It’s immoral to cut Medicare to pay for George Bush’s lies

Bush’s Tax Cuts and War in Iraq Broke Us, So Let’s Cut Medicare!

I cannot believe that Democrats are even considering raising the eligibility age for Medicare as part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

First off, $15bn a year is hardly significant savings, and that’s what you save (at a maximum – some argue it’s significantly less) when you raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67: a whopping $15bn a year.

Bush tax cuts and Iraq, Afghanistan are causing the deficit

Bush tax cuts and Iraq, Afghanistan are causing the deficit.

You know how much George Bush’s little venture in Iraq has been costing us per year? In FY 2011, $46 billion.  That’s three times the savings from cutting Medicare.

And in Afghanistan, we’re spending $88.5bn in FY 2013, that’s nearly six times the savings we’re getting from gutting Medicare.

And overall, the damn war is going to cost us $3 trillion, according to Joe Stiglitz. $3 trillion for George Bush’s lie. (And in fact, Stiglitz has now upped the estimate to $5 trillion.)  But let’s cut all of our Medicare coverage for two years in order to pay for the Republican party’s lie of the decade, along with their other lie of the decade, Bush’s tax cuts, that supposedly were going to pay for themselves.

The tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined eat up the lion’s share of the deficit over the coming years.  (See the chart to the right.) So let’s cuts Medicare instead!

Just to be clear, those tax cuts and Bush’s little wars are going to be paid for by cutting your and my Medicare coverage.


You don’t see John McCain and Lindsey Graham calling for any hearings on why were lied to about any of those subjects, do you?

How Do We Know Obamacare Will Take Up Medicare’s Slack When We Don’t Even Know What Obamacare Will Do Next Year?

As for the argument that Obamacare will protect us when we hit 65 and need health care that otherwise would have been covered by Medicare… maybe.  The thing is, Obamacare hasn’t even been implemented yet.  No one can tell us for sure if we’re going to be paying less for our premiums next year under Obamacare, let alone when we’re 65.  Sure, they “think” it’ll be less.  But they don’t know.  But they’ll still willing to cut all of our access to Medicare for two yours on the promise – read: hope – that Obamacare “might” provide an affordable alternative.  But it might not.

But a side effect of raising the Medicare retirement age would be that a large cohort of 65- and 66-year-olds would suddenly find themselves needing the Affordable Care Act to buy their health insurance. Which is to say, Republicans attacking the Affordable Care Act would no longer be attacking the usual band of very poor or desperate people they can afford to ignore but a significant chunk of middle-class voters who have grown accustomed to the assumption that they will be able to afford health care. Strengthening the political coalition for universal coverage seems like a helpful side benefit — possibly even one conservatives come to regret, and liberals, to feel relief they accepted.

Where Exactly Are People Supposed to Come Up With the Money to Afford Private Health Insurance at 65 and 66?

social security medicare

Did you hear the one about how they’re going to cut our Medicare to pay for the Republican party’s lies? (via Shutterstock)

And what exactly is “affordable” when you’re talking about health insurance for someone who’s 65 years old?

And how much more will we be paying for health coverage at that age under Obamacare than we would have been paying under Medicare?

I’m paying nearly $6,000 a year as it is for my health insurance, and I’m not even near 65 (yet).  At one point, my rates were doubling every three years.  Is it crazy to worry that they might triple in the next 15?  They tripled on me in less time than that.  So what am I going to be paying at 65 and 66?  $20,000 a year?  $30,000 a year?  And mind you, we’ll be paying for two years – ages 65 and 66 – so are we going to be paying $40,000 or $60,000 to cover the two-year wasteland that people are now proposing?

Who knows.

What I see happening is a lot of people continuing to work past the age of 65 just so they’ll have health insurance until they’re 67, since they have no idea what Medicare covers anyway (I just went to the Medicare Web site, and it confused the hell out of me).  But of course, as Karoli points out, good luck keeping your job until 65, let alone 67:

Workforce phase-outs of older employees – This is the dirty little elephant in the middle of the room that no one talks about. Because of the high demand for jobs right now, older employees are beingshoved phased out earlier. Beginning at around age 50 to 55, jobs become scarce for older workers, leaving them with a 10-15 year gap before they become eligible for Social Security and Medicare. That means they’re living on their savings, home equity, or odd jobs just to scratch their way to the social safety net. Moving that football means leaving them on the hook for 2 extra years, not only for living expenses, but also covering their health insurance, whether or not subsidized.

I was talking to one of my neighbors the other day who was telling me his mother continued working until she was 70 so that they would have good health insurance to cover his dad’s lingering illness, as they weren’t convinced that Medicare was going to be good enough to keep dad alive.  Now that his father has passed away, mom can finally retire.  Why should anyone “have” to work to 70 in order to guarantee that their spouse can live?

And contrary to what Senate Republican health care “experts” are saying on TV these days, Medicare is not something “we don’t absolutely need.”  Where exactly are people supposed to go for health insurance if they don’t have Medicare?  Blue Cross?  That’ll be fun.

