When will Democrats stop suffering from battered woman syndrome? When will Democrats understand that Republicans are just not into them? When will Democrats realize that Republicans only approach them for a deal when their backs are against the wall and need cover?
That Wyden a seasoned politician would allow a young morally corrupt childlike House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to coopt him into supporting a Medicare reform process that continues the transfer of wealth to private insurance companies tells me he is either not as smart as I thought or he as well is bought by the insurance industry. This act alone will remove a necessary narrative real Progressives need to drive home to the voting elderly that Republican policies will harm them. This will delay our march to the only sensible system we will be forced into, the single payer system.
This is why the Occupy movement refuses to coalesce around Democrats. They see it as a bad bet given their propensity to speak for moral policies even as they cave to power. I am not naïve. I understand for the better good compromises must be made. This one is a setback.
Paul Ryan to announce new approach to preserving Medicare
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who has been castigated by Democrats and hailed by Republicans for his plan to privatize Medicare, will on Thursday unveil a new approach that would preserve the 46-year-old federal health program.
Working with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the Wisconsin Republican is developing a framework that would keep government-run Medicare as an option for new retirees starting in 2022, along with a variety of private plans.
Seniors would still receive a set amount of money from the government to buy insurance, as they would under the Medicare proposal Ryan included in the budget blueprint that passed the House last year. But the new approach would let that subsidy, known as premium support, rise or fall along with the actual cost of the policies — creating more protection for seniors and saving potentially far less in the budget.
The unusual alliance between Ryan and Wyden could complicate election-year politics for both parties on an explosive issue. In recent days, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has embraced the Ryan privatization plan, and GOP front-runner Newt Gingrich has offered qualified support. Democrats, meanwhile, have been gearing up to challenge the GOP across the board on the issue, accusing Republicans of pushing to “end the Medicare guarantee.”
Ryan and Wyden said in an interview Tuesday that they joined forces in hopes of lifting the Medicare debate above the divisive political rhetoric and forging a genuine compromise that could save the program along with the government’s solvency.
“We want to demonstrate that there is an emerging consensus developing on how to preserve Medicare. We want to move that consensus forward,” Ryan said. “This program’s got to be reformed to be saved. The country’s at stake.”
Wyden said that adding traditional Medicare to Ryan’s premium support plan combines the best ideas of both parties, creating “the opportunity for progressives and conservatives to come together and address the real challenges” of the federal entitlement program: rising health costs and an aging population.
“There’s a lot to work with here in terms of trying to find common ground,” Wyden said. “This doesn’t end Medicare as we know it. People can go to bed knowing that traditional Medicare will be there for them for all time.”
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