Brian Beutler at TPM wonders if the GOP plans to follow Paul Ryan down the kill-Medicare rabbit hole again in an election year and concludes that yes, they do:
Why on earth would Republicans put the whole party back on the line? Particularly after a year of serial brinkmanship and overreach that has dragged their popularity down to record lows?
The answers speak as much to the hubris of this GOP majority as it does to the fact that the party’s in thrall to a movement that demands unyielding commitment to a platform of reducing taxes on high-income earners and rolling back popular, though expensive, federal support programs.
Ryan & Co. plan to coat the poison pill with saccharine-flavored provisions (inexplicably) contributed by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, which were soundly rejected by Wyden’s fellow Democrats when the “bipartisan” agreement was announced a couple of months ago.
However, the sham “compromise” backed by Wyden puts the GOP in the unenviable position of having to explain subtleties to two different audiences with opposing agendas: It doesn’t accomplish the utter annihilation of Medicare the tea party extremists want since it contains a “public option” (no, really) that purports to preserve the program in its original form rather than leaving seniors entirely to the tender mercies of the private insurance industry.
But it does tie the cost of the “public option” version of Medicare to market permutations, which would almost certainly drive costs up for seniors, many of whom are Republicans. The devil is in the details, but it’s hard to see how this could actually save money without reducing benefits or raising costs.
As Beutler notes, Democrats are happy to have this debate again, especially in an election year. But should they be? Does Wyden’s participation provide a sufficient fig leaf for the “zombie-eyed granny starver”? I’m thinking not, though surely outfits like PolitiHack will do their utmost to muddy the waters.[X-POSTED at Rumproast]
The GOP could win with the help of their media fluffers.
Since theirs is the only serious plan, the only plan that will limit cost that the Dems have no counter proposal – you know, the usual bullshit they drag out when they want the great unwashed to vote to put themselves out on the ice flow.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
The Democrats should go ahead and fight against the bill, and let Wyden stand their an explain why he’s gone Roguepublican.
In the past, even our most hapless Democrats have been able to make touching Medicare toxic, and that was for Medicare cuts that were far less extreme than this. I think we’ll be able to do well with this one even with PoliticizedFact on the other side and the Wyden fig leaf.
c u n d gulag
If Republicans are hell-bent on committing suicide, who are we to stop them?
Hell, we should start a fund to help them buy the damn guns and bullets.
Speaking of Republican Stupidity, this cry of despair from Erick Erickovich has to be read and savored for the sweet sweet schadenfreude.
I believe assisted suicide is legal in Oregon. Perhaps we should take up a collection to buy Erickovich a (one-way) plane ticket. It’s what he apparently wants, after all…
Wyden baffles me. On SOPA he was the hero, but he’s sooo bad on his key concern, health care.
I think they should be happy to have this debate again. I think that one of the reasons the ACA never garnered majority support was because it felt complicated to people, even if they benefited from it, and because Americans don’t seem to like big changes. More often than not that bugs me, because there are things which need big changes, and things we need to do that can’t be summed up in a sound bite. But I think it’s a point in our favor when the sell is “so I have this great plan to radically reshape a very popular program…stick with me now through all the various options and coupons…”
@dmsilev: It’s one thing what this guy writes, but does anyone really believe for a moment that someone with his warped beliefs would ever vote for a African-American for any elected office?
The Moar You Know
“Hubris”? No, what’s motivating them is desperation. Losing to the black menace for the second time in a row is something that this group of folks cannot accept at any price.
They’re counting on Wyden’s support being enough cover to get the MSM on their side and to try to change up the conversation come the fall; but you can’t fight political gravity. There is no support for changing Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security. I really hope they do this through;and I hope they manage to get Mitt Romney on record AGAIN supporting a Paul Ryan plan.
That will be fun; Paul Ryan seems bound and determined to win Florida for Obama.
Working people who are covered by their employers’ group plans have absolutely no clue how much individual private health care insurance costs, how inadequate the benefits can be, and what a hassle it is to “shop” for health care insurance year after year as premium hikes force them out of one plan after another. Until they do understand this, they’re not going to realize just how bad Ryan’s proposal is and how it’s going to affect their lives.
Come on. One senator is enough for a fig leaf? Obama, Pelosi, and their surrogates can beat that back without breaking a sweat. By all means, let’s have that fight.
I wish to God that the starting point for reforming healthcare had been dumping our congresscritters off their government-paid healthcare and told they were now small employers. (That office in Greensboro counts as an office of eight.) Go to it. Out into the free marketplace. Deal with that, in addition to trying to do your job.
@Kirbster: Actually, that’s not quite right. Employers have been changing plans for the past five years (personal experience). The largest number of those changes have been for the worse (not personal experience, knock on wood). Co-pays have been going up, coverage is less. People know.
All you need to do is hammer the message home that “if this change happens, everything will go up even more because you won’t have the power of the employer or the government behind you to force the insurance companies to keep them from completely looting your retirement.”
@Senyordave: Oh, of course not. I’m sure that by April or May, Erickovich will have shoved all of this existential despair down the memory hole and will be writing one screed after another about why it is *essential* that Romney defeat the Kenyan Soshalist Usurper. But, until then, we should enjoy his suffering.
OT but congrats to DougJ on his Moore award.
