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Nip and Tuck — No Biggie

If this is true it should be front page news. We have a right to know what is getting bargained away:

Ezra F*ckin Klein:

There will be a variety of nips and tucks to Medicare, including more cost-sharing and decreases in provider payments, and the headline Democratic concession is likely to be that the Medicare eligibility age rises from 65 to 67.

That’s not a policy I like much, but New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait accurately conveys the White House thinking here: They see it as having “weirdly disproportionate symbolic power,” as it’s not a huge (or smart) cut to Medicare benefits, and most of the pain will be blunted by the Affordable Care Act. But Republicans and self-styled deficit hawks see it as a big win. And Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who staunchlyopposes raising the retirement age, has stopped well short of ruling it out.

43 Responses

  1. Isn’t there anyone on our side?

    • Eachother. No one else.

      Are there enough of us on eachothers’ side to add up to causing deterrent pain to those Reps and Sens who pretend to be “on our side” so that they will be too afraid to act against us and our side?

      • I was so disappointed that I didn’t win that lottery last week. I really wanted to start a Health Care Coop. A member-owned bill paying service for health care bills.

        I am starting to think that we shouldn’t trust politicians with this service.

        Since winning a lottery is so unlikely, can you think of another way to get something like this started?

        • Get out in the streets! Occupy! Seriously – it’s time that all of us got off our asses and yell, shout, scream. NO ONE ELSE IS LISTENING TO US.

          (We have meet the enemy and he is us!”)

          Rise up! Revolt!

          • I don’t think the Streets thing makes much of an impact. I think we need to OCCUPY our health care by creating Health Care Coops. But it would take some serious cash to get started. Not just Non Profit But member-owned. Kind of like Kaiser.

          • People who are unemployed enough to have the time to get out in the streets should certainly not be faulted for doing so.
            People who are not YET unemployed have to keep working to keep their jobs. Remember what the bossman says: “I can get 10 interns who will pay ME to LET them do your job!” And he can, too. And that’s why so few people are hitting the streets. Also, America is bigger than most of the countries which have had visibly effective demonstrations. It is costly, time-taking, and job-suiciding to leave work in California or Texas or North Dakota or Georgia or Florida to go demonstrate in Washington DC. Those of us under those constraints will have to think of something we can do instead of demonstrating in the streets.
            For those of us who can’t hit the streets, are their other ways of revolting? Passive obstructuve methods of targetted economic sabotage designed to bring real pain, and then real death, to visible iconic bussinesses and industries until the spokesfolk for those industries and bussinesses tell their DC officeholders to “make the pain stop”?

    • Upping the age won’t save money. Deferred necessary health care never does. Already Medicare has to cover treatment that was deferred because people waited until 65 to have coverage, either because it was denied, or they couldn’t pay for it. Will the new healthcare bill ensure that sick, older people up to 67 have coverage at a low price?

      There’s already a give-away to the for-profit insurance companies in the Medicare schema (supplemental for hospital and doctor (and doctor coverage–Plan B–one has to pay at least $90 a month for that) and to the pharma industry (Plan D). Expect to pay about $300 a month with Medicare!

  2. katiebird…

    if president wuss puts even one single element of medicare, medicaid or social security in play in his sellout to the corporate cannibals’ fiscal cliff blackmail scam, he-should-be-impeached!!

    keep fighting the good fight…

    • The problem is . . . on what basis would he be impeachable for any of that?

      Meanwhile, perhaps so-called “Democratic” officeholders can be deterred from collaborating with the Simpson-Obama Catfood Plan if enough people contact them with credible believable promises to never vote Democratic for any FedGov-level office ever again if Medicare/Medicaide/Social Security are in any way mentioned in any forthcoming legislation.

      Why “in any way mentioned”? Because even a mention pretending to be for “strengthening” them will be designed to contain all kinds of hidden political retroviruses designed to give these programs long-term budget-political AIDS.

      • Something strange has happened in my state, Kansas and the last thing politicians here worry about is people like me.

        But, I wonder if that could change if they actually DO mess with our Safety Net.