Let the Republicans Pay For Their Own Damn Mess

We are talking about saving a measly $15bn a year by cutting two years of Medicare coverage from all Americans.  That’s 1/3 of what we were paying just in FY2011 for the war in Iraq.  We could have saved Medicare, and a lot of other programs, had the Republicans not lied to Americans about the cost of tax cuts and the need for war.

Republican lies got us into this mess, let them cut their own damn programs to get us out.  And let them start with Congress’ own cushy health care plan.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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97 Responses to “It’s immoral to cut Medicare to pay for George Bush’s lies”

  1. Catherina Lucy says:

    I didn’t thought that Obama will elect for the second time.He should do more social cervice for the Americans

  2. arikira says:

    Plenty of liberals have expressed dismay at the way the health care bill unfolded. It is not a liberal OR progressive bill. It looks a lot more like a Republican plan floated in the 90’s. The deal wasn’t done in Obama’s dark and smoky rooms, it was done in the the senate and the house. Since you all seem to have the collective memory of a single goldfish, I’ll remind you how things unfolded: Obama demanded a bill, but he demanded the Congress create it.

    At the very least, whatever your political stripe or color, we can all agree that it is far better than doing absolutely nothing. It is better for Americans both financially and in terms of health (which, by the way, then benefit each other!)

  3. FunMe says:

    So what can we do NOW to stop this?

    I’ve been sharing this post and others to let my friends and family know about this. Interesting, the 2-3 folks that were so gung ho about Obama’s elections and how we “had” to reelect the Democrats are silent about this. Typical!

    I didn’t post anything political during the election in my FB, but now I am. Wonder how long it will take for people to wake up and see that this DOES affect them?!

  4. emjayay says:

    Why not? Ayn Rand was on SS and Medicare. After all, she had a little disease to deal with caused by a lifetime of not-caring-for-anyone-else-or-any-consequences free market chain smoking.

  5. Papa Bear says:

    It’s Poody!

  6. devis1 says:

    I’m on medicare and there is a $100 deductible and most of my bills are covered at 80/20. They have added some preventative services covered at 100% and recent blood work was 100% covered. But when I went for either the colonoscopy or mammogram it was back to 80/20 on the bill from whoever it was who interpreted the results. I have an employer sponsored plan that picks up more of it but being on disability or retired these little hits add up real quick.

  7. ezpz says:

    LOL @ Morning (bad) Joke. He’s the token republican on MSNBC . Must be their way of portraying ‘fairness and balance’ when in fact, it’s all tilted to not even TRUE liberalism, but NEOliberalism. And sometimes, Joe may even agree with the neo crowd, thus giving weight to an issue, making it sound more popular/ist for its’ faux bipartisanship.

    And Mika – another bad joke. I rarely watch that show, and when I do tune in, I don’t last but a few minutes. And it seems that anytime I tune in, if Mika says anything at all, it’s always: “having said that…” followed by whatever nonsensical thing she adds. I don’t know what it is with her, but she seems to not be all there. Sometimes, she’ll stare inappropriately, or make faces that only she knows what they’re about – IF she even knows. She has said that she takes Ambien, so I’m wondering if sometimes, she’s just kind of hung over or otherwise just out there. (I’ve never taken Ambien, so I don’t know the effects or after effects.)

    I’m with you on reading stuff on line. I used to be a fan of MSNBC – way back when – in the beginning days of Keith Olbermann. I used to like Ed and Rachel, but I’ve come to see them as nothing more than Obama shills. Regardless of what the president says or does, they will support and defend him, while simultaneously attacking the ‘opposition’ for NOT agreeing with the president – and yes, often attributing racism to that opposition.

  8. lynchie says:

    I try to limit to 10 minutes a day. Never watch Fox but read as many on line newspapers as I can but that is getting too expensive NYT is a couple of hundred dollars. But Joe S., is a right winger who is a Reganite and a Bush BJ artist. He does all the talking and Mika and the rest of the crew bow in unison at the wisdom coming out of this ass hat’s mouth. His credentials are that he was a Congressman for 6 years and had a history of voting Repub party line.

  9. ezpz says:

    You might want to take a break from MSNBC. According to them, any criticism of Obama is a dog whistle or blatant racism. They’re really no better than Fox.

  10. A reader in Colorado says:

    It was immoral to pass Obamacare without a public option, too. Making political choices that are going to kill a whole lot of people is being done a lot.

  11. Kurt Weldon says:

    It is indeed immoral to cut Medicare to pay for Bush’s lies. However, the whole point of Bush’s lies was to bring us to a point where we would have to cut Medicare. Morality don’t enter into it. It’s all tactics now.

  12. BeccaM says:

    I’ve noticed. Probably because the story is trending on Reddit and other clipping services.

    I find it amusing how suggesting the notion of research, education, infrastructure and alternative energy development and the jobs they’d create, instead of throwing our taxpayer dollars down the rat-hole of always increasing military spending, managed to draw down-votes.

