Security into the Medicare discussion, had your opinion rebutted both times and let it drop. Good to see you back.

Have you heard from Hank, the originator of this Medicare thread? I asked him a simple question - does he support the Ryan/GOP House budget bill that changes Medicare into a coupon program while giving tax cuts to billionaires?

I asked you a month ago and you declined to answer (4/28), so let's see if you've decided yet, yes or no:

- Pogo: do you support the Ryan/GOP House budget bill AS WRITTEN and PASSED that changes Medicare into a coupon program while giving tax cuts to billionaires?

Glad you agree the House debt ceiling vote was a stunt.

Harry's vote was arguably NOT a stunt, though yes I agree, it does serve a similar purpose.

Why not a stunt? The Senate was voting on a House budget PASSED by the GOP House. You remember the bill: it ends Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher coupon, while giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, all the while requiring a debt ceiling extension.

It highlighted that there are some GOP senators (4 or 5?) that are nervous about ending Medicare. It also started the first "mini-wave" of GOP backlash against the Ryan plan to end Medicare, as evidenced yesterday when Mitt declined to endorse the plan.

Current score to end Medicare:

* Aye: Newt (after flipflopping,) Timmy P, Jon H; almost the entire GOP House and Senate

* Nay: Dems, independents, and about half the republican voters (polled)

* Abstain: Mitt, Hank Lawrence

* (pending) Pogo




Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 3, 2011 at 11:39 am

Fiscal Conservatives: do they really exist in the GOP?

Wonder what the GOP role call on this would be:

"Giddy, brazen Republican deficit hawks somehow manage to avert their eyes from the cost of war, including the Afghan conflict running at $10 billion a month.

The Pentagon has spent $28 billion to build a national army in Afghanistan and wants $12 billion more. It would cost upward of $8 billion a year to maintain, The Washington Post reports. The nation's annual budget is $1.5 billion.

These numbers and the reluctance to confront them in Congress goes to the corporate heart of war as big business. If the GOP wants to take on government spending — including discretionary spending — look at lucrative military contracting and support for huge shadow armies."

Too much of it goes out to contractors that take a small slice of their obscene profits to buy politicians. Too bad Ike didn't use the original wording in his first draft: "the military-industrial-congressional complex"

Yes, we need to clean up Medicare (as highlighted above - power to negotiate drug prices, eliminate Advantage, etc) as well as cut the cost of healthcare's core rising costs (the actual cost of healthcare, not Medicare financing functions.)

But look how much money is just being wasted overseas.



Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 3, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Well, by my count, I've answered your question about a half a dozen times.

I favor the Debt Commission proposals - lock, stock and barrel. Is my position clear enough for you? And, although I've provided the link before, if you'd like more detail about MY position, just click here: Web Link

In case you've forgotten, the bipartisan Debt Commission was appointed by President Obama to draft a proposal to address spending and revenues. Much like those commissions that propose military base closings (which are, of course, political dynamite), the Commission's proposal was supposed to be accepted all or not. After doing a tremendous amount of work - including capping spending and simplifying our tax system and eliminating almost all deductions and loopholes - it has been largely ignored by BOTH parties... which tells you how serious they are about resolving this issue.

So I don't support Ryan and I don't support the Democrat proposal. Oh wait, they don't have one. My bad.

By the way, even Harry Reid said that his Senate vote on the Ryan budget was only to get Republicans on record as supporting it so he could use it against them in the election. By the way, they did support it in overwhelming numbers.

Again, almost half of the DEMOCRATS voted against the "clean" bill to raise the debt ceiling. And ALL of the Senate DEMOCRATS voted against the original Obama budget proposal (which proposed NO spending cuts).

Given the current state of our economy, the party in power - in all three houses (Senate, House, White) - should be very afraid. If it doesn't improve in the next 12 months, the November 2010 election will look like a mild rebuke.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm

And, for what it's worth, I've been a registered Democrat my entire life and come from a family largely comprised of union officials.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 3, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Mea culpa, the second time I asked, you did state clearly you were no on Ryan.

Yes, a year and a half out, and Lord knows what 2012 will look like. I can paint a scenario being a blowout either way. The jobs numbers this week were awful, leaving a nick in the bikini Web Link

From the Alliance for American Manufacturing:

"There is not even a tiny bit of good news in this jobs report. The manufacturing rebound has faltered, the jobless rate is up, and private sector job growth is anemic.

We can turn this around, but only with positive steps from Congress and the Administration. Voters should be outraged that the jobs deficit is nowhere on the agenda in Washington. We need sustained investments in infrastructure, innovation, education, and a rebuilding of manufacturing, but instead all we see is a blind obsession with the federal deficit."

We were told that jobs was "Job 1" last November.

The best way out of deficit, depression or recession is to build our way out, getting the economic numbers up and growing the economy.

Investment. Jobs.

Stimulus. It's not just for hypocritical Florida governors anymore. Web Link


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Most of the prior stimulus funds were directed to states to support public employees like teachers, police and fire fighters. Not a bad thing, but despite the rhetoric, there was remarkably little stimulus directed to the private sector. That large cash bullet has been fired and it clearly had a temporary impact in the public sector and missed the targeted private sector almost completely.

Unfortunately, we now have no money for another stimulus...at least one that would be big enough to have an impact.

