As Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman declares yesterday in the NY Times, the Republican party is extremely hypocritical on Medicare.
After spreading distortions on the Obama Health Care plan, including the concept of “death panels” and the idea of the plan cutting Medicare funding dramatically, it turns out that the budget plan released by Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, often seen as a leader of the future in the Republican party, calls for even bigger Medicare cuts over the next decade, if the GOP ever gains control of Congress in the next few years.
The Ryan proposal would end Medicare for those under 55, creating privatization, and would cut future coverage benefits for those about to go on Medicare or already on Medicare.
The American people fail to study history or have a collective memory. The GOP opposed Medicare in 1965, and the party worked to undermine Medicare under Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1995, but was stopped by the opposition of President Bill Clinton.
These realities should be enough for the Democrats to move ahead on their health care reform plan and use “reconciliation” to accomplish it. Better to push through a program under a web of controversy than to do nothing at all, which will convince the American people that the Democrats are unable or unwilling with a nearly 60 percent majority in both houses to accomplish their major goal.
A failure to take action on health care will doom the American people, including those on Medicare, to a future of Republican efforts to dismantle federal programs on Medicare, a crime against humanity at a time when health insurance companies are jacking up rates on health insurance faster than ever.
The health care crisis will only grow if the Democrats allow the Republicans to have a victory. The planned health care summit at the White House should be the last attempt at bipartisanship, extremely unlikely to work. Then, it is time for Barack Obama and the Democrats to act like a combination of “Give Them Hell Harry” (Truman) and “Wheeler Dealer” (Lyndon Johnson) to get things done!