  13. BeccaM says:

    If I wasn’t already married… lol

    But seriously, I sometimes imagine a world in which people like the guy to whom you’re responding gets his wish. No taxes. And the first thing that happens is the county comes along and rips up the road to his house, while a rep from the DMV cuts up his driver’s license. Sewage and water service infrastructure, most often paid for through taxpayer funded bond measures, are cut off. If he has any kids, they’re sent home from school. Grandma gets sent to live with him because Medicare no longer pays for the assisted living apartment, and besides she’s broke because there’s no Social Security either. A notice from the local police and fire departments arrive informing him that his property is now a law-free zone and if there are any fires…well, he’d best hope he has an amazing off-the-grid water system because he’ll be putting it out himself. And if anybody feels like robbing him, that’s just too bad because there are no courts and no prisons either.

    Yep, it’d be one HELL of a country if people only paid whatever taxes they felt like paying.

  14. Naja pallida says:

    Duty… doodie… hard to tell with this guy.

  15. BeccaM says:

    I hope then you’ll do the right thing and not accept Medicare or Social Security when you’re eligible.

  16. Naja pallida says:

    It’s the internet, the breeding ground for trolls… and we’re discussing politics, the fertilizer which allows them to grow. This particular troll apparently doesn’t understand that the author means that Republicans should pay for their mistakes by having their failed programs eliminated. Instead, we have the Enabler in Chief trying to find some middle ground between effective and successful programs, and proven abject failure.

  17. BeccaM says:

    Amen. It’s like they have complete amnesia as to who was running the country from 2001-2008, and who also demanded that the Bush tax cuts be extended in 2010 or they were going to make the country go into default, and who stood by and did nothing while the banksters blew up a phony real estate bubble and crashed the economy.

  18. Naja pallida says:

    Doing nothing, and then in the next Congress reintroducing smaller things, in incremental amounts, would be a lot better than some half-ass giant omnibus lame duck compromise. Like if they wanted to reintroduce reduced tax rates for lower income people. It would be better to do it after the fact, and force Republicans to vote against it, than to compromise at a much higher income level or much lower rate on rich people that really does nothing to address our problems.

  19. Republicans don’t wanna talk about this.

  20. A reader in Colorado says:

    In one sense I disagree .. I think it would be an economic catastrophe to let certain things expire in the long term.

    But I agree – do nothing. Mostly because it’s time to break the Republicans of this thing they do, and literally nothing is gained by allowing them to continue to threaten to blow up the world if they don’t get their way,.

  21. BeccaM says:

    Sounds to me like the pre-Reagan tax rates were much more fair and progressive. I happen also to believe that nobody needs to be a billionaire or has contributed so much to the good of mankind as to deserve such wealth.

  22. BeccaM says:

    Meanwhile, the cost of 2443 of the new ‘Joint Strike Fighter’ F-35 is estimated at $388 billion to produce, an annual cost of $12.5b and an expected lifetime cost across the entire program of $1.1 trillion. Production cost for each plane post-development was $74 million, a number which has risen steadily each year since program inception.


    And that’s just for one jet fighter program.

  23. Justin says:

    did anyone notice that the chart on the right has an assumed recession in 2016?

  24. Naja pallida says:

    We should never forget that in all this “debate”, all the Democrats have to do fix the problem is nothing. Sure, if they did nothing at all, we’d see a dip in the economy probably over the next year or so, but things would most likely even out quicker than they would with their fake recovery half-measures. So any deal at all is nothing more than kicking the can down the road so we have to go through this all over again in a year or two. Any deal that leans towards more of what the Republicans are demanding is going to be an automatic failure for the country, we already know this from looking at the last ten years of the exact same failed policies. In the end, the Democrats have two choices – take a road that might actually have a chance at improving things, or more of the same. There really isn’t much middle ground.

  25. Ken Ashe says:

    Someone’s got to take the bull by the horns.

  26. A reader in Colorado says:

    Problem is, many of the items on that list are things that people who called themselves liberals just couldn’t be bothered with to care much about after Obama got elected. The silence became deafening, so they shouldn’t even be there, because liberals proved to be complete hypocrites on them and lost any right to complain. And I’m not a right winger.

    So I roll my eyes and say “Oh please” when I read some of these items.

    It’s just base hypocrisy, because if liberals really believed in these things, the outrage about them needed to have been just as bad with Obama as President. But it wasn’t. The outrage about certain things except in isolated pockets just disappeared.


    Like Cheney and his smoke filled room on energy – duplicated by Obama and his smoke filled room on health care. Scratch it off because it’s hypocrisy to even have it there.

    Or the Patriot Act, portions of which Obama and the Democrats extend year after year. Scratch it off. Because liberals have no standing to lecture right wingers about it at all anymore when they support a President and a party who gleefully retain it.

    And, I’m sure a lot of racism is directed at Obama. But not all even heavy dislike is necessarily rooted in racism. And, racism of the “in people’s hearts” kind is no excuse to bat away substantive criticism when some people do that.

  27. Zorba says:

    Oh, fuck this shit. Let’s just have Medicare For All- and I’m talking universal health care, like every other Western country has. I’m sick and tired of people being thrown under the bus so that the spineless Democrats can throw a bone to the Republicans. I don’t see very much difference between the two parties.