I'm ordinarily pretty optimistic, but I don't see much in the way of encouraging news for our economy during the next 2 to 3 years. Just a small sampling from this week's news: housing prices way down, foreclosures way up, stock market losing value, manufacturing down, private sector jobs flat, consumer spending down, credit ratings threatened, world economy in turmoil, oil prices high, three wars, pension liabilities greater than expected... where does it end?

My investment portfolio allocations recently changed to reflect that pessimism.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm

"My investment portfolio..."

Yeah, about that...

For all the (alleged President Obama caused) doom and gloom, returns have been pretty good since November, 2008, haven't they?

Once the tea baggers realize the debt ceiling must be raised, and we clear that potential economic catastrophe, one might want to reconsider allocations (though wall street knows the GOP is bluffing, anyway.)

re: stimulus - I'd like to see your evidence of "Most of the prior stimulus funds were directed to states to support public employees like teachers, police and fire fighters". That wasn't the case in the link I posted above about the Florida governor's hypocritical use of funds.

Austerity measures now are the wrong way to go. We do not want a repeat of the mistakes of 1937, where budget cutting slowed recovery from the last (republican) Great Depression.

As a certain Nobel Laureate wrote this week:

"Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York published a blog post about the "mistake of 1937," the premature fiscal and monetary pullback that aborted an ongoing economic recovery and prolonged the Great Depression. As Gauti Eggertsson, the post's author (with whom I have done research) points out, economic conditions today — with output growing, some prices rising, but unemployment still very high — bear a strong resemblance to those in 1936-37. So are modern policy makers going to make the same mistake?"

Optimism, dear Pogo, optimism (though a reasonably risk adverse portfolio is another thing!) Build our way out. Employ our way out.

Let's finish the bikini graph.

Cover up Lady Liberty where it counts.

Jobs.


Posted by Connie Carroll, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 5, 2011 at 8:20 am

Gallup has their first round of polling out on Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity and the results are encouraging for conservatives:. While "the Republican plan put forth by Congressman Paul Ryan" falls one point short (43%) of "the Democratic plan put forth by President Barack Obama" (44%) the splits among age groups are noteworthy:

Ryan's plan includes a complete restructuring of Medicare for people younger than 55. Pluralities of middle-aged Americans as well as those 65 and older prefer Ryan's plan to Obama's, while adults 18 to 29 show more support for Obama's, 53% to 30%. These findings are in line with approval of Obama by age, more generally.

The key here is to keep reminding Americans that the Ryan plan does not touch Medicare for people 55 and over. This is why the left it so upset with ABC News and Politifact calling Democrat attacks on the Ryan plan lies. The left thought the media would play along with their Medicare scare tactics. So far, they have not.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 5, 2011 at 10:20 am

Sigh, another unattributed copy and paste, from what looks like the sf examiner. Old, too. Terms of Use on these forums aren't what they used to be.

Hank, is that you?

The link in Conn's article is to a poll over 5 weeks old. Americans are much more familiar with the Ryan/GOP plan to end Medicare as we know it by turning it intro a voucher program, forcing seniors to buy from private insurance companies, armed only with a coupon.

While giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and increasing the national debt.

And it's a lie to say that it doesn't effect current seniors. It eliminates the fix to the "donut hole", it eliminates a number of other programs, including preventative care and a host of others.

And seniors know that once the GOP starts on the slippery slope, the next GOP move will be to reduce benefits and maybe even force current seniors into the coupon marketplace. Divide and conquer, dividing constituents into age classes.

The cut and paste of the "Conn Carrol" "article" is old and has been debunked.

Even by the voters in NY 26.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Alfred -

Interested that you never once responded to the point of Connie's post. At least you are consistent.

1. You deflect by challenging the source. It's dated or it's from the San Francisco Examiner. So what, just because it's not from MoveOn.org doesn't mean it isn't a legitimate survey. But just as the Republicans way overplayed their hand during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, the Democrats should be careful about overplaying the Ryan reform card. Judging from today's Sunday news shows, there seems to be a pretty big appetite to reform Medicare and it's not by just raising taxes (and that included admissions from such Conservatives as Nancy Pelosi and John Podesta).

2. You deflect to "tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires." Clever, but people who earn just $106,800 usually aren't millionaires or billionaires... and that's who will feel the impact of raising the cap on the 6.2% SSI taxes.

3. You defect by accusing the poster of being "Hank."

4. You deflect by saying "it's a lie to say that it doesn't effect current seniors" even though the hosts (anchors) of the Sunday shows said just as much. The Ryan proposal doesn't impact people who are 55 or older - which is actually a BAD thing because it doesn't impact the budget for 10 years either.

5. You deflect by invoking NY 26. Never mind that a DEMOCRAT ran as a "Tea Party Candidate" and siphoned off 9% of the votes that, according to exit polls, would have gone more than 2:1 to the Republican. A trick worthy of Lee Atwater.

You did everything but address Connie's point that the tide seems to be turning. But you just keep playing that "raise taxes" card instead of the "cut spending" card. It worked really well last November, didn't it?

PS - Just to be clear, I'm not defending Republicans or their policies. I just choose to call out hypocrisy where I see it. This one wasn't particularly challenging.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm

"You did everything but address Connie's point that the tide seems to be turning."

Alfred pointed out that Conn's data was old. Current polls show a far different picture. The tide has turned on the GOP ending Medicare as we know it.

Alfred accurately pointed out that the Ryan GOP House budget bill that republicans passed lowers taxes on millionaires and billionaires.

