The WaPo did a fact check of Ryan’s Medicare/Medicaid plans ( which we should start calling simply the House Republican Plan since they passed it. The plan is not going to become law because thankfully the Senate will not pass it). WaPo practically bends itself into a pretzel to give the Ryan/Republican plan a fair hearing and still finds they are being less than truthy, GOP lawmakers tout Medicare reform by stretching a comparison to the health benefits they receive
Ryan, in his quote, said the new Medicare would be “working like a system just like members of Congress and federal employees have.” But the comparison begins to break down once you consider the premium support payments. Ryan would peg the premium support to the consumer price index, a broad gauge that has been rising more slowly than have health care costs.
The Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan arm of Congress, analyzed Ryan’s plan and estimated that by 2030, the government would pay just 32 percent of the health care costs, less than half of what the federal plan currently pays. The other 68 percent of the plan would have to be shouldered by the retiree. (The CBO estimated that if traditional Medicare stayed in place, the government would pay 70 to 75 percent of the costs.)
While we can all understand how Republicans think Ryan is an economic genius – the same people who put a couple of trillion-dollar wars on your grandchildren’s credit card, what about Ryan’s view of the American people. He is assuming the majority of Americans are not aware they health care costs have risen faster than the rate of inflation for every other segment of the economy. That fact was and is one of the driving factors behind health care reform – The Affordable Care Act. The CBPP and Congressional Budget Office also ran the Ryan/Republican numbers and came to the same conclusion, CBO Report: Plan Also Contains Deeper Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid Than Paul Ryan(R-WI) Revealed
For Medicare, the CBO report reveals that the Ryan plan would raise the age at which people become eligible from 65 to 67, even as it repeals the health reform law’s coverage provisions. This means 65- and 66-year-olds would have neither Medicare nor access to health insurance exchanges in which they could buy coverage at an affordable price and receive subsidies to help them purchase coverage if their incomes are low. This change, which is not mentioned in the 73-page booklet on his plan that Chairman Ryan released, would put many more 65- and 66-year-olds who don’t have employer coverage and can’t afford insurance into the individual insurance market — where the premiums charged to people in this age group tend to be very high — leaving them uninsured. People of limited means, such as those who are trying to get by on incomes as low as $12,000 a year in today’s dollars, would be affected most harshly because they wouldn’t be able to afford private coverage.
The CBO report also reveals that the vouchers, or “defined contribution amounts,” that Ryan would provide to seniors to buy coverage from private insurance companies in lieu of current Medicare coverage would be adjusted each year only by the general inflation rate. For more than 30 years, health care costs per beneficiary in the United States have been rising about two percentage points per year faster than GDP growth per capita.
The group said it was part of a grassroots effort and its members “believe that Snyder’s early performance proves he is not qualified to lead Michigan.”
In part, the group cited as reasons for the recall effort Snyder’s law that expands the powers of emergency managers named by the governor to rescue failing schools and cities. Those powers include the ability to break union contracts and remove locally elected officials.
More here on Snyder’s efforts to replace legally elected governance with corporate stooges,
Michigan’s law allows the state to appoint emergency managers to nullify contracts, including labor agreements – which is what has unions upset. But the scope and intention of the law is much deeper and wider than simply anti-union. The legislation allows emergency managers to nullify the powers and authority of local governments of all kinds. One of its supporters gave the game away when he spoke of the need to impose a kind of “financial martial law” in which all pretense of democracy would be abolished in targeted communities. The community the Republican politician had in mind was Detroit, the Black metropolis, where the public schools were promptly put under emergency state control. But there is nothing to stop the state from abolishing democratic governance in any of Michigan’s cities, if an emergency can be declared or created. On April 15, the mostly Black city of Benton Harbor, the poorest jurisdiction in the state, was placed under total financial martial law, its citizens suddenly made more powerless than Blacks in Selma, Alabama, prior to the civil rights movement.
While they only really seem to believe in it when there is a Democratic president or a Democratic majority in the House, Republican philosophy is supposedly centered on local control – Washington bad, local always good. That being the case why is big state government and its dictatorial powers better than a city or town’s elected governmental authority. A Democratic city mayor and city council in Michigan should pass the same kind of “emergency” laws and send their appointed managers to kick out Snyder. If governors like Snyder and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker would to go fascist-lite on the locals, than they can cope with the mentality they created.
Governor says Obama leaving Texas in the dust. Texas Governor Rick Perry(R) has advocated secession, the rights of states to nullify federal law(both clearly unconstitutional) and begged Washington for stimulus funds, bragged about projects done with those funds – all while slinging cheap insults at Washington and the Recovery Act from which those funds came. Now Perry is whining about President Obama and the feds not declaring a state of emergency in Texas. Why does Mr. Secession want his state to be declared in a state of emergency? A federal major disaster declaration could reimburse Texas and local governments 75 percent of the cost of their response. The feds have supplied firefighters. The feds have given Perry 22 grants to help pay fire management – 16 of those just this month. Republicans still think Bush 43 was a basically good president with sound policies – he just had some bad luck in executing those policies. With the current crop of Republican governors we’re just seeing a state sized version of Bush in action. It does not seem to matter how deeply or often their policies fail they keep to the agenda and blame others for their failures.
Twisters Kill 337; 2nd Deadliest in U.S. History….and Republicans and the grand old philosophy of conservatism responds, GOP’s Continuing Resolution Cuts Funding for National Weather Service, FEMA
Nationally, reduced funding will mean upper air observations now made twice a day might be reduced to every other day, buoy and surface weather observations that provide data for warning systems could be temporarily or permanently discontinued and there could be delays in replacing satellites, according to the release.
But Republicans can always find an excuse for corporate tax cuts.