  28. ezpz says:

    Yes, I know it was addressed to the baggers, and I did add that in my edit. And yes, racism still exists, sadly, and yes, it’s especially prevalent among the R-wingers. This is nothing new. But I think it’s a distraction and it’s counterproductive to put all this energy into what we know has been, and will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. The right wingers are irrelevant in this discussion, except in terms of Obama wanting very much to accommodate them at our expense – literally.

    I just don’t see the point to expressing all this indignation yet again when what we’re dealing with right now has nothing to do with racism OR the irrelevant teabaggers. Well, they should be irrelevant, but this kind of stuff gives them more importance and more power than they actually have, and definitely more than they deserve.

  29. ezpz says:

    Oops, my comment above was meant as a reply to you, not to myself. I tried to c/p it to the right place, but…

  30. ezpz says:

    Yes, I know it was addressed to the baggers, and I did add that in my edit. And yes, racism still exists, sadly, and yes, it’s especially prevalent among the R-wingers. This is nothing new. But I think it’s a distraction and it’s counterproductive to put all this energy into what we know has been, and will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. The right wingers are irrelevant in this discussion, except in terms of Obama wanting very much to accommodate them at our expense – literally.

    I just don’t see the point to expressing all this indignation yet again when what we’re dealing with right now has nothing to do with racism OR the irrelevant teabaggers. Well, they should be irrelevant, but this kind of stuff gives them more importance and more power than they actually have, and definitely more than they deserve.

  31. A reader in Colorado says:

    I see the trolls are out in force today, LOL.

  32. A reader in Colorado says:

    I hear you, Becca,

    But for me, when 50% of unreachable and impossible is still impossible, cutting something to something that is still over my head means nothing.

    And what you said about the uselessness of insurance when deductibles are unmanageable too.

    I can’t think that I am unlike tens of millions of Americans in a similar position. I think there’ll ALREADY be hell to pay on the part of the Democrats on the ACA after 2014 – (and I think that date was chosen for reasons of avoiding political consequences).

    All this is creating medical apartheid. Certain people – the working poor, the elderly but not elderly enough, just will not be able to get medical care, they’ll die while others who have medical care are forced to watch.. And the Democrats are willfully colluding in it.

  33. condew says:

    Obamacare is better than the deal private insurers gave, not as good as Medicare.

  34. BeccaM says:

    I concur: The rates are not at all reasonable, and it gets worse the poorer one is. Even with the cheapest plan, the deductibles make the insurance useless for those who don’t have a couple thousand to throw away before the coverage kicks in.

    The only thing I can say in their favor — which ain’t much — is it was still about 50% lower than the rates I was quoted for non-PPACA coverage (and for which I was turned down due to my pre-existing conditions).

  35. condew says:

    Wow, the trolls are out in large numbers; guess they are still bitter about the massive losses of Romney and the Tea Party Republicans in the election this year.

  36. condew says:

    The spending for the war in Iraq has not ended. There are wounded to be cared for, orphans to be supported. This will go on for decades.

  37. condew says:

    Many Democrats signed on to the war because the Bush administration LIED.

  38. lynchie says:

    Romney is typical and he paid 13% last year 30% my ass.

  39. condew says:

    The problem Republicans are grappling with is how to default on the Treasury Notes owned by Social Security without defaulting on the Treasury Notes owned by the top 1% of every nation on Earth.

  40. A reader in Colorado says:

    At the risk of being a broken record, those premiums you quote for the PPACA with subsidies are completely unmanageable for a person in my position. And I’m not a senior. And I’ve looked up what I would be paying.

    Because my income is on life support I could not live my life while paying those premiums, I could not afford to have electrical power or food in my house or put gas in my car.

    The PPACA is not affordable and will not be usable for millions and millions of Americans. We’ll be forced to pay fines, and die without health care.

    Raising the Medicare eligibility age is a dastardly act, for anyone. What we should be doing is getting rid of the ACA and having Medicare for everyone.

  41. lynchie says:

    SS is not part of the budget. It is funded by payroll taxes everyone pays into. Look at your paycheck and you see the little line SS/Medicare you pay half and your employee matches.

  42. condew says:

    180 degree tell; conservatives are so blinded by their ideology, that won’t accept any pragmatic solution to real-life problems.

  43. lynchie says:

    Since you don’t in fact offer any facts you succeed and making your own point

  44. lynchie says:

    Who justifed the war with lies in fact two wars. Who cut taxes when the wars started, who ignored Katrina. the right has lots of blood on their hands and much it with American men and women in uniform.

  45. lynchie says:

    No money spent unless House and Senate agree on a spending bill and send it to Obama for approval. Go listen for more talking points from Rush

  46. A reader in Colorado says:

    Um, you do realize that that debt was extending the Bush tax cuts during a time of economic hardship for millions (meaning less tax revenues, right)? Plus putting wars on the books that Bush kept off the books on the out-of-sight-out-of-mind theory?

    And who caused that economic collapse? Could it be bankers? Could it be Wall Street corporatists?

    I’m no fan of Obama, but this is worked up fake outrage about things he didn’t do — except he should have told Republicans to take a short shift on a rolling donut about extending the Bush tax cuts last time. He does get the blame from me for that.

