Monday, November 09, 2009

Democrats Cut Medicare

The NYT reports that the House of Representatives has passed legislation for what the NYT calls health care reform. In fact it is not health care reform at all rather it is legislation that does two things. The first is that it cuts Medicare.


Democrats say the House measure — paid for through new fees and taxes, along with cuts in Medicare —

Instead of providing a real single payer plan by expanding Medicare the Democrats are actually taking money from Medicare incredible as that sounds. Coupled with the plan to cut Medicare the second thing this legislation does is to force Americans to purchase health care or face penalties thus enriching insurance companies once again at the cost of those who can least afford it.

The House legislation, running almost 2,000 pages, would require most Americans to obtain health insurance or face penalties —

Insurance companies surely have been losing customers as millions are out of work so they invest some money in Congress and in Obama’s presidential campaign and viola! Americans are once again forced to bail out the wealthy. That’s how it works. And since those people who lost their jobs aren’t working they certainly will not be able to afford health insurance. I envision an incredible mess and this will certainly hasten the decline of our coasting economy as this adds to the stress and ever declining quality of life under the Democrats.

When Obama promised health care reform I’m sure many believed he was actually talking about health care reform. This is pure out and out thievery nothing more nothing less. That the Democrats are cutting Medicare – a valuable and popular program – should have been the headline for the NYT article rather than “Sweeping Health Care Reform”. So I note that though the NYT gives us the salient facts, or some of them, it is presented in such a manner as to mitigate the impact of what is actually a big deal to many Americans which is the plan to cut Medicare.

None of this comes as any real surprise as I had read that this was going to happen months ago not that I ever believed that health care reform would happen under these thieves. The best thing that could have occurred would have been that this legislation was defeated.

It’s called the House of Representatives and it is clear who they represent so if its pirates you’re looking for you needn’t travel as far as Somalia since a much shorter jaunt to Washington D.C. would suffice just as well.


At November 10, 2009 4:49 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

I saw the piece on this bill in The NYTimes and shook with fury at the picture of the obscenely grinning Pelosi and her henchmen, bloodsuckers all. Single payer healthcare is the ONLY path to follow to allow even the hint of equitable treatment. Will it happen? Not as long as the pols are in the employ of the insurance companies, which means never.

At November 10, 2009 2:47 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Mimi,

I had the same reaction to the pictures. Pelosi is horrible. Pelosi and her spouse have been raking in money with their investments in the war industry. And people wonder why the endless wars.

At November 10, 2009 4:42 PM, Anonymous cemmcs said...

Disgusting, isn't it? It would make me sick except I can't afford it.

At November 10, 2009 8:20 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi cemmcs, Mimi, Rob,

39 Democrats(including Kucinich) voted against it, although one imagines for the majority of them it was because of the popular impression that it represented 'socialism' and they are in comparatively conservative districts.

Of course you have to think that the majority who voted no realize that the bill's problems have nothing to do with it being so-called socialism, and many republicans also realize the true nature of the problem(s) with the bill.

But if you go online to a lot of places like the Huffington Post or Salon you encounter so many commenters talking about the clauses referring to abortion coverage and arguing about that. And many of them telling the others, in effect,

"hey at least we got this otherwise incredible, awesome bill passed, so stop rocking the boat."

And what they won't see is that their party-first attitude is part of the reason why the phoney democratic leadership got away with making the bill as bad as it is.

I think what is most disheartening to me is that this bill, both because of how much harm it will cause and how it has come to be identified as a supposedly liberal solution, will make any kind of subsequent fix so much harder.

Take a look, if you are bored, at the back-and-forth between "NE" and me in the xomments in this recent ATR post. "NE" also gets into it with Chris Floyd, so I'm in good company here:

from ATR, 2 Nov 09.

At November 10, 2009 9:42 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Jonathan,

I agree that a good deal of the damage done by this legislation is it will keep real reform from occurring in the near future. In fact the timing couldn’t have been worse as the health care issue is one of the paramount domestic issues which certainly will not be addressed by this fiasco. What disturbs me the most though is how incredibly blatant the thievery is, really and truly amazing. The implications are that this is merely the beginning of worse things to come. Once these thieves get the sense that they can get away with anything or as they already are we can expect some really bad things coming down the pike.

Nice little food fight over at ATR Jonathan. I’m afraid N.E. got the worst of it. You can sort of tell when people lose an argument as they tend to go on and on more than they need to and the more they write the less they say.

