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  • Steele and the GOP support unlimited government subsidized health care... for some

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...082302036.html

    Protecting Our Seniors
    GOP Principles for Health Care

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    By Michael S. Steele
    Monday, August 24, 2009

    Americans are engaged in a critical debate over reforming our health-care system. While Republicans believe that reforms are necessary, President Obama's plan for a government-run health-care system is the wrong prescription. The Democrats' plan will hurt American families, small businesses and health-care providers by raising care costs, increasing the deficit, and not allowing patients to keep a doctor or insurance plan of their choice. Furthermore, under the Democrats' plan, senior citizens will pay a steeper price and will have their treatment options reduced or rationed.
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    Republicans want reform that should, first, do no harm, especially to our seniors. That is why Republicans support a Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights, which we are introducing today, to ensure that our greatest generation will receive access to quality health care. We also believe that any health-care reform should be fully paid for, but not funded on the backs of our nation's senior citizens.
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    The Republican Party's contract with seniors includes tenets that Americans, regardless of political party, should support. First, we need to protect Medicare and not cut it in the name of "health-insurance reform." As the president frequently, and correctly, points out, Medicare will go deep into the red in less than a decade. But he and congressional Democrats are planning to raid, not aid, Medicare by cutting $500 billion from the program to fund his health-care experiment. The president also plans to cut hospital payments and Medicare Advantage, all of which will mean fewer treatment options for seniors. These types of "reforms" don't make sense for the future of an already troubled federal program or for the services it provides that millions of Americans count on.

    Second, we need to prohibit government from getting between seniors and their doctors. The government-run health-care experiment that Obama and the Democrats propose will give seniors less power to control their own medical decisions and create government boards that would decide what treatments would or would not be funded. Republicans oppose any new government entity overruling a doctor's decision about how to treat his or her patient.

    Simply put, we believe that health-care reform must be centered on patients, not government.

    Third, we need to outlaw any effort to ration health care based on age. Obama has promoted a program of "comparative effectiveness research" that he claims will be used only to study competing medical treatments. But this program could actually lead to government boards rationing treatments based on age. For example, if there are going to be only so many heart surgeries in a given year, the Democrats figure government will get more bang for its buck if more young and middle-aged people get them.

    Fourth, we need to prevent government from dictating the terms of end-of-life care. Many of the most significant costs of care come in the last six months of a patient's life, and every American household must consider how to treat their loved ones. Obama's government-run health "reform" would pay for seniors' meetings with a doctor to discuss end-of-life care. While nonthreatening at first, something that is quite normal for a family to do becomes troublesome when the government gets involved. Seniors know that government programs that seem benign at first can become anything but. The government should simply butt out of conversations about end-of-life care and leave them to seniors, their families and their doctors.

    Finally, we need to protect our veterans by preserving Tricare and other benefit programs for military families. Democrats recently proposed raising costs for the Tricare for Life program that many veterans rely on for treatment. Republicans support our veterans and believe that America should honor our promises to them.

    Barack Obama campaigned on "post-partisanship." As president, however, Obama has shown that he is beholden to his party's left-wing ideologues. It's not too late for him to honor his pledges for bipartisan health-care reform. Reversing course and joining Republicans in support of health care for our nation's senior citizens is a good place to start. Doing so will help him restart the reform process to give Americans access to low-cost, high-quality health care.

    The writer is chairman of the Republican National Committee.

  • #2
    So, according to Steele, government subsidized health care is evil and horrible.... only if the government is subsidizing health care for everybody. However, if the government only pays for the health care for senior citizens, then government health care is good, and is an absolute entitlement where spending cannot be touched. Furthermore, deficit spending is bad (according to Steele), but we absolutely must not do anything to curb costs of teh largest entitlement program in teh Federal budget....

    And people always say that Democrats are the ones who use entitlements to pander to certain interest groups. I guess teh GOP are beating them at their own game now...

