Wednesday, October 31, 2012



The U.S. has a large budget deficit because the government fought two wars without paying for them; conservatives slashed taxes several times; and then the financial crisis, fueled by deregulated bank gambling, threw millions of middle-class taxpayers onto the unemployment rolls.
And now self-proclaimed “deficit hawks” have a solution: cut Medicare benefits for the most vulnerable seniors (and tomorrow’s retirees). And many (including presidential candidate Mitt Romney) want to drastically change Medicare – by giving seniors a fixed amount of money to buy insurance on the private market. Almost 50 years ago Medicare was created to guarantee seniors affordable health care. It has been an amazing success story, assuring that more than 50 million older Americans and people with disabilities have health care – and are not pushed into poverty by the costs of illness and hospitalization. Now, conservatives are vowing to replace Medicare with a voucher system that would force older people to try to buy insurance from a welter of private insurance companies whose failure to serve seniors made Medicare necessary in the first place. If they are successful, seniors would lose the comprehensive national coverage and financial protection that Medicare offers them no matter which doctors and hospitals they use, anywhere in the country. The Republican plan would force them to pay more for health care seniors now get from Medicare – and jeopardize their access to care. Despite its success, Medicare has been targeted by conservatives who don’t want to take on the real drivers of growing deficits. Instead, they see an opportunity to bolster the profits of private insurance companies, even if this means ignoring the needs of Medicare enrollees. And, for all their talk about deficits, conservatives don’t want to make investments that would put Americans to work and bring down the deficit through an expanding tax base.
Calling Medicare an out-of-control “entitlement” whose costs are rising dramatically and unsustainably, they claim we just can’t afford Medicare as we know it any more. They ignore the experience of history that demonstrates private insurance is more costly. They are really making the case for a giant step backward as a nation and as a civilized community. And it would avoid the real causes of deficits.

" two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"! a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

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