        • When it came to approving a treaty make the US Americans for Disability Act international law, Kansas’ two Republican Senators ignored Bob Dole and went with nut/personal profiteer Rick Santorum to “save home schooling.”

          If those fools don’t listen to Bob Dole, they won’t pay attention to you, Katiebird, even if you make sense. And you do.

          The policy change, incidentally is both class and race warfare. As Paul Krugman points out, the life span of a 65 year old from the bottom half of Social Security eligibles (by SS payment) is 16 years vs. 21 years for the upper half. Blacks have shorter life spans anf are disproportionately ibn that bottom half… But Obama has always been about money, not race. He thinks green (as in cash) not white or black , dripping disdain for the poor, the middle class, the elderly and children not his own while he sucks up to the CEOs and uber rich.

          • And too many people just keel over with heart attacks or strokes or cancer at any age. We think life is a balanced equation and if we do all these things correctly then we will assuredly live to a healthy old age. But, it’s not that simple at all.

      • Meanwhile, perhaps so-called “Democratic” officeholders can be deterred from collaborating with the Simpson-Obama Catfood Plan if enough people contact them with credible believable promises to never vote Democratic for any FedGov-level office ever again if Medicare/Medicaide/Social Security are in any way mentioned in any forthcoming legislation.

        Why would they believe that? They’re perfectly aware that all they have to do is raise the awful specter of some Republican bogeyman and “progressives” will fold like a cheap card table. 2012 certainly proved that.

        • Well . . . many Dvoters still chose to believe that a vote for Obama was not the vote against Social Security which it actually was. But Obama’s immediate re-emphasis on the Catfood Obama Plan may awaken some Dvoters to the reality of Ocratic treachery and deceit.

          There are more Dvoters than just “progressives”. I am more interested to know how many Clinton ’08 primary voters ended up voting for Obama as against voting against Obama or just not prezvoting at all.

        • You know, on reflection I can think of another reason the “progressives” folded for Obama. Back in 2000 the “progressives” and the Greenoids for Nader told everyone that there was “no difference” between Gore and (Nader)Bush. In hindsight, the trendy-poo Naderite Greenoids discovered that there actually was a difference between Gore and (Nader)Bush. A lot of other people saw that difference as well. Perhaps people thought that those of us saying there was no real major difference between Obama and Romney were just another bunch of secret agent undercover Republican Green scum filth for Romney . . . just like the last bunch for (Nader)Bush. Perhaps normal people once-burned were twice-shy and weren’t going to take that chance again.

          The Greenite Nader(Bush) scum may have a lot of mirrors to look into regarding their destruction of take-a-chance trust in third party experiments. I wouldn’t expect them to have the integrity or honor that such introspection would require of them, however.

    • I think maybe the fight should move away from politics. Occupy Health Care. Somehow.

  3. This “solution” doesn’t even make any sense. The jobs have gone and they’re not coming back. Thus, employer-based health insurance on a grand scale is pretty much gone too. Employer-based health insurance is also on the way out because employers have switched to hiring “independent contractors.” (Not that I’ve ever liked employer-based health insurance, but at least it’s somewhat affordable.) As if that isn’t enough, the oldsters will hang onto their jobs literally for their lives, leaving the youngsters without employment at all.

    So then we turn to private insurance, which is cost-prohibitive for the vast majority of people over the age of 60 (and maybe the vast majority of people under the age of 60 as well). The ACA will not help at all. What a pipe dream. (Ezra and Jonathan need to get up off their knees and go outside into the real world a little more. What boot-licking jackasses.) The ACA is not affordable now and will become even less so when it absorbs those between the ages of 65 and 67 and loses more young people. So that’s not an option. Medicaid is not an option because the requirements are so stringent you practically have to be living in a shoebox on the street to qualify, and all those red states are not going to use the Medicaid part of the ACA anyway.

    Therefore, as far as I can see, we will have millions more uninsured on top of the millions already uninsured. On top of that, disease (whether spread by untreated sick humans, contaminated food, or polluted environment) will grow exponentially.

    The PTB really do want us to die; there is no other explanation I can think of, unless they all have IQs below 75. Of course, they’re also killing themselves and their offspring, so maybe they really are that stupid.