    Comment


    • #3
      http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature...dge/index.html


      The return of the welfare queen

      Healthcare reform has brought back the right's favorite wedge issue -- government handouts for the "undeserving"

      By Ed Kilgore

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      Read more: NPR, Welfare Reform, John McCain, African-Americans, Medicare, Opinion, Healthcare, Barack Obama, Michael Steele, Sarah Palin
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      Reuters/Molly Riley

      Michael Steele speaks on Jan. 30, 2009, in Washington after being elected Republican National Committee chairman.

      Aug. 31, 2009 | The healthcare reform debate took a rather remarkable turn last week when the Washington Post published an Op-Ed piece by Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele telling retirees that his party would fight any effort to modify the benefits they derived from the government-run Medicare program in order to offer similar benefits to others. The Op-Ed was immediately supplemented by an item on the RNC Web page trumpeting a "Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights," similarly pledging the GOP to a to-the-death defense of Medicare benefits and procedures, allegedly under dire threat from universal health coverage.

      Steele's gambit mainly got attention because it was laughably in conflict with nearly a half century of Republican attacks on Medicare, and because he adopted every ludicrous made-up claim about the impact of this or that health reform bill on Medicare. In a disastrous NPR interview later in the week, the GOP chieftain had a predictably difficult time explaining why the GOP wanted to "protect" Medicare because it was so bad a program that it couldn't withstand any "raids."

      But in all the well-deserved mockery of Steele, what went largely unnoticed was his implicit attempt to stoke resentment of the uninsured by the insured – more specifically, those insured by what Republicans normally call "socialized medicine." He referred to retirees, present and future, as "the greatest generation" (a rather anachronistic reference since today's 65-year-olds were actually born in 1944) whose right to exactly those Medicare benefits they currently receive should not be sacrificed to Obama's "healthcare experiment." At another point, Steele suggested that Democrats were trying to ration healthcare so as to make procedures less available to seniors, and more available to "young and middle-aged people."

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      After many months of conservative claims that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are determined to engineer a "government takeover" of the private sector in order to "redistribute" income, Steele is upping the ante to suggest that Obama wants to redistribute healthcare – and perhaps even the opportunity to take another breath – as well.

      This should be familiar to any political observer over the age of 30 as a new version of the old "welfare wedge": the emotionally powerful conservative argument that Democrats want to use Big Government to take away the good things of life from people who have earned them and give them to people who haven't.

      The "welfare wedge" largely disappeared from national political life in the wake of the 1996 welfare reform initiative that eliminated any federal entitlement to cash assistance for families, imposed a work requirement for temporary assistance, and generated, for a while at least, a massive reduction in "welfare" caseloads.

      It returned during the latter stages of the 2008 presidential campaign, when conservative gabbers and ultimately the McCain-Palin campaign attacked Barack Obama's tax proposals as a "redistributive" effort to offer "welfare" by boosting the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit – by definition eligible only to families with earned income and stiff payroll tax liability. This was interesting not only because the EITC had long been a staple of conservative social policy, but because previous efforts to call refundable EITC payments "welfare" had been denounced by George W. Bush and John McCain.

      After the election, the "welfare" treatment of Obama's tax policies was echoed by similar conservative rhetoric about proposals to help homebuyers getting hammered by the mortgage and real estate collapse. Most famously, CNBC financial reporter Rick Santelli became a right-wing folk hero for a rant about the injustice of being asked to help the "losers" who took out mortgages they should have known they couldn't pay. This was at about the same time as Republican members of Congress began handing out copies of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," with its prophecy of a dystopic society in which socialist "looters" and Christian "altruists" had brought the United States to its knees, and some conservative agitators began urging "productive" Americans to emulate Rand's plutocratic heroes by "going Galt" and refusing to contribute to the welfare state. The "tea party" movement that ramped up in opposition to Obama's economic stimulus proposals was heavily freighted with this sort of revolt-of-the-producers attitude.
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      Unsurprisingly, the new "welfare wedge" has been very evident in the opposition to healthcare reform, even before Michael Steele made it clear that "socialism" for "the greatest generation" was worth defending so long as it wasn't extended to the currently uninsured.

      What's most interesting, and dangerous, about the new "welfare wedge" is that it's not about poor people who don't work for a living. After all, most very poor families often already have health insurance (depending on where they live) via Medicaid, and those who don't work these days generally don't have the option of working. The target of "welfare" shouters seems to be the working poor, or middle-class minority families who are struggling to stay in the middle class.

