Monday, April 18, 2011

Republicans Vote To End Medicare

WASHINGTON -- On a party-line vote, the House of Representatives passed a Republican 2012 budget proposal which aims to start the country down the path of deficit reduction, but which Democrats warn will gut a vital safety net for seniors.

The House voted 235-193 to approve the plan by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, though its future beyond that is uncertain. Still, Republicans say the country is on the precipice and they have no other choice but to start slashing trillions in future spending.

"The greatest danger that America faces today is doing nothing," House Speaker John Boehner said Friday before a vote on the RSC plan and a Democratic alternative.

The Ryan plan "is the strongest step we could take today, and we are going to take it," Boehner said.

Ryan's budget aims to cut $6.2 trillion in spending over 10 years, and reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion. With $14 trillion in debt already on the books, government spending on the course it stands now aims to add another $6.7 trillion in debt over 10 years.

But with a fundamental restructuring of Medicare and Medicaid, Democrats, including President Obama, blasted it as an attempt to leave seniors and poor holding the bag on health care costs.

"The president agrees with House Republicans that we must reduce our deficit and put our country on a fiscally sound path, but we disagree with their approach," Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney said after the vote." The House Republican plan places the burden of debt reduction on those who can least afford it, ends Medicare as we know it and doubles health care costs for seniors in order to pay for more than a trillion dollars in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires."
A few points:

1) Medicare is insanely popular.

2) Even when people don't understand what it is ("don't let the government in my medicare"), they get really pissed about any attempts to fuck with it.

3) Medicare is most important to elderly people.

4) Elderly people vote. A lot.

I have no doubt that all the Republican members of the house (and plenty of Democrats too) want to destroy medicare. With that said I'm plesently surprised that the house GOP was dumb enough to all vote for a bill that would destroy medicare, and has zero hope of passing the Senate/overiding Obama's veto.

If the Democratic party machine has any sense whatsoever, this should be the only issue voters hear about between now and the 2012 elections. This is such a no brainier I can't imagine they fuck it up... but then again this is the Democratic party we're talking about so I guess we'll see.

1 comment:

  1. well, being able to quote Carney as saying "The republican plan... ends medicare..." is something.