We are all vulnerable: Medicaid, health reform, and the 2012 election

Harold Pollack is a health policy wonk at the University of Chicago, but he has a street-level view of the health care system.

In a YouTube video published Thursday, Pollack explains that he and his wife took in her brother, who is developmentally disabled, eight years ago. They couldn’t have done it without Medicare and Medicaid, he says. Continue reading “We are all vulnerable: Medicaid, health reform, and the 2012 election”

GOP platform takes aim at federal workforce

GOP platform takes aim at federal workforce

The Republican Party unveiled its national platformTuesday, revealing its plan to downsize the federal workforce, trim federal benefits and privatize airport screeners.

The platform calls for a wholesale reinvention of the federal government, which has become “bloated, antiquated and unresponsive to taxpayers,” according to the plan.

“It is our intention not only to improve management and provide better services, but also to rethink and restructure government to bring it into the twenty-first century,” the drafters of the Republican plan wrote. Continue reading “GOP platform takes aim at federal workforce”

New York Times Op-Ed Columnist “The Medicare Killers”

Op-Ed Columnist

The Medicare Killers

By PAUL KRUGMAN

 Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Paul Ryan’s speech Wednesday night may have accomplished one good thing: It finally may have dispelled the myth that he is a Serious, Honest Conservative. Indeed, Mr. Ryan’s brazen dishonesty left even his critics breathless.

Some of his fibs were trivial but telling, like his suggestion that President Obama is responsible for a closed auto plant in his hometown, even though the plant closed before Mr. Obama took office. Others were infuriating, like his sanctimonious declaration that “the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” This from a man proposing savage cuts in Medicaid, which would cause tens of millions of vulnerable Americans to lose health coverage.

And Mr. Ryan — who has proposed $4.3 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade, versus only about $1.7 trillion in specific spending cuts — is still posing as a deficit hawk.

But Mr. Ryan’s big lie — and, yes, it deserves that designation — was his claim that “a Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.” Actually, it would kill the program. Continue reading “New York Times Op-Ed Columnist “The Medicare Killers””

Republican platform: Cut 10% of workforce, privatize TSA

Republican platform: Cut 10% of workforce, privatize TSA

Aug. 29, 2012 – 11:07AM   |  By SEAN REILLY   |    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waves as he arrives in Portsmouth, N.H., on Saturday. The GOP platform says the federal government should use attrition to reduce the payroll by at least 10 percent and adjust “pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waves as he arrives in Portsmouth, N.H., on Saturday. The GOP platform says the federal government should use attrition to reduce the payroll by at least 10 percent and adjust “pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector.” (Jewel Samad / AFP via Getty Images)

The Republican National Convention approved a party platform Tuesday that calls for cutting the federal workforce by at least 10 percent, overhauling federal pay and benefits, as well as privatizing airport screening and possibly some U.S. Postal Service operations.

Although the document acknowledges the dedication of federal employees, it says that the civil service has grown by at least 140,000 employees under the Obama administration, while the number making $150,000 or more has doubled. “At a time when the national debt has increased to over $15.9 trillion under the current administration, this is grossly irresponsible,” the platform continues. Instead, the government should use attrition to reduce the payroll by at least 10 percent and adjust “pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector.” Continue reading “Republican platform: Cut 10% of workforce, privatize TSA”

Ryan’s ‘Tough Issues’: More Tax Breaks for the Rich, Cuts to Medicare and Social Security for Everyone Else

Ryan’s ‘Tough Issues’: More Tax Breaks for the Rich, Cuts to Medicare and Social Security for Everyone Else

 

08/29/2012; Mike Hall

 Romney-Ryan budget vision for America is at odds with working families.

Tonight, Paul Ryan painted a picture of his and Mitt Romney’s vision of America. It is a vision, he said, where he and Romney “will not duck the tough issues” and where “Mitt Romney and I have made our” choices.

It is a vision that chooses more tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations—paid for by cuts in Social Security, Medicaid and other programs that poor and working-class families rely upon. It’s paid for with cuts to investments in our future such as education and rebuilding a crumbling infrastructure, both vital to maintaining and growing a middle class.

Ryan appealed to resentment and division, cynically labeling Obama’s cutting of waste from Medicare as a takeaway from seniors. But the reality is that the Affordable Care Act cut overpayments to private insurers who were making billions in profits. That money was invested back into traditional Medicare. Seniors saw improvements, not cuts to their Medicare benefits.

The vision Ryan painted tonight is a vision that is shaded pale and leaves no room for DREAMers.    Continue reading “Ryan’s ‘Tough Issues’: More Tax Breaks for the Rich, Cuts to Medicare and Social Security for Everyone Else”