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Senate votes to keep Medicare cuts

By Lori Montgomery
The Senate voted Thursday to keep nearly $500 billion in Medicare cuts in its overhaul of the health care system, protecting the bill's major source of financing against a Republican attack.

On a vote of 58 to 42, the Senate rejected a proposal by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to send the bill back to committee with orders to strip out the cuts, a move that would effectively have killed the measure. Two Democrats -- Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jim Webb of Virginia -- voted with all 40 Republicans on the amendment.

The vote was among the first cast on proposed changes to the package, which would spend $848 billion over the next decade to extend coverage to more than 30 million additional people and implement the most dramatic revisions to the nation's health-care system in more than 40 years. Though debate officially opened on Monday, legislative progress has been hampered by disagreements between the two parties over the terms of debate and the timing of votes. But Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) still hopes to hold a vote on final passage before the Senate adjourns for the Christmas holidays, and on Thursday he told senators to plan on working throughout the coming weekend.

The vote on Medicare cuts was the most significant of four votes held Thursday. Republicans argued that the cuts, which would slow the projected increase in Medicare by about 5 percent over the next decade, would decimate the popular program for people over 65 in order to finance an expansion of insurance coverage for younger people. Any cuts to Medicare, they argued, should instead be dedicated to preserving the program, which is scheduled to start running out of money in 2017.

"If we're going to take money from Grandma's Medicare, let's spend it on Medicare," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

Democrats, backed by an array of major senior organizations, including the AARP, argued that the cuts would extend the financial life of Medicare by several years. The cuts would not reduce guaranteed benefits or increase co-payments, they said. And because hospitals and other providers have agreed to absorb the cuts by working more efficiently, Democrats said they would not affect access to medical services.

"I think it's pretty clear that the main organizations that care about seniors support this bill," said Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which drafted the bill that formed the foundation for a compromise package assembled by Reid.

To underscore that point, the Senate voted unanimously to approve a separate amendment by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) that explicitly states that the package would not affect guaranteed benefits for seniors.

Earlier in the day, the Senate approved an amendment to ensure that women under 50 could obtain mammograms, despite a recent controversial ruling by a government task force, and to prevent insurance companies from charging co-payments for that and other preventive tests for women.

The amendment, by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), was approved on a vote of 61-39, with Republicans David Vitter (La.) and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine joining a majority of Democrats in voting yes. Democrats Russ Feingold (Wis.) and Nelson voted against the amendment, which is expected to nearly $1 billion to the cost of the package over the next decade.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 3, 2009; 4:35 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

Trying to strip out the major funding source for health care reform is just another tactic being used by Republicans to fight progress. As AARP and others noted, reducing Medicare costs extends the life of the program and will not change any guaranteed benefits.

Posted by: rousehouse | December 3, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Senate Democrats have proven that they don't care whose civil rights are taken. They have now shown that they are no longer the civil rights party. The Senate Democrats are now the party of thugs.

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

When the seniors voted for the present occupant in the White House, they knifed their own futures.

They should take this advice from John McCain:

"Take your AARP card, cut it in half and send it back. They've betrayed you," he said.

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who seriously thinks that there will be any Medicare related cuts in an election year is in need of a mental health day. What will happen is that the Senate will get all huffie and make the cuts knowing full well that Obama will restore them. Repeat slowly 'I know there is an election in 2010 and that seniors VOTE!'

Posted by: KBlit | December 3, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Everyone should note that this $500B is a direct gift to the insurance industry backed by the GOP for which they were generously reimbursed by the insurance industry. This was a way to steal medicare dollars and nothing else. In no way did eliminating this cost to medicare cut one penny from benefits to seniors.

By the way, we have seen the teabaggers and know who the armed thugs and welfare recipients are and who they have aligned themselves with as long as they are paid to do so.

Posted by: xclntcat | December 3, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it does cut services and to say it dosent is just not being honest... or not taking an honest look at it.

So far all the amendments have done is cut care to seniors and approved tax payer funded abortion by calling it preventive services.

The $890 billion dollar price tag is a lie and an dream. Medicare cost 1000% more than projected. It was projected to cost 12Billion by 1990. In 1990 medicares real cost was 110 Billion.

They can not fix this government takeover with amendments. The whole marxist bill needs to be scrapped.

Posted by: markandbeth | December 3, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

you have to pay attention. the bill has no cuts to benefits for seniors or increases to their costs. the cuts were to payments to hospitals, etc., and they agreed to the cuts in return for getting more people insured. so no one was opposing the cuts, not seniors, not hospitals. just a political stunt by republicans to say they voted to stop nonexistent Medicare cuts that dems wanted to make. garbage.

Posted by: JoeT1 | December 3, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Great news!
Bush and Repubs concocted Medicare Advantage for WEALTHY seniors, funded by taxpayers that benefits the Insurance industry!
If those wealthy seniors want more coverage than traditional Medicare - they can pay the difference themselves!

Posted by: angie12106 | December 3, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"And because hospitals and other providers have agreed to absorb the cuts by working more efficiently, Democrats said they would not affect access to medical services."