Pogo's #2 conflated the GOP top tier income tax rate cut for millionaires with payroll taxes that are capped at $106.8K. Not deflection, Pogo, conflation. Not sure that's kosher.

Alfred seems most annoyed that three right wing articles have been pasted whole cloth without using a link or attribution, as the terms of use specify.

Alfred's response to the article's falsehood about current seniors not being effected: "And it's a lie to say that it doesn't effect current seniors. It eliminates the fix to the "donut hole", it eliminates a number of other programs, including preventative care and a host of others.

And seniors know that once the GOP starts on the slippery slope, the next GOP move will be to reduce benefits and maybe even force current seniors into the coupon marketplace. Divide and conquer, dividing constituents into age classes.

The cut and paste of the "Conn Carrol" "article" is old and has been debunked."

* The Republican Ryan GOP budget repeals the provisions in the Affordable Care Act that close the donut hole. Web Link

* The Affordable Care Act provides Medicare beneficiaries with free preventive care benefits starting January 1, 2011. Web Link The Republican Ryan GOP budget repeals these provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

Current seniors also face elimination of Medicare's guaranteed benefits.

"The plan's architect, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has said time and again that the changes wouldn't affect anybody getting close to retirement. "We propose to not change the benefits for people above the age of 55," Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, insisted last week.

There's only one problem with the strategy: It's not true.

The policies in the House GOP budget, if enacted, would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing their costs for prescription drugs and probably long-term care. Further, Medicare costs could rise over time if healthier seniors choose to abandon the traditional benefit program." Web Link

The above does not even address Alfred's "beginning of the slippery slope" argument that the GOP is just getting started.

It is the GOP's plan to move Medicare over to the private for profit insurance companies. If they succeed, the only thing left to Medicare as we currently know it will be the name.

Imagine the price quotes a 70 year old with a voucher will get from an insurance company.

Imagine the list of pre-existing conditions for a 70 year old.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm

You're badly informed, norte, but I suspect my assessment isn't going to change your mind.

1. According to the Affordable Healthcare Act, as of 2014, insurance companies can no longer use pre-existing conditions to deny insurance coverage. It was a key part of the legislation and was in all the papers.

2. The solution being proposed by many Democrats (including many people on this blog) is to "lift the cap" on payroll taxes for SSI. That's a TAX INCREASE on anyone making over $106,800 - that's going to hit a lot more people than just "millionaires and billionaires."

3. The rest of your arguments apply to another poster. Since you don't respond directly to their point, there is no need for me to amplify their point.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Alfred's mention of the the top tier income tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires in the GOP passed Ryan House budget bill reflects to the inequity between the ultra rich getting tax breaks while simultaneously voting to end Medicare as we know it.

GOP Ryan doesn't directly address Social Security. Removing the regressive cap on SSI payroll taxes makes Social Security solvent.

Why are you conflating the GOP Ryan tax cuts for millionaires/billionaires and solving Social Security?

re: pre-existing conditions:
- all the republicans voted to end that and the rest of ACA
- in GOP Ryan, they cut back on several parts of ACA, as I listed above
- if they have their way, they will allow insurance companies to re-instate pre-existing conditions.

Sorry you were so offended by a bit of hyperbole in the last sentence, but happy you understand the aforementioned facts about how GOP Ryan does indeed directly effect current seniors, quite the opposite of what Paul Ryan claims.

"We propose to not change the benefits for people above the age of 55," Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, insisted last week.

There's only one problem with the strategy: It's not true."





Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm

"if they have their way, they will allow insurance companies to re-instate pre-existing conditions..."

"And seniors know that once the GOP starts on the slippery slope, the next GOP move will be to reduce benefits"

Neither of those are facts or even part of any proposal. And you accuse me of conflation???

I'll tell you what, let's just leave SSI and Medicare exactly as they are. See how that works out for you!


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 7, 2011 at 11:13 am

And I thought that if you liked your current health care insurance, you could keep it! Web Link I guess that wasn't true.

And it turns out that Social Security and Medicare are costing us MULTIPLES of what we thought. From TODAY's USATODAY: "The federal government's financial condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken on to finance the budget deficit, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security." Web Link

No, this whole thing is overblown and everything's just fine. Enjoy the ride over the cliff.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Pogo? Are you okay? You don't have a history of droning on with statements like "See how that works out for you!" and "Enjoy the ride over the cliff."

Usually the drool drivel comes from Pers and the other fringe types. I've never thought of you as one of them; you've usually been more thoughtful. More solutions. Less doom and gloom and scare and fear. Been a bad week? You haven't switched over to Fox, have you?

Web Link

Web Link check out the three charts, I find them all enlightening, even the third chart which highlights our debt as a % of GDP vs other countries

While this is a Medicare thread, invariably other topics get linked (SS, budget, etc..), so let's look at some possibilities.

Besides wondering why you always connect the two, Alfred offered many solutions above for SS and Medicare. I also favor a wide range of comprehensive solutions:
- allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and the other "Democratic" suggestions
- remove the payroll cap for payroll taxes, essentially making Social Security solvent for a century
- cut defense spending; in a world of 190 countries, do we need 700 military bases? In a world that has only one carrier battle group under another flag, do we need seven?
- look at cutting fraud and waste; look at other reductions that do NOT hinder growing the economy and job growth in these perilous times, nor further hurt those most hurt by this great recession
- rescind the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that have added $2.48 trillion to the debt over the last ten years (and not created any jobs,) returning us to the tax structure of the Clinton golden economic era

Looking for more ideas? Try the People's Budget: Web Link

"• Eliminates the deficits and creates a surplus by 2021 (***note: Ryan doesn't come close!!***)
• Puts America back to work with a "Make it in America" jobs program
• Protects the social safety net
• Ends the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq...

