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Should Republicans Save Medicare? [RINO Party backed Socialist health care before opposing it]
The New American ^ | 2009-08-26 | Jack Kenny

Posted on 08/26/2009 2:18:26 PM PDT by rabscuttle385

People used to say politics makes strange bedfellows. These days, calling any kind of bedfellows strange might qualify as a hate crime. It is probably safer to say that the political highway allows for frequent U-turns, as politicians discover that policies and programs they once decried as ruinous to the republic are now true and righteous.

This is nowhere more apparent than in the announcement by the Republican National Committee of a brand new "Health Care Bill of Rights for Seniors." The statement calls for legislation to protect Medicare from cuts, ensure that seniors may keep their current coverage, prohibit government from getting between seniors and their doctors, outlaw any effort to ration health care based on age, and prevent government from dictating terms of end of life care. It also calls for protection of medical benefits for veterans and their families. Of course, it has been drawn up in response to fears older Americans have about plans to overhaul the way healthcare is paid for and delivered in America.

In politics, turnabout is fair play. The Republican campaign against Medicare "cuts" — or "savings," as Obama and congressional Democrats call them — is reminiscent of ads run less than a year ago against Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who had proposed reductions in Medicare spending as part of his healthcare reform plan. McCain said then, as Democrats are saying now, that the proposed savings would not mean any cuts in benefit levels for seniors. But the Obama campaign ran ads warning of a "22 percent cut in benefits," along with fewer services and lower quality of care.

Despite the much-ballyhooed emergence of a supposedly conservative Republican majority during the past 40 years, we have advanced rather far on the road to socialism when the "conservative" party is promising to "protect' or save Medicare. The program was opposed by Barry Goldwater, congressional Republicans, and the American Medical Association when it was passed during the glory days of Lyndon Johnson at an annual cost of a few billion dollars. In 2009, it is expected to cost $480 billion, 13 percent of the federal budget and 3.5 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. Medicare alone is now more than double the cost of the entire British system of socialized medicine.

But even at the start, the program embodied the principle of government control over provision of delivery of healthcare services, something Republicans still say they oppose. Yet their opposition to the socialized medicine the Democrats are pushing now appears more opportunistic than principled when coupled with their sanctimonious defense of Medicare. They have already accepted in the Medicare program the underlying principle of "Obamacare"-the belief that government can and should be the provider of health care for the American people.

As New Jersey Star ledger columnist Paul Mulshine put it, America today is being treated to "the bizarre spectacle of supposedly conservative Republicans railing against socialized medicine while arguing against even the tiniest cuts in the largest system of socialized medicine on earth." Liberals have built upon the popularity and widespread acceptance of Medicare, even among conservatives, to make the case for a further expansion of government healthcare. You're against "socialized medicine"? Well, gee, is Medicare socialized medicine?

Well, yeah, it is, even if Republicans are out on the hustings promising to protect it. Indeed, it was a Republican Congress in 2003 that decided to subsidize private health insurers under Medicaid Advantage, which costs taxpayers an average of 13 percent more per beneficiary than the government-run program. The same Republican Congress passed the prescription drug benefit add-on to Medicare that President George W. Bush so enthusiastically championed, creating the largest expansion of the welfare state since LBJ's "Great Society."

Yet there is no warrant in the Constitution for the federal government to assume the role of insurer or provider of health care for the American people. Nor does that role fit in any form or fashion the principles of limited government and free enterprise that Republicans and other conservatives espouse. Ironically, one of the arguments for establishing the Medicare program was that it would relieve elder Americans of the worry that they would be leaving to their children the medical bills they'd incurred near the end of their lives. This is one example of the cure being worse than the disease. Like Social Security, the whole program is based on paying the bills for previous generations. And we are now reaching a point where the retired "baby boomers" will outnumber those still working and paying into the system. According to economist Jagadeesh Gokhale of the Cato Institute, Medicare has an unfunded liability of $43 trillion over the next 75 years.