Really?...Really? I'm a "provider"- no one asked me if I was willing to accept cuts in medicare. What happens when reimbursement gets cut and more of the actual providers decide that they can no longer afford to treat patients with medicare? Does that affect seniors access to dervices?

This is so called "healthcare" reform- lets be honest and call it what it is-"health payment reform" If it was "health-care reform" wouldn't you think there would be just a little input from the people that actually deliver healthcare. How many physicians outside of Howard Dean have contributed to this mess??? How many have been sought to give input into improvement in healthcare delivery that is both more effective and more affordable??

Posted by: asnis715 | December 3, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

To ALL Congressmen that want a ONE-WAY ticket back home, VOTE YES on this Legislation, the VOTERS will buy your ticket !!!

Posted by: thgirbla | December 3, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

JoeT1,
How can you say 500 billion dollars cut from Medicare is not a cut?

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

KBlit said, "I know there is an election in 2010 and that seniors VOTE!"

Politics at work. Now the Republicans can say during the next campaign that their opponent's party voted to cut $400 billion from Medicare. They took the opportunity to fire a broadside into the Democratic party before they get the healthcare bill jammed down their throats. The Democrats had to vote against it or the bill would die. I think we've seen a small victory for the Republicans today. It's better than laying down and accepting the inevitable at least.

Posted by: tonyprzy | December 3, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

tonyprzy wrote:

The Democrats had to vote against it or the bill would die.
_________________________________________________
Is that so bad? Baucus has an acceptable bill.

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone should note that this $500B is a direct gift to the insurance industry backed by the GOP for which they were generously reimbursed by the insurance industry.
Posted by: xclntcat"

You used that argument in the summer and it's every bit as false as before. It has been Obama and Democrats that have picked up money from insurers.

Posted by: cprferry | December 3, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The bill was fine until Reid got hold of it.

“The Senate bill fails to fix major problems in Medicare and Medicaid, which currently suffer from chronic underfunding that undermines access.” said Dr. Brennan Cassidy, the California group’s president.
But outright opponents include the California Medical Association, which represents 35,000 physicians. “The Senate bill fails to fix major problems in Medicare and Medicaid, which currently suffer from chronic underfunding that undermines access.” said Dr. Brennan Cassidy, the California group’s president. New York Times

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow. The Good Bushie John McCain of today is miles away from the John McCain I supported in 2000.

Racist, rednecks and republicans. The Big Three amigos. Fighting against health care for families like yours.

What a shame to see.

Posted by: SEADOGMB | December 3, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

John Mc'Can't go way ... the peole already rejected you quite a few times now; so fade

Posted by: aypub | December 3, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Time for reconciliation. Pass the bill.

Posted by: Keesvan | December 3, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans argued that the cuts, which would slow the projected increase in Medicare by about 5 percent over the next decade..."

So they aren't "cuts" they are curbs on growth of a government-funded program. Aren't Republicans supposed to like that sort of thing?

Posted by: js_edit | December 3, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

People are living longer than ever in america.80,90,100 yrs old is common now.But...there is no quality of lifa at theses ages.Do you call being almost blind,wearing Depend diapers and having to rely on someone else to bath you a life??Sure, the medical establishment and the doctors get rich and others suffer.

Posted by: hyroller56 | December 3, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

kwoods2 wrote:

Senate Democrats have proven that they don't care whose civil rights are taken. They have now shown that they are no longer the civil rights party. The Senate Democrats are now the party of thugs.

---
Exactly whose civil rights have been taken and what specifically are those rights that were taken away? I find this canard often stated from the far right. But I can still vote. I can still travel inside the country freely. I can still buy a gun. I can still speak my mind. Exactly what rights have been taken?

Posted by: kevnet | December 3, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

What a joke. Naturally AARP supports this. They are an insurance company. The cuts will require seniors to buy more supplemental insurance, which AARP advertises incessantly. The supplemental insurance, they advertise, is necessary to save seniors thousands of dollars.

Posted by: jhough1 | December 3, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

$400 billion of the $500 billion in cuts to Medicare come out of Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Advantage is a program that helps seniors purchase "supplemental insurance policies" that cover payment gaps based on care received that Medicare refuses to pay for, which these seniors couldn't otherwise afford on there own out of pocket.

The Democracts hate this program because it was created by the Bush Administration and the money goes to the "evil" private insurance companies that they have to demonize in the healthcare debate.

McCain is just representing his senior constitutents from Arizona as well as other seniors that enrolled in this popular program at a time in which he is up for re-election to the Senate in November 2010.

Every time prior to this that Congress has set up cuts to Medicare when it comes time to vote to actually make the cuts they refuse to do so...it should be no different this time around.

It is political suicide for any member of Congress to cut Social Security, Medicare or any other entitlement to seniors in an election year as they are the most consistent voting bloc in this country.

I guess the AARP folks are smoking something as they will be next in line for the senior backlash if the Democrats actually make these cuts and pass this trainwreck of a bill.

Senator Reid can also kiss any hopes of re-election goodbye as well as the bill was better before he messed with it.