What the proposal accomplishes:

• Primary budget balance by 2014.
• Budget surplus by 2021.
• Reduces public debt as a share of GDP to 64.1% by 2021, down 16.5 percentage points from a baseline fully adjusted for both the doc fix and the AMT patch.
• Reduces deficits by $5.6 trillion over 2012-21, relative to this adjusted baseline.
• Outlays equal to 22.2% of GDP and revenue equal 22.3% of GDP by 2021."

Web Link

"This is more than a fantasy document. It's sound policy. The conservative Economist magazine has called the budget "courageous." As a conversation-starter, it shows that the path out of our debt and deficit quagmire is not as steep as most imagine, and that getting America's fiscal house in order isn't incompatible with making critical investments in jobs and infrastructure.

The budget has more of what Americans say they want — new taxes on the rich and cuts to defense — than either the GOP's or the president's budget. And it has none of what Americans say they hate: changes to the social compact that's guided America from the days of the New Deal and the Great Society."

There are solutions.

And digging out of this mess is not as bad as folks think (excluding the political realities of a two party system entering an election year - ugh.) Rather than look at a consultant with an agenda, like McKinsey, look at the CBO numbers cited in the Mckinsy article.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Thanks for your concern, norte.

I don't disagree with many of your solutions, especially things like negotiating for pharmaceuticals.

But you do realize that your suggestion to "remove the payroll cap for payroll taxes, essentially making Social Security solvent for a century" is a 12.4% tax increase on people making over $106,800? Those aren't millionaires and billionaires and I thought that our President promised to only increase taxes on people making over $250,000.

But here's the reason for me being "short" on this topic. People are really concerned that our annual deficit has been running about $1.5 trillion a year. Can you imagine if they knew the truth was that we borrowed more than $5 trillion last year?

Have you ever had a friend or relative tell you they are in really bad financial shape? When you investigate their situation, it turns out to be 100 times worse than anyone ever suspected.

Welcome to America.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I forgot to note your suggestion that we need to "look at cutting fraud and waste."

Novel.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm

"suggestion to "remove the payroll cap ..." is a 12.4% tax increase on people making over $106,800? Those aren't millionaires and billionaires ..."

Yes, it is a new tax on the income over $106K, and no, most are not millionaires like these guys Web Link

Senator Franken (well before he was a Senator) had a suggestion that still makes SS solvent for darn near forever:

Remove the cap, but apply a "donut hole" with a payroll tax "holiday" for income from $110k to ~$200K. Payroll tax kicks in around $200K/year. Even here, someone at $200K is doing okay.

Still fixes Social security and protects what we in the Bay Area we call middle class, and what the rest of the country calls high earners (the 100K to 200K/year professional/tech/etc.. crowd)

* * *

Yes, the debt and deficit are bad. But we are blessed to not be Greece or any of the other really bad off countries Web Link because the US economy is EXCEPTIONAL (and you know I don't normally go for the American exceptionalism gung-ho bs.)

(excluding China,) no one else has the potential to come roaring out of this mess like the US economy can. We need to invest, to re-build, to insert ourselves into new industries (ie. green) and markets, to get America working and building again. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Infrastructure. Manufacturing.

It will fix a lot of what ails us.

Austerity measures only prolong the agony.

Imagine if, post 9/11, the president called for an Apollo project/Marshall Plan to make America energy independent, and asked for a little patriotic sacrifice. He would have got it. Take the $2.5 trillion we spent on tax cuts for the uber wealthy the last ten years.

A ton of money. We could have put solar panels on damn near every rooftop in America. Rebates on electric cars. Boatloads of Americans get jobs manufacturing and installing all the above. An economy with money to spend.

None of that money going out to monarchies and dictators for oil. Reduces our military requirements when we don't need another country's oil.

Utopia? of course, in terms of it being water under the bridge. Spilt milk (or oil, actually, blood too, in hindsight.) But a damn sight better than where we are. GDP and employment would be way up. Balance of trade payments might be, wow, actually balanced?!?

Let's do what we can from here.

Austerity measures only prolong the agony.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm

"I forgot to note your suggestion that we need to "look at cutting fraud and waste.""

Yeah, I had a pretty good time as I typed that.

Hey, a fella can have a little fun, can't he?

Kinda like a pol that wears a flag pin.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 7, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Last time I looked, our President was wearing one of those flag pins. Maybe the pin distracted him from closing Gitmo, ending the war in Iraq and repealing the Patriot Act.

You said, "Imagine if, post 9/11, the president called for an Apollo project/Marshall Plan to make America energy independent." Funny, I heard almost those same words from Speaker Pelosi as justification for the second stimulus and all of those "shovel ready jobs." But I agree that it would have been nice to make every school, post office and government building in America fitted with solar panels. As far as I know, not one was (at least with stimulus funds). A shame.

As far as rebates on electric cars, you do realize that in many parts of our country, they rely on coal? Personally, I'd rather see us do two things and they can be done immediately. First, we should immediately switch all government vehicles to natural gas (we have a 100 years supply...). Second, we should agree to a "cookie-cutter" nuclear power plant design and build one every week like the Chinese. In about 15 years, the only oil we would need would be for the few cars and trucks that don't run on natural gas - and we wouldn't need a single drop from any outside country.

