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Monday, October 24, 2016

Former advisor to Bill Clinton, Paul Begala, has summed up the GOP’s approach to Medicare exactly:

Republicans don’t want to “fix” Medicare or “reform” Medicare. And Lord knows they don’t want to “modernize” it or—as the deeply disingenuous Paul Ryan says—“protect and strengthen Medicare.” No, they want to end it.

Even before the program was created in 1965, some of the biggest names in the Republican Party opposed providing health care as an earned benefit for seniors. The appropriately named senator Roy Blunt summed up what most Republicans believe: “Well, you could certainly argue that government should never have gotten in the health care business…”

Despite Republicans’ firm convinction that seniors are being deprived of the pleasure of spending the last few years of their life wrangling with private insurers, Medicare is an unmitigated success. Before the program about half of seniors had no health insurance—today nearly all are covered. And Medicare is more efficient and popular than private insurers. A 2011 poll found that 88 percent of Americans believe that Medicare has been good for the country.

After spending a few years trying to play the defender of Medicare, the GOP is as determined as ever to kill or at least mortally wound the program’s guarantee. Here are five times they’ve done their best to end one of the most popular things the federal government ever created.

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • nobsartist

    Since reagun created this disaster of a health care system, I feel that it is only fitting that Obamacare be modified to allow medicare for all in any state with a republiCON governor and next year, all states.

    • oldtack

      What health care system did the oater actor create? Medicare and Medicaid was a product of the Johnson era. You’ve lost me on this one.

      • nobsartist

        Try spell check and then look at rayguns failed “for profit” health care system that he created in 1982 that has ruined both medicare, medicaid and countless American citizens while the CEO of United Healthcare collected 1.5 BILLION for a years salary.

      • I suspect nobsartist was referring to Reagan’s sizeable tax increase in 1982 when he acknowledged the following:
        “Federal expenditures on Medicare and Medicaid, two of government’s largest programs serving the elderly, poor, and disabled, are expected to exceed $75 billion in 1983, about two out of every ten dollars spent on health care in this nation. Over the past fourteen years, the number of home health agencies participating in Medicare has increased by two-thirds, and there are now more than 4,000 certified providers of home care. My Administration has initiated reforms and expansions of home health care benefits provided under Medicare to complement this work.

        Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in accordance with Senate Joint Resolution 113, do hereby designate the week of November 28 through December 4, 1982, as National Home Health Care Week, and I call upon government officials, citizens, and interested organizations and associations to observe this week with appropriate activities.”

        • nobsartist

          Actually I was mentioning the “health care reform bill of 1982” quickly passed once raygun was president. that bill allowed “for profit” health care that was outlawed by truman and also allowed that ALL municipally built and owned hospitals be sold to the “for profit” health cabal for penny’s on the dollar. In return, ALL hospitals had to agree to not turn away indigent people that came to emergency rooms for health care.

          as it has been seen, the republiCONS are actively trying to make it legal to charge the poor for using emergency rooms by creating another fake crisis that says treating poor people that use the emergency room is raising the cost of health care while ignoring the fact that the bloated and un-controlled salaries of management are the real problem.

          Afterall, if you pay a ceo 1.5 BILLION for 1 year of work, how much does that cost out of each subscribers monthly charge? I realize that Obamacare states that 85% of what is charges must go to health care but realistically, many of these ceo’s still make millions per year as figure heads. Sure, they appear in advertising but realistically, they do nothing for the health care of the subscriber.

          The bottom line is, as passed, Obamacare is just another conversion of peoples money to big industry and they actually get nothing in return. Once it is obvious that this experiment is a failure, I believe that it will open the door to “single payer” or a system that Canada uses with great success.

          By the way, Canada’s health care system was financed with a one time charge of $600 per person payable over the course of the first year. Now there is NO charge and the health care is vastly superior to what we have. Dont let any of these CONS try to convince you otherwise.

          Not only that, but the morons that voted for harper still have the opportunity to throw their money away by purchasing additional coverage from the same for profit criminals that operate here.

          • Obamacare is, indeed, far from being perfect, but considering the opposition to anything that challenges the right of insurance companies to profit for serving as middle men, the out of control claims that some service providers make, and the obscene salaries CEOs, Directors and Board members make, it is a step in the right direction.
            Hopefully it will open the doors to a more equitable and efficient system, not only like the one in Canada, but like the ones in most West European countries where the notion of people going without preventive care or being denied care because of pre-existing conditions or arbitrary caps is not even a concept to be entertained.
            What we had during the past several decades, and what the Republicans are hoping to restore, is the worst capitaism has to offer. The system we are slowly leaving behind is not only devoid of humanity and compassion, it is expensive and it represents a tremendous burden on every American citizen and our corporations. The irony, is that what the GOP is proposing to defend the interests of one sector of our economy impairs the ability of American corporations to compete against those in other industrialized nations where the cost of healthcare is borne by the government and, by default, society.

