Monday, May 30, 2011

And the Answer Is:

Via Hot Air comes Debbie Wasserman Schultz appearing on that notorious bastion of right wing groupthink, Face the Nation:
Smith: But the Trustees also said a couple of Fridays ago that this thing (Medicare) could be insolvent in the next decade. Doesn’t something really dramatic have to happen, and as the Congressman suggested, Republicans have a plan, do the Democrats have a plan?

Wasserman Schultz: Like I said, the Republicans have a plan to end Medicare as we know it. What they would do is they would take the people who are younger than 55 years old today and tell them You know what? You’re on your own. Go and find private health insurance in the healthcare insurance market, we’re going to throw you to the wolves and allow insurance companies to deny you coverage and drop you for pre-existing conditions. We’re going to give you X amount of dollars and you figure it out.
OOOOKAY. So, ten years from now, the Republicans are going to take people turning 65 after that time and tell them "You're on your own" by giving them money and allowing them to choose among whatever options there are available. For all people 65 or older, Medicare remains unchanged.

The Democratic plan is ...

I'm sorry, Ms Wasserman Schultz, I must have missed that. Could you repeat it? Oh, you didn't actually say what the Democratic plan is, did you? Lest anyone think that Reason or Hot Air or I failed to include that portion of her reply which actually responded to the question actually asked, here is the version of her answer shown by CBS News.
"American voters are making it clear that they have seen a preview of what the Republicans would do to Medicare, do to the direction that this country would go," she continued. "They want us to sit down together and work on some long-term reforms - which is what the Republicans and Democrats are doing with Vice President Biden right now. That's the direction we need to go."
And the answer is: We need to work out long term reforms. Together! The generous patriotic group that brought you the bipartisan solution of Obamacare without troubling themselves to get a single Republican vote wants to work together. Those selfless, caring Democrats who are sacrificing everything you have to strengthen their political careers say its time to work with the people who want to throw grandma off the cliff in her wheelchair.

Great atmospherics. But not much in the way of specifics, is there? So lets look elsewhere, shall we?

From the Wall Street Journal:
In his analysis accompanying the recently released Annual Report of the Medicare Board of Trustees, Richard Foster, Medicare's chief actuary, noted that Medicare payment rates for doctors and hospitals serving seniors will be cut by 30% over the next three years.
So there is an actual Democratic plan, and it is to generously permit doctors and hospitals to work for 70% of what they are getting now. I bet doctors and hospitals can't wait to take advantage of that offer. Wouldn't you?

Heck of a plan, Schultzy. I can understand why you are so anxious to tell people about it that you answer a question about your plan by talking about the Republican plan.

Of course Medicare can serve more people with 30% less money. Of course it is far better for a panel of government bureaucrats to decide what kind of coverage I should get. Everybody knows that everyone over 65 is way too stupid to decide for themselves.

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