  47. lynchie says:

    So we can’t cut military, at the expense of taking care of Americans because some jobs might be lost. How about the 800 bases we maintain around the world? Can none of the NATO countries take them over, pay for them, and close them if the serve no purpose? As far as entitlements that is not part of the budget and is self sustaining. Getting rid of SS is about companies wanting to save their share of the payroll taxes.

  48. condew says:

    I already paid for my Medicare, what you are saying is that it is alright to cheat me; after taking my money in Medicare taxes for my entire working life, it’s OK to just not give me the benefits I paid for.

    Kind of like business, take in all the money, then declare bankruptcy and cheat all your customers and creditors.

  49. lynchie says:

    Where did you read it on

  50. A reader in Colorado says:

    I read an article today saying that the federal government spends all of 1.9 billion dollars on all the homeless housing in America.

    Can you imagine it? And the cost to eradicate homelessness in this country – to make sure that every man woman and child had a place to sleep and a roof over their head? A lousy 20 billion. 20 billion that just cannot be gotten because it’s “too much money”.

    But whenever we talk about things like Defense, and Departments of Homeland Security (because people are afraid of “terrorists”) have you ever noticed these things come in increments of hundreds of billions of dollars?

    This country is a victim of its own squalid priorities. This country could be made a paradise to live – and, yes, even a profitable paradise, if people would just quit living in fear and adopt priorities of reasonable people.

    Oh, yes, the article:

  51. condew says:

    Yup. Republicans may insist on Social Security and Medicare cuts now, but if Obama signs this, by the next election it will all be the Democrat’s fault.

  52. lynchie says:

    read the content. This was directed at the right wing who let all the things listed go on and only got their fake outrage when Obama was elected. If you are unable I live in Western Pa and the name Obama brings out every racist in the county. In the last election a hand made side on a front lawn read “Fire the N#####”. If you think many on the right don’t agree with that statement you are delusional.Healthy criticism is all well an good but when the GOP ran a Presidential campaign filled with racial undertones and dog whistles it is hardly about any more that color. When he won he was not even afforded the respect from the right for winning a mandate. It was only because he gave things to the poor, elderly, hispanics, latinos and inner city– was that healthy criticism. There is no lumping of liberals with tea baggers it says that no where. This was about criticism from the right based on racism.

  53. condew says:

    Troll ^

  54. condew says:

    I agree, I find that worrisome, too. Young people are immortal; they don’t ever expect to get sick or old, their own energies have never failed them. They’re easy marks. Add to that, for most people in our current system health care comes with employment, so they’ve never been out trying to “negotiate” for health care in the private market; some actually think they can negotiate as one person against a giant industry made up of giant corporations.

    Then there’s the little surprise from the company I work for, who told me for years my health care was costing about $5K; but if I retire, my health care immediately costs $12K, and goes up from there to $19K at age 65. So 2 years longer in the private insurance market will cost me $40K.

    Just another aspect of the war on the middle class.

  55. A reader in Colorado says:

    Someone has already paid, or is going to be paying for your health care at some point in your life unless you’re a billionaire.

    So, by the same token, what’s immoral is forcing me to pay for your interstate if I don’t drive.

    What’s immoral is forcing me to pay for your schools, your family courts, that I don’t use, your buses, your roads, your sewers, and your fire departments.

    Just kiddin. Nah.

    What I have noticed is that people who talk the way you are talking seem to take government largess without thinking about it at all. Then, when asked to contribute to the pool, the pool you yourselves use in one way or another, you complain about “theft”.

    This is asking you to pay your fair share in a modern civilization that you use, unless you live in a log cabin with no heat and power, no TV and no medical care. No less.

    And you’re helping impoverish that civilization and making it cruel and nasty by constantly carping about theft and taxes. Countries that don’t tax their citizens and don’t use those tax funds to run a clean and civilized country, and let people run amok, or let corporations run them, are cruel, nasty places to live to the degree they do that.

    Me, I don’t want to live in Somalia, or a country like it.

    We’re all in this together. And while you can claim taxes are too high and people can argue about that (though, not now because it would be a laughable point), taxation is not theft. That’s a talking point, but it’s a ludicrous one.

  56. Mountaineer1 says:

    Misspelling aside, there is no question that the debt has ballooned and will continue to under Obama. The poor economy is to blame not the tax breaks. Fewer people working= less revenue. The top 2% of the population already pays over 30% of the taxes in this country. Sounds to me like their already paying their fair share. No one should have to pay more than 30% of their income in taxes even if they are billionaires. Paying everyone the same sounds good on paper but it doesnt work. Ask the Soviet Union. The government should stop squabbling over a few percentage points on the tax rate of people already paying enough taxes and start job creating.

  57. ezpz says:


  58. karmanot says:

    The only public opinion Obama cares about is the Republican base. It’s his duty as the lesser evil.

  59. BeccaM says:

    I’ll admit, I find it all confusing and it’s entirely possible I’m mistaken on how this all works. If so, mea culpa. This is what I was able to find:

    I think the deal is with Medicare A & B there is no -actual- OOP maximum, but after certain thresholds are crossed — for example the roughly $1100 for a hospital stay — Medicare begins picking up 100% of the cost.