Unfortunately, I'm not nearly as optimistic as you are about our future. I do agree that the US economy is a powerhouse. Unfortunately, the Congress is a mad house.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm

And here's a link about cheap, safe nuclear power: Web Link

The Chinese build a nuclear power plant for almost the same cost as a coal power plant. By the way, they open two coal plants A WEEK and they plan to open 400 nuclear plants over the next three decades.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 8, 2011 at 7:26 am

And from today's Wall Street Journal...

"The Economy is Worse Than You Think" Web Link

Chief Economic Advisors Christine Romer and Austan Goolsbee didn't leave because they were doing such a great job.

Next.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2011 at 11:06 am

from medicare to chinese coal plants

a few posts back, mckinsey consultancy claimed a 1/3 of co's would drop hc

the rest of the story

"You might have seen reports about a study from McKinsey and Company claiming that a significant number of employers will stop offering insurance to their workers in 2014. Unfortunately, the study misses some key points and doesn't provide the complete picture about how the Affordable Care Act will strengthen the health care system and make it easier for employers to offer high quality coverage to their employees. Here are the facts:

The McKinsey Study is an Outlier

Respected independent organizations have examined whether employers will continue to offer coverage. Here's what they found:

The Rand Corporation: "The percentage of employees offered insurance will not change substantially, but a small number of employees in small firms (defined as those with under 100 employees in 2016) will obtain employer-sponsored insurance through the state insurance exchanges."

The Urban Institute: "Some have argued that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would erode employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) by providing incentives for employers to stop offering coverage. Others have claimed that most businesses would face increased costs as a result of reform. A new study finds that overall ESI coverage under the ACA would not differ significantly from what coverage would be without reform."

Mercer: "In a survey released today by consulting firm Mercer, employers were asked how likely they are to get out of the business of providing health care once state-run insurance exchanges become operational in 2014 and make it easier for individuals to buy coverage. For the great majority, the answer was 'not likely.'"

Web Link


Posted by anonymous, a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2011 at 11:10 am

current data for medicare

not "and the results are encouraging for conservatives" as conner carroll says

"* Obama and Dems winning the battle over Medicare: New Post polling out this morning demonstrates this in the clearest terms yet. The poll finds that Obama holds a double digit lead over Republicans on who is most trusted to do a better job "protecting the Medicare system," 49-35. That's almost as big an advantage that Bill Clinton held on the issue amid the standoff with Republicans in 1995, which Clinton decisively won.

That's not all. The poll also finds that less than a third of Americans, 32 percent, support the GOP Medicare plan, even though the question merely says it would "change" Medicare, not end it, and specifies that the plan would not change the status of those over 55, a key GOP defense of the proposal. Forty-nine percent oppose it.

Still more: A plurality, 49 percent, believe the GOP plan will force future generations of Medicare recipients to pay more for health insurance, while barely more than a fourth, 27 percent, thinks things would stay the same. Though Dems have been widely accused of demagoguing the GOP Medicare plan, it just may be that the public has rejected it on the merits.

* It's false to claim Dems have no plan on Medicare: Post fact checker Glenn Kessler knocks down the ubiquitous claim that Dems would destroy Medicare by doing nothing (though he also faults some Dem claims about the GOP):

It's incorrect to say they have no plan, because...there are proposals and plans within the new health-care law that seek to reduce Medicare costs. To some extent, the Democrats already passed their Medicare plan last year. One certainly can argue whether the ideas are good or bad — or go far enough — but it is disingenuous for Republicans to claim that either a) there is no Democratic plan or b) the Democrats want to steer Medicare on a course toward bankruptcy."

Web Link


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 9, 2011 at 11:39 am

Of course. Every study that contradicts your position is either flawed, biased, from an unreliable source or dated... or an outlier. It's funny how McKinsey data was used extensively to support the Affordable Care Act - now they're an outlier. Of course! If it weren't for those nasty guests, we could also run a fine hotel.

I can only tell you from personal experience that MANY Bay Area companies are already planning to eliminate their existing health care insurance (usually they are PPO-quality policies) in favor of the national system. They are doing it, in part, to remain competitive. They can't be paying $15-$25k a year in benefits when their competition is paying just $8-$10k in benefits for those same employees. It's a shame to be racing to the bottom.

And it would appear that public sentiment is shifting and it's not in favor of the Act. I won't bore you with citations because to be honest, I'm tired of doing your work for you. Just read any of today's papers if you care.

We'll see who's correct soon enough. Even though it won't impact me a lot, I would love to be wrong.


Posted by Karl R, a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Barack Obama told his staff the day after he was inaugurated that "transparency and the rule of law" would be his presidency's "touchstones." In the case of Medicare, they haven't been.

Mr. Obama has ignored a law requiring he send Congress a plan to strengthen Medicare's finances—even though members of his own cabinet have reminded him in writing of his duty to do so.

Medicare was originally designed to be paid for mostly by special dedicated taxes. Yet it has become increasingly dependent on general revenues as expenses have far outrun both projections and Medicare tax receipts. By 2024, according to the annual report of the Medicare trustees, the hospital insurance trust fund will be exhausted.

