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Nov
3

Republicans planning to force Medicare cuts

House Republicans are planning to impose massive cuts to Medicare, raise Medicare’s eligibility age, and withhold payments to early retirees and retirees earning more than a certain limit.

News sources indicate the GOP will use the upcoming debt limit to try and force Medicare cuts, a reprise of earlier efforts supported by 175 House Republicans to slash Medicare spending. The effort is also gaining traction among Senate Republicans, with Senator Lindsey Graham planning to use the Republicans’ leverage in Congress to cut Social Security and Medicare.

Sen. Rick Scott’s 11 point plan goes a lot further; it would end Social Security and Medicare if Congress doesn’t take specific action to renew those programs every few years (see Scott responding to Fox News question at 1:09 of the video here.)

You may well recall that Scott was sued for Medicare fraud back when he ran Columbia/HCA. Columbia/HCA was ordered to pay the Feds $1.7 billion in fines and penalties.

What does this mean for you?

If you and/or your parents are on Medicare, this means a lot. 

 


8 thoughts on “Republicans planning to force Medicare cuts”

  1. Joe – All probably true if, as predicted, Republicans win control of the House and, les likely, but still possible, the Senate. But, even if they do, and even if they bring up and pass all of this, including Rick Scott’s ridiculous plan (which I did my utmost to eviscerate (https://tomlynch.substack.com/p/rick-scott-is-going-to-rescue-america), they will still not have the votes to override a presidential veto. That said, 2024 becomes all the more important.

    1. Thanks Tom – while the Rs may not have the votes to override, they will likely use the debt ceiling as a cudgel to try and force Medicare and Social Security cuts

  2. Every election, for as long as I can remember, it’s always the same, “If the Republicans win, they will take your Social Security and Medicare away”. Don’t any of you get tiered of this, year after year. The only thing anyone in their right mind want’s is to use fiscal responsibility when using these programs. These programs are paying out benefits for way more than the programs we originally built for, and it is that reckless spending of the program funds, for things that it was never intended for, that is bankrupting the programs. Not the Republicans.

    1. thanks for the note Bruce.

      This time it is different – their opponents aren’t saying this – the Republicans are. You may not be aware that the biggest cost problem in Medicare was caused by Republicans

      The largest single part of the federal long term debt is Part D – the Medicare drug program. Part D was a George W Bush initiative, passed by a Republican House and Senate WITH NO ONGOING FUNDING. This was a massive giveaway to seniors which helped Bush win re-election.

      Let’s be very clear – the Republicans passed Part D, which also prohibited Medicare from negotiating prices with drug companies.

      The same Republicans now want to overturn Biden’s signature legislation which allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices thereby saving seniors and tax payers tens of billions of dollars.

      Happy to discuss further if you so desire.

      be well Joe

  3. Back again – twice in one day. I agree completely with Joe about Part D. If you’re interested, I’m publishing an extensive piece about it tomorrow morning in my Letters From The Berkshires at tomlynch.substack.com. If you’re not interested, I’m still publishing it. Don’t worry; it’s free.

  4. Joe,
    It’s always good to have a conversation. I don’t think Bush and the Republicans bankrupted social Security and Medicare all by themselves. Are you saying that he shouldn’t have tried to add a drug program to Medicare? This is one option that I believe was need for our seniors and it definitely should have had an ongoing budget established, from the get go. But If the Democrats, and Republicans, wanted to pass an ongoing budget for this, and to modify the program so they could negotiate better rates with the manufacturers, are we really saying that it couldn’t have been addressed in the last 13, almost 14 years, (over 9 of those years have been under Democratic control)? Why, if we’re really serious about doing something about the cost of drugs are we limiting the number and types of drugs that we currently say we are going to now be allowed to negotiate? Is this all for show and there is no real want or will to make the changes that need to be made to make it work? Both sides are to blame for not having the backbone to really make the changes that need to be made, but let’s stop always trying to blame it all on one party.

    1. Thanks for the note Bruce.

      I did not say Republicans “bankrupted: anything; I did point out that Republicans – ostensibly the party of fiscal responsibility – were solely responsible for adding $9.4 TRILLION to the Federal deficit.

      The reason Congress limited the number of drugs it could negotiate on is one Democratic Senator – Joe Manchin – and every Republican Senator that demanded Medicare stay out of pharma’s business.

      Both sides are NOT to blame to the same degree – there’s no question – none whatsoever that Republicans are responsible for the biggest deficit addition we’ve seen to date.

      be well – Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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