  60. ezpz says:

    Oh, I didn’t know there was an OOP max. Do you know how much that is? I’m just curious, so if you don’t know off the top of your head, I’ll just look it up.

  61. BeccaM says:

    From George Washington to Beginning of Obama = 9 billion in debt
    3 Years under Obama = 15 Trillion in debt
    Simple numbers for dumbasses ^^

    So simple you don’t understand the difference between a billion and a trillion? Or who it was who passed the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 and then had two major wars without raising revenues at all? Or who keeps insisting that the Bush tax cuts be kept in perpetuity?

  62. BeccaM says:

    I’m talking about the post OOP max. But as it turns out, she doesn’t see doctors much anyway. Sorry I wasn’t clearer.

  63. Reason says:

    The ‘dems’ won the popular vote for president, senate, and house and you want them to negotiate 50/50? Why do we even hold elections if every party gets a participation ribbon and no consequences. They’re just doing what they promised to do during the campaign, I think it’s some sort of revolutionary new strategy called ‘truth’.

  64. ezpz says:

    No. This is NOT about race. Many of us got plenty ‘mad’ during the bush years. And many white people voted for the ‘black man’ – MANY voted for him the first time, and some, the second time. He got a LOT of the white vote, so please, just stop with that.

    By repeating this diatribe, you are saying that anyone who gets mad about the egregious policies of THIS president is simply racist. It’s not! Yes, there’s racism, but it’s really insulting and lame to reduce healthy and NECESSARY critique of this president to racism only.

    Both Bush and Obama are being judged NOT by the color of their skin, but by the content or LACK of content of their characters.

    So please, just stop with this inanity.

    ETA: And I know you addressed this to the “right wing teabaggers” but many REAL liberals are mad too and the message of this rant lumps us in with those baggers, with the implication being that anyone who is mad about the actions of this ‘black’ president is racist.

  65. ezpz says:

    If your wife is on straight Medicare, how can coverage possibly be 100% of medical bills? It’s an 80/20 ratio, where Medicare pays 80%, and the patient pays 20%. If 100% of her medical bills are covered, then either the doctors are writing off her portion, or she has something like a Medicare Advantage plan, no?

  66. Eric Clopper says:

    From George Washington to Beginning of Obama = 9 billion in debt
    3 Years under Obama = 15 Trillion in debt
    Simple numbers for dumbasses ^^

  67. cambridgemac says:

    The Repukes are ITCHING to tell old folks (I’m 60) that it was a Democrat – and a black one, at that – who shafted them. See, you cant’ trust “them.” The Big Con continues.

  68. john q says:

    LOL! I hated bush but you have the temerity to say “cutting” medicare is immoral??

    No what’s immoral is FORCING me to pay for someone else’s healthcare. Taking money from me at the point of a gun ALA the IRS to fund your social programs is theft. If these programs were truly such a good idea then people would voluntarily join them.

  69. NO says:

    This is simply a hard core liberal take on the situation. sorry youre too busy concerned about your ideals to actually think realistically about the subject (comes from an independent)

  70. cambridgemac says:

    It’s worse than you say, John.

    Social Security taxes were raised in the early 1980s. The fund has been running huge surpluses for over 20 years. BUT – Congress has spent that money on tax giveaways to the 1% and illegal wars. The real deficits were much higher than they appeared – but were masked by Social Security. Now they want to cut the safety net THAT WE PAID FOR while protecting the stolen monies of the 1% and the imperial perpetual-war machine. They’ve got SEVERAL more wars planned. Whee – profits for decades!

  71. BeccaM says:

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed
    – Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Just sayin’. It’s a question of priorities, and if the United States wasn’t spending more on its military and defense budgets than the rest of the first world countries combined, even at extremely low tax rates we’d have a lot more money available to take care of our citizens and to spend on important things like research, education, infrastructure, and non-fossil fuel energy development. All of which, by the way, equals jobs, and lots of them.

  72. BeccaM says:

    Here you go. Enjoy.

  73. BeccaM says:

    I can provide some information, from this handy little sheet that came with my PPACA premium rates table. While it’s not guaranteed to be the actual rates, I think this offers some useful points of comparison for what seniors would LIKELY pay if they were thrown out onto the PPACA exchange market right now.

    I see from the table that from age 57 on up, the rate is $676/mo for a $500/year deductible plan. If you take a high deductible plan ($2000/year), that can be reduced to $492/mo. There are discounts for up to 400% of the official poverty rate, but in reality you’re only going to see the 75% reduction if you are seriously poor — or, in my case, can (legally) shift the majority of your business income to your spouse because the Feds refuse to recognize your marriage and thus gross household income is irrelevant. The insurance offered is a fairly typical catastrophic-type plan, with significant out-of-pocket costs if you are chronically ill. Which is what a lot of old folks are.

