Health Care? Fuhgeddaboudit.

So Paul Ryan would balance the budget in ten years.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that 70% of the cuts he makes to accomplish that goal are from health care.  Because, you know, we’ve got to keep producing all those weapon systems that the military says it doesn’t need.  We have to be prepared to fight World War II, the Cold War, and the War on Terror.

Besides repealing Obamacare, Ryan would slash Medicaid, shifting much more of the burden to the states, and hand out Medicare vouchers to seniors to go find health insurance, while raising the eligibility age two years.

Isn’t this what we all voted against in November?  Isn’t he what we all voted against in November?

Take two aspirin and don’t call him in the morning, America.

Mitt Offers a Little Irony on Health Care

Mitt lavishly praised the Israeli health care system for providing great care to all its citizens, while spending only 8% of its GDP on health care, compared to almost 18% in the U. S.

Israel has a European-style system with far more government control than Obamacare.  Everyone has to buy insurance from one of a few competing non-profit insurance companies.  Those companies must agree to take everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions and to include benefits specified by the government.

So Mitt expressed great enthusiasm for  a system that is much more government-run than Obamacare,  while promising to repeal Obamacare because it gives too much power to the government.

Mitt, are you listening to yourself?


More on Hilary Rosen

From “Hilary and Hillary:  Political Mommy Wars,” Jane Mayer, The New Yorker:

“But when unemployment statistics are compiled, they don’t include unpaid labor.  Volunteer work and full-time parenting are laudable and socially essential, but they aren’t the same thing as a paid job.  Employment, or the lack of it, is the burning issue in America’s economy at the moment.  It was in that context — a discussion of the unemployment numbers on a television talk show, and Romney’s comments that Ann was his source for women’s opinions on the issue — that Rosen spoke.

“Any time the issue can be ignited in politics, those who want to divide women gain.  The resentments and suspicions and insecurities of women on both sides are so deep that it is a surefire way to undermine any chance of women uniting into something resembling a solid voter bloc.  If you want to distract women from issues on which the government actually has a policy role, such as the availability and legality of health-care services (including abortion), childcare, and equal pay, it’s perfect.”  Emphasis added.

Enron Accounting Won’t Fix Medicare

From “Ducking the Crisis in Medicare,” Steven Rattner, NYT:

“About 65 percent of the cost of the Obama health care law is supposed to be met by Medicare expense reductions and tax increases totaling roughly $1 trillion over 10 years.  The deficiency with this plan is that it amounts to double-counting, using urgently needed Medicare economies to finance the new law.

“[T]he government’s accounting practice — counting $748 billion of cost savings and $259 billion of revenue increases toward both Medicare and the cost of the Obama plan — is troubling.  Moreover, this problem is largely hidden from public view.

“Under Washington’s delusional rules, budget crunchers in both the White House and Congress credit this $1 trillion twice:  once in calculating that the care law will generate more revenues than costs, and again in concluding that the Obama plan will chip away at the Medicare problem.

“The truth is that the law will either be fully paid for or it will begin to address the Medicare problem — but not both.”


Mitt Pushed Obama to Federalize the Massachusetts Individual Mandate in 2009

Citizen opposition researcher, and recent BuzzFeed hire, Andrew Kaczynski has been a thorn in Mitt’s side this cycle with his relentless use of the way-back machine to contradict pretty much everything Mitt says.

And now he’s come up with a very choice nugget — a July 30, 2009 USA Today op ed, in which Mittens urged President Obama to adopt the individual mandate requiring people to buy health insurance.  Mitt argued that the mandate should be part of a federal health plan, not just a one-shot deal for Massachusetts as he’s trying to say now.

Mitt’s current position was never very cogent or convincing (the mandate works great in Massachusetts, but heaven forbid anyone else should have it), but he’s lost even that fig leaf now.

Obama’s going to wipe the floor with him over the mandate.


President Obama Moves to the Center

The Obama Administration has changed its mind on requiring one set of “essential health benefits” that must be offered nationwide under Obamacare.  It will instead let the states decide on those benefits.

This removes one of the objections to the new health care law, in that it gives considerable power back to the states rather than imposing a “one size fits all” system.

It also means that the states, not the federal government, will have a lot of control over how much health care premiums cost.  If people are dissatisfied, they can look to their legislatures rather than Washington for redress.  For example, in Massachusetts, premiums have risen under Romneycare because policies must include a long list of items, including prescription drugs.  Insurers there cannot offer more basic policies for less money.

This is a big move to the center that takes some ammunition away from the 2012 Republican candidate.


Newt Is As Big a Liar as Mitt on Health Care

In response to criticism that he has been as big a supporter of the individual mandate in health care as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich says that he supported the mandate in the early 90’s only as an alternative to Hillarycare and that he has long since stopped championing it.

But the NYT * today for the first time reports a conference call from May 2009 where Newt told health care executives, “We believe there should be must-carry; that is everybody should have health insurance, or if you’re an absolute libertarian, we would allow you to post a bond.”

So he still supported the individual mandate two years ago, not two decades ago.

What’s his excuse now?  Other than the $37 million he was paid to lobby for the health care industry, I can’t think of one.


*”Gingrich Push on Health Care Appears at Odds With G.O.P.,” Jim Rutenberg and Mike McIntire

The Barbarians Aren’t at the Gates, They’re Sitting in the Audience

At the last two Republican debates, there has been an important participant in addition to the candidates, and that is the audience.  They are not helping their cause of defeating President Obama by making the GOP appear to be the party of barbarians.

At the Reagan Library debate, there was a loud ovation for the number of executions Rick Perry has carried out.  At the Florida Tea Party debate, there were calls of “Let him die,” about the hypothetical 30-year-old who doesn’t have health insurance, but ends up in the hospital.

The GOP/Tea Party claim they offer much-needed common sense.  They clearly lack much-needed common decency.