The GOPocrisy rose to Fukushima-type levels this week as the Republicans rolled out their so-called “budget”. Wait, not a budget, a “cause”.
First, after beating Democrats about the head and shoulders last fall for daring to propose that Medicare waste be reduced by describing it as “cutting Medicare”, they have the audacity to now propose eliminating Medicare as we know it and replacing it with a coupon system for seniors and disabled Americans.
They are also slashing Medicaid, putting the onus on states, many of which are already crumbling under massive debt, to make up the difference.
budget cause also revokes the federal subsidies created by the new health insurance law, the Affordable Care Act, passed by Democrats last year that would help poor Americans to obtain health insurance, many for the first time.
All of these things ignore Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assessments that say such actions would increase the deficit, wave their Magic. They are waving their Republican WandTM and claiming it somehow will reduce the deficit. The CBO is, apparently, useful to Republicans only when it gives them answers they want to hear. Otherwise, they just ignore them.
Here’s Dana Milbank’s take:
Without question, Ryan makes some severe cuts: Taking hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, ending the Medicare entitlement, and slashing planned spending on transportation, energy, education, veterans benefits, agriculture payments, counterterrorism and more.
Yet for all these cuts, the Republicans’ plan increases the federal debt by more than $8 trillion over the next 10 years, and it continues federal budget deficits until nearly 2040. Under the proposed balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that Ryan and his Republican colleagues claim to support, Ryan’s budget wouldn’t be in compliance for at least the next quarter century.
Here’s the real rub, the real GOPocrisy: all of this spells “healthcare rationing”. When you limit the amount of health insurance coverage a senior citizen or poor or disabled American can receive, that’s rationing. That’s telling them, “Here’s your coupon. Get what you can for it. Sorry health care costs are rising but this is what you get and ya gets no more.”
The Los Angeles Times put it this way:
Despite decades of experiments, however, it is far from clear that market forces will hold down the nation’s skyrocketing healthcare tab. It is equally uncertain that states will be able control Medicaid costs without stripping away benefits from millions of people.
Critics believe Ryan’s approach will shift the higher costs onto the shoulders of individuals, much as the change from defined-benefit pensions to 401(k) plans has increased retirement risk for many families.
That could mean that senior citizens, the disabled and the poor will pay more, even as Washington pays less.
The Washington Post did a fact-check and gave it two Pinnochios.
I call it heartless, gratuitous grandstanding GOPocrisy. A not-so-blatant attempt to institutionalize healthcare rationing under the guise of deficit reduction and it even fails at reducing the deficit.
The question is whether or not Americans will recognize it for what it is.
I’m just sayin’…