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Blog of Mass Destruction

Medicare Mendacity

By The Reverend Published: April 25, 2011

First it was the audacious GOP governors of the Tea Party persuasion.

Governors, Kasich of Ohio, Walker of Wisconsin, Snyder of Michigan and Scott of Florida....all came out of their inaugural gates like a house on fire. The GOP governors had apparently mainlined some artificially sweetened, make-believe mandate from voters. Pretending to be balancing their state budgets, each governor strategically went about attacking the right of state employees to collectively bargain.

Unions provide considerable support for the Democratic Party. It didn't take voters long to understand what these GOP wolves in budget-balancing-sheep's clothing were really doing....that is, attacking with vengeance their political opponents. According to the most recent polls, if last November's election were held today, each and every one of these radical GOP governors would be defeated. A textbook case of buyer's remorse. Recalls and nullification initiatives are now all the rage with voters who don't take too kindly to being duped.

That's what your state Tea Party crash scene looks like.

On the national front, the radicalized Republican House of Representives, heavy Tea imbibers, recently voted to abolish Medicare and Medicaid and replace these government run programs with what they call "market based" programs. Medicare would be turned into a voucher program, Medicaid into a block-grant-to-states program.

Once again, these radicalized TeaPublicans are claiming that abolishing Medicare and Medicaid as we've known them is really, truly, honestly, they're not kidding.....all about fiscal responsibility. Having supervised the doubling of the national debt during Junior's spendfest a few short years ago.....these born again House Republicans are by-god serious this time about holding the federal line on spending.

Enter Paul Ryan's "bold", "courageous" Roadmap to Recovery. 235 House Republicans passed Paul Ryan's Roadmap budget plan over a week ago. Ryan's plan would INCREASE deficits for the next ten years and only begin to theoretically reduce deficits after the GOP's proposed Medicare replacement plan went into effect in 2022. The "savings" generated in Ryan's shell game plan would come from elderly Americans who would be forced to pay thousands more each year for health insurance under Ryan's Medicare replacement plan.

While Ryan's plan burdens American seniors with more health care costs by forcing them to purchase health insurance from for-profit insurers instead of automatically being covered by the government run Medicare program, at the same time it cuts taxes, again, for our nations filthiest of rich.

As any rational person can imagine.....this plan isn't going over very well with American voters. And just as Teapublican governors are being hit with a huge pie-in-the-face of voter's remorse.....so too now national Teapublicans are being slapped with polling results of mass GOP destruction.

What's a poor, tea drinking, shell game playing, serve the rich GOP to do?

Lie.

What we're now seeing, in the light of overwhelming polling against Ryan's plan, is a new stinking, steaming pile of mendacity. House Republicans, petrified by the real possibility that their vote to abolish Medicare is on a recoil course to bite their asses, big time, next November.....are scrambling to come up with a response to why they voted to hand out bigger tax refund checks to billionaires while making the elderly sick pay for it.

Claims by critics who rightly insist Ryan's plan abolishes Medicare are being countered now by muddy-the-water Republican and corporate media lies that the GOP is really only "reforming" Medicare, "saving" Medicare. A bigger lie could not be told.

At 65 every American is entered into a government insurance program called Medicare. American workers have taxes deducted from every paycheck which is entered into the Medicare fund for all seniors. Social Security recipients have approximately $100 deducted from their monthly checks which also goes into the Medicare fund. Medicare participants, with applicable deductibles and co-pays, have all of their medical costs taken care of by this government run, Medicare program.

Administrative costs to run Medicare are 6%, much lower than for-profit insurers at 17%. The very reason Medicare exists today is because for-profit, corporate insurers do not want to insure the elderly who make up the most costly demographic for health care. Older people....freaking duh....get sick more often than the non-elderly, and often with extremely costly-to-treat illnesses.

Ryan's plan would put all seniors at the mercy of for-profit insurance salesmen. Instead of automatically being covered by a national plan at 65....each year, seniors would receive a coupon in the mail worth X amount of dollars to "shop" for their best "choice" in health insurance providers.

That is not a "reform" of Medicare...that is not a "saving" of Medicare....that is abolishing Medicare and replacing it with a for-profit, corporate insurer program. And the insult added on to the lying injury that Ryan's plan is, somehow, a "reform" of Medicare, is found in the additional thousands of dollars seniors would need to pay each year over traditional Medicare. And that's the first year Ryan's plan goes in to effect. By 2030-something, some analysts have calculated that Ryan's plan would require an additional $14,000 to $20,000 out of pocket costs each year just to pay for the shortfall in voucher amounts.

So, don't get lost in the Foxian fog that's just now begun in an effort to save the electoral asses of House Teapublicans. House Republicans did not vote to "reform" or "save" Medicare over a week ago. They voted to abolish Medicare and to replace it with a for-profit, turn granny-over-to-the-slicksters, further-impoverish-the-old-and-the-infirm....Teapublican plan to help the rich.

Remember that next November.

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