Posted by: King2641 | December 3, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

The AARP lies and seniors die...MEDICARE is going to be CUT by How much again?

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | December 3, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Lori, your writing insinuates that the AARP has clean hands regarding health care reform. And, I assume that you do too. But then again, you are a journalist for TWP....

Posted by: JAH3 | December 3, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness McCain's amendment was defeated. McCain and Republicans need to come to the table ready to put forth ideas that can make health insurance better for all of us and ready to compromise.

Actions today by the Republcans were more of the "my way or the highway" thinking. We would probably have a better bill with more Republican input, but we will have this with or without them.

Posted by: amelia45 | December 3, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The AARP lies about MEDICARE CUTS;

Seniors will die.

Don't renew your AARP membership!!

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | December 3, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer because of screening.

What strikes me about this amendment is that it was brought by women only concerned with women. They forgot the other half of their constituency.

Shortly before news of recommendations to eliminate breast cancer screening for younger women, a similar recommendation was made to eliminate regular screening for men.

This screening saved my life. And this amendment does not assure equal protection for men.

This is a sexist bill, offered by two sexist women.

Posted by: colonelpanic | December 3, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"Return to Sender" any mail received from AARP.

Posted by: JAH3 | December 3, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I haven't stopped laughing, the Republicans attempting to cut out, excise, savings from the health care bill that they didn't want? This is too much for me to digest in one lifetime. Is this the same bunch that so royally gave us the doughnut hole prescription benefit and then didn't bother to fund it? Is this the bunch who so notoriously told us we could buy Iraq for 50 Billion, and in the end we'd get the oil? Forgetaboutit!

Posted by: sls213 | December 3, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

To be repetitive ------SENIORS vote and 2010 is an election year.

How does congress expect to pay for a war costing $3 billion a DAY without taxes of some sort?

Posted by: KBlit | December 3, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE is absolutely essential to cover all the expenses NOT covered by MEDICARE.

There is no other group in society who have a pressing need for:

o EXTENSIVE DENTAL CARE....$4,400 for an implant to replace a vital rear molar that couldn't be filled or bridged. Extractions, posts, tooth, infection control = $$$$

o EYEGLASSES...for reading & distance...as eyes weaken they need constant replacement..hundreds of dollars

o HEARING AIDS...to cover everything from Tinitus to loss of hearing.

o PREVENTIVE health maintenance at physical fitness clubs. My YMCA membership runs over $300/annually.

o NUTRITIONAL supplements...lots of them, Osteoporosis...take calcium/zinc; flu-take oscolusum and C's; a Cold, more C's and D, E, and fish oil. Junk food is out, organic foods are in.

o ARNICA, and other essential home remedies.

o Bribes for flu vaccines!

BTW..nearly all of this can be purchased using a HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT.

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | December 3, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

kevnet wrote, Exactly whose civil rights have been taken and what specifically are those rights that were taken away? I find this canard often stated from the far right. But I can still vote. I can still travel inside the country freely. I can still buy a gun. I can still speak my mind. Exactly what rights have been taken?

*******************************************
1) The right to decide on your own medical treatment,
2) The right of elderly and the lower financial class to survive financially,
3) The right to religious freedom (i.e. to not be required to be mandated to pay for pre-birth murder,
4) The right to be viewed as a free human.


Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

You gotta admit it: The Republicans have refined and exalted the art of hypocrisy to its highest point in domestic American history. They pose here as protectors of Medicare, a program they have fought tooth and jowl from the years before its outset and ever bushing since.
These people have no conscience, and think they can play us, the American people, for saps.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | December 3, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

The seniors will take the hit and everyone will get rationed, long wait, business killing, forced Obamacare. One nation indivisible with slavery and taxes for all.

Posted by: mharwick | December 3, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

jimsteinberg1,
Who just cut 500,000 billion from Medicare while "Republicans, including Mr. McCain, have warned that the reductions will lead to cuts in critical medical services for elderly Americans"?

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Once again the DEMS and AARP have thrown seniors under the bus!!!! This will cause both big trouble in the coming year!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | December 3, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

..."Glad I voted for Barack Obama, instead of that "FOOL/McCain who has no brain! "My God have the Republicans ruined you goooooood America what a mess they dumped into your lap and President Barack Obama's, 8 million lost jobs, a record/deficit $1.5 Trillion, along with a wrecked economy, wow, what a criminal mess record of Republicans shows, as a registered Voter/Vet USAF, I don't know how Republicans aren't in jail?

Republicans has done all they can to kill Universal Health Care with the Public Option and now they want to add amendments to it, "Wow, talk about stupid, I guess next thing they will want the American people to beleive is they supported 50 Million American's who don't have it, and did all they could to stop them from getting it!

..."Republicans need to be "BOOTED OUT OF WASHINGTON D.C. they have ruined my country and America's image, and as a registered Voter/Vet USAF, I am disgusted with what Republicans have done to my country!

Posted by: ztcb41 | December 3, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

ztcb41,
Are you also happy to be sent into harm's way in Afghanistan, a country who hates us?

