–Yet another fairy tale: $716 billion “stolen” from Medicare

Mitchell’s laws:
●The more budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.

●Austerity starves the economy to feed the government, and leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.


Americans always have loved fairy tales, but even children know fairy tales aren’t true.

I can’t blame Romney for this fairy tale the right wing has been floating: That Obama took $716 from Medicare. I can’t blame him, because instead of taking positions, hides behind repeatedly shifting, flip-flopping generalities. Blaming him for anything is like trying to eat Jello with a chopsticks. There’s no substance to grab onto.

No one even can pin him down on Ryancare – he likes it; he sort of likes it; he may like it with some unidentified changes. One thing we do know: He invented Obamacare, but now hates it – well, not all of it, some of it, but we’re not sure which parts he hates and which part he likes, and which parts he’d cancel.

But, he must like Ryancare, or why did he pick Ryan out of all possible contenders? Ryancare is Ryan’s signature “achievement.”

Romney, the Hans Christian Andersen of politics, is the uncertain, hesitant, weak-kneed leader millions amazingly wish to follow. Yikes! Be careful what you wish for, people. I don’t think you’ll enjoy having Barney Fife as your President.

Anyway, this article tickled me:

Republicans steal Medicare from the Democrats
By Eugene Robinson, Published: August 27 The Washington Post

At a breakfast hosted by Bloomberg News on Monday morning, Mitt Romney’s campaign brain trust claimed to welcome a fight with President Obama over the future of Medicare. I say “claimed” because the Romney team surely recognizes that putting Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on the ticket means not being able to run away from Ryan’s plan — endorsed by House Republicans — to transform Medicare into a voucher program.

Instead of the current guarantee that the program pays for medical costs, Ryan’s plan would give seniors a set amount of money each year to buy private health insurance. If that sum isn’t enough to pay for the necessary coverage — or to pay for traditional Medicare — seniors would have to make up the difference.

Hmmm . . . Let’s see. Which would I prefer – a program that pays all my hospital and doctor bills, no matter how high, or one that gives me a voucher which may or may not be enough to pay the hospital and the doctor? Hmmm . . .

Republican apologists claim I would have a choice, but really, why would I choose vouchers? Republicans also are quick to assure current seniors the plan would not apply to them, but only to the younger people. But if the plan is so good, why the need for assurances?

Now, the Romneyites claim this would provide “competition” that would lower costs. Sure it would. When I’m sick, what I really want is the cheapest doctor and the cheapest hospital, especially a hospital that lowered prices so much it has had to cut quality of service. (Anyone for 6- person rooms? Anyone?)

Yep, that’s what I really want: El Cheapo Medical Services, Inc. Not the fully paid, top-notch service I receive from Medicare. Thank you Ryan/Romney.

If that reminds you of what happened to the airline industry, when pricing was deregulated, you’re right. Think of airline service in the operating room, and you get the picture.

The GOP’s argument centers on $716 billion that Obama, through the Affordable Care Act, has shifted away from Medicare providers, such as doctors and hospitals, over the next decade. Most of these cost savings were negotiated with the providers, and there would be no — repeat, no — reduction in benefits to seniors.

Nevertheless, as soon as Ryan’s selection was announced, Republicans went on the attack with ads charging Obama with “gutting” Medicare and promising that not a penny would be cut under a Romney administration.

Ah, the phony $716 billion shift from Medicare. The hospitals wanted it, because it greatly would reduce their cost of providing free, emergency room care to patients who don’t have health insurance. The doctors wanted it, because it would give them additional paying patients.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good fairy tale?

We’re supposed to forget that Obamacare preserves Medicare as a guarantee — a promise that all Americans will have health care in their golden years — while the Romney-Ryan plan would subject seniors to the vagaries of the private insurance market and potentially cost them an extra $6,400 a year.

Why would America shift to a voucher program? To save dollars for a government that, being Monetarily Sovereign does not need to save dollars. And, think about it. From whose pocket would those phony “savings” be lifted? From yours? From the hospitals’? From doctors’?

Got it? The government does not need to obtain dollars from anyone, because it is the creator of dollars. Despite that, the Romney/Ryans want to take dollars from you and your health care providers, and give them to the government.

