How Medicare Will Define 2012 Campaign

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called a vote on Representative Paul Ryan's Medicare plan Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to take sides on what has become a defining issue for the 2012 campaign. The vote comes one day after Democrat Kathy Hochul's upset victory in New York's heavily Republican 26th Congressional District. The vote was seen as a chance to test the air on Medicare reform, and Hochul's victory made one thing clear: the winds have changed. Jennifer Steinhauer, congressional correspondent for The New York Times, says that with an election year on the horizon, Democrats are using the opportunity to puff up their sails — while some Republicans are scrambling to change tack.

Guests:

Jennifer Steinhauer

Produced by:

Posey Gruener

Comments [2]

amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

While I agree with much of Ms. Steinhauer's analysis, there are some faulty characterizations:

> Both Beohner's and Reid's votes are in the end political (considering that's what they do). Just as Boehner was "demonstrating" his agenda with symbolic votes, likewise Reid was demonstrating his by acknowledging the House's stance and its unpopularity with the the Republican approach to Medicare reform;

> because the Democrats, in part, already started the ONLY COMPREHENSIVE SOLUTION to Medicare/Medicaid reform which is healthcare reform, based on the passage of the AHA. (Sure, some kind of single-payer or government options would be much better.)

> The AHA is one of the rallying points to work against for the Republicans, and as such, is fair game in any battle, but people seem to be forgetting that budget is base don things like healthcare and the overall economy. At the same time, for all its faults, the AHA provides the only current framework that will work healthcare cost containment.

> As with all of the Ryan/Republican Budget plan, there is not a comprehensive but piecemeal approach that seeks primarily to reduce the size of government, and thus costs, without looking at how to best reform governemnt through a balance of cuts in spending, increased efficiencies, and targeted innovations.

In the end, the Ryan plan (aka Hooverdom), takes an ideological tack to budgetary issues without working towards pragmatic, practical solutions.

May. 26 2011 09:56 AM
Peg from Finger Lakes NY


Many Americans, including health care professionals, favor Single Payer health care or Medicare for all.

The most important aspect of Single Payer is that it supports businesses and makes them competitive with other modern countries. Why do we insist on burdening businesses with health care expenses? Why do businesses put up with it???????????

No one in our country is MORE DESERVING of health care than anyone else. A Single Payer system will assure that everyone can afford to see a doctor or competent health professional and keep health care costs low. Let's get rid of the expensive overhead of the insurance industry and force the drug corporations to give us the same prices they do in every other country but ours.

Health Care should be easily available for everyone - not just the wealthy and those lucky enough to have a job with health benefits. AND Americans need to take much more responsibility for keeping themselves healthy and fit.

May. 26 2011 07:38 AM

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