    At least we see them for what they are: vultures hovering over the dead carcass of a once semi-decent society.

    • Yes. It’s a zombie idea. There is no good side to it.

      Could it be a last straw for Americans? Would we finally realize how out of control corrupt our system is?

      • We’re all just trying desperately to keep our heads above water, so, even if we all realize how corrupt these pigs who run our government as their personal ATM are, we are too exhausted and beset with physical maladies for which we cannot afford treatment to do too much about it. I do not see anything good coming out of all this evil.

    • Are they killing themselves? Has anyone begun to study life expectancy and health-profiles by social class level? I doubt they are killing “themselves” at an equal rate . . . though one can always hope they are.

      • I meant they are killing themselves and their children by failing to contain the contamination of food and water and the air we all have to breathe. Every decision seems to rest on the immediate bottom line.

        • But if they are rich enough to afford their own water-filtration systems and high-end organic food and hepa-filtration of their personal mansion-hold air and so forth, then they really can buy themselves and their children undeserved protection and safety from what they engineer for the rest of us . . unfortunately. Which would enable them to escape the death and disease rates they engineer for others.

          • Maybe – but the planet is quickly becoming uninhabitable. What happens when the east coast floats away? Those Greenwich gated communities will be washed away too. Sure, they may last longer than most of the rest of us, but I don’t know exactly how much longer.

          • They are not emotionally attached to Greenwhich. They will have communities above any high water mark and etc. Any Greenwhicher not rich enough to have a secret compound to retreat to when Greenwhich goes underwater is not really all that rich. They would stand revealed as merely the rich peoples’ eager little butlers and footstools. They will discover just how expendable they really are and always were.

  4. Obama = Captain Caveman. He folds more ways than a card table.

  5. It’s all Mitt Romney’s fault.

    • Really? how?

      • I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts there was an invisible “sarcasm” tag at the end of that. :S

      • Well, during the debates Obama did say that his position on Social Security and Medicare was “substantially the same” as Romney’s 😉

        • The only significant difference is that Obummer is the highest-ranking hired servant of the 1%, while Richie Retch is a member in good standing of the 1%. 😛

          The only thing I like about Obummer is the bizarre fact that, despite his being quite conservative (I believe the term of art is “the more effective evil”), the wingnuts think he’s a socialist. I do enjoy watching their faces turn purple and steam issue from their ears as they throw their hissy fits. 😈

          • I do enjoy watching their faces turn purple and steam issue from their ears as they throw their hissy fits

            Congratulations. You’ve been successfully played.

          • Not sure what that means. Perhaps you are confusing us with an Obot site. We are not.
            On the other hand, this *is* a reality site and the reality is that if Obama decided to join the socialist party, they’d deny his application.
            He’s to the right of Richard Nixon.

            Congratulations, you’ve been successfully played.

      • How did Steven/myiq2xu’s comment get approved? Didn’t you vow as gawd was your witness that you would never approve him again?

    • Bozo just can’t stop coming back here–and we know the real reason for that, don’t we? 😉

      Fuhgeddabowdit, Bozo. Kim still won’t let you take her to the Prom. 😛

  6. Wait, this is going the wrong way. Remember when Obamacare was being debated and there was a proposal to EXPAND Medicare down to age 55 and Liebermann single-handedly killed it? This is the way we should be going, not raising the age. Since Obama abandoned the public option he campaigned on, it seemed to me to be a small way to move toward a public option in incremental steps. It was a huge disappointment to when when Liebermann did this (of courase Obama let him do it) as I know many boomers who lost their jobs and having a very hard time getting new ones that include health insurance. This would have been a huge help to many.

    • I think he and Obama planned it together. If not, Obama is/was very grateful for it regardless. He certainly didn’t put the sort of pressure on Lieberman that he put on Kucinich to vote for BO Romneycare from Kucinich’s end. Shame that Kucinich thought the Obama Presidency deserved to be saved. Of course if Obama quietly threatened to have Kucinich’s wife and/or children assassinated in “muggings or burlaries gone wrong”, then Kucinich’s surrender is very understandable.

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