At November 10, 2009 9:44 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Watch out! They’ll penalize you. I think I read somewhere the fine was 3,000 bucks. Plus taxes.

At November 11, 2009 12:15 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

I suspect you are right.

Food fight. Ha.

Maybe I'm beating this into the ground, but a big part of what frustrated me in my discussion with NE was I got the sense he understood my argument. I suspect that he also got that if you allowed yourself to admit the legitimacy of the argument, than you have to acknowledge that sometimes the democrats deliberately screw regular people over, and he just couldn't do that.

I'm guessing this is a problem for millions of educated people who should know better, and are capable of 'getting it', but are unwilling to for the same reason.

(And are also not necessarily smarter than some other, presumably less educated people who disagree with them.)

How do you explain to people like that, mostly democratic voters,

"even if you don't mean to be, you are part of the problem?"

At November 11, 2009 8:47 AM, Anonymous cemmcs said...

rob payne

If I refuse to pay, will I got to prison and if so, wouldn't I get free healthcare?

At November 11, 2009 7:13 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Cemmcs,

Naw, they just use the thumb screws these days. After the thumb screws the free health care is they give you two bandaids and a bottle of iodine.

At November 11, 2009 7:25 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Jonathan,

Yeah I don’t really have an answer for how to explain things to people. For one it is an assumption that all one need do is provide relevant facts and people will see things differently. Sometimes that can work but often it really doesn’t. Usually it just initiates another round of rationalizations. You know, “the democrats can’t do this and that because of this and that etc. I’m sure you know the routine. We are all conditioned to one extent or other as it is really inescapable and the tough part is having enough awareness to see as much of that conditioning as possible and at least know it for what it is. Easier said than done.

At November 13, 2009 1:49 PM, Anonymous Jenny said...

John: I thought this healthcare bill didn't cover abortion. I'd also figure conservatives would object to a universial health care bill anyway. What are they saying about this bill?

At November 13, 2009 4:46 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Jenny,
That's my understanding too. I gather the main objections coming from the GOP are about the price tag and it being a big government program.

Ironically, some of the conservative trolling at seem to think that Obama and company are just saying they'll cut medicare. If they're right that would be a good thing, even though the house dems should have never threatened to kneecap medicare in the first place. We'll see.

At November 13, 2009 6:17 PM, Anonymous Jenny said...

Why would cutting medicare be a good thing when this blog entry claims the opposite? And what's the true nature of the bill republicans have hit upon?

At November 13, 2009 7:33 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Jenny, Jonathan,

From what I have read this legislation will not allow abortion to be covered. This was stripped from the legislation by Nancy Pelosi so you can thank her that poor women will not be covered for abortions.

Since the legislation was already passed I’m not sure why people are talking about what the Democrats might do, it’s kind of a done deal as far as the house is concerned at this point. Of course we still have to hear from the Senate but I expect them to make this bill even worse if that’s possible. I keep hoping some of the additions like the one preventing abortions will eventually kill this legislation but hope isn’t much of a plan.

At November 13, 2009 8:03 PM, Anonymous Jenny said...

Thanks Rob, but the abortion thing I understand,but I was asking John what he meant about conservatives realizing the true nature of the bill.

At November 13, 2009 8:50 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Jenny,
OK, sorry about the misunderstanding, let me try to clarify:

1. I'm not saying that cutting medicare is a good thing. I'm saying that I saw some conservative commenters say that they thought that the democrats are bluffing about cutting medicare, and I was saying that would be good if it were true, i.e., that the intention is to remove the language in the house bill saying they were going to reduce medicare payments, which is what the current(house) bill says, in other words the bill in it's current form is a bluff -- but I doubt it. Like I said, we'll see.

Sorry about the confusion.

2. I may be wrong about the GOP members of congress understanding the true nature of the bill-- i.e., that it's not socialism, but a program of subsidies for private insurance companies. But my impression is the republicans have decided they have to stand against the bill not so much on policy grounds but simply because they need to make Obama and the democrats seem weak and incompetent, and they don't really care that much about the specifics, just the rhetoric.

Incidentally, here are a couple of PDF links to the bill: the first one is to the entire 1,990 page bill, which is over 3 mb, and the second is to a ten page summary.

I recommend the summary.

At November 13, 2009 9:04 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

another correction:

At November 13, 2009 9:16 PM, Anonymous Jenny said...

Okay, thank you. Now I understand. Thank you.


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