While Obama promises that his promised "reform" will reduce costs and eliminate inefficiencies in healthcare, Medicare, by Obama's own admission, stands as an embarrassing contradiction to such lofty goals. It is, in the president's own words, "going broke," "unsustainable," "running out of money." That's hardly surprising. What enterprise run by government has ever become less costly and more efficient? Amtrack? The Post Office? Education? Surely, government intervention and the cost of regulation have played a major role in driving up the cost of healthcare far beyond the rate of inflation in recent decades. And of course the increasing cost of healthcare becomes a further justification for more government intervention for the many who cannot afford it.

Those old enough to remember life before Medicare know that the old and the sick were not left in the street to die. Americans did not (in Obama's words) "pull the plug on Grandma" then, either. As Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a retired physician and former Republican presidential candidate, has said:

In the days before Medicare and Medicaid, the poor and elderly were admitted to hospitals at the same rate they are now, and received good care. Before those programs came into existence, every physician understood that he or she had a responsibility towards the less fortunate and free medical care was the norm. Hardly anyone is aware of this today, since it doesn't fit into the typical, by the script story of government rescuing us from a predatory private sector. [From The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul]

Republicans may see a short-term tactical advantage in being the born-again champions of Medicare, but they are sowing the seeds of and the nation's and their party's ruin. Conservative author and blogger Russ Douthat has described well the dangers of playing that game: "Medicare's price tag, if trends continue, will make a mockery of the idea of limited government. For conservatives, no fiscal cause is more important than curbing this exponential growth. And by fighting health care reform with tactics ripped from Democratic playbooks, and enlisting anxious seniors as foot soldiers, conservatives are setting themselves up to win the battle and lose the longer war."


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bushlegacy; gop4biggovernment; gopfailure; jbs; lping; medicare; rinoparty; rinos4obama; ronpaul; schifflist; socialism

1 posted on 08/26/2009 2:18:27 PM PDT by rabscuttle385
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To: sickoflibs; Impy; bamahead; djsherin
But even at the start, the program embodied the principle of government control over provision of delivery of healthcare services, something Republicans still say they oppose. Yet their opposition to the socialized medicine the Democrats are pushing now appears more opportunistic than principled when coupled with their sanctimonious defense of Medicare. They have already accepted in the Medicare program the underlying principle of "Obamacare"-the belief that government can and should be the provider of health care for the American people.

Behold the Bush-McCain-RINO legacy!

2 posted on 08/26/2009 2:20:20 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 (May God save the American Republic.)
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To: rabscuttle385

you watching Beck?


3 posted on 08/26/2009 2:20:39 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: rabscuttle385

The GOP had their eyes wide open when Rats did themselves in by attacking America’s sacred cow.


4 posted on 08/26/2009 2:24:46 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Barack Obama is a political suicide bomber and the Rats are political arsonists.)
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To: rabscuttle385

Actually, working at a hospital now, I see that Medicaid payments to providers are about to drop to about 1/3 of what they are now. Before long, they will have their health care crisis: no one will accept Medicaid patients as they cost too much.


5 posted on 08/26/2009 2:26:04 PM PDT by Ingtar (Obama's Fault: I live in a bowl below sea level)
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To: rabscuttle385

Defeat Obamacare first, then draft a blue-print plan to phase-out Medicare and Medicaid. Yes, these programs should be phased-out and not “saved.”


6 posted on 08/26/2009 2:26:34 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist ("It (Gov't) can't make you happier, healthier, wealthier, and wise" - Sarah Palin 07/26)
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To: rabscuttle385

Medicare is unconstitutional. And it’s bankrupt.


7 posted on 08/26/2009 2:27:27 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jimrobfr)
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To: Ingtar
Before long, they will have their health care crisis: no one will accept Medicaid patients as they cost too much.

Who will want to be a doctor?

8 posted on 08/26/2009 2:27:27 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine (Is /sarc really necessary?)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

No doctor is required to accept Medicaid (or Medicare for that matter).


9 posted on 08/26/2009 2:29:04 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Barack Obama is a political suicide bomber and the Rats are political arsonists.)
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To: Ingtar

Responding to requests from voters, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey said Wednesday she will hold a town hall meeting on the proposed health care overhaul.
Related Links:

* Woolsey, House liberals demand ‘public option’ health plan
* A town hall meeting on health care — by phone

The meeting will be 6 p.m. Monday at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Hall.

