Nothing gets my blood boiling faster than listening to the Sunday talking heads bloviate about how all those old people don't really need their Medicare anyway. Eric Cantor just couldn't wait to call Medicaid and Medicare recipients welfare queens this morning -- as if they don't pay for it with the taxes THEY pay (unlike our corporate person counterparts), while extolling Ryan's plan to gut health services to the entire nation. Really, his message (and Ryan's) is this: If you're under 55, die and die quickly so there's more for us.
Here's the clip:
CANTOR: We are in a situation where we have a safety net in place in this country for people who frankly don’t need one. We have to focus on making sure we have a safety net for those who need it.
WALLACE: The Medicaid people — you’re going to cut that by $750 billion.
CANTOR: The medicaid reductions are off the baseline. so what we’re saying is allow states to have the flexibility to deal with their populations, their indigent populations and the healthcare needs the way they know how to deal with them. Not to impose some mandate from a bureaucrat in washington.
WALLACE: But you are giving them less money to do it.
CANTOR: In terms of the baseline, that is correct…What we’re saying is there is so much imposition of a mandate that doesn’t relate to the actual quality of care. We believe if you put in place the mechanism that allow for personal choice as far as Medicare is concerned, as well as the programs in Medicaid, that we can actually get to a better resolve and do what most Americans are learning how to do, which is to do more with less.
Here's my response to Mr. Cantor. I would like for him to start doing more with less by immediately terminating his Federal Employees' Health Benefit Plan and shopping for his own health insurance. Then I would like him to imagine himself in a scenario where an aged relative comes to him needing a home and financial assistance because their health is so fragile they can no longer care for themselves. He will be faced with the reality of having to find a qualified home health care provider at his own expense because said indigent relative does not really "need" Medicaid, since they have Uncle Eric to rely upon. All of the expenses will be out of his own pocket.
But hey, he'll definitely learn how to do more with less.
Does Cantor not realize that more than half of Medicaid benefits go toward long term care for the elderly? Or maybe he does, and so the message is to die, and die quickly?
Anyone within the reach of my keyboard already knows the Ryan plan is a big pile of nonsense. Unless, of course, they're political opinion-makers with a wide platform. Then it's "courageous." And very, very "serious." Again I ask, what are they smoking?
How is it courageous to send us all back to the land of pre-existing conditions exclusions?
How is it courageous to end Medicare and send THEM back into the markets for health insurance they won't be able to afford?
How is it courageous to tell poor people it's perfectly all right for them to die in the streets, because the private ambulance and cremation market is there to pick up and dispose of their remains?
Of course it's not courageous. It's also not serious, but now that every damn corporate media outlet on the planet has decided to use press releases instead of their own brains, it's become courageous and serious.
In short, this plan isn’t remotely serious; on the contrary, it’s ludicrous.
And it’s also cruel.
In the past, Mr. Ryan has talked a good game about taking care of those in need. But as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, of the $4 trillion in spending cuts he proposes over the next decade, two-thirds involve cutting programs that mainly serve low-income Americans. And by repealing last year’s health reform, without any replacement, the plan would also deprive an estimated 34 million nonelderly Americans of health insurance.
So the pundits who praised this proposal when it was released were punked. The G.O.P. budget plan isn’t a good-faith effort to put America’s fiscal house in order; it’s voodoo economics, with an extra dose of fantasy, and a large helping of mean-spiritedness.
No one exemplifies mean-spiritedness better than the young Eric Cantor, sneering at his elders while he lobbies for another wealth shift from the poor and middle class to the rich fat cats laying down those insurance premium rate hikes.
Where's Granny when you need her? All those tea party grannies ought to be beating this little schmuck over the head with their misspelled signs. Oh, wait. They're not affected. It's only those of us who have worked all our lives so Granny could have her Medicare that would lose the right to it. If you're under age 55 and aren't screaming about this, start. Single payer is now fully on the table.