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

What is truly sad is see McCain attack the very spending cuts he fought for in the election. What does he want to be remembered as.. a partisan hack?

Posted by: case3 | December 3, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The Baucus bill you say,I bet this fat cat that calls himself a servant of the people, should first take week and read these to thousand pages of crap. Mr Baucus and his boss Obama are hell bent to set America on this road to a government run health care.
this bill takes away from all seniors
while adding fifteen to twenty million
illegals, most people have lost confidence in this radical group we call our government!!!


Posted by: lowelltconnors | December 3, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

So no "guaranteed benefits" will be cut: BUT what current benefits, which are not guarnanteed will be cut?

No matter what, taxes need to be increased to cover government provided health care, whether we make changes or not. An increase in Medicare and Medicaid taxation must be made.

There is no reason to do anything but improve and expand these existing programs by the increased taxation. Cutting taxes does not mean we will have more jobs. We need not trade health care for jobs. Health care is jobs. Healthy people are more productive. Mental health reduces crime and abuse. Mark John Hunter - Alpena.

Posted by: DrMarkJohnHunter | December 3, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

McCain is an idiot. He needs to go to Afghanistan and get captured so he can be a POW again. It is only true experience.

Posted by: Maddogg | December 3, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

..."McCains a fool and that's why he didn't win and this is why he and the Republicans lost, they are out of touch and out of step, and they are very lucky the American people didn't put them in jail after the criminal record mess they President Barack Obama, and the American people!

To this registered Voter/Vet USAF, the Record of Republican/Blew it Bush Administration is CRIMINAL/fact!

Posted by: ztcb41 | December 3, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Trying to strip out the major funding source for health care reform is just another tactic being used by Republicans to fight progress. As AARP and others noted, reducing Medicare costs extends the life of the program and will not change any guaranteed benefits.
------------------------------
Can you give us the results of your latest intelligence test?
Anyone who states that reducing the cost of a program by $500 billion dollars will not result in reduced benefits has a serious mental deficiency.

Posted by: sandynh | December 3, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Democrats have yanked health care out from under the elderly.

What LIE will they use to TRY to convince the elderly and their children to return them to office in 2010? What phony promises will they make?

How will the Democratic Party News/Propaganda media "explain things away"? Are Democrats and their news media counting on distractions and forgetful voters to keep them in office?

How dumb do Democrats think voters are?

Posted by: bob59 | December 3, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I am saddened yet amused by those who claim they are looking out for seniors by tyring so hard to kill a bill that will provide health care for uninsured children.

Maybe because kids can't vote?

Posted by: MikeJC | December 3, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

The Dems must include in this health care bill the mandatory right for government funded abortion and legalization of Gay marriage.

Instead we monkey around with the domestic politics surrounding the Afghanistan war. Is Obama a man or a mouse?

Posted by: Maddogg | December 3, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Two weeks ago the death panels threw women's healthcare under the bus. Today, our vulnerable seniors and disabled. Next, they will come for...

Posted by: georgejones5 | December 3, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

There is only one group of healthcare benefit recipients that has actually paid the premiums -- Seniors. Every week for 40 years their paycheck has been light by an amount marked "Medicare". And that is the one and only group specifically targeted to donate $500 Billion to the pot that noone else has paid into.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but those who will be gifted the money stolen from the seniors sure look a lot like those who voted for the current government. Does the inevitable early deaths for votes strike anyone else as immoral?

No threats, but how stupid do these Madison Avenue types we have elected think we are to believe that half a trillion dollars not paid and given to someone else to compete for care will not have an effect on granny's health.

Posted by: tommariner | December 3, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

onyprzy wrote:

The Democrats had to vote against it or the bill would die.
_________________________________________________
Is that so bad? Baucus has an acceptable bill.
--------------------------------
the trouble is that it is not Baucus bill, it is a Reid hybrid. and when is cutting $500 billion from the Medicare program not a cut. What recourse do the elderly have when the doctor or hospital that they normally use says, no thanks, we don't carry Medicare patients anymore. It is already happening and the bill is not law yet. We have to collect taxes for 4 years before the bill becomes law. This is by far the most screwed up bill that has ever hit the floor of the congress.

Posted by: dy19spider57 | December 3, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are telling the elderly and their children that cutting Medicare by $500 billion won't reduce their benefits.

Well, they were voted into office based on their phony promises and lies.

What did you expect?

Now you have to fight for your lives, while they tell you to vote for them again.

Posted by: bob59 | December 3, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

"On a vote of 58 to 42, the Senate rejected a proposal by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to send the bill back to committee with orders to strip out the cuts, a move that would effectively have killed the measure."

Translation: The amendment had nothing to do with protecting seniors, the purpose of the amendment was to kill healthcare reform entirely.

"If we're going to take money from Grandma's Medicare, let's spend it on Medicare," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

What?? That's one of the most inane statements I've read in a while. However.

"And because hospitals and other providers have agreed to absorb the cuts by working more efficiently, Democrats said they would not affect access to medical services."