          • nobsartist

            You are correct but the fact remains that either Dems have been duped or they have been in on the whole thing if you look at how all of this has transpired. Blue dog dems ruined Obamcare and they should have been kept away from the beginning.

            The only way to correct the disaster that republiCONs have created is for medicare to be open to all for a nominal fee of perhaps $500 per year and then a massive construction program building new health care facilities thru out America for use by medicaid members only. The government could buy the bonds to finance it thru money taken from the defense budget.

            America’s corporations will never again be the success they were in the past because the people that run them and bribe republiCONs are not smart enough to have been able to create them to begin with.

            First though, before I take any of this deficit bullshit seriously, I want to see what the CIA budget is.

          • The Democ/rats received more money from corpora/rats than the Republicans. Google, Microsoft, GE, Labor Union LLCs,Yahoo are just a few of many.

          • ritaramona

            thank you for telling me something I did not know

          • You must live in LaLa land. They pay every time they get paid.It’s called a tax instead of a health care premium.

          • nobsartist

            Thanks for the response, jackass.

      • coliwabl

        Actually, Medicare was a Kennedy plan after re-election in 1964. Johnson simply carried idea forward as his own in 1965.

      • Ed

        Yeah, but “The Ronald” had no problem accepting health care and retirement benefits from the VA, Social Security, Medicare, state of california pension, federal pension!

  • Sand_Cat

    Unfortunately, Obama has apparently already told Boehner he’s ready to raise the age of eligibility, which would, of course, be only the first “reform” demanded, but would open the door for more. Several commentators have pointed out the the New Deal and Medicare and Medicaid are the core of the Democratic party, but the Democrats still seem all too eager to trade them away for dubious to non-existent “compromises” with the Republicans.

    • nobsartist

      It is hard to figure out Dems but the word “spineless” comes to mind.

      • a80a

        another of your asinine statemants.

        • nobsartist

          Thanks for using spell check, jackass. Enjoy and dont forget to vote republiCON moron.

    • charleo1

      I can sure empathize with your concerns about Medicare, when Obama starts negotiating
      with Republicans. (ObamaCare,) a Republican/Heritage Fund idea, instead of a public option. Signing into law a less than adequate financial reform bill, etc. But here’s the deal
      he’s working with. 2010. In his defense, if more progressive Americans would have
      had his back in 2010, he wouldn’t have lost his house to Boehner, and a filibuster prone
      Senate would have gained a true majority, of 62 or 63 seats. Removing the situation
      where all Republicans had to do was pick off a couple of Blue Dog Democrats to vote
      with them, and the bill would never reach the floor. And even as Obama won reelection,
      and the Senate gained back some of the loses of 2010. Voters, albeit in very gerrymandered
      districts, did return most of the T-Party faction to The House, despite their abhorrent
      behavior. And since the message from voters is to end the dysfunction, largely caused
      by the divided government they voted for. For President Obama, who I believe wants
      a deal to avert what economists say would hurt the Middle Class. And it would.
      But the Republicans also know if a deal is not struck, the public will blame them.
      So, let’s make known our support of President Obama, by those means that are open to us. And let Republicans know, it’s time to start considering the 98%, instead of continuing
      to protect the top 2%.

  • The GOP has tried to destroy Social Security, MEDICARE and MEDICAID since those social programs were created. Their opposition to those programs has nothing to do with cost, Social Security is fully funded via FICA and is solvent. Our contributions pay for most MEDICARE outlays, although the 2003 Part D reform and out of control fraud and abuse by service providers require funding to cover a 17% deficit between revenues and outlays. MEDICAID depends on general funds to exist, and its situation has reached crisis proportions as a results of many senior relying on this program for nursing home care and the effects of the Great Recession on the poor.
    The problem could be solved overnight if the American people decided to pay for things that we, clearly, need and use. Unfortunately, many of our young and middle age are more interested in buying a new cell phone or a TV set made in China for junior than pay for the care our senior citizens need. This crisis goes beyond ideology, its main problem is personal and social irresponsibility at all levels of society.

