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Where were those deficit hawks when Part D was passed?

Today’s pending announcement that the GOP will introduce a ‘Pledge for America’ includes rhetoric about cutting taxes, reducing the size of the government, repealing health reform, and eliminating $100 billion in discretionary spending among other chestnuts.
It’s good to hear talk about fiscal restraint. Too bad they didn’t hew to those principals when they were in power. Here’s a brief reprise of a post from a ways back.
This from the party that added over $9 trillion to the deficit the last time they passed a health care bill.
Let’s return, for just a moment, to the early and mid oughts, the halcyon days of the Bush Administration, when the entire government was under the firm control of the fiscally prudent.
Here’s what those wise stewards of the nation’s wealth did.
Pass Medicare Part D with no funding – short term, long term, any term. Hell, they would’ve been more fiscally prudent if they’d included a few hundred million to bet on the horses. At least that would have shown some desire to pay for the thing. But no, the GOP decided to NOT set aside funds, or raise taxes, or cut other programs; they just passed Part D, committed to paying for it out of ‘general funds’ and to hell with the future.
The latest Medicare Actuary report indicates the GOP-passed Part D program has contributed $9.4 trillion to the $38 trillion Federal healthcare deficit. (page 126)
The Bush-era GOP makes President Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the rest of those spendthrift Dems look like a bunch of cheapskates; even a GOP analysis finds “the new reform law will raise the deficit by more than $500 billion during the first ten years and by nearly $1.5 trillion in the following decade.”
It remains to be seen if the voters will be duped by this blatantly political ploy. So far, it looks like it’s succeeding.
As HL Mencken said, “People deserve the government they get, and they deserve to get it good and hard.”

3 thoughts on “Where were those deficit hawks when Part D was passed?”

  1. I’ve taken the time to read the “Pledge To America”, have you? It is easily available and specific content related comments woule be of interest. Talking about the past and avoiding current issues is not what you are known for and should not be your response to this important document. The facts are there, again, specific content related comments appreciated.

  2. anon –
    I have. it is vague, doesn’t specify how they will achieve the budget cuts, makes no concrete statements about programs to be ended, and does not address the budgetary issue of Part D.
    If there was ‘specific content’ I’d be happy to address it.
    finally, while I appreciate your guidance re what I should and should not comment on, I’m quite capable of figuring that out on my own. perhaps if you identified yourself I’d be able to take your suggestion more seriously.

  3. I blame the media, honestly. When the disaster to our economic future known as Part D came out, the media failed to give the details of how badly it would hurt us economically. This, being the same media which fails to report how badly the New Health Care Law will hurt us economically. As a resident of NYS, a state which will be mandated to add thousands to this new Health care Law, I wonder how we will be able to do it. NYS just recently passed their annual budget, months late, basically “borrowing” money.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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