Hey Democrats, Do We Want to Save Medicare, or No

Strongly guessing that the whole delegation will be against. But no harm in pushing. Thanks Miles. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

Congressional Republicans are gearing up to not only strip health care from the 20 million Americans who get it through Obamacare – they’ve announced plans to kill Medicare as well.

You may hear reporters calling it “phasing out,” “privatization,” or most cowardly, “reform,” but let’s be 100% clear: Medicare is government-guaranteed, single-payer health care. Writing retirees a check and saying “good luck finding private insurance, hope this covers it” is neither of those.

Talking Points Memo has been rallying Democrats against the plan. Not only is it terrible policy, it’s terrible politics for Republicans. Voters skew older anyway, but midterm voters skew really old. Democrats shouldn’t just fight this defensively – they should be out front educating voters about how Republicans are trying to destroy one of the most effective and popular programs the government has ever given them.

TPM has been asking readers to call their members of Congress to ask if they oppose the Republican plan to kill Medicare. Here are the results for Massachusetts:

AGAINST PHASING OUT MEDICARE UNDER RYAN PLAN

  • Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), according to a TPM reader who called his office
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), according to a TPM reader who called her office
  • Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA), according to a TPM reader who called his office
  • Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), according to a TPM reader who called her office

“We’ll Get Back To You:” Dozens of TPM readers attempted to contact their representatives and senators in response to Josh’s recent post on the threats of a Medicare phase-out. A surprising number of congressional offices appeared unaware of the proposal or appeared to have no prepared response to Ryan’s Medicare agenda. Listed below are the Congress members whose offices were caught unaware, or claimed they would pass on constituents’ concerns, aggregated from TPM reader email submissions:

  • Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA)
  • Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA)
  • Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA)
  • Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)

Not listed by TPM (which means no readers in their districts have called them) are Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Richard Neal and Rep. Niki Tsongas.

Have you called your member of Congress? If so, let us know the response you got in comments. (Find your member & their contact info here.)

 



Discuss

15 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. It's a pretty safe bet, I think...

    …that if and when this comes to a vote our delegation will be unified in their opposition.

  2. Thanks forthe post ...

    while we likely fine in MA. It’s important to note that Senators and Reps do need to go back to their states and and try to sell that getting rid of Medicare is a good thing.

    Good luck with that.

    It would be good if that is front and center when they go home to their states, make them address the question and not side step or ignore it. I wanted to see that in red states and the dumb asses in WI and MI.

  3. Not the Most Likely

    Ryan has floated his Medicare “reform” idea in every budget cycle for a few years now. Its been a talking point, but he has never even bothered to draft legislation to implement it.

    His idea of block grants for Medicaid is more dangerous and will target the very old (nursing home residents), the disabled, and poor communities in general. I think this idea is more likely to get traction and will be welcomed by many red state governors who want to see the repeal of mandatory coverage groups and benefits in Medicaid.

    Unfortunately, ACA repeal and replace is likely as well.

    Medicare is probably the safest from repeal or substantial modification.

    • I tihnk he threatens Medicare

      … as a means of cutting Medicare back. The GOP won’t eliminate it, the political price would be too high. But they might tighten it.

      Obamacare would be easier to repeal, because we would just revert. To be clear it would be really bad for many people — but the GOP thinks their voters wouldn’t be affected much,

    • Too much analysis, not enough activism

      I don’t at all mean to single out this comment. All of the above may or may not be true. But what happens is going to be up to the people on the playing field, and it seems like way too many of our leaders are in the stands shaking hands instead of strapping on a helmet.

    • The owners of nursing homes...

      …(again, the rent seekers, the .1%, the rentiers) will not stand for this. They own the homes that house the elderly poor. Their wealth comes from government subsidy for the poor who cannot afford a decent retirement because they were deemed “unskilled” by both parties and therefore not worthy of a sustaining wage.

    • Dave, Medicare is a minor player in nursing home care.

      Both my parents died in one. One was pre-lookback and the other post-lookback.

      One parent signed away all assets the day before going in. It turned out not to be necessary, as they died at 64 and we’re still on standard health insurance, but it was the same kind of asset protection you hear about on WBZ to protect your sacred savings like Guy LaRiviere so the taxpayers pick up the tab. The second was subject to lookback, but most assets had been transferred and the $30,000 life savings covered the 6 weeks before death.

      But in every nursing home, the first piece of paper you sign is that Medicaid application to cover you after the spend down. MediCARE coverage is limited, it is MedicAID that is paying the vast amount. And as the rain falls on the just and unjust alike, the super wealthy have the best trusts and strategies to allow them to steal a loaf of bread and sleep under bridges on the Medicaid dime. (Parenthetically, this is what has always driven me bonkers about the claims that illegal immigrants are bankrupting Medicare when it’s really Granny).

      How the states use their Medicaid money is up to them. Backing the 90′s Weld wanted to gave a 1 year residency requirement to slow down arrivals from New Hampshire where they didn’t cover nursing home care getting same day eligibility here so we could pay for them.

      Medicare reform doesn’t change any of that unless nursing home care is added to it, which is where it belongs, IMO.

  4. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE

    And so, the new national nightmare begins.
    As a cancer survivor and recent retiree, I rely on Medicare for my primary healthcare. Speaker Ryan and Republican extremists recently announced plans to repeal Obamacare by phasing out Medicare and replacing it with vouchers.
    Well, Trumpies. You asked for it but be careful what you wish for because now you own it.
    We defeated the privatization of our public schools at the ballot box the same way we defeated Republican attempts to privatize Social Security.
    One can only hope that Medicare privatization meets the same fate.
    On Monday, I plan to call my 6th District Congressman Seth Moulton and urge him to vote AGAINST privatizing Medicare and I urge all BMG members to do likewise.

    Fred Rich LaRiccia

  5. If the Republicans try this

    The resulting anger across the country will end in Medicre for All. Republicans don’t seem to understand that they won because today’s Third-Way “Democratic” party is stocked with bloodless grifters, as opposed to the Republican’s earthy grifters – they seem almost life-like.

    But everyone knows that both parties are primarily stocked with grifters working to steal our stuff.

    The outcry from trying to steal Medicare, or Social Security, will be a thing to behold.

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Wed 29 Mar 3:10 AM