    • We Can Clearly See They Have No Problem Making Life Hard For The American People!!! Seems As Long As They Can Screw Over Some People They Are Happy!!! 🙁

    • Muriel Schlecht

      “The GOP has tried to destroy Social Security, MEDICARE and MEDICAID since those social programs were created.”
      And don’t forget they are also trying to destroy workers unions….the ability for workers and employers to negotiate for things like health care and safety and make COMPROMISES ( only a word in the dictionary to them)

      To sum up…. they would destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Workers Unions, and while we’re at it, lets include the support and enabling those who destroy the environment, clean air and water, national parks, public television and radio, a “free and open” internet, sources of HEALTHY toxic free food, legitimate transparent science……need I go on. The only question left to ask ourselves is WHY? Who are they REALLY working for, and what has dumbed down a “thinking” public who let’s this kind of person serve in our government at all. It’s definitely not what’s “good for the country, it’s people, or even the world.

      “democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.”….Franklin D. Roosevelt

      • The real bosses are not the people that voted for them, but the big donors that support their campaign. The operative word is GREED.

      • Inthenameofliberty

        ‘Healthy, toxic free food’
        ……..well, it was our current leader [Mr O.] who took a previous Monsanto leader and appointed him head of the FDA…….it was our current leader who made a campaign promise in 2007 that he would have GMO foods labeled……it was our current leader who tasked Monsanto to help stop hunger in Africa……….
        Muriel – time for you to open your eyes. Both parties lie and have agendas far beyond what you and I know.

        ‘Workers unions’
        ……..I have no problem with unions except the people that run them that truly believe they have the right to force workers to join them. ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY.

        But, I suppose it is not unusual for people to see things one-sided, in support of their cause.

        But I say, you are really, really off the path of truth in what you wrote. The GOP isn’t the ONLY party that is wrong. The wonderful Democratic party is no better. I so dislike people that see only one side of the argument. The kind of remarks I am seeing from both sides make me tired.

        open your eyes, folks. open. your. eyes.

        • Take your own advice!

          • Inthenameofliberty

            I have. And it makes me very sad. Muriel writes as if the Republicans are to blame entirely for Monsanto. I don’t think so.

            Warren – why don’t you be more specific of exactly what I am not seeing. Your generality leaves me without guidance.

  • TSB

    What 3rd world country would kill their youth in pointless wars and try to do the same to its elderly by eliminating healthcare?

    • rl

      We don’t need a third world country. We do just fine ourselves. And think the right wingers call themselves Christian. Such a streatch.

  • rl

    Absolutely correct. The right wing of America has tried to kill Medicare from the beginning, and consequencly kill older Americans. I have never understood people like that and is the main reason I come from a long line of Democrats, and am proud of that fact. Before some idiots tries to generalize, we work hard, pay taxes, volunteer and serve in the military, am gun owners, and care about our fellow Americans.

    • Inthenameofliberty

      Yet, you would rather generalize that the whole of a different political party is so much worse than YOUR political party.
      Our country is in trouble. And the stances I see time and time again on these web pages are just so very sad.
      Divide and conquer – the people behind the scenes giving you the illusion of a choice sure are succeeding.
      Get rid of the parties. We need to stop bickering and work together. Instead of gleefully writing just how much better we are than the other side.
      It’s getting old. Stop pointing fingers and start looking in the mirror. This divisive thinking is part of the problem. ‘
      The right wing of America has tried to kill Medicare from the beginning……’ yeah, clinging to that belief is really going to get us all somewhere. I am just so glad that you are proud to be a Democrat. What a relief to see that in writing.
      I think both parties are lying thieving thugs that REWRITE history to suit their current agendas. It’s ok when a Democratic president makes a promise then breaks it……yet you would tar and feather a Republican president for doing the same thing. I look all around me, and I see hypocrites staring back.
      Politics sucks.

      • rl

        I do agree with your last two words. And for your information I hasve written my share of critical letters to the Democrats that I feel are wrong just as I do to the republicans.

  • nobsartist

    I think that we should “fix” all republiCON politicians. .223’s work very well for “fixing” problems.

    • drzaius

      Not cool. I disagree with them as well but it’s not the left that proscribes 2nd amendment remedies for those we disagree with. As much as I disagree with them we don’t need someone getting shot here. Please tone it down.

  • a80a

    in which do you believe evolution or creationism? maybe both, in this modern day republician party, the G O P is evolving into useless globs, following , rove,ryan,norquist,etc.into the CREATION of hardship for the seniors, the poor and middle class by cutting medicare, medcaid,and extending the age of retirement to 67 .think about this folks do you want to be a part of the evolution and creationism led by the haves against the have nots?

  • jstsyn

    Maybe we should kill, oops I mean “reform” the republican party.

    • Inthenameofliberty

      With that kind of attitude, I am sure this country will have no problems succeeding and fixing the current state of the economy. After all – if you disagree with someone, why not just kill them? I mean, obviously, you must be of the higher intellect to make such a witty and tolerant statement! Right?
      You must be one fine, upstanding individual that can compromise and negotiate and play just OH SO NICELY with others!

