The House debated the Budget Committee-approved resolution for four hours, and then turned to six complete substitutes, including one that would have replaced the resolution with President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal from earlier this year.
Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan, however, easily passed on Thursday by a vote of 228 to 191. Ten Republicans voted against it. No Democrat voted for it and 13 members did not vote.
The Ryan plan would make fundamental changes to Medicare. Ryan and other Republicans argued that significant deficit reduction is needed, and they hammered Democratic leaders in the Senate for deciding not to consider any budget resolution this year.
Democrats claimed that Ryan’s plan would harm seniors on Medicare and Medicaid. “As a member of Congress representing seniors in Florida, this budget is devastating for seniors,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. “This would pass like a tornado through nursing homes. Sixty percent of people in nursing homes are on Medicaid.”
Ryan’s Medicare proposal is nearly identical to a premium support idea that he put forward in December with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and to one that GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney crafted a month earlier in November. Ryan’s budget would provide a set amount of money for future Medicare beneficiaries – those currently under the age of 55 – to purchase either a private health plan or the traditional government-administered program through a newly created Medicare exchange. That would begin in 2023.
Ryan’s plan would void the Medicaid expansions of the health law and give states full leeway to run their programs as they see fit, with federal funding coming to them in the way of block grants.
A lot of elderly and near-elderly people who have not socked away a lot of money before they retire are about to be in for the shock of their lives if RyanCare eventually becomes law. Medicare will no longer exist as we know it.
Asked in a United Technologies/National Journal Poll released this week what Medicare should look like in the future, just 26 percent agreed with Ryan that it “should be changed to a system where the government provides seniors with a fixed sum of money they could use either to purchase private health insurance or to pay the cost of remaining in the current Medicare program.” Fully 64 percent said “Medicare should continue as it is today, with the government … paying doctors and hospitals directly for the services they provide to seniors.”
So much for public opinion. You can’t afford to buy a congressman? Too bad. So sad.
Even Ray Charles, who is now both blind and DEAD, can see the disaster that is about to befall the non-wealthy elderly of the near future under RyanCare.
If we could hear him in the afterlife, he would probably be singing, “Oh, it’s crying time again.”
Ryan is a Republican, but that doesn’t mean Democrats are necessarily any better in terms of carrying out the will of the people.
This week Defense Secretary Leon Panetta brushed aside polls indicating that the vast majority of Americans regardless of party or ideology want the U.S. troops brought home from their fruitless and frustrating adventures in “nation building” in Afghanistan, an “enduring” operation which is now several months into its second decade of bankrupting U.S. taxpayers.
“We cannot fight wars by polls. If we do that we’re in deep trouble,” Panetta told a news conference in Canada.
Pay no attention to the fact that the stated purpose of the mission has long since been fulfilled. To now say it is about “nation building” is a classic “bait and switch.” Ironically, the government in D.C.which is trying so mightily to build up another one 7,000 miles away is in very real danger of falling apart itself. This may be another reason Panetta’s fellow warmonger Ryan is in such a hurry to do away with Medicare. In his “guns versus butter” analysis, guns must be funded before butter and there’s not going to be nearly enough revenue to fund both, given that Ryan proposes to begin a new round of tax cuts.
So there you have it, Americans. The bipartisan message to you from your Wall Street- and Pentagon-owned and operated “leaders” in Washington, D.C., is that you have two choices. You can EITHER shut up and sit down OR sit down and shut up.