      And that brings me to the most difficult issue: It's really hard to say how much race has to do with the new "welfare wedge." It was certainly central to the old one. It's hard to ignore that the angry protesters at tea party and town hall protests are virtually all white. You can't ignore Obama's own race, or the attacks on both the president and the first lady as "black nationalists." And the ongoing conservative obsession with ACORN, a minority-oriented (if marginally significant) grassroots advocacy group – an obsession that has played a central role in every right-wing attack on the Obama agenda before and after the 2008 elections – is significant.

      But you don't have to be a liberal, or a Democrat, or an Obama supporter to be concerned about the return of the "welfare wedge" and with it the savage treatment of hard-pressed working Americans as irresponsible bums who are conspiring toward a socialist society. Many libertarian-conservatives, who view much of the pre-Obama status quo ante as unacceptably "socialist," are probably as disgusted by Michael Steele's Mediscare tactics as I am. But we need to get these tactics out into the open and expose them for what they are.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BigPat View Post
        So, according to Steele, government subsidized health care is evil and horrible.... only if the government is subsidizing health care for everybody. However, if the government only pays for the health care for senior citizens, then government health care is good, and is an absolute entitlement where spending cannot be touched. Furthermore, deficit spending is bad (according to Steele), but we absolutely must not do anything to curb costs of teh largest entitlement program in teh Federal budget....

        And people always say that Democrats are the ones who use entitlements to pander to certain interest groups. I guess teh GOP are beating them at their own game now...
        Actually, I know the argument will be lost on you but, the position of the Conservatives is simple to understand. Help the extremely poor (Medicaid), the aged (Medicare), and the disabled (SSI/Medicaid). Make the rest help themselves. If someone doesn't fit into those categories they are more the able to fend for themselves and don't need the assistance of government to take care of themselves.
        But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

        For the intelectually challenged: If the government screws the people enough, it is the right and responsibility of the people to revolt and form a new government.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by kc12 View Post
          Actually, I know the argument will be lost on you but, the position of the Conservatives is simple to understand. Help the extremely poor (Medicaid), the aged (Medicare), and the disabled (SSI/Medicaid). Make the rest help themselves. If someone doesn't fit into those categories they are more the able to fend for themselves and don't need the assistance of government to take care of themselves.

          Yeah let's cover those that do not work, yet leave the working poor and middle class out to dry. Also let's complain about runaway spending but denounce any action to control spending on the government's second biggest entitlement program. That makes perfect sense. Steele's position is absolutely ridiculous.

          Comment


          • #6
            I can't believe we have people that believe the government can run anything larger than a lemonade stand effciently.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BigPat View Post
              Yeah let's cover those that do not work, yet leave the working poor and middle class out to dry. Also let's complain about runaway spending but denounce any action to control spending on the government's second biggest entitlement program. That makes perfect sense. Steele's position is absolutely ridiculous.
              You know, I'm middle class and have excellent insurance.....

              If your poor or working under the poverty line, is that not what Medicaid is for to help those people? Growing up I was dirt poor and lived well below the poverty line but somehow my single parent (mother) was able to take care of my sister and I.

              Have we just lost all sense of working hard to make it in life. I would work two or even three jobs if necessary to make sure my family had medical insurance and the basic necessities.

              Why have we become so entitled and believe that we should not have to work hard for anything? I'm only 24 and people of my generation drive me absolutely crazy with how lazy and inept they are.

              Comment


              • #8
                You know, Pat....I don't know who you think your converting with these long articles exposing GOP hypocrisy or whatever.
                I don't care if Obama or whoever promise every guy three Playboy pin up girls in exchange for government healthcare. I ain't gonna be moved. Maybe your proud of picking up a few drones or dumb dumbs to your side, you know, the ones swayed by commercials or those brilliant undecideds a week before an election.
                The liberal politician has the only job where they go to the office to work for everyone but those who pay their salary.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tony.o View Post

                  You know, Pat....I don't know who you think your converting with these long articles exposing GOP hypocrisy or whatever.

