Let's talk about Medicare

  • Article by: EZRA KLEIN , Washington Post
  • Updated: November 30, 2012 - 11:05 AM

Democrats aren't refusing to cut Medicare, but the GOP is refusing to name its cuts.

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ddellwoNov. 30, 1210:58 AM

Typical "Barack Obama" -- I'll run around in Air Force 1 giving speeches and I want the Republican's to do the dirty work. The way I see it, the Democrat's won the election, so the ball is in their court to propose a concrete plan to get us onto a path of economic sustainability. If they're so convinced their "way" is the right way, and that the majority of American's support them, then 2014 should see a sea-change in the party make-up of Congress that will allow them to do whatever they wish!

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dsteele04Nov. 30, 1211:18 AM

Let's talk about noted economist Joseph Stiglitz who publicly stated that improving efficiency is the way to successfully address our helthcare problem. Let's talk about why the media he appeared on has such small audience and then let's talk about why, in the midst of a media blitz largely about Obamacare, 99% of media failed to pick up the words of Professor Stiglitz and convey them to the public. Then let's talk about why we've foolishly allowed large media ownership to those who also own large entities in healthcare, financial and energy, the very industries we're having trouble controlling!

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ronniereaganNov. 30, 1211:32 AM

This author fails to point out that no serious person believes that the huge payment cuts to providers that is the main part of Obama's savings will ever be realistic or occur. History has shown that this has been tried in the past only to have Congress pass "Doctor patch" payment to lessen the cuts. Further- this author uses a proposed Obama budget as talking points......This adminstration and the democratic Senate have not passed a budget in 4 years. Clearly- they have no intention on any sort of real reform. Real reform would cause discomfort and possibly lose votes. Just answer me this....Obama loves to give speeches- try to rememeber the last speech in which he specifically touted real entitlement reform and real cuts in Medicare (rather than simply cuts to providers). President Obama has no intention of real reform....sad.

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davehougNov. 30, 1212:30 PM

GEE, do ya think a politician is reluctant to propose cuts that cause pain because he is afraid of the next election's attack ads :) Even if the painful cuts are enacted or not, the campaign managers will collect video clips for sound bites & smearing.

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gandalf48Nov. 30, 1212:53 PM

C'mon Ezra, you should have a bit more intellectual honesty than that. First you go off on the GOP for not having a Medicare plan...then you attack them for having a plan that you simply don't like (vouchers) and suggesting that it's a "a non-starter after they [the Republicans] lost the 2012 election". Finally, you suggest that Republicans should come up with another new plan to solve Medicare. No way, they already got attacked for their last plan and they did propose it and pass it (in the House) which takes a of courage. Democrats demanded tax rate increases so the Republicans responded with a compromise of revenue increases...the Republicans are demanding some sort of cuts to entitlements (as well as cuts to other government functions) in the name of compromise it's the Democrat's turn to come up with some solutions with cuts if they want a deal. I simply don't buy the idea that the Republicans must always put forth the solutions so that Democrats can reluctantly agree to them while attacking the Republicans in every campaign for coming up with horrible solutions. Let's hope the Democrats can grow up and put forth their ideas on cuts to entitlements (and other government programs) so there can be a real compromise.

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w1walshNov. 30, 1212:59 PM

ddellwo, did you read the article? The Dem's proposed to address the budget issue with taxes on the wealthy. The Rep's said only if there are cuts in the entitlements. The Dem's then asked what kind of cuts and how big. The amount of money spent on Air Force 1 is not the issue especially since it is a drop in the bucket.

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sek2undrstndNov. 30, 12 1:03 PM

Very simple and easy fix to Medicare: open it up for enrollment for anyone of any age. Those younger than 65 can pay an additional premium for the cost of the health insurance based upon rates set by actuaries.

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hobie2Nov. 30, 12 1:17 PM

"This adminstration and the democratic Senate have not passed a budget in 4 years."... If the House (Republican), the House of Congress that is responsible for providing the budget for the President to sign, would get one to the President, then maybe a budget would be passed. Can't pass one if the House won't give one to pass.

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hobie2Nov. 30, 12 1:22 PM

"The Rep's said only if there are cuts in the entitlements. The Dem's then asked what kind of cuts and how big.".. And when the Republicans say cut that evil entitlement Social Security, they will lose the House for suggesting that the taxpayers take the wage earners' and employers' money to cover the taxpayers' debt, and they will end up like the Whigs.

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hobie2Nov. 30, 12 1:31 PM

Why don't the Republicans suggest putting part D - the problem child they dreampt up under Bush - under the US government and get it out of Medicare? In the stoke of a pen, Medicare is healthy again, the taxpayer's program for free drug care is paid for by the taxpayers, and the trusts are safe from raiding... oh, ok .. they WANT to raid the wage earner's money in the trusts and turn the cash stream over to the insurance companies and the banks.

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