      Whoever raised you did one hell of a great job! Congrats to them!

  • Skyline43

    The people should not have to put up with the Republicans trying to dismantle all the programs that help the middle class. Why not start with the programs that benefit congress and only congress. Programs that they voted for themselves. Let’s be fair!! They think of themselves first when it comes to hiking their wages and benefits. They also have their own medical insurance paid for by who? Yes, the American people. We have to beg and are subject to their decisions. The people in each state have to wake up and oust the leaders who do not work for the constituents. Congress receives more then their share. How is it that they become so rich while being in Congress? What are they doing to to enrich themselves. Are they really doing the WORK OF THE PEOPLE? I sincerely have my doubts. I think we are becoming a government of self interest which leads to corruption. This “CLIFF” we are to fall off is a joke to them. Let’s take note as to who shows real CONCERN FOR THE PEOPLE–very few!!!

    • Inthenameofliberty

      Sweetie – you forget that DEMOCRATS voted for those congressional programs, too.
      So what, exactly, was the point that you were trying to make?

  • howa4x

    America since the 19th century have been run by an oligarchy that early on concentrated wealth. Republicans have always been working directly for them, branding any social program as socialist or communist. Prior to unions this group just killed any who would oppose them and created private armies like the pinkertons to kill strickers like Rockerfeller did at Ludlow Colorado. Early unions fought for benefits against this group, and developed political power with the members and others. To counter this movement the oligarchs began funding the republicans to stop them. Once the union backed democrats got into real power they created a system of medical and income support for the elderly after the depression when millions died,which was an outgrowth of union benefits. This fight is still carried on today, with the wealthy trying to do away with it through their republican agents. In Michigan the republicans want to have a right to work law that eventually will dismantle unions. The oligarchs want people to be beholden to them, and have no feeeling for the struggles of common people. They only care about the fact that money spent on medicare could be going to them making them far wealthier. Anything the republicans did to weaken the program was at their demand. This tax fight is is just a symptom of the ongong struggle between them and all the people, and we know where republicans line up

    • Inthenameofliberty

      Here’s my problem: what does one do when they do not agree with either party? Especially in a country where other political parties are shut out and even arrested (Green Party Candidate this year daring to protest the debates) ? I have a deeply rooted distrust now of both parties – corruption abounds and those at the top will stop at nothing to get their way.
      Tell me – what does one do?
      Unions do some good, some harm. The proof is all around. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The union bosses that are harming people and abusing their power are getting free passes. That must stop – that is why Right to Work is being fought for.
      See – another time that we need to look at both sides.
      Tell me – if you did not want to join a union that took over at your place of employment….and you had been working there for 10 years and already had a good salary and benefits…..then you started getting threats and being harassed……how would you feel?
      Hate to break it to you – but that is happening all over the country.
      There is nothing wrong with a union…..UNTIL a person is FORCED to join one. That is just WRONG.

      • howa4x

        I see you point but here is something to think about. I was always admin and my employees were union. I worked in small city govt. I would see the unions get much higher raises than I did because they acted collectively and I acted alone. Then a republican mayor got elected and said to us we weren’t getting any raise at all. When we asked for a justification he just said because I can. After that we formed a union, and got what raises the rest of the workforce did. I agree no one should be forced to join a union if they don’t want to, but conversly if you don’t want to pay for all the lawyers, and other experts that are called into negotiations, than you should negotiate yourself for health benefits, raises, sick days etc. to be fair to the people who do pay. As corrupt as some unions are corporations are worse. Look at wall-mart, they for yrs fought unions. Their workers are some of the lowest paid, so low that most qualify for food stamps. Wal-mart designs the work schedule so most are considered part time so they don’t have to pay medical benefits. The Walton aires to the fortune are worth collectively 75 billion, yet they won’t even pay benefits. So that is the other side.
        I’m a political independent so I vote for who I think will sovle the problems of the country in a fair way, not favoring one group at the expense of others


  • oldtack

    I stand corrected. Kennedy placed it in motion – Johnson carried it out after the Assassination .

  • oldtack

    Thanks for your input. Will check it out.

  • oldtack

    You bet. He ate it up like a hungry hog at the free feed trough.

  • Jack Wormer

    Still trying to destroy FDR’s WORK, eh, GOP/Teabaggers?

    • amazonfan

      Hopefully they’ll fail.

  • oldtack

    Thanks Dominick. The phraseology of the first entry sort of “threw me for a loop”.

  • onedonewong

    Fortunately Dem’s have made Medicare one of their key piece of legislation. Once that happened that meant it was dooomed to failure