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President Bush tried to cut Medicare spending several times to trim the deficits and offset rising health care costs. Each time, he was vilified by the Democrats, and Democrats voted as a bloc against those cuts, defeating them every time. In 2008, they even overrode a Bush veto to stop Bush from implementing Medicare cuts. The various sizes of the proposed Bush Medicare cuts were between $35 billion over five years, $105 billion over ten years, and $278 billion over ten years.
Now, it's all somehow different. President Obama is calling for $622 billion in Medicare/Medicaid cuts over ten years, far more than Bush ever proposed, and the Democrats have suddenly come to the realization that the Medicare entitlements are unsustainable, threatening to bankrupt the nation, and will drive the deficits through the roof. I assume the Democrats came to this realization the same day Barack Obama became President Of The United States. The same Democrats who opposed Bush's Medicare cuts are perfectly fine with Obama's much larger Medicare cuts. While I'm glad the Democrats have finally awakened somewhat to the reality of the entitlement crisis, their hypocrisy is deafening.
Watch this video, and then tell me if PARTISAN POLITICS isn't the reason behind everything in Washington, D.C. Check out the blather coming from Kennedy and Kerry in particular:
Hard to believe, isn't it ?
Not only are the Democrats proposing huge Medicare/Medicaid cuts in their health care reform bills, but they are trying to pretend their Medicare cuts aren't really cuts at all (the 'pay no attention to the man behind the curtain' defense), and they are trying to silence and threaten those who point out the obvious, that yes, Medicare cuts really are cuts, and will impact patients.
Humana, a large private Medicare Advantage insurer, sent out letters to it's customers, pointing out that Medicare Advantage services will have to be curtailed under the Democratic health reform bills. The noble Obama administration, staunch defenders of the Constitution, leapt into action against Humana, ordering it to cease and desist engaging in all that, um, free speech. Then the government launched an investigation of Humana. Democrats denounced Humana as liars, and when some Republicans pointed out an inconvenient truth, that Humana was right, Democrats went into Pavlovian mode and started demonizing Republicans as handmaidens of the insurance industry. What a creepy and shameless bunch these Dems have become.
Even more inconveniently for the Democrats, the Congressional Budget Office backs up Humana and the Republicans. The CBO says Medicare benefits will be cut. Combined with the previous CBO statements - that Medicare premiums will rise under ObamaCare, that overall health care costs will rise under ObamaCare, that Medicare prescription drug prices will increase by 20% under ObamaCare, and that ObamaCare isn't paid for and will add to the deficit, it appears the Democrats are merely trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes.
The silver lining to all this is, there really isn't a health care reform bill yet. There are a series of bills (all deeply flawed), so there's still time to change the wrongheadedness in the bills. We all want to do something to reform health care, but we don't want to do the WRONG thing. We don't want to make the health care system even worse. The Democrats are looking to finish up and vote on ObamaCare in a couple weeks. Time is running out.