To force Washington to take action before Medicare overwhelms the federal budget, fiscal experts wrote a presidential obligation into the Medicare Reform Act of 2003. Under that provision, if Medicare's trustees forecast that general revenues will be required for 45% or more of the program's outlays within a seven-year period, then the president must propose legislation to correct the problem within 15 days of his next budget submission. Congress then has to give the proposal expedited consideration.

In their annual report this spring, Medicare's trustees—who include four members of Mr. Obama's cabinet as well as two outside experts—said "the threshold was in fact breached" during the last fiscal year and "a Presidential proposal is required by law in response." As, indeed, one was required in 2010 as well. The Democratic majority waived the requirement during the last Congress, but it remains in force this year. The president has continued ignoring the law, failing to send Congress a plan to fix Medicare's finances.

This isn't the only law the president has disregarded. For example, Mr. Obama has also ignored the War Powers Act's requirement that the president seek congressional approval for any military action lasting more than 60 days. One can imagine the uproar on Capitol Hill and among liberal editorial writers if Mr. Obama's predecessor had ignored the War Powers Act in Afghanistan and Iraq or unilaterally decided he would turn a blind eye to a longstanding law.

The president, a former University of Chicago lecturer on constitutional law, sees the statute books as a legal cafeteria from which he can pick laws he will and won't follow. A largely compliant media and acquiescing congressional Democratic allies let him get away with making a mockery of his pledge of "transparency and the rule of law."

The Medicare trust fund situation also shows how politically the Obama White House views virtually every major public policy issue. Mr. Obama apparently wants to keep Medicare as an issue to beat up Republicans in the 2012 campaign, protect congressional Democrats from tough votes in the months before the next election, and avoid injecting any controversial subjects into the mix that might harm his chances for a second term.

What are the consequences to our country of Mr. Obama's inaction? No one can deny that Medicare is on the path to fiscal collapse. Its trust fund is emptying out and its unfunded liabilities are nearly $25 trillion over the lifetime of those who are now workers and retirees, according to Medicare's actuaries.

Yet the president has done nothing to correct this long-term problem—the Medicare trustees' report looks at Medicare finances after the cuts in spending that were written into ObamaCare. Valuable time is being squandered as Mr. Obama pushes the issue off the agenda until after the next election.

History often thrusts big decisions into a president's inbox. It's no different with Mr. Obama. Today the cost of America's unsustainable entitlements is leading to ruin. Mr. Obama has backed away from tackling this issue, even at the expense of ignoring the law. The country will pay a big price.


Posted by r wreagan, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

karl rove write about evil people

funny

karl rove write about constitution

real funny

he's still around after bush stuff. someone pay him to write?

real real funny

here another on socialism from bad medicare

- Write those letters now call your friends and them to write.

If you don't, this program I promise you, will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country until one day we will wake to find that we have socialism, and if you don't do this and I don't do this, one of these days we are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free.

medicare is why socailism took over country

Web Link

kkkkkarl love the ronnie

who love the karl?


Posted by anonymous, a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2011 at 11:45 am

buddy boy - "Of course. Every study that contradicts your position is either flawed, biased, from an unreliable source or dated"

that how you normally defend your 1 study against 3 that show opposite results or is this special?

mckinsy is not answering questions about methods

if I gave you study fromn lefty poll that pre-"educated" respondants about answers, you would holla all over the place

" * What were the precise breakdowns of size, geographic location and industry for the businesses included in the survey? This would tell us if the sample was representative of American business as a whole. Small businesses, for instance, might be more likely to drop coverage due to the structure of the ACA.

* How were the businesses chosen? An unbiased sampling method here is key. If the list of businesses was culled from Chamber of Commerce memebrship or McKinsey client lists, this is important to know. Ditto if the list was generated in a more randomized way.

* What was the response rate? And how were businesses surveyed? If 13,000 businesses were contacted, but only 1,300 responded, such a 10% response rate could call into question the results. Also, there is, for example, a huge difference between surveys conducted in person, over the phone and over the Internet.

* Lastly, this tidbit was included in the McKinsey Quarterly article about the survey:

"…our survey educated respondents about [employer sponsored insurance] implications for their companies and employees before they were asked about post-2014 strategies."

In other words, those conducting the survey may have primed respondents to say they would keep or drop coverage.

The company declined to comment on all of these questions, including the text of the statement they used to "educate" respondents, but did tell Pickert that a third party did not pay for the survey. All of this is important to know because this study is such an outlier, as the White House pointed out. Good for TIME and Pickert for digging deeper into a story others in the traditional media took at face value."

because this study is such an outlier

yeah

I can also say - I can only tell you from personal experience that MANY Bay Area companies are already planning to eliminate their existing health care insurance

i know many are happy. some are happy that they can compete now with intl companies that get govt provided health care like rest of first world

i can tell you about what I've heard from others that like obamacare a lot

big corps

all anecdotal what i hear what you hear

hear


Posted by anonymous, a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm

here buddy

beat this one up w yr Every study that contradicts your position is either flawed, biased, from an unreliable source or dated


"Gallup: Small minority of Americans is most concerned with deficit, majority say economy or jobs By Nicolas Mendoza | 06.10.11 | 11:23 am

A majority of Americans, fifty-five percent, have said that either the economy in general or unemployment in particular is the most important problem facing the country in 2011, according to an average of Gallup's tracking poll results from January to May.

Meanwhile, only thirteen percent of Americans have said that the federal budget deficit is the most important problem during a period where discussion of the deficit dominated the agenda in Washington."


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm

anonymous -

When you extract text from the Daily Kos, you should provide attribution.

