I thought this opinion article by Michael Wolraich, titled "Republican's Medicare Blunder" and featured on CNN's website, was worth mentioning.
In town hall meetings being held across the country during Congress' two-week recess, American citizens are filling the ears of Republican legislators with objections to the party's budget plan, particularly proposed changes to Medicare that would replace direct coverage with subsidies for private insurance.Enough said...
Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pennsylvania, quoted in a New York Times article Tuesday, tried to play down the objections, but his explanation inadvertently exposed the flaw in his party's political strategy.
"I am not sensing the general public is angered over Medicare reform," he insisted. "When I explain that people over 55 are not affected there is almost a sigh of relief."
In other words, Barletta believes his constituents will only tolerate "reform" that does not personally affect them.
This offhand acknowledgement belies the obvious truth that Republicans are loath to admit: Americans actually like their supposedly bloated, inefficient, bureaucratic, government health insurance, and they do not trust for-profit insurance companies to do it better. They like their socialized medicine so much that they're willing to give hell to anyone who threatens to take it away.
The over-55 proviso only serves to validate citizens' objections. Even if the exception pacifies seniors, by emphasizing it Republicans implicitly acknowledge that the proposed subsidy plan is not equivalent to Medicare as we know it. They underscore the fact that Americans under 55 will get screwed.
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