OK, so what Alexander is saying is that the $500B of cuts should remain in the medicare budget. But that would then increase the cost of the bill, which would then effectively kill the bill, which is what republicans want. And if the cuts are re-instated the republicans can object about the cost.

Basically. the amendment was a political ploy, wrapped in the guise of protecting seniors. Another example of the rebuplican party's long standing tradition of supporting medicare, as they do all other entitlement programs.

There are no cuts to services, only savings from becoming more efficient.

"Any cuts to Medicare, they (republicans)argued, should instead be dedicated to preserving the program, which is scheduled to start running out of money in 2017"

But that is precisely what the $500B in savings accomplishes. What's their objection and argument again? Non-existent.

The amendment was introduced to be a "poison pill" in the legislation. Instead of offering anything constructive, the republicans offer cyanide.

Posted by: jmdziuban1 | December 3, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

At least the seniors I know did their part. They worked hard, played little, rarely vacationed or entertained and saved for their children's education and then for their own retirement extras.

Now a generation of least effort, gimme nows (who have bought houses, play stations, brand clothes & cars they could not afford instead of taking their responsibilities) not only want others to pay their way but have the whatevers to deny seniors their earned rights - yet will be asking for handouts when they become seniors?

Posted by: sally62 | December 3, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

My state has two of the sorriest excuses for senators that ever lived and I will be actively working for their removal from office. So will many other people I know who once supported them.

Posted by: Lilycat11 | December 3, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

You can`t cut $500 billion from Medicare and suggest with a straight face it won`t impact the quality and availability of medical services.We are being betrayed with lies ,deception and raw arrogance.Much has been made of enormous savings by attacking Medicare fraud...and yet nothing happens,except more rhetoric.Most of our politicians are shameless.

Posted by: bowspray | December 3, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

dy19spider57 wrote:

"the trouble is that it is not Baucus bill, it is a Reid hybrid. and when is cutting $500 billion from the Medicare program not a cut. What recourse do the elderly have when the doctor or hospital that they normally use says, no thanks, we don't carry Medicare patients anymore. It is already happening and the bill is not law yet. We have to collect taxes for 4 years before the bill becomes law. This is by far the most screwed up bill that has ever hit the floor of the congress."
________________________________________________
I agree! I said the Baucus bill was fine, but then Reid got a hold of it and cut 500 Billion from our grandma and grandpa.

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

It is unfortunate that we can't just kill all of the seniors. They do not earn any money and yet they expect free health care. We ought to promote programs that shorten life expectancy so that there are fewer such drains on the system. People really ought to start smoking and continue to overeat.

Posted by: philb1 | December 3, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Also, seniors should not be allowed to vote. Or at least voting should be based on life expectancy. Thus, if you are 25 and have a life expectancy of 75, you should get 50 times the vote of someone who is 74. The person who is 74 will probably die soon, whereas the person who is 25 will have to live with the mess the 74-year-olds voted for for 50 more years.

Posted by: philb1 | December 3, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Maddogg wrote:

The Dems must include in this health care bill the mandatory right for government funded abortion and legalization of Gay marriage.

Instead we monkey around with the domestic politics surrounding the Afghanistan war. Is Obama a man or a mouse?

****************************************************
My answer is the same to you as it was on August 11th


Maddogg,
Your 8/8/2009 2:06:29 PM posting is the poster child of why Americans are rejecting the White House's present bill. Thank you for proving so clearly and entirely why more and more Americans are rejecting the present death bill which you did when you stated that pre-birth murder is "a cleansing of the soul" after I posted the majority opinion, of the U.S. Supreme Court as written by Honorable Justice Kennedy, when Justice Kennedy called this murder the taking of a life:

GONZALES v. CARHART, or GONZALES vs. Planned Parenthood A nurse watching the abortion gave the following testimony: "Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms everything but the head. The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus. The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out, like a startle reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he is going to fall....The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby went completely limp. He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he had just used."

Most Americans have enough morality to know that Haskell's killing of the young was just that - the taking of a life as Justice Kennedy described it wherein most Americans are unwilling to pay for your ethnic cleansing as Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, stated the purpose of that organization was to:

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, once said:
"We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten that idea out if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

Margaret Sanger also stated:
"Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated."

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

ztcb41,
Are you also happy to be sent into harm's way in Afghanistan, a country who hates us when you realize the present occupant in the White House has a body bag for you called "Afghanistan"?

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I always get antsy when things are described with no variation in the description as in "guaranteed benefits".

They all (politicos) seem careful to include the word "guaranteed". Does this mean there is another category of benefits, which, although not categorized as "guaranteed",will be cut?

Posted by: nanonano1 | December 3, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

philb1 wrote:

It is unfortunate that we can't just kill all of the seniors. They do not earn any money and yet they expect free health care. We ought to promote programs that shorten life expectancy so that there are fewer such drains on the system. People really ought to start smoking and continue to overeat.


