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August 27, 2009

Democratic Congresswoman Betsy Markey and Democratic Senator John Tester: You Know, You're Going to Have to Give Up Some Benefits to Make ObamaCare Work, Right?

Tester, vague:

Tester said it is more important to find a combination of ideas that can gather enough votes to get out of the Senate - although he is not yet certain it can be done. He also said the bill can't add to the deficit, even if that means adopting a tax on wealthier people to help pay for it.

"I too am worried about the national debt," Tester said. "I certainly don't support taxing the middle class; they pay their fair share already. But I think you are going to have to give something to get something."

As has been pointed out six bazillion times, Obama's plan already envisions higher taxes on the rich and that's not nearly enough to cover the new costs. So when he's talking about "you" giving up something to get something, he does in fact mean you, and not some rich people you don't know.

Represenative Markey is muchclearer on the point. She lapses into reckless candor here; it will only be hours before she retracts and claims she was "taken out of context."

Some people, including Medicare recipients, will have to give up some current benefits to truly reform the nation's health-care system, Rep. Betsy Markey told a gathering of constituents in Fort Collins on Wednesday.

Markey has repeatedly said during the August congressional recess that Medicare spending needs to be reined in to help pay for reforming the broader health-care system.

"There's going to be some people who are going to have to give up some things, honestly, for all of this to work," Markey said at a Congress on Your Corner event at CSU. "But we have to do this because we're Americans."

Have to?

Sharon Begley just emailed me to say these people have obviously contracted some form of viral insanity, thus causing them to believe the "myths" about ObamaCare that all rational people know are false.

Karl Rove is pushing these "myths" too, of course, in the WSJ. But that's to be expected. He's a lunatic.

wo weeks ago, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod said in a now legendary "viral" email that, "It's a myth that health insurance reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits." This was sent out the day before Mr. Obama told a Montana town hall that he'd pay for health-care reform by "eliminating . . . about $177 billion over 10 years" for "what's called Medicare Advantage." And it was two days before Mr. Obama told a Colorado town hall he'd cover "two-thirds" of the "roughly $900 billion" of his plan's cost by "eliminating waste," again citing Medicare Advantage.

Who's right? As a former senior adviser, I can tell you who: the president. What's more, according to a White House fact sheet titled "Paying for Health Care Reform," Mr. Axelrod was misleading his readers. It notes the administration would cut $622 billion from Medicare and Medicaid, with a big chunk coming from Medicare Advantage, to pay for overhauling health care. Mr. Obama heralded these cuts as "common sense" in his June 13 radio address.

Medicare Advantage was enacted in 2003 to allow seniors to use Medicare funds to buy private insurance plans that fit their needs and their budgets. They get better care and better value for their money.

Medicare Advantage also has built-in incentives to encourage insurers to offer lower costs and better benefits. It's a program that puts patients in charge, not the government, which is why seniors like it and probably why the administration hates it.

Already, an estimated 10.2 million seniors—one out of five in America—have enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Mr. Obama is proposing to cut the program by nearly 20% and thus reduce the amount of money each will have to buy insurance. This will likely force most of them to lose the insurance they have now. Yet Mr. Obama promised in late July in New Hampshire that, "if you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan."

This is that famous money we're "wasting subsidizing insurers," it seems. It's what I figured it was: Not subsidizing insurers at all, but subsidizing seniors so they can buy private insurance more cheaply.

Obama has been mentioning cutting this "subsidy for insurance companies" in every single speech he's made.



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posted by Ace at 04:27 PM

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