“We’re Saving Medicare Not Destroying It”
Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
The week Paul Ryan replied to the Democratic Party’s spin misters and to the bias of the traditional media.
Everyone will agree America has an unsustainable increase in deficit spending during the Obama administration. It has amounted to 4.7 trillion dollars. America has raised the debt ceiling at least three times in the last two anda half years. China is buying our debt at a very low interest rate. China can force us to raise our interest rate by selling our bonds and moving the cash to higher yielding assets. If the interest rate increases the cost of borrowing will be higher and our deficit will be even greater.
The government must decrease spending. There is tremendous waste in government spending. President Obama has not done much to decrease duplication of agency spending or decreasing entitlement spending. He has ignored the recommendation of his own deficit reduction committee.
President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Plan increases entitlement spending not decreases it. The action he has taken in his Healthcare Reform Act has increased costs and decreased efficiencies already. The CBO has warned us of the need to be fiscally responsible.
“President Obama has been ignoring the warnings. Medicare is carrying $24.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities through 2085, and chief Medicare actuary Richard Foster says even that does "not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations."
Our major entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are fiscally defective in different ways. These programs have to be made fiscally sound in somehow. Their percentage of America’s GNP grows yearly and is unsustainable.
The fact that 50% of the population pays no taxes and consumers most of the entitlement spending means our population is becoming poorer and that the redistribution of wealth is becoming greater.
The middle class is the real victim.
Paul Ryan and his budget reduction plan has been attacked again this week by none other than Newt Gingrich. Mr. Ryan’s reply was “With friends like this who needs enemies.”
Newt made a big mistake. I do not believe he understands the Ryan Plan. He has been back pedaling all week.
President Obama, Democrats in congress, liberals and the traditional media do not want to understand Paul Ryan’s plan. His plan is common sense. If only the public was given the opportunity by the traditional media to understand it they would agree.
I do not believe Republican congressmen and women and the Republican National Committee has the courage and the skill to neutralize Democratic demagoguery*. The Republicans are afraid of losing the election in 2012. They are afraid the public believes they are “destroying Medicare.” Paul Ryan’s plan is not destroying Medicare. The Republican Party should be helping the public understand the facts and the advantages of the Ryan plan. It is a plan that will save Medicare not destroy it.
*“Demagoguery is a strategy for gaining political power by appealing to the prejudices, emotions, fears, vanities and expectations of the public—typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist, populist or religious themes.
Paul Ryan said on Meet The Press last week,
“If I can put it in a nutshell, we're saying: Don't affect current seniors,” Ryan told host David Gregory of his party's Medicare-reform plan. “Give future seniors the ability to deny business to inefficient providers. As a contrary to that, the president's plan is to give the government the power to deny care to seniors by empowering a panel of 15 unelected bureaucrats to put price controls and rationing in place for current seniors.”
Paul Ryan has hit the nail on the head. Obamacare is destined to fail as I have pointed out in this blog over and over again. We are seeing this failure even before complete implementation of the act. We have seen over 1300 waivers, almost 300 new bureaucratic agencies, and tremendous increases in healthcare insurance premiums. Seniors are starting to see a decrease in access to medical care.
Paul Ryan went on to point out,
“So I would argue that the opposite is true: We're being sensible, we're being rationale; we're saving this program. And you cannot deal with this debt crisis, David, unless you're serious about entitlement reform. And unfortunately, I think we're going to have ‘Mediscare' all over again, and that's unfortunate for the country.”
David Gregory said he has heard privately from Republicans that they're “scared to death” about the politics of what Ryan is proposing, and that he is handing over a huge issue to the Democrats.
“Of course people are scared of entitlement reform,” Ryan said. “Because every time you put entitlement reform out there, the other party uses it as a political weapon against you.”
Paul Ryan said we must get serious about the drivers of our debt.
“And the irony of this is all: If we don't fix these programs, people who rely on these benefits are going to get cut the first. They're going to be hurt the worst under a debt crisis. We're saying if we fix this now, we can keep the current promise to current seniors and people 10 years away from retiring. If we allow politics to get the best of us, if we allow demagoguery to sink in, and do nothing, then we will have a debt crisis and current seniors will get hurt.”
Paul Ryan is absolutely correct. I hope the Republicans do not chicken out. The Democrats are trying to scare them. Remember, the Democrats and bureaucracy got us into this mess in the first place.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.