by Susan Stamper Brown
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If we really care about our children’s future, now is the time for Americans on both sides of the aisle to cast aside their political aspirations long enough to carry on an adult conversation about debt reduction and spending cuts.
Now is also the time to remind ourselves why Washington is still discussing the 2011 budget this late in the year. We are here today because Democrats, controlling all three branches of government last year, failed to pass a budget – because they were too busy spending borrowed money.
Nothing has changed this year. Senate Democrats continue playing monopoly with our children’s future while our president remains preoccupied with his perpetual re-election campaign expecting House Republicans to cower in the face of this insurmountable problem. But, they did not. Instead, they embraced this arduous task to save America from the sort of financial destruction that George Soros has spent a lifetime exploiting.
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As a result of this courageous effort, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, formally presented the 2012 Republican budget proposal – and progressives came out of the cracks like cockroaches in the presence of insecticide launching personal attacks, ill-informed assumptions, and infantile scare tactics suggesting the proposal will steal away seniors’ Medicare and reduce them to a diet of dog-food, just to survive. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, said the Republican budget is “a path to poverty” that will force seniors to starve.
In reality, Ryan’s plan will save Medicare and Medicaid for those over age 55 and will reform it for the rest of us. The proposal will cut more than $6 trillion in spending, and also create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
Progressives want us to believe that our children’s future will not be affected by today’s choices. They long for us to ignore the fact that our economy will be destroyed – unless we once and for all choose to reform Medicare and other entitlement spending. They’d like us to believe we can cure our economy’s ailments by raising taxes and spreading the wealth around – rather than curbing spending and reducing the size of government.
Progressives’ wry, political gamesmanship to lob Medicare “bombs” in the middle of an adult discussion about deficit reduction backfired this time – because the real and present danger to Medicare is not the GOP; the real and present danger to Medicare is Obamacare. You want to talk about Medicare? Okey-dokey.
The Heritage Foundation put together an extensive and credible research piece titled, “The Case Against Obamacare,” which exposes that under Obamacare, Medicare patients will be the recipients of a “dramatic loss of services.” Poor, minority seniors will “shoulder a disproportionate share of cuts” – with almost 300,000 Hispanics and 800,000 African-Americans losing access to the Medicare Advantage plans.
Rather than strengthening Medicare, Obamacare will threaten access to care because of a $500 billion reduction in the payment-rate to service providers. Additionally, the report finds that Obamacare does nothing to encourage service provider productivity and to deliver high-quality care at less cost. Medicare program chief actuary Richard Foster warned that the reduction in payment-rate to providers in addition to the absence of healthy competition will lead to less physicians and hospitals willing to treat Medicare patients – leaving Medicare beneficiaries holding the bag.
More than a year after Democrats passed Obamacare, the majority of voters still favor its repeal. They believe Obamacare will increase the federal deficit and the cost of healthcare as well as reduce the quality and availability of care.
There is a better way.
Europe’s unsustainable healthcare system shows us there must be a better way: The American way.
Last year, Representative Ryan presented the Ryan-Rivlin Plan – an intelligent and workable alternative to Obamacare – that transfers the control of health care choices from Washington to individuals and encourages healthy provider competition with financial rewards for efficiency and quality. It plays on tried-and-true American ingenuity by promoting competition in the marketplace and naturally creating jobs as a result.
So there you have it, but don’t take my word for it. Read both plans for yourself and maybe you too will be left with the realization that at least the Republicans have a plan, which is more than could be said of the Democrats.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)