Web Link


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 11, 2011 at 10:12 am

really? why?

but your welcome, da nada

here more:

"We have got to get our financial house in order, folks. But the Chicken-Little Democrats are so worried the U.S. will default on its loans that they want to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. Come on! We already raised the debt ceiling under President Bush! That is so 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, and twice in 2008!"
---Stephen Colbert


Clip of Wolf Blitzer: [Eric Cantor] wants there to be cuts in other federal spending in order to justify providing this [emergency tornado] financial assistance to people in Missouri.

Jon Stewart: Right now elephants from a Missouri circus are helping clear heavy debris from the tornado. Which means, when it comes to helping Joplin, Missouri residents, actual elephants are more useful to them than the GOP.
---The Daily Show

Web Link

"I think Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin would be the perfect ticket. She can't answer basic questions, and he has two answers for every question."
---Jay Leno

wow, even Jay gets funny once in a while


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 11, 2011 at 10:24 am

here more mckinsy

"But multiple sources both within and outside the firm tell TPM the survey was not conducted using McKinsey's typical, meticulous methodology. Indeed, the article the firm published was not intended to give the subject matter the same authoritative treatment as more thorough studies on the same topic -- particularly those conducted by numerous think tanks, and the Congressional Budget Office, which came to the opposite conclusion. And that's created a clamor within the firm at high levels to set the record straight. "

link, buddy Web Link


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 11, 2011 at 10:25 am

Anthony Weiner.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 11, 2011 at 10:34 am

Anthony Weiner larry craig mark foly eliot spitzer david viter mark stanford walk into a bar

who go to jail?

anwser - no one, all get health care better than medicare for life

have good day buddy

come help save flood park


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

Your lithium prescription renewal is clearly overdue.

Good luck with Flood Park. Don't drown.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 11, 2011 at 11:48 am

your good scrips told you to post a messsage on a medicare posting consisting entirely of:

"Anthony Weiner."

good stuff, huh, buddy, better than lithium? goes along with nuc and coal plants with medicare. are you really sharon?

gues you had to change subject cuz mckinsy article you posted is exposed as silly compared to cbo and other studies

thank you for wish luck with park. you no drown either!!!!!

sun comes out later, be a great blessed day!


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Scratch lithium. Your condition is far more serious than I suspected.

Risperdal.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm

my meds keep me onthe subject of this page while you wander over to chionese coal plants and wieiner, buddy

more on this page - save medicare from repub donors insurance companies

Opposition to Ryan Medicare Plan from Older, Attentive Americans
Few Have Heard 'A Lot' About Proposal to Change Medicare

June 6, 2011 The public offers a mixed reaction to a proposal to change Medicare into a program that would give future participants a credit toward purchasing private health insurance coverage: 41% oppose such a change, 36% favor it and nearly a quarter (23%) have no opinion either way. Despite this even division of opinion overall, there is broad, and strong, opposition to the proposal among older Americans and those who are paying a lot of attention to the issue.

Those ages 50 and older oppose this proposal, which is part of Rep. Paul Ryan's deficit reduction plan, by a 51%-to-29% margin. And this opposition is intense: 42% strongly oppose this kind of change, while only 19% strongly favor it. The same is true among people who say they have heard a lot about this proposal -- fully 56% are opposed while 33% are in favor, and strong opposition among this group outweighs strong support by two-to-one (50% vs. 25%).

smart ppls, maybe on same scrips as me and you

Web Link


Posted by Sam Sell, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 12, 2011 at 9:40 am

Nice job anon. Fella throws drug charges at you and you beat him up by destroying his study and with polling data. I want some of what you are smoking.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 12, 2011 at 10:10 am

The final poll is actually still ahead of us... and, like the last election, it is the one that counts.

Personally, I like the odds.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm

odds?

the last winner is favorite

which one are you giving odds on, romney? 1 poll out of 10 have him ahead


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm

My guy isn't in the race yet.

But remember, an election is ultimately a choice between two candidates, not a poll between the incumbent versus a field of a dozen or more "no names."

And when it finally comes down to one against one, each will have to defend their record.

But there will be several more issues to decide before November 2012. The one I'm anxious to see is the constitutionality of a blanket requirement for people to buy private insurance. Some very liberal experts think that's a very good question. And if that goes up in flames, so goes the Affordable Care Act and the principal accomplishment of this administration.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm

not in? thot that huntman also support mandate like romnay


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I'll be sure to alert you when and if my guy enters.

For now, none of this matters. Just ask President Lieberman.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 13, 2011 at 10:03 am

must be bummer that the only good guy is not patriot about his country

is he still working on his hair?

ok

the country beginning to know medicare:

>Just 31 percent, meanwhile, said Medicare should become "a program that gives senior citizens payments towards the purchase of private insurance." Even among Republicans, less than half (43 percent) support turning Medicare into a payment program.

>Americans say they are not entirely clear on the issue: Only 19 percent say they have a good understanding of the Republicans' proposed changes to Medicare. Two-thirds, meanwhile, say they find the issue confusing.

>Read more: Web Link

of those that do learn more, the poll abovce this one says they hate private plan stronger than those that dont study it

cut costs make changes but don't kill medicare


Posted by Sam Sell, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

Pogo waits for Godot.

Um, make that:

Pogo waits for Bob Dole.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 13, 2011 at 11:40 am

Pogo:

Do you feel states have the right to impose mandates, but the feds don't? (I'm sure I've seen your answer before on other threads, but I don't recall...)

