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Why don’t Repubs try to repeal Medicare?

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 Back in the 1960s, conservative Republicans of that time WARNED that Medicare was a socialistic scheme that would ruin America — the same kind of alarmism that their ideological progeny are employing today in arguing against health-care reform.

 So, a question arises: If those right-wingers of the ’60s were correct, why don’t today’s Republicans seek to repeal Medicare?

 Answer: Such a move would be political suicide. Americans don’t want Medicare repealed.

 In other words, those right-wingers of yore were wrong. And their ideological descendants of today are wrong, too.

 POSTSCRIPT: Silly as it seems, some folks apparently don’t understand that Medicare is a government program.

 Witness the guy at a recent town hall meeting in South Carolina who admonished his representative in Congress to  “keep your government hands off my Medicare.” (Read about it HERE.)

 Oh, and then there was the time nine years ago when George W. Bush, while campaigning for president, warned against Democrats who “want the federal government controlling the Social Security like it’s some sort of federal program.” (Read about it HERE.)

 UPDATE: Nate Silver has a FEW THOUGHTS of his own regarding Medicare and health-care reform, including this observation:

To compare the President’s current reform efforts to Medicare is for all intents and purposes a Democratic talking point. That Republicans saw fit to include it in what was surely supposed to be a boffo editorial outlining their new plan suggests that they may talk their way out of stopping health care reform yet.

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10 Comments

  1. Richard: I would love to respond to your comments — if I knew what the hell you’re talking about. What does the crap to which you’ve linked have to do with Medicare? And what could you have meant with this line?: “You are right Pat. We would hate upset the voters who share your same political views.”

    Communication skills are not your long suit, are they? That’s why you’re a right-winger.

  2. Chuck Sweeny

    He’s a Brit. (My heritage.) They haven’t gotten anything right since World War II, and I’m even excluding Monty from the victory celebration.

  3. Chuck Sweeny

    Pat,
    By the way, the Conservative Party is in charge of Canada right now, under PM Stephen Harper. Although I’ve heard some reports that they secretly want to privatize the health care system there, that’s not what they’re saying in their party platform, which you can access at: http://www.conservative.ca/EN/4739/78188

  4. Mike Carroll

    Lets see if I have this right-Conservatives were wrong in the 60’s for criticizing Medicare which they accurately predicted would become the unsustainable train wreck that it is today and should align with liberals today to pass Obamacare which will allow the country to double down on another fiscally destructive federal entitlement? Have I got that right?
    There are times that I would swear that I live in an “Alice in Wonderland” world.

  5. Mike Carroll: Medicare has become an “unsustainable train wreck”?
    In reality, the growth in per-person spending for Medicare has been significantly slower than private health insurance over the past 20 years, and its advantage has widened in recent years.

  6. Mike Carroll: Here’s more detail on the point I was making in the previous comment: Since 1970, Medicare costs per beneficiary have risen at an annual rate of 8.8% — but insurance premiums have risen at an annual rate of 9.9%. The rise in Medicare costs is just part of the overall rise in health care spending. And in fact Medicare spending has lagged private spending: if insurance premiums had risen “only” as much as Medicare spending, they’d be 1/3 lower than they are.

    But, if you want to champion the status quo, Michael, go right ahead.

  7. Neftali

    Pat – One big fat word for ya, DEFICIT.

    The reason why the growth in per-person spending for Medicare has been significantly slower than private health insurance is that government is arbitrarily setting the prices that don’t reflect the market. In other words, insurance companies would go bankrupt if they ran their operation like the government. Instead the government just accumulates more debt.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jun/25/barack-obama/obama-says-medicare-and-medicaid-are-largest-defic/

    The government is very, very poor at managing budgets, and thus they have no business (pun intended) competing in the private marketplace.

  8. Mike Carroll

    It appears that Neftali has more than adequately responded for me.

  9. http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/kristol-admits-stewart-government-run-h

    ANOTHER American “socialized medicine” program…classic Kristol….

  10. Nelson

    DEFICIT??????
    You Conservatives are choosing NOW to complain about the deficit?

    After eight years of George W. Bush, who never placed a veto on a spending bill, you choose now to complain about the deficit??????

    Unbelievable.

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