                  I don't care if Obama or whoever promise every guy three Playboy pin up girls in exchange for government healthcare.
                  Uh... hang on there a second. Do I get to pick the three Playboy girls?

                  Just askin'....
                  "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                  ______________________________________________

                  "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                  ______________________________________________

                  “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FNA209 View Post
                    Uh... hang on there a second. Do I get to pick the three Playboy girls?

                    Just askin'....
                    Remeber, liberals only like choice when the topic is abortion and when the choice is to kill her baby.
                    No, you don't get to pick your bunny or your doctor.
                    Last edited by tony.o; 09-04-2009, 02:16 AM.
                    The liberal politician has the only job where they go to the office to work for everyone but those who pay their salary.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You know, thinking about these posts, I think Pat has actually moved a little to the right since he's been here on the forums. Can't pinpoint it, but there's something different about his posts recently.
                      The liberal politician has the only job where they go to the office to work for everyone but those who pay their salary.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BigPat View Post
                        Yeah let's cover those that do not work, yet leave the working poor and middle class out to dry. Also let's complain about runaway spending but denounce any action to control spending on the government's second biggest entitlement program. That makes perfect sense. Steele's position is absolutely ridiculous.
                        As I stated the point is lost on you. Something else tht is lost on you. It makes no sense to cut funding to a program that isn't getting enough money to cover all of their expenses. Just becuase the government cuts the funding does not mean the cost will come down.
                        Last edited by kc12; 09-04-2009, 04:50 AM.
                        But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

                        For the intelectually challenged: If the government screws the people enough, it is the right and responsibility of the people to revolt and form a new government.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BigPat View Post
                          . Also let's complain about runaway spending but denounce any action to control spending on the government's second biggest entitlement program. That makes perfect sense. .
                          THIS would be the liberal position....the conservatives want to change the laws to help reduce cost and the liberals refuse to even talk about it.
                          A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BigPat View Post

                            So, according to Steele, government subsidized health care is evil and horrible.... only if the government is subsidizing health care for everybody. However, if the government only pays for the health care for senior citizens, then government health care is good, and is an absolute entitlement where spending cannot be touched. Furthermore, deficit spending is bad (according to Steele), but we absolutely must not do anything to curb costs of teh largest entitlement program in teh Federal budget....

                            And people always say that Democrats are the ones who use entitlements to pander to certain interest groups. I guess teh GOP are beating them at their own game now...
                            I think you misread the message there. While I am sure Steele is pandering to the elderly, he's also being rather realistic.

                            The Republicans didn't invent Medicare. Just like they weren't too fond of the creation of Social Security. Democrats created both of those programs as they did with just about every other entitlement program.

                            You need to look at the issue from a pragmatic view. The Republicans tried to overhaul Social Security once. I think it was a good faith effort. The Democrats used all kinds of disinformation and misdirection and the result was that the Republicans decided it was a battle that could not be won. Medicare is the same type of battle. The Republicans know any hint of a change in that program will result in a major backlash to the party asking for the change.

                            They are not going there. They learned their lesson when they attempted to reform Social Security. Attempting to change Medicare into something else, attempting to reform it will result in a lot of negative rhetoric. It will use up too much political capital. The Republicans won't go there. They are trying to consolidate a base.

                            Before anyone says that's not the right approach, both parties do it. The Democrats do not hold onto the bipartisanship lamp. They are not the one looking for the honest man. The Republicans aren't either. It boils down to power. Each side wants it. Each side uses whatever tactics they need to utilize to get it.

                            But the right side of the equation hasn't started biting off fingers yet- they are still willing to debate to issue.
                            "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                            ______________________________________________

                            "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                            ______________________________________________

                            “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ray8285 View Post
                              THIS would be the liberal position....the conservatives want to change the laws to help reduce cost and the liberals refuse to even talk about it.
                              It certainly isn't the GOP position anymore. Steele has committed to the position that no attempts to control teh costs of Medicare will be tolerated. Furthermore, the right wing talkers describe any attempt to cut costs as "death panels", "euthanasia", etc. In the current debate the conservatives are most certainly not advocating any kind of cost controls on health care and are in fact demonizing anybody that supports it.

                              Comment

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