More than 31 million seniors and persons with disabilities participate in the Medicare Prescription Drug Program (Part D). 90% of those seniors are satisfied with this program, even though 100% of the Republican members of Congress would apparently love to can it along with the rest of Medicare, in favor of a voucher-care program. In spite of public polling on this subject, GOP members of Congress believe Seniors should have a plan that shifts the burden of finding even remotely affordable health care solutions onto the backs of Seniors and they have no plans that to rein in out of control healthcare costs.
As an example, this morning, during an appearance on Meet the Press, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) reiterated his call for restructuring Medicare to avert the fiscal cliff. Corker has a 242-page plan that lays out a Paul Ryan-like proposal that would turn Medicare (a plan we’ve all paid into throughout our working careers in anticipation of coverage beginning at age 65) into a voucher plan for beneficiaries.
Meet the Press Host David Gregory clearly showed his bias by appearing to agree with Corker’s characterization. And after showing that agreement, he then pressed Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) to accept reforms that will shift health care costs to seniors in order to show that Democrats are “serious” about entitlements. Excuse me? What was it the folks on the right failed to learn from their losses in the 2012 election?
For Republicans, time apparently is standing still and they’re clearly intent on dismissing President Obama’s opening offer of $600B in reforms and savings to health care and other government programs. They think they’re just not “painful” or “serious” enough to lower spending. Again … excuse me? Not painful enough? What planet do these guys hail from?
The President’s proposal identifies specific inefficiencies and waste from providers and drug manufacturers (which is a heck of lot more specific than anything that’s come across the table from those on the right (or should I say “wrong”). The President’s proposal also asks wealthier seniors to pay more toward their health care. Republicans, and their media cohorts, believe that unless some extreme cuts are offered up that directly reduce benefits or substantially increase out of pocket spending by seniors and poor Americans (via Medicaid), the offer isn’t something they should consider. More specifically, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he “burst out laughing” after seeing President Obama’s proposal and insisted that he should detail specific cuts to entitlements. Well, apparently Sen. McConnell can’t read — or once again — his only goal in life is to prevent President Obama from implementing his agenda.
The GOP wants to take a Plan that is working to make Seniors healthier and scrap it. We can’t let that happen. Learn more about why the program works and how you can sign up for, or change your existing Part D plan during the 2013 Open Enrollment period (Oct. 12 – Dec. 7).