Monday, August 20, 2012

Geroge Carlin and the Romney/Ryan Lies On Medicare

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How I miss this irreverent comedian.  There was no one like George Carlin to get to the heart of the matter in plain, and sometimes offensive shocking, language.  

I wish George were alive to take on the lies being told by the two R's about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.  I'm sure he would have something pithy to say about that.   

Since he is no longer among us I will have to copy from another source to straighten the record out.  An editorial published in the NYT a few days ago contained the following statements.   For the full editorial click on the link. 
NYT Editorial

Republican attacks on President Obama’s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the Affordable Care Act would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program’s finances.
 Last week, both insisted that they would save Medicare by pumping a huge amount of money into the program, a bizarre turnaround for supposed fiscal conservatives out to rein in federal spending. 
 THE ALLEGED “RAID ON MEDICARE” A Republican attack ad says that the reform law has “cut” $716 billion from Medicare, with the money used to expand coverage to low-
income people who are currently uninsured. 
 the budget resolutions crafted by Paul Ryan  retained virtually the same cut in Medicare.
the $716 billion is not a “cut” in benefits but rather the savings in costs that the Congressional Budget Office projects over the next decade from wholly reasonable provisions in the reform law.
 money will be saved by reducing unjustifiably high subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans that enroll many beneficiaries at a higher average cost than traditional Medicare. Another will come from reducing the annual increases in federal reimbursements to health care providers — like hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies — to force the notoriously inefficient system to find ways to improve productivity.
And a further chunk will come from fees or taxes imposed on drug makers, device makers and insurers — fees that they can surely afford since expanded coverage for the uninsured will increase their markets and their revenues. 

NO HARM TO SENIORS The Republicans imply that the $716 billion in cuts will harm older Americans, but almost none of the savings come from reducing the benefits available for people already on Medicare. But if Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan were able to repeal the reform law, as they have pledged to do, that would drive up costs for many seniors — namely those with high prescription drug costs, who are already receiving subsidies under the reform law, and those who are receiving preventive services, like colonoscopies, mammograms and immunizations, with no cost sharing.
Mr. Romney argued that the $716 billion in cuts will harm beneficiaries --
If he thinks that will be a major problem, Mr. Romney should leave the reform law in place: it has many provisions designed to make the delivery of health care more efficient and cheaper, 
NO BANKRUPTCY LOOMING The Republicans also argue that the reform law will weaken Medicare and that by preventing the cuts and ultimately turning to vouchers they will enhance the program’s solvency. But Medicare is not in danger of going “bankrupt”; the issue is whether the trust fund that pays hospital bills will run out of money in 2024, as now projected, and require the program to live on the annual payroll tax revenues it receives.
The Affordable Care Act helped push back the insolvency date by eight years, so repealing the act would actually bring the trust fund closer to insolvency, perhaps in 2016. 
 The Congressional Budget Office concluded that repealing the law would raise the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years. 

THE DANGER IN MEDICARE VOUCHERS The reform law would help working-age people on modest incomes buy private policies with government subsidies on new insurance exchanges, starting in 2014. Federal oversight will ensure a reasonably comprehensive benefit package, and competition among the insurers could help keep costs down.

Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan would allow beneficiaries to use vouchers to buy a version of traditional Medicare instead of a private plan,  it would be wise to see how well premium support worked in the new exchanges.

The reform law is starting pilot programs to test ways to reduce Medicare costs without cutting benefits.
It is much less likely that the Republicans, who have long wanted to privatize Medicare, can achieve these goals.



Kay Dennison said...

I miss George and his rapier wit! We still have Bill Maher -- but I do worry about his safety.

And a pox on Romney and all who follow him.

I am so disgusted with the whole mess that I can hardly be civil in addressing the issues in this election.

My landlord told me he could tell me everything that's wrong with Obamacare and I said, "Really? I like it -- it paid for my carotid surgery in April and it will pay for Dianne's (his wife who has the same problem), too. He kept on and I had to be good and I didn't ask, "You watch Fox News, don't you?" I think I need to move -- he'll hate that -- I hold the 'honor' of living here longer than any other tenant.

Joy Des Jardins said...

How I loved George and his wit and wisdom....he was the best. I agree with least we have Bill Maher. Romney just plain out scares me...dear Lord. ~Joy

joared said...

Darlene, again you've really nailed the specific arguments that need examination by all voters. Carlin really gets to the point and I've enjoyed his insights through humor. Some I know can't get past his "dirty words" reputation to listen to what else he has to say, unfortunately. I've liked Maher, but at times he has a manner about him that causes me to tire of listening to him. Jon Stewart and his cohort with his own program, whose name escapes me at the moment, give me lots of laughs and seem to appeal to more of those people with whom I come in contact.

Glad you get some facts out there to which those wavering or others can refer. Now if I could just get some of those to read here -- those with whom I'm intrigued over who and what appeals to those whose views differ from mine in order to best reach them for thought consideration of perspectives different than their own. I think those are the individuals we have to reach in order to motivate them to reconsider their vote, or even to vote.

Darlene said...

*Kay Dennison - Sometimes it's really hard to listen to the idiots parroting what they heard on Faux News. It's even harder to keep my mouth shut at such times. :-)

*Joy - I, too, am scared by Romney and hope other see him for the fraud he is by November.

*Joared - I love John Stewart. There is nothing to compare to skewing an idiot or an idiotic idea with humor. It is so effective and he is the best. Maybe you were thinking of Stephen Colbert as the other political satirist.

All credit for the facts have to go to the New York Times.

Darlene said...

Apologies to Mr. Stewart. His name is Jon Stewart.

Hattie said...

I am so tired of the loonies who need to be called out and laughed at at every turn. If only a lot of them were not so scary and packing guns!

Darlene said...

*Hattie - It just gets more frightening every year. That's doubly true in Arizona where we have the looniest of the loonies in charge.

Rain Trueax said...

It's enough to make a person go nuts and the unfortunate part is the ones who most need to hear the facts have already been told to never trust the NYT or blogs like yours or mine. They won't read those facts because they have their own set of 'truths' and to that set of 'mistruths' they will remain most true.

George Carlin is much missed, but we do have Bill Maher and Jon Stewart to help fill in the hole. And Carlin's words are at least still out there.

The words I wish they would most read were said by Jesus Christ who most of them claim to follow...

I might add I hate those captchas as they are impossible to read sometimes even with several tries.

Darlene said...

*Rain Treaux - We also have Stephen Colbert to help fill in the hole left by Carlin.

I hate the captchas, too. I even have to use them the first time I comment on my own blog. Grrrr.

Judy said...

As always, thank you for taking it upon yourself to get the word out. We're really going to have to come out in force to support that which we believe in. Channel our fear into action in whatever way we can, I guess. Blogs like this are so important - we never know who might read it and be influenced in a good way. Despite my doubts sometimes, every vote does count.

Tabor said...

I doubt very much that insurance companies will compete very hard for elderly policies. Costs are going up under either president as this aging boomer bulge moves through the system.

Darlene said...

*Judy - I do hope my blog reaches a few who are uninformed and is of some good influence. Thank you for your comment.

*Tabor - I guess we will just have to wait and see, but your logic is sound.

Anne said...

You always get it exactly right, Darlene. Why is it that so many people get it so wrong?

Darlene said...

*Anne - Thank you. I guess they don't think like you and I, Anne.

Darlene said...
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