Also, seniors should not be allowed to vote. Or at least voting should be based on life expectancy. Thus, if you are 25 and have a life expectancy of 75, you should get 50 times the vote of someone who is 74. The person who is 74 will probably die soon, whereas the person who is 25 will have to live with the mess the 74-year-olds voted for for 50 more years.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
You should really quote the source for your post (i.e. Ezekiel Emanual) or the present occupant in the White House's Health or Death Czar.

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

nanonano1 wrote:

I always get antsy when things are described with no variation in the description as in "guaranteed benefits".

They all (politicos) seem careful to include the word "guaranteed". Does this mean there is another category of benefits, which, although not categorized as "guaranteed",will be cut?
________________________________________________
Good question, it is usually up to the Health and Human Services administrator to decide what that means. It could mean no benefits are guaranteed, all benefits are guaranteed or it could mean only some benefits are guaranteed. What we do know is that 500 Billion will be cut which ensures, it doesn't mean all benefits are guaranteed.

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 3, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

There are 4 important issues here.

1- Anyone who thinks our government can reduce medicare $500 billion and not affect seniors' health care, which will reduce life expectancy in this country, have their head in the sand, or in a coma.

2- The democrats are sealing their fate with votes like this. Seniors and disgruntled independents will guarantee this in 2010, and finish the job in 2012.

3- AARP has prostituted themselves at the expense of the people they were supposed to represent. Follow the money to see the greed that has infected AARP. They are in the same class as ACORN and SEIU.

4- Don't be mislead by democrats saying guaranteed medicare benefits will not be affected. Guaranteed benefits means minimum benefits. I.e., medicare will no longer do whatever necessary to cure or heal. They will only be required to do the minimum, which will be determined by a GOVERNMENT HEALTH BOARD.

Wake up people! If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | December 3, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

If the $500 billion being take from Medicare is so bad, why would the AARP, and the AMA support the Health Care bill?

I think I need to send a letter to Senator Webb to explain his vote!


Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | December 3, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

This vote along with most Democrats in Congress likely to kowtow to Obama by supporting his war in Afghanistan shows how conservative the party has become. As the Republican party has drifted toward the right since the 1970's, so have the Democrats.

Financing health care expansion on the backs of seniors is morally disgraceful, something one would think conservatives or reactionaries, not liberals would support. But liberals, especially in the Senate, among Democrats are about as scarce as moderates in the Democratic party.

With the Republicans in Congress being a far-right party and Democrats a center-right party, there needs to be a third party, of genuine progressives and liberals.


Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 3, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Wonder how long it will be before desperate republicans are claiming health care reform will cause canibalism?

Posted by: orange3 | December 3, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

This is just another example of how sides change their pitch when there is a shift in power. The Republicans have appropriated the old Democratic scare tactic about "cuts" in Medicare which are not really "cuts" to the present program but paring down future growth.

Posted by: Cossackathon | December 3, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

To helloisanyone out there:
********************************

AARP membership dues are a very small percent of their income. Government grants and subsidies make up the bulk of their income. If health care reform passes AARP will have a huge influx of dollars from being a part of the public insurance system. They have thrown seniors under the bus.

The AMA endorsement is somewhat misleading. Example; the Texas and California medical associations, and I assume other states will follow, have voted to oppose the present house and senate bills.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | December 3, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

So McCain and many other prominent republicans were for the cuts before they were against them. Gee, that's a big surprise huh? Republicans fought to even bring Medicare/Medicaid into existence and now they're their champions? Ludicrous on it's face value.

Posted by: Alka-Seltzer | December 3, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: nisnsd | December 3, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

WOW, I can't believe what I read on what some people say about seniors & just getting rid if them since they don't have any quality of life after 75 yrs old or so. What a pea sized brain they must have & no heart what so ever. I can't even imagine what kind of cruel person it takes to say these things. These non-quality, depends diaper wearing worthless seniors you speak of have probably worked harder than you ever will making this country what it is today. The have probably all fought long and hard for you to be able to have your freedom including your freedom of speech no matter how low you choose to speak of them. You need to find another country to live in as this is not what the true American people think of their parents, grandparents or greatgrandparents that are now seniors. As for the Obama Administration, I can't wait to tell you all that we told you so when they totally destroy this country our seniors built. I guess pea brains attract pea brains.

Posted by: slshall | December 3, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

To underscore that point, the Senate voted unanimously to approve a separate amendment by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) that explicitly states that the package would not affect guaranteed benefits for seniors.
How can anyone comment on a Bill that is written behind closed doors and is NOT made available to the public? Reids office in unable to answer simple questions about this healthcare bill. In 1959 and again in 1961 my guaranteed benefits for when I became a Senior (now) was FREE medical, vision and Dental care at any military hospital for my family. I completed my part of the obligation (a military career) NOW LETS SEE CONGRESS do theirs. I want to see the bill before they vote. And yes I am a Democrat, but I will not vote for Harry Reid or any other Democrat until we see the Bill and read the truth.