My twitter feed says “someone” is out at SGK. No further details. Update its Handel
Speaking of Republicans hitting themselves upside the head: American Airlines hired Bain to design its bankruptcy. Bain showed them how to fire 13,000 Americans and raid the pension fund.
OT but not out of the boat:
The Chrysler ad, halftime in America.
According to Google, there are now 1,756 separate articles available about the ad. Republicans and Chrysler and Clint Eastwood are arguing about whether it is a pro-Obama spot.
The only way it can be a pro-Obama ad is if he gets credit for improvements in the auto industry. Otherwise, the argument makes no sense.
So Chrysler underwrites this charming 2-minute video for whatever reason and the Republicans make sure that as many people as possible see the implied but not openly spoken praise for Obama.
Thank you Chrysler. Thank you Clint Eastwood. Thank you Carl Rove. Thank you FSM.
[dancing, singing “Hope is a beautiful thing!”]
Yup, I came over to report the same thing. This tweet sez it came from AP.
@Litlebritdifrnt: A welcome move, but probably filed under “too little, too late” as far as Komen’s reputation goes.
@Emma: It’s gotten bad enough to be noticeable. Insurance profits have shot up because folks can’t afford to use their insurance.
Nobody remembers that private health care coverage for the oldsters was non-existent back in the days when the costs were merely inconceivable. People were dumped or priced out en masse from policies. This is why medicare exists.
We have medicare because there’s no such thing as private coverage for people past a certain age. There’s no “shopping” because vendors won’t exist. Nobody will offer ‘voucher’ coverage because there’s no profit in it.
When Bush and Enablers passed Medicare reform, the ‘Donut Hole’ was the air-filled breakfast treat many voting Seniors have personally experienced by now. They’ve seen the puppet show. They’ve been to the Circus.
OT but breaking: Karen Handel has resigned.
@Kirbster: Most don’t have a clue about any of those things, but unless they’ve never had a family member with more than a minor medical condition, they’re well aware of how health insurance companies are out to screw you out of everything they’re supposed to pay for if they can possibly manage it. Once you’ve experienced “please supply additional information,” “no, we didn’t get the form when you mailed it or when you faxed it,” “are you sure you don’t have other insurance,” and “that gynecologist visit isn’t covered because we pretended it was for a family member of the wrong gender” it doesn’t take too much imagination to realize what a nightmare it would be to deal with the same people like you’re buying a used car, without a company HR person you can appeal to for help.
I can say “all health insurance companies are evil” in just about any group of people I’ve ever encountered, and no one will disagree. No one except die-hard market-worshipers thinks “shopping” for health insurance is a good idea, which is why they had to make up crap like “death panels.”
@dmsilev: Komen will definitely live on, if only as a case study in disaster management.
OT Mark of Respect. We’ve lost our last known WWI veteran, Florence Green, 110, of the Women’s Royal Air Force
The lack sf self-awareness is strong in that one.
The Moar You Know
@scav: Mad respect and a moment of silence on this end.
Man, are we sure Paul Ryan isn’t a mole working for us? This is pure insanity!
@dmsilev: I saw that. The really glorious thing about Erickson’s near-GBCW whine-fest is what you can find between the lines.
This is a naked admission that the Republican Party has no positive agenda. None. Nothing at all. Americans don’t want what they’re selling, and even hacks like Erickson know it. Their sole argument is that they’re not Obama, and that is just not going to sell to an electorate that doesn’t hate Obama as much as they do.
The wingnut mind in a nutshell: it’s not about a candidate’s qualifications, it’s about how hard they like to punch hippies.
Even Erickson recognizes that Gingrich has no positive agenda, no argument for his own election other than hoping for America to fail and bleating that they’re not Obama. If he really thought Gingrich was a viable candidate who could appeal to most Americans, it wouldn’t matter what the economy was like–surely, if Obama is as disliked and incompetent as they think, an idea man like Newt should be able to defeat him based on the superiority of his policies and qualifications?
Except he can’t, and Erick knows it. And neither can Santorum:
As with Gingrich, this is the real tell here: the admission that Americans don’t like conservative policies when they’re described honestly.
Why is Santorum’s “bold stand for faith and tradition” such a massive liability in the general election? Let’s unpack that. If Americans are as conservative as people like Erickson like to claim, if they find the social conservative agenda appealing, surely an unapologetic and passionate advocate for “faith and tradition” like Santorum should be an asset, not a liability. Surely a fighter like Newt, someone willing to be a standard-bearer for every conservative policy wish-list, should be able to articulate a persuasive alternative to Barack Obama regardless of the state of the economy.
The reality is that Santorum’s extreme social conservatism is very unpopular with most Americans, and Erickson knows it. The reality is that the way Newt has helped pull back the curtain on the ugly side of the GOP is very unpopular, and Erickson knows it. People like Walker and Kasich have helped unmask the real conservative agenda for America, and Americans really don’t like it.
By and large Americans simply don’t want what the GOP is selling, and this is as close to an admission of that as you’re going to see from a wingnut hack like Erickson.
In ’09, the Teabaggers were all “keep your gubmint hands offa my Medicare!” Now they want Paul Ryan & the rest of the House Repub crazies to destroy it for them.
Am I perhaps overestimating the intelligence level of these people?
@Catsy: I also love this part: “if the economy fixes itself” because, yeah, it just fixed itself. That’s what happened.