Krugman: GOP’s Concern That Health Care Bill Would Cut Medicare The Height Of Hypocrisy
Republicans suddenly are aghast that health care reform will result in cutting a program they were never really for. Paul Krugman explains how remarkable it is that this is the same group that shut down the government in 1995 to try to get Bill Clinton to accept cuts in the program.
…what’s truly mind-boggling is this: Even as Republicans denounce modest proposals to rein in Medicare’s rising costs, they are, themselves, seeking to dismantle the whole program. And the process of dismantling would begin with spending cuts of about $650 billion over the next decade. Math is hard, but I do believe that’s more than the roughly $400 billion (not $500 billion) in Medicare savings projected for the Democratic health bills.
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (pictured), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, has a plan called “Roadmap for America’s Future,” which cuts Medicare over time, even more than the health care reform bill does.
…the Congressional Budget Office, which has done an evaluation of the roadmap, offers a translation: “Some higher-income enrollees would pay higher premiums, and some program payments would be reduced.” In short, there would be Medicare cuts.
The bottom line, then, is that the crusade against health reform has relied, crucially, on utter hypocrisy: Republicans who hate Medicare, tried to slash Medicare in the past, and still aim to dismantle the program over time, have been scoring political points by denouncing proposals for modest cost savings — savings that are substantially smaller than the spending cuts buried in their own proposals.
And if Democrats don’t get their act together and push the almost-completed reform across the goal line, this breathtaking act of staggering hypocrisy will succeed.Click here for reuse options!
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