Posted by: norm11 | December 3, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

To underscore that point, the Senate voted unanimously to approve a separate amendment by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) that explicitly states that the package would not affect guaranteed benefits for seniors.
How can anyone comment on a Bill that is written behind closed doors and is NOT made available to the public? Reids office in unable to answer simple questions about this healthcare bill. In 1959 and again in 1961 my guaranteed benefits for when I became a Senior (now) was FREE medical, vision and Dental care at any military hospital for my family. I completed my part of the obligation (a military career) NOW LETS SEE CONGRESS do theirs. I want to see the bill before they vote. And yes I am a Democrat, but I will not vote for Harry Reid or any other Democrat until we see the Bill and read the truth.

Posted by: norm11 | December 3, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

To all of the pea brains out there who agree with throwing seniors under the bus, think about the fact that if this reform passes your life expectancy will be reduced by a significant number of years.

Conclusion: Our Obama led government is throwing all of us under the bus. You idiots need to start thinking past the end of your nose. You are like rats being led blindly over the cliff.

Trusting Obama and this congress is crazy.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | December 3, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Since Medicare already has a $37 trillion unfunded liability and is forecast to go bankrupt by 2017, that $500 billion is chicken feed.

The health-care proposal not only will plunge the nation and individual Americans deeper in debt but also will be a job killer. Business leaders are trying to explain the latter to Obama, but since he has no business experience, he can't grasp the logic.

Posted by: judithod | December 3, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

interesting that we hear all this belly aching about cutting Medicare ADVANTAGE considering that REPUBLICANS universally opposed the creation of Medicare in the 1960s.
Don't believe this? Then I would be happy to post commercials cut by a very famous R, Ronald Reagan, making the exact same attacks against Medicare's creation's that we hear from Rs today. Claiming that Medicare = Socialism that would destroy US healthcare.
The party that opposed the very existence of Medicare now thinks that voters are so stupid as to not appreciate their cynicism and duplicity.
Perhaps McCain et al would have preferred the exact same funding mechanism that Rs used to fund Medicare Part D. Any guess how that was paid for kwood 2? Apparently you do not understand the difference b/w Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Would you please tell us in details precisely how Tom DeLay and the Rs paid for Medicare Part D.

Posted by: leichtman | December 3, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Back on Oct 15, 09, McCain voted against Al Franken's amendment to allow military victims of rape their day in court." This depicts who McCain really is as a human being. To think this former solider openly expresses and sought backers to protect contracts written by and for the contractors (Blackwater). How much money did McCain take to sell out those who are serving? How much was enough John? I will forever be disgusted by the sight of his face and the sound of his voice.

As far as I’m concerned if McCain stands for something there’s something fundamentally wrong, something dangerously flawed about it.

I'm pleased to see McCain can't seem to get anything done. It's a good sign.

Posted by: nancykulka | December 3, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

judithod makes a good point.
********************************
Obama and his cronies have never run or managed anything, and that is obvious. Couple that with his majority in congress and it makes for a pending disaster.

Obama's radical agenda for "transforming America", along with a congress that only answers to special interest groups and re-election money has put our democracy and the free enterprise system in jeopardy. There is no other logical explanation for the dire straits we find ourselves.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | December 3, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have singlehandedly destroyed much of America. Given the opportunity these loonies would destroy the entire nation.

Lets hope thses slime slip back into the slime from whence they came....then we can just flush the toilet.

Posted by: Maddogg | December 3, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

the dire straits we are slowly crawling out of was caused by R demands to deregulate every institution and to refuse to pay for 2 wars and $650 billion Medicare Part D. Putting them off budget.

Posted by: leichtman | December 3, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

still waiting to hear how John McCain for 8 years proposed paying for 2 wars and Medicare Part D. Apparently these so called conservatives felt that it was conservative to run up debt for their wars and programs but they felt no moral obligation to pay for them.

Posted by: leichtman | December 3, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

As with a lot of things going on, the health care reform issue brings out a point we must not forget.

This is not about democrats vs. republicans or liberals vs. conservatives. It's about those trying to radically "transform America" vs. preserving our constitution, democracy and the free enterprise system.

If you don't believe this, you are probably aligned with the "transformers", who favor a world government with a universal currency, and as Obama told Joe the plumber, "we will spread the wealth by taking from the haves and GIVING it to the have nots. We are well on our way down that path.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | December 3, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Unless major reductions in the rising cost of entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security are addressed, the federal budget deficit will go out of control and the entire governmental system will break down and itstead of rationing health care, almost the entire country except the very rich will end up having no health care coverage at all. For the Democrats to take on the role of pragmatic fiscal conservatives while the Republicans are struggling to keep increased federal Medicare spending is a reversal of mammoth proportions.

Posted by: TabLUnoLCSWfromUtah | December 3, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

To leichtman:
******************************************
You are a perfect example of someone not seeing the forest for the trees. While you are wanting to argue and debate McCain and republicans versus democrats and who did what to who, our country is being radically "transformed" by Obama and his cronies along with a puppet congress.

There is plenty of blame to go around among past administrations, buy while we debate the past, this administration with their nearly 40 "czars" is stealing our future.
I'm not supporting McCain, I'm just saying whatever you want to say about him is nothing in the scope of things. Neither is my boasting about Clinton's huge surplus. It's all immaterial.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | December 3, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama has proved he is, beyond doubt, a wimp and milquetoast by not standing up to McChrystal, Clinton, Gates and the rest. This, in my mind, says everything I need to hear about the proposed health care reform. It's probably all lies, too.