    Contrast this with my wife’s Medicare. She’s opted out of all the extra stuff and is getting only the standard Medicare A and Medicare B. The first part costs her nothing. Part B is about $100/mo. There are no deductibles before coverage kicks in, and in most cases coverage is 100% of the medical bills. The out-of-pocket maximum yearly cost is much lower, about 20% of what it is under PPACA.

    The summary? There’s no lipsticking this pig: Throwing people who are 65 and 66 back into the private insurance market — EVEN IF it’s backed up PPACA — represents a massive cost-shifting and even if the seniors in question are healthy like my wife is, it’s still a horrible deal for them and a betrayal of the promise we were all given for a lifetime of paying into these programs.

    This is nothing but a scam — and we know darned well that these rates are only going to go up over time, because we’ve done nothing to curb the rate of health care inflation. If the Dems pass this abomination, they deserve to be swept out of office in 2014.

  74. Annoyed says:

    You sound ridiculous. Why would anyone believe what you are saying when you can’t calm down enough to do proper research and find actual facts? Ugh please don’t blog again.

  75. tedsmith says:

    I’ll take it a step further, and make the claim that they let 9/11 happen so they’d have an excuse for war, all with the aim of gutting entitlements.

  76. Madman says:

    You people put so much blame on Republicans for a majority vote that was both heavily weighed within both parties….so don’t go blaming one specific person or group for this mess. Your beloved Obama hasn’t ended it, he’s furthered it, along with so many other violations of human rights and acts of genocide. You should really take a look at the list of congressmen and women who signed the bills to go to war the next time you want to open your mouth and spout nonsense.

  77. Tommy says:

    The war in Iraq is over, and if you want to talk about a trillion dollars in spending, lets talk auto bailout and Obamacare. One rewards businesses for their bad practices, and the other adds 22 million new patients to an already strained healthcare system without incentivizing even one new doctor. Those two added up are more than a trillion dollars. Honestly, this just seems like grasping to me. Without significant reform to entitlement, whoever wrote this has a pretty good chance of not getting those benefits due to a bankrupted system. You keep yelling “Bush”, but for 4 years, ALL of the exorbitant spending has been done by the man that YOU (ostensibly) put into the White House.

  78. Edward says:

    In 15 years entitlement spending and interest payments on federal debt will encompass the entirety of the federal budget. So while undoubtably the Bush Era tax cuts need to expire they hardly put a dent into the unsustainable cost of current entitlement programs (76% of which are social security, medicare and medicaid).

    Military spending is also a very complex issue, as any CBO budget analysis will tell you the economic impact, specifically the employment impact, of cutting military spending is huge. So while one could very fairly contend we certainly do not need another destroyer A LOT of jobs depend on the construction of that destroyer.

  79. KPhin says:

    Let the Republicans pay for their own mess? John Arvosis, you are a retard. You do realize Republicans and Democrats have the same bank account right?

  80. lynchie says:

    But Obama is proposing this apparently. Your other points are valid.

  81. irritatorofthepowerful says:

    Hey John, I thought you were FOR Obamacare! You actually bought into Obama’s narrative that the Affordable Care Act would be, well, affordable! But now you are concerned it won’t be.

    Well, welcome to the club! Republicans have been saying since the beginning that Obamacare would raise health care costs to an even more unreasonable level. But now you’re not so sure. And you want to have other people do as you say, but not as you do. You know, kind of like Congress.

    To paraphrase something I recently read, “Democrat lies got us into this mess, let them cut their own damn programs to get us out.”

  82. Why does everyone want to blame a SINGLE MAN as opposed to a building FULL of irrational, greedy and arrogant men and women that make policies for all of us to follow? Its simple stop certain behaviors from happening like lobbying, their wage increases(without a public vote) and housing allowances, and we would end up with many more decent, hard-working people that are passionate about the condition of the constituents. Reduce the “koosh life” in DC. And blame the responsible people, not one man.

  83. MichaelS says:

    THANK YOU John!!!!!! Yours is the FIRST voice I’ve heard *anywhere* making this argument. No one on the MSM, even the so-called progressive outlets, are arguing this – which shouldn’t be argued, it should be shouted from the highest mountaintop.

    I’d go one further… Keep the focus on BOTH the tax cuts as well as the wars (which you did) — and let no one forget it’s not the DEMS who are raising taxes, it’s the Repugs — THEY are the ones who voted for the tax cuts to expire after ten years, because they KNEW it would bankrupt the country if they were extended further. So now, instead of living up to their former promise to let the cuts expire, they’re screaming “tax hike” and want to cut Medicare instead.

    Word to the wise: NEVER let Repugs cut taxes, EVER. Never again.

  84. lynchie says:

    I think this is Obama not the Dems. They are no better but this is on Obama who should not even be negotiating this deal. His job is to sign on veto, that is it.

  85. lynchie says:

    I am lifting this from another site. link at bottom

    “Now You Get Mad?!”

    The following is going around Facebook right now (and it just popped up on Think Progress too tonight!), so I thought I’d share it with you all. It’s a good one! Original author unknown.

    Now You’re Mad?!

    After The 8 Years Of The Bush/Cheney Disaster, Now You Get Mad?

    You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

    You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate

    Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq.

    You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

    You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

    You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

    You didn’t get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

    You didn’t get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

    You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.