Generally, I agree, I don't *like* mandates from government, that is, the concept chafes. One of a number of things about Affordable Care Act I'd change, or just have to settle for. Or start over and offer Medicare buy-in for all.

Nice article in the Chronicle this morn: Web Link After the elderly, young twenty-somethings are the most frequent visitors to emergency rooms, frequently in the past without coverage, now can be covered easily.

This is fun, too: Web Link Think it will come up tonight?

Perhaps?


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm

link not availble at sfgate


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Truly sorry that Al rejoined late. Sam and anonymous appear to be enjoying their two-way conversation without my interference.

My positions couldn't be clearer and this thread has run it's course.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Alfred:

Pogo states he "couldn't be clearer" because he doesn't want to answer your question. Do a search on this thread for "mandate" or "require", and see he doesn't use the word, only the cryptic "anxious to see is the constitutionality of a blanket requirement for people to buy private insurance."

Shall we all get together and invite Hank back to close it with another Dick Morris fable?

A good Dick Morris prostitute story should just about kill it. Oh, that's right, actually getting caught using hookers isn't a crime for Dick, just a requirement to get on fox.

It's been fun trying to catch up, lads, but it did wander...


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Actually, being caught with prostitutes would seem to qualify you for CNN.

Not taking the bait or checking back on this thread. Enjoy each other.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2011 at 9:01 am

Don't follow the CNN reference, perhaps you'll explain elsewhere.

Seems the statement "Actually, being caught with prostitutes would seem to qualify you for...."

Should end with "the Senate" as they don't seem to mind their members using the DC Madam.

"Well now more problems with this Vitter guy. You gotta go on his website, he's like Mr. Religious, Mr. Family Values. Well now a second madam has come forward and told the Associated Press that he was also a customer at her brothel. This guy was cheating on his hooker with another hooker." --Jay Leno

No worries, Pogo, we'll get back to chinese coal mines in a bit...


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Back to Medicare, since Pogo didn't respond to being called on his hiding out on state vs fed mandates: "..states he "couldn't be clearer..."

The GOP held a debate last night, imagine that! And they barely attacked Romney and ObamaRomneyCare at all. In fact, TPaw had a chance to turn and face the Mitt (smirking wildly) and address Tpaw's choice of words about "Obamanetcare" and he chickened out! Wow. Toast. Tpaw slithers away.

When they did attack the ACA, they mentioned the usual falsehoods, like Bachman's whopper:

From WP:

" "The CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, has said that Obamacare will kill 800,000 jobs. What could the president be thinking by passing a bill like this, knowing full well it will kill 800,000 jobs?" -Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.)

We hadn't heard this yarn much since we debunked it four months ago with three Pinocchios. "

And Newt: " "We think you can save $70 billion to $120 billion in Medicare and Medicaid annually by not paying crooks."

-Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)

Gingrich loves this statistic — repeats it everywhere — but it is wildly inflated. "


With another Newt spin on right-wing social engineering:

" "It was a very narrow question, which said, should Republicans impose an unpopular bill on the American people? Now, I supported the Ryan budget as a general proposal. I actually wrote a newsletter supporting the Ryan budget. And those words were taken totally out of context." --Gingrich"

He'll be backtracking on the Ryan plan to kill Medicare for as long a he's in.

Stay tuned, boys. Lots of healthcare based falsehoods to come in the next year!


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 16, 2011 at 10:04 am

Al: Uh-oh, Pogo didn't like the Dick Morris toe slobbering tale much, it appears.

Well, he'll be happier that his guy moved up without announcing:

"NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released a new poll on Wednesday, and it put Gov. Rick Perry at fourth place among Republican primary voters when asked their choice for the GOP nominee. It went like this: Romney, 30 percent; Palin, 14 percent; Cain, 12 percent; Perry, 8 percent." Web Link

Maybe Perry likes Chinese coal plants over talking about Medicare, too.

Sam: sorry, no Dole.

On the Medicare front, it's become obvious why they're re-messaging Ryan:

"Medicare Cuts Would Hit Republican Lawmakers
By Timothy R. Homan and Drew Armstrong - Jun 14, 2011 1:38 PM PT

Republican Michael Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania backed a U.S. House plan in April to privatize Medicare even though his congressional district would feel the impact more than almost anywhere else in the nation. " Web Link

Formerly "safe" red districts ain't what they used to be!

Witness NY26.


Posted by Sam Sell, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Alfred - the Dole reference was humor.

Something your nameske would understand, but not you and pogo.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Sam:

Humor? What, me humor?

Speaking of humorous (except that it's hard to even laugh at someone who has tried to end Medicare as we know it, basically denying healthcare to future seniors - no laughing matter!) there's the new bold, tough, strongman Paul (Mr. px90) Ryan spin...

Crying "uncle".

"House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday that he is open to reforming Medicare in a way that would still leave traditional fee-for-service Medicare as an option for future seniors."

Looks like getting thrashed and causing the GOP to recalibrate 2012 plans was a GOP leap too far.

Web Link

No, Paul. No slippery slope. No camel's nose under the tent. Americans want Medicare. Americans need Medicare. You can't privatize it and siphon the profits off to your contributors (the for-profit insurance companies.)

Let's fix it.

Let's save Medicare.

I'd like to thank the Democratic Party for finally developing a spine (and hopefully keeping it) and standing strong for America's seniors.


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