Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Holy Jeebus, Brown Okay with Dismantling Medicare?

More evidence that Scott Brown is out of touch with the Massachusetts voter.
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's plan to end Medicare and Medicaid as we know them might be slow to accrue supporters within his own party, but Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), a key swing vote in the Senate, indicated to TPM on Tuesday he was at least open to the idea. 
"Listen, everything is on the table right now and the people understand everything is on the table," he said when asked by TPM if he had concerns about privatizing and cutting Medicare. "People recognize that we're in a financial emergency and as a result of that to say that something is not on the table is really irresponsible and I'm thankful that we have people like Congressman Ryan working and coming up with a plan."
I'm sorry, Senator, but the destruction of Medicare should not be on the table. The most ironic thing about this statement is the fact that Congressman Ryan's plan is essentially "Obamacare" for seniors, hypocrisy extreme for both Brown, who railed against Obama's health care bill, and the entire Republican Party (aka "The Party of No.").


Mark Belanger said...

The scale of our deficit(and debt) issue requires that everything be looked at.

Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP make up more than 20% of the budget. SS another 20%. Defense another 20%. In 1970 SS and Medicare were 18.7%. Today they make up 33.3% - almost double.

Nobody wants to cut these programs but what are the alternatives? It seems to me that the most fair thing would be to have means testing for everything.

Ryan said...

No ... That's taking the programs that are fiscally sound and using them to pay for tax cuts for the rich, military spending and pork.

S said...

I think a savvy group of politicians can make the case that a cut in "defense" is more in order than one in Medicare. With Iraq, Afghanistan (with no clear objectives!), now Lybia and Iran in the works, the time is as good as any to cut this sacred cow.

Having said that, as for Medicare, it's probably more important to change the incentives (and in this way garner massive savings) than to outright cut it. When people can spend on medicine (or any dimension) without regard to the prices of various alternatives, and have the government/taxpayers pick up most of the tab, then it's a given that there will be overspending and overpricing. The government also should give itself again the bargaining power it really has in negotiating prices.

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