Following brief introductory remarks, Woolsey, a former Petaluma City Councilwoman, will spend two hours answering questions and listening to the opinions of voters.

The five-term Democrat said she had been talking about health care at numerous public events across her 6th district, in a telephone town hall meeting, and in “many of the 5,000 e-mail, letter and phone inquiries our office answers every week.”

“A town hall, which has been requested by some constituents, is another way to continue the dialogue on this important issue,” she said in a written statement early Wednesday.

The district includes all of Marin County and most of Sonoma County.


10 posted on 08/26/2009 2:30:36 PM PDT by Son-Joshua (son-joshua)
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To: dalebert

From my persprective, it’s a question of not screwing the folks who have been paying into the Medicare monstrosity for the last 44 years.

I opposed Medicare back when I was a senior in high school. The scheme was passed under LBJ and we were stuck with paying for it. I started work when I graduated in ‘66 and I was compelled to pay taxes to support Medicare right off the bat and I am still paying them in the form of the Self-Employment Tax 43 years later.

I didn’t want Medicare but it was forced on me and now that I am in the program (due to disability from cancer), I am worried about the huge cuts that the Dhimmis are pushing. Am I a hypocrite to want to get out of Medicare what I put into it (actually, I am on a Medicare Advantage plan with Aetna)?

I’m sure that many conservative Medicare patients feel the same way. If there was some private option that I could turn to that wouldn’t mean throwing away the thousands of dollars that Medicare has received from me since ‘66, terrific. But no such plan exists and I’ve yet to hear of anybody proposing one. How such a thing would be economically viable I cannot imagine.


11 posted on 08/26/2009 2:30:59 PM PDT by Scanian
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To: Scanian

i agree but this is about more than medicare...they will pass another bill and fund it run by another zar to get there hands on more money...where is the ss lock box?
im more worried about this communist takeover that is going on.


12 posted on 08/26/2009 2:44:57 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Defeat Obamacare first, then draft a blue-print plan to phase-out Medicare and Medicaid. Yes, these programs should be phased-out and not “saved.”

Defeating Obamacare is possible...with a little luck and a lot of hard work.

But drafting a blue-print plan to phase out Medicare and Medicaid...good luck with that. IMO, conservatives would be better off taking a stealthy approach to cutting these programs (and Social Security, as well). First step...means testing for Medicare and Social Security. Nobody likes those rich folks...so start by cutting them off the roles. Then establish a co-pay. Step it down...little by little. All or nothing thinking will not serve conservatives well here.
13 posted on 08/26/2009 2:56:06 PM PDT by goldfinch
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To: rabscuttle385

.."why I can get, I can get the ah ah gang of 14 to ah smooth things out, so I ah ah so I can be loved by ah....ah...everyone like the NYT's told me they would ..ah..."

14 posted on 08/26/2009 3:03:35 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: rabscuttle385

.."why I can get, I can get the ah ah gang of 14 to ah smooth things out, so I ah ah so I can be loved by ah....ah...everyone like the NYT's told me they would ..ah..."

15 posted on 08/26/2009 3:04:00 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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“I’m ah..ah...so good I ah...had to say that twice...ah”


16 posted on 08/26/2009 3:05:39 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: rabscuttle385
I have an idea. Instead of working on a plan to keep destroying the country...

Why not craft a better tax system, say, either a flat tax or a sales tax of some sort, do away with the income tax and abolish the IRS?

I know, I know, these people can't understand simplicity. They are just too damn arrogant and self absorbed to do anything RIGHT!

17 posted on 08/26/2009 3:16:12 PM PDT by unixfox (The 13th Amendment Abolished Slavery, The 16th Amendment Reinstated It !)
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To: Scanian

is there something wrong with fr....i keep getting ping for same reply


18 posted on 08/26/2009 3:56:35 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: rabscuttle385

Remember, Republicans ran McCain because they knew he couldn’t win. Republicans did not want the financial mess this country is in. Figure this out...McCain was broke, he was out, he had to carry his own luggage in the airport. How did he come back to take the lead? He’s a waterboy for the Republicans and now he’s a waterboy for Obama.

