Congress told "Hands off our Medicare!"
By: Cahir O'Doherty | Published Sunday, June 19, 2011, 9:06 AM | Updated Friday, September 9, 2011, 10:15 PM
Paul Ryan's gone and done it, the sleeping giant has awakened. Ryan's far-reaching reforms reached too far.
Just as the majority of Americans have finally grasped that tax cuts that benefit the superrich never benefit anyone else, it seems like America's seniors have figured out the GOP's plan to fundamentally restructure Medicare and cut social safety nets like food stamps and Medicaid will most likely leave them exposed and out of pocket.
The GOP plan passed by the House this month intends to gut deficits by a total of $6.2 million over the next ten years. One deficit reducing shell games will be to "transform" Medicare in a voucher-like system where private insurers and not the government pays the medical bills.
But it seems like the shadow of Joe Sixpack is back to call halt to this.
Most people understand the GOP really want to phase out the costly program, not save it. So why not tax the rich to help reduce the deficit instead, they ask - aren't billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg telling the government they would be "cool" with paying their share?
Americans can take diverging views over the nations social programs, but when it comes to their own health things come into focus fast: that's why Rep. Daniel Webster got a Bronx cheer from his own constituents in Florida yesterday.
His town hall meeting in Orlando echoed to a constant stream of cat calls and boos from the crowd of about 300.
"Let the Bush tax cuts expire," shouted one participant. Another added: "He says Medicare is unsustainable. That's because medical costs are out of control. Why isn't he attacking it at that level?"
Vouchers are all very well, but the thing is they get used up quickly and then what? What are your options then? Who gets saddled with that burden? Your kids and your grandkids?
By picking pure ideology over people the GOP have painted themselves into this corner themselves. Let's see if they have the stomach to stay put.