    You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

    You didn’t get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

    You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

    You didn’t get mad when Bush said he wasn’t concerned about Bin Laden, just a few months after 911.

    You didn’t get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

    You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

    You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

    You didn’t get mad when we gave people who had more money than they
    could spend, the filthy rich, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks.

    You didn’t get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

    You didn’t get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens died over an 8-year period because they had no health insurance.

    You didn’t get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the
    Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in
    investments, retirement, and home values.

    You finally got mad when a black man was elected President and
    decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if
    they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses
    by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and
    the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but
    helping fellow Americans who are sick…oh hell no.

  86. UncleBucky says:

    Oh, and tax the income-richies, corporate “persons” and politically-active religious organizations until their eyes bulge out. Yeah.

  87. Middle Molly says:

    Has Kirk even been to the Senate since his stroke back in January or February? If he were a Dem, the Repubs would be clamoring for his resignation.

    Durbin said over the weekend that he does not support raising the Medicare eligibility age. I hope he hangs tough.

    You don’t have to worry about Schakowsky.

  88. UncleBucky says:

    Negotiated drug prices, oversight of medical equipment prices, single payer universal (medicare FOR ALL) and the reexamination of the issue of profit (which is the $$$ that goes out of the system, as opposed to salaries and material costs that stay) in medicine. I know, we have to start somewhere, as you wrote, but I set my sights higher to take back medicine to the People, not let the People be the pawns of the health care 1%ers.

  89. Middle Molly says:

    I’m concerned that the younger people among us might not understand the ramifications of raising the eligibility age of Medicare …. or the eligibility age of Social Security, if that specter starts to rise from the dead again:


  90. Hue-Man says:

    Frame these political decisions in a simple way: Steal from the poor to give away to the rich. Reverse Robin Hood makes obvious choices; for example, take Medicare away from seniors in order to pay for useless Pentagon spending. Cut Medicaid support to pay for National Domestic Spying. Cut Social Security so rich people can maintain their tax cuts, tax benefits, and corporate welfare.

    These kinds of choices are easily understood by the 99% and make clear what uncaring, murdering Grovers have taken over the TeaParty/GOP.

  91. UncleBucky says:

    Well, the GOP are liars. And we have to show it every day. EVERY DAY.

    I will communicate with my Federal reps, Schakowsky, Durbin and Kirk (GOP, why bother?) to make this known.

  92. Guest says:

    The short answer should be that this proposal is a mindless distraction that’s not likely to “save” any money. By it, you take the healthiest (on the average) cohort of the Medicare population out of the system. They, generally, pay more in premiums (hell, some of them who are still working and earning enough are paying almost $4,000 a year now) than they take out in benefits. Inevitabie mortality means the older the population in the system gets, the more expensive it is. Which means premiums for those remaining in the system can only go up – even without getting meaningful control over costs. And those who are removed from the system just get shoved off somewhere else, where they have to be paid for. This is a cynical game of musical chairs that satisties no one but the propaganda hyenas on Fox noise. Sure, there’s a Medicare problem. It’s costs. And the first step to attacking costs is to allow the system to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies. But every politician in Congress is scared shitless of Big Pharma — to which George Bush’s Part D was a giveaway. Big Pharma has had about nine years of gravy train. It’s time for someone to derail it.

  93. Indigo says:

    Speaking of immorality, lying is a sin. There is no cliff! We are in a deep pit of unpaid debt due to the Bush Administration’s temporary tax cuts and refusal to pay legitimate, outstanding debt. Those tax cuts must be abandoned, clearly labeled as the arrogant refusal to pay for services already rendered that they are. Medicare is not a gift, it’s a payment back from taxes already paid. There is no cliff! There is a vast, unpaid debt. Stop the immorality, stop the lies! There is no cliff!

  94. lynchie says:

    speaking of Bush, Morning Joe is trying to rehabilitate GW. In a number of references to his supposed control of the GOP in Congress, Joe had the balls to say he was a master at keeping the party in line. This I predict is all about bringing the Jebness into national prominence. Why can we vote to spend more on defense and say we are going to pay for wars, killing brown and yellow people, drone striking people who are thought to be guilty of something and not take care of the poor, elderly and sick.

  95. NCMan says:

    The dems are proving to be master negotiators again. Just when we thought they were getting better, they float this “deal”.

    The starting point was that dems want a tax rate increase of 4.6%. The republicans want an increase of 0%. Now, you would guess that a standard compromise for these two positions would be a rate increase of 2.3%, bringing the tax to 37.3%. That’s it. In total. A compromise shouldn’t include anything else. That’s the halfway position between the two. In fact, you could argue that the dems, having won the election should get more than half of their original position and go for 38%.

    But, with their newly found, tough negotiating skills, the dems have come up with a compromise of only 37% and then in addition, they are offering to throw in 2 years of Medicare and get nothing additional from the republicans for it. BRILLIANT !!!!!

    You want to save some money in Medicare? Don’t even talk about any cuts to benefits at all until AFTER you implement negotiated drug prices exactly the same way that the V.A. negotiates prices.

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