If people are going to take this country back, they need to replace all the Republicans that are in the back pocket of the Democrats. There’s no difference in the two partys today.


19 posted on 08/26/2009 3:58:00 PM PDT by RC2
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To: Scanian

If we are to continue as a Democratic country, then both Medicare and Social Security have to be phased out. It may take ten years (maybe more) to prevent unnecessary harm, but it must be done to preserve the constitution and prevent further control by the federal government. This was and is the continuing thread that allows the federal government control over our lives - it must be stopped.

This from one that is dependent upon Social Security and probably Medicare soon, I would rather it be stopped now to save the future for our kids...


20 posted on 08/26/2009 4:01:44 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: Ingtar

Most doctors only accept ones that they’ve already had as patients....no new ones....


21 posted on 08/26/2009 4:05:21 PM PDT by Gaffer
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To: rabscuttle385

Medicare, while not quite the Ponzi scheme Social Security is, is still a program we have already paid for and for that deserve. We paid for it, now those nasty little sheets running around high school with their pants below their ass can pay, for the rest of their lives, for us.


22 posted on 08/26/2009 4:07:08 PM PDT by depressed in 06 (Idiotcracy has arrived 400 years early.)
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To: depressed in 06

Like Social Security, it was never really “paid for”! It is and always has been another socialist program where the young support the old - it has NEVER supported itself on prior payments of the members.


23 posted on 08/26/2009 4:41:07 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: rabscuttle385; Impy; bamahead; djsherin

RE :”Yet their opposition to the socialized medicine the Democrats are pushing now appears more opportunistic than principled when coupled with their sanctimonious defense of Medicare”

I been jumped on for making this point over and over the past few weeks. Republicans now :”My entitlement is better than democrats entitlements” .

We are screwed. Get rid of your dollars and invest in farming, gold and energy.


24 posted on 08/26/2009 9:38:35 PM PDT by sickoflibs (Socialist Conservatives: "'Big government is free because tax cuts pay for it'")
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To: rabscuttle385; Arthur Wildfire! March

As effective and amusing the tactic has been, it does entail embracing medicare.


25 posted on 08/27/2009 3:39:04 AM PDT by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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To: rabscuttle385; Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; akatel; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; Alexander Rubin; ..
Republicans may see a short-term tactical advantage in being the born-again champions of Medicare, but they are sowing the seeds of and the nation's and their party's ruin.

If neither party thinks they can win hearts or minds by any strategy other than shameless pandering, we are so screwed...



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
(View past Libertarian pings here)
26 posted on 08/27/2009 6:19:58 AM PDT by bamahead (Avoid self-righteousness like the devil- nothing is so self-blinding. -- B.H. Liddell Hart)
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To: bamahead

Agreed.

The fact is, Medicare is bust, SS is going bust.

Now you know why I have been voting Libertarian since 1998.

I don’t agree with them 100%. But at least they oppose the expanding welfare state.

My sis in law says one of the things she hates about the GOP is “they just want to cut everything.”

Oh God. If only that was the case


27 posted on 08/27/2009 6:31:39 AM PDT by lakertaker (Democratic Party Economic plan: Declare all those who hate higher taxes as unpatriotic)
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To: RC2
If people are going to take this country back, they need to replace all the Republicans that are in the back pocket of the Democrats. There’s no difference in the two partys today.

Republicans don't have the guts to replace the RINOs because the RINOs will claim that if they get booted in the primaries, the Democrats will have an easier time defeating whoever wins the Republican primaries. Such fear tactics work.

Even the people in Arizon who claim they'll boot McCain out of his spot in favor of a true Conservative probably won't do it when push comes to shove.

As far as Medicare, ditch it. Figure out a way to compensate the people who paid into it and then ditch it. Same with a lot of the government healthcare provided for military dependents - figure out an alternative and get the government out of our lives as much as possible.
28 posted on 08/27/2009 3:28:19 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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