The victory of a Democrat in a special election in New York’s heavily Republican 26th Congressional District won mainly on the question of Medicare Reform blew down Paul Ryan’s Medicare House of Cards and has shown it up for the shabby reform plan it was all along. Voters in New York figured out that giving Medicare recipients vouchers to purchase private health coverage instead of simply covering what they need was a horrible idea.
Exposing Seniors to rapacious health insurance companies as a means to cut the cost of Medicare ignores the human needs of people. Those people spoke up in New York yesterday. Democrats have put in place and are willing to put in place even more reforms to control rising Medicare costs. Republicans frankly would like to kill the entire program if they could.
Only Republican Seniors don’t want that program killed the way the Republican leaders of their party want it killed. People frankly want health care that they can rely on past retirement. Paul Ryan’s plan simply will not do that. Democrats win in the 26th Congressional District of New York about as often as it snows on a ninety degree plus July day.
All of the announced Republican Presidential candidates have warmly endorsed Ryan’s plan for Medicare. Only Newt Gingrich opposed it. But he reversed his opinion just this past Sunday. And Republican leaders in the House are digging in their heels to push Ryan’s plan despite the message sent them last night. For Democrats and anyone who wants good healthcare in retirement let’s hope they keep doing that. They’ll be pasted in 2012 and will deserve all they get.
The bare bones fact is that the Republican Party is hostile to Medicare and Social Security. They always have been and always will be. Voters looking ahead to 2012 not just on the presidential level but on the Congressional level ought to take that into full consideration. That party does not like poor people having access to health care either. Health care is for the rich and well-connected, those who work hard and are responsible. The rest of us don’t deserve it they say.
Democrats should not only be quick to take full advantage of this Republican disaster in the making (greater than the BP oil disaster and likely to stick even better than any oil slick) but should drive it home right back into full power in 2012. Paul Ryan and his cohorts have been caught with their economic and social justice pants down. Americans are worried about the deficit. But they really want jobs and health care first.
And private sector solutions where we must add twenty percent to the cost of Medicare by funneling the program as Ryan wishes through private health insurance carriers is nonsensical as it adds to the cost of the program and does not control those costs.
It is not the Government of the United States that will shoulder the increase but you the private citizen will have to dig that out of your own pocket. The risk as to cost will not be shared among us all but placed firmly upon your shoulders as individuals. This is what the people of the 26th Congressional District in New York have figured out.
Social Security and Medicare have taken their places as essential components of a social safety net Americans rely on and cannot do without. Any political leader who wishes to win election and even simply to do the right thing by their fellow Americans ought to fully support the programs as they are and fix them to work even better than they do today.
The money is there. A return to Clinton Era tax rates and the end of three perpetual wars in the Middle East along with cost controls that do not ration care or make people dig money out of their pocket for Medicare would provide all we need. We would even have funding for all the other social and economic infrastructure we need to work on too.
Struggles For Justice would rip only Obama on the wars we remain involved in around the world but Republicans have if anything criticized him for not going to war with both Iran and North Korea as well and not prosecuting the others as vigorously as he ought. Paul Ryan’s House of Cards has fallen and the American people now have the opportunity to see it and make the right decision as to what ought to be done with it.