Archive for the ‘Medicare’ Category
May 25th 2011, 21:53 by G.I. | WASHINGTON
THERE are many problems with Paul Ryan’s budget and his plans for Medicare, but for Democrats, one is paramount: it is unpopular. His proposal initially put Democrats on the back foot, but within days they took heart as press commentary and polls turned negative. Mr Ryan’s plan, they concluded, was an electoral gift. That culminated in the upset victory by Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, in a predominantly Republican New York district in a special congressional election rightly seen as a referendum on RyanCare.
At the Peterson Foundation’s fiscal summit this morning, Mr Ryan complained that Democrats “are shamelessly demagoguing and distorting” his budget. It’s hard not to smile. As James Kwak thoughtfully reminds us with some choice press releases from Mitch McConnell, this is precisely how Republicans captured the elderly vote in last November’s midterms. Old folks, they said, would have their care rationed, and treatment decisions left to a cruel committee of unelected bureaucrats (the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which they have vowed to repeal).
Mr Ryan’s critics, however, should curb their schadenfreude. Read the rest of this entry »
The original article is linked here.
From The Economist print edition
The enormous deficit is complicating the president’s ambitious plans
IT WAS a rare victory for fiscal rectitude. On July 21st the Senate stripped the funding for seven more F-22 fighter jets from a big spending bill, bowing to Barack Obama’s threat to veto the aircraft.
But it was overshadowed by the much bigger setback Mr Obama had suffered a few days earlier. Three committees in the House of Representatives had presented a plan to provide health cover for the uninsured with the help of hefty tax increases on the rich. On July 16th Douglas Elmendorf, Congress’s chief budget scorekeeper, stunned Washington when he said the bill would not only fail to tame health-care costs, but would permanently shift them higher. It would add $239 billion to the deficit in the next decade and far more thereafter. The next day conservative Democrats joined Republicans on two committees in voting against the bill, though it still passed.
That Mr Elmendorf’s comments made such an impact signifies the growing political potency of the deficit. By a big margin, Americans think Mr Obama is paying too little attention to it, according to one recent poll (see chart). The proportion who consider it the most important issue facing the country has risen from 12% last December to 24% in June, according to another poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. Read the rest of this entry »