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Obama Sent Medicare Message First and Now Republicans Move to Privatize It

IT DIDN’T surprise me that I’d come back from our festive holiday to find Medicare cuts being floated by the likes of Jonathan Chait, but especially Ezra Klein. If Klein is tagging it from the White House it’s not just a trial balloon or a bargaining point, as some have speculated, but Administration conventional thinking. Why people are even writing about this as news is what’s so interesting.

Back in 2011, during the debt ceiling talks, President Obama made it clear that entitlements were on the table. Why should anyone think after he won reelection they’re not?

The Wall Street Journal is aghast that Republicans are talking in public with some degree of candor about raising taxies on the top 2%, which was solidified through the November election, with the majority of the American people agreeing on that plan.

It shows you just how stupid many Republicans are today, especially as political bargainers.

It’s obvious to any political analyst worth her/his reputation that if Republicans give on the top 2%, the strongest ally they’ll have on cutting away on entitlements will be President Obama. It’s been clear for years that he believes in entitlement (ahem) “reform.”

Establishment brains like Chait and Klein also actually believe the optics on raising the Medicare eligibility age justify the action.

What few are digesting is that raising the Medicare eligibility age actually privatizes the program for those between 65-67, while simultaneously exploding costs. I’m not sure why progressive groups and their allies who have planned nationwide events today aren’t using that line, because it’s real.

If President Obama agrees to push the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 in order to get the 2% tax increase the country voted for, he’s not only agreeing to privatize the program for a group of seniors who can least afford it, but helping Republicans achieve something they couldn’t even do under George W. Bush, because the people mutinied against it.

Did you vote for President Obama so he could help Republicans privatize Medicare?

Whatever discussions that need to be held on entitlements shouldn’t happen in the last weeks of a lame duck Congress. Let Congress know how you feel.

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9 Responses to Obama Sent Medicare Message First and Now Republicans Move to Privatize It

  1. Joyce Arnold December 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Obama being Obama.

    • Taylor Marsh December 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

      Yeah, and he never disguised it either.

      • Joyce Arnold December 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

        Agreed. No “hidden agenda.”

  2. Cujo359 December 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    ” I’m not sure why progressive groups and their allies who have planned nationwide events today aren’t using that line, because it’s real.”

    Because they still aren’t going to criticize Obama, the guy most supported without question during the election, and this is a criticism of his genius idea.

  3. PeggySue December 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Ah, yes. Obama unleashed from reelection worries. This is the reason Barack Obama never saw my vote, either in 2008 or 2012. I’m a Democrat; he isn’t. Of course, I didn’t vote for I-Will-Say-Anything Romney either. Not sure what he was, except willing to placate the right-wing crazies.

    Charles Pierce had an interesting piece up this morning, mentioning the scourge of Alzheimer’s and what raising the age eligibility means to people suffering from the disease. I’ve gotta say this is personal for me. I watched my father die of Alzheimers. Not pleasant. And my 60-year old sister has recently been diagnosed with the disease. She has very, very basic healthcare insurance in Florida. Just trying to round up the funds for the tests and imaging to rule out other diseases was a major challenge. If she has to wait until 67 before Medicare kicks in, she could very well be in full-blown dementia without the ability to tap into meds and therapies to slow the debilitating symptoms. Which are significant.

    My sister is one in millions and millions of Americans who will be hurt by this ‘easy fix’ on the Yellow Brick Road to a Grand Bargain. Men and women who have done a lifetime of physical labor often see their health breakdown early. I love these stats that say but, but . . . people are living longer as if the quantity [number of years] is what it’s all about.

    This was a bad idea in 2011 and it’s a bad idea now. Bu you’re right, everyone had a heads up. Obama remarked that he and Romney shared views on ‘entitlements’ during one of the debates. A true groaner!

  4. Uh-oh December 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I am not a Democrat, I am a liberal–Obama is neither. I believe that Obama is changing the Democratic party to a right-wing party and all the dems are going along for the ride. Many of us knew all along that he was going to do what no Republican could ever do–start dismantling the safety net programs. The smart thing to do would be to let the Bush tax cuts expire–but that won’t happen (Obama cannot LET that happen) because then there would be no cover for aiming the wrecking ball at SS and medicare.

  5. TPAZ December 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    To little, too late. Obama is the ultimate blue dog Democrat (Republican).

    P.S. Welcome back TM. You picked a hell of a week time to give up drinking. :)

  6. jinbaltimore December 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    More murder by pen and paper from the drone king.

  7. StrideHyde December 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    This whole meme about “entitlement reform” is driving me crazy. Both sides seem to be buying it. The cost curve on Medicare is already starting to flatten out, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. I’m no Pelosi fan but I loved it when she asked where the savings are if the age eligibility is raised. She knows the answer: there is no savings in that. The other 800 pound gorilla in the room is that people over 60 have a very hard time getting hired and are vulnerable to losing coverage at the exact time they often start having health problems. I guess BHO won’t have to worry about that, will he?

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