Sunday, January 06, 2013

Republicans fight to kill Medicare

By Frank Moraes 

Do you remember the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)? It is what Sarah Palin famously called "death panels." It is necessary for not only making more affordable Medicare and Medicaid, but all health care in the United States. Of course, conservatives hate it. They wouldn't have hated it had McCain been crowned president and the Affordable Care Act been a Republican law. But it wasn't and so the reason they claim to hate it is that it limits care. In fact, it does not. What's more, these people who are oh so concerned that we won't spend millions of dollars keeping brainless babies alive are not at all concerned about the 50 million Americans without health insurance.

The IPAB has come up recently because the House said it is going to stop the current law that states that the IPAB should be fast-tracked. (Strangely, the vote was supposed to take place on Thursday, but I haven't been able to find any information indicating that the vote took place.) What this means is that the Republicans are trying to kill healthcare cost containment. They claim that this is in the name of of providing "Freedom!" But of course it is the opposite.

Ed Kilgore at the Political Animal blog writes, "House GOPers Fighting for Your Medicare." He notes what really should be the top story on all cable news shows: "Republicans are only interested in health care cost containment measures or 'entitlement reform' if it comes at the expense of beneficiaries." This very nicely gets the the bottom of this issue.

Conservatives want to kill Medicare and Medicaid. Any proposal they make means to do that. When Romney promised to put $700 billion back into Medicare, he didn't only do it to try to make Obama look bad. He also did it because it made the program less solvent. It is all part the "starve the beast" strategy of the Republicans. I really don't think that you can understate just how evil the Republican Party is at its core. They are good at dressing up their ideology in pretty words like "liberty" and "strength." But if they turned American into their ideal, it would be a dystopia that no American would recognize.

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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