Brilliant. Really. Here’s why:

The right wing is owned by the upper 1% income group. Vouchers will have two effects: Either they will be insufficient to pay all hospital costs or the hospitals will have to cut prices to the bone.

Either way, Ryancare will widen the income/healthcare gap between the rich and the not-as-rich. The rich will have private insurance and private, top-end hospitals, and you poor slobs will have vouchers and “airline” hospitals.

Betsy McCaughey, is a former New York lieutenant governor for whom opposition to the Affordable Care Act has become a crusade and a career. Obama, she charged, has already “destroyed Medicare as we know it.” Extracting the $716 billion in cost savings from Medicare providers, while simultaneously providing coverage for 31 million uninsured Americans, was the equivalent of “robbing Grandma to spread the wealth.”

If there is anything the 1% cannot tolerate, it’s providing benefits to those less fortunate. Good heavens, providing health care to 31 million unfortunate people could close the gap, and who wants that?

McCaughey was just warming up. It’s not just Grandma’s money that’s at stake, she charged, but also her life. The Affordable Care Act “will mean fewer elderly patients survive their hospital stay and leave alive.”

In her hysterical rant, she never quite says how Ryancare could possibly provide a better outcome in an “airline” hospital that has to compete on price, or for a patient whose vouchers have run out, and now must pay out-of-pocket. It’s like a used care salesman, convincing you to buy a Yugo, when you could have a free, new Cadillac.

Let’s return to the real world. As McCaughey said in a moment of lucidity, Medicare has fundamentally transformed the experience of aging in this country by providing a guarantee of health care.

What she didn’t acknowledge is that it was Democrats who conceived of Medicare, passed it into law and kept it viable all these years. It was Republicans who denounced the program as “socialized medicine” — and who now want to replace Medicare’s guarantee with a system of vouchers.

Republicans may tell themselves that the GOP is the party of Medicare. But I doubt seniors will be convinced.

Sadly, many millions of Americans will be convinced, and vote for the Romney/Ryan fairy tale. Meanwhile, the British are so enamored of their single-payer healthcare insurance, they featured it during the opening ceremony of the Olympics. But what do those foreigners know?

We would rather follow the Romney/Ryan Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty


Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Medicare — parts A, B & D — for everyone
3. Send every American citizen an annual check for $5,000 or give every state $5,000 per capita (Click here)
4. Long-term nursing care for everyone
5. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
6. Salary for attending school (Click here)
7. Eliminate corporate taxes
8. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
9. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports


3 thoughts on “–Yet another fairy tale: $716 billion “stolen” from Medicare

  1. RMM,

    Is medicare high quality healthcare? One of the major arguments against single-payer or medicare-for-all seems to be that is a lower quality healthcare. How do we judge this claim?


  2. JK,

    Medicare neither is high quality or low quality healthcare. It is insurance.

    I am on Medicare. I go to the doctors of my choice, and when necessary, I go to the hospitals of my choice. That’s where I receive my health care.

    My wife recently had two operations for cancer. She had her choice of doctors and hospitals, so she used the very best oncologist and the very best surgeon she could find, and went to the best hospital in the Chicago area. The surgeon was the department head at the hospital.

    Medicare paid the bills. That’s what Medicare does.

    And did I mention that the British are so in love with their single payer system, the devoted half the opening ceremony of the Olympics to extolling their system?

    The vast majority of Americans on Medicare love it. The only people who don’t like Medicare are Republicans and/or fools.


  3. Rodger,
    As for JK and private insurance and “high quality” care, I recently went to the ER for a minor infection. I should have taken care of it myself, with a needle and some neosporin, but a close friend in our household was diagnosed with MRSA staph, so I decided to get it checked out. (No family doctor.)

    This was all fixed by a Physicians Asst in 5 min. I asked about culture and labs, but there was not enough pus to send to the lab. A doctor said hi and wrote a scrip, 30 seconds.

    The bill (so far) was $1094. I think HCAP will cover it.

    I just was offered an insurance package with a new employer, at ONLY $19 per week. That’s about $85 per month. The coverage for ER? $100.

    But these doctors are supposedly opposed to Medicare (and Medicaid) and “cuts” to benefits, when this Insurance Policy would cut out 90% of the bill, which would force the Dr or Hospital to send the balance to me or to Collections.


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