Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Does "Obamacare" Cut $500 billion from Medicare?

Yes, it does. And this was noted by the Left during the health care bill debates, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears. Of course, the GOP is seizing on the $500 billion number to try to make themselves look good. The fact that they can even credibly posture as a defender of Medicare speaks to the disorienting, confused nonsense that passes for political discourse in the corporate media. But this much is clear: Medicare is an extremely popular program, so much so that even the Right has to posture as a fan of it. Of course, the Democrats too want to posture as fans of Medicare. Neither party wants to take the blame for slashing it, but, in the end, both of them would like to do it. Apologists for Obama seem to have forgotten the recommendations put forward by the bipartisan committee appointed by the President to draft up a plan to make punishing cuts to social programs.

One other thing- check out the WaPo link provided above. In the "facts" section (loaded with Democrat apologetics), after some waffling on whether not the it's true that $500 billion will be cut, we read the following: "These spending reductions presumably would be a good thing, since virtually everyone agrees that Medicare spending is out of control." Really? That's funny, I don't remember agreeing to that. I would, however, say that health insurance profits are out of control. I would say that the premiums charged by the profit-driven insurance agencies are out of control. I'd also add the number of uninsured Americans as well as the number of unnecessary deaths caused by our system are out of control as well. I don't even know what it means to say that Medicare spending is "out of control".

Sooner or later, re-election obsessed Democrat apologists will begin to trot out putative accomplishments of Obama. They will claim that the health care bill is one of them, and they'll surely want to set aside uncomfortable facts (like the above). Don't buy it. The health care bill was written by the very industry who is the source of the health care crisis in this country. It doesn't even include the meager, inadequate "public option". It expands and consolidates the role that profiteers play in our health care system. It isn't a small step toward single-payer, it is a newly minted roadblock to further progressive reform.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that the Obamaheads can't even really defend this thing against the sneers from the Right. First of all, the damned thing is so complicated that even Obama doesn't understand it. It's not as if Obama can say "look, I gave you single-payer health care from cradle to grave, and you'll never have to worry about medical bills ever again". Second, the putative benefits of the "reform" are so thin that they don't even get the DailyKos crowd excited. It's really pretty pathetic watching the Democrat apologists try to stand up for this heaping pile of shit. It's a debate between the hard right, on the one hand, and the soft right on the other. There is not even a tepid left-liberal voice to be found in the halls power. There's something Quixotic about the way that Robert Reich and Paul Krugman, "the last liberals", complain about the "incompetence" or "lack of fighting spirit" that obtains among Democrats. "Why can't they just see the good arguments for Keynesian-style reformism?" the two of them incessantly wonder. Well, I've got news for them: Obama, et al. are showing their true colors. They don't give a shit about the "good arguments". They have goals that diverge from those of liberals, and, to be quite frank, I have to say that Obama and Co. are making use of very effective means to achieve those goals. They are re-establishing the conditions in which the accumulation of profits can resume, by any means necessary. Both parties pay lip service, as you point out, to Medicare because it's popular. But both parties are looking to axe it as well.