The corporate executives are in charge of America, not Mr. Obama.

He has lost my esteem. I do not "back" him any longer and cannot tolerate his spineless capitulation to corporations, hawks, and the wealthy.

For him I now feel only scorn and defiance; slight regard, and contempt. His soul shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance he sends to Afghanistan with our new troops.

It's not how many IQ points a person has; it's how he uses them that counts.

The Afghan "decision" is stupid. The forcing of people to buy insurance is stupid. The cuts to Medicare are stupid. We elected a man who was a professor at the University of Chicago! He's not supposed to be stupid.

Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.

Posted by: dwyerj1 | December 3, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Everynight, on television, I see ads telling me how bad it will be for us seniors if the current Healthcare Reform Bill passes. I also see ads for Hover- round wheel chairs that will cost me nothing if I need one. I think The Medic-care program is probably rife with fraud. I am in my sixties, that doesn't mean you can scare me or that I am stupid. This country's citizens need access to healthcare. The Insurance Industry does what it can every day to rape it's customers. Children, the working poor, the middle class, all need relief from our present system. Just because I find myself in the Senior category should not afford me any more right to Healthcare than anyone else. We all want to live and have a quality of life. The rich will always be able to access the things they want. The rest of us should agree to find a way to help ourselves. Can't we just agree to create a public option or single payer plan? If we can bail out Wall Street in their time of need, seems to me that they should step up and quit whining when the little people need help.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | December 3, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

It's ridiculous to hear rightwing republicans say that their rights and their freedom are being threatened by thew attempt to reform healthcare.

Where were all these worries when George W Bush was monitoring your mail, your e-mail and your telephone conversations? Why didn't any of you say a thing when the last administration decided that torture was a good way to get answers from people?

Pretending that the reform hides death panels that want to kill the grandparents is absurd. Anybody that buys that better hope there's plenty of good mental health counseling in the final bill, they're in serious need of it.

Posted by: fredfawcett | December 3, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Working while being handicapped I cannot help resent the majority of platinum card holders, medicaid, who have never worked and yet get so much more than I. Not a selfish person, did lots of volunteerism, but entire generations on Medicaid that never worked, does require a better look at those phonies who milk the system, which will result from honest Medicaid recipients probably being cut.
This needs some investigating. Too many cheats. Pay attention someone!

Posted by: gany1 | December 3, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

All the partisan cr#p aside, congress cannot legislate that a physician accept insurance as payment. Sooner or later congress is going to pare payment from insurers to a level that these professionals will no longer be able to tolerate if that time has not begun to arrive already. Who are we going to complain to when physicians no longer accept insurance payments and instead follow the lead of all the Washington lawyers and work only on a fee for service basis leaving their patients to deal with THEIR insurers, who will only reimburse them pennies on the dollar?

Posted by: intherealworld | December 4, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh deary me, we are all doomed, the sky is falling the sky is falling. You Healthocrats and Healthicans need to get outside and get some air, lose some weight, eat a balanced meal and lower your blood pressure. Anxiety kills.

Posted by: ohmygod | December 4, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Support the PUBLIC OPTION to ensure that we have optimal protection from the insurance companies and their lobby in Congress. It also gives us more options to choose from.

Kepa Cho
kanaka42@yahoo.com

Posted by: kanaka42 | December 4, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

One of the main reasons for "health care reform" was to get rid of Medicare completely.
The other is to get rid of old people.
They're unproductive, don't pay taxes and are generally a pain in the backside.
So let's shove them off the cliff and get on with it!!

Posted by: JOBBOSS46 | December 4, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS SPEND FOR WAR NOT HEALTH CARE?

EVERYBODY SHOULD CALL YOUR SENATOR TELL THEM TO END THE ANTITRUST PROTECTION.HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY DOESN'T NEED PROTECTION.WE THE PEOPLE DO!

Posted by: theoldmansays | December 4, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS SPEND FOR WAR NOT HEALTH CARE?

EVERYBODY SHOULD CALL YOUR SENATOR TELL THEM TO END THE ANTITRUST PROTECTION.HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY DOESN'T NEED PROTECTION.WE THE PEOPLE DO!

Posted by: theoldmansays | December 4, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

And so it begins. That takes the single-payer option off the table. Next will b the public option, because insurance companies have our senators in their pockets. If, and I stress if, a health care bill is passed, the American people will B manipulated by the main stream media 2 believe what ever is left is a victory. It is against humanity that anyone should b denied good health care for any reason.

Posted by: Desconses | December 5, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"AARP says". "AARP agrees with"."AARP,looking out for seniors".When oh when are the stupid people in this country going to realize today's AARP "is not your fathers Oldsmobile".Today's AARP IS JUST ANOTHER INSURENCE COMPANY.Jesus people,wake up,pull your heads out of your lower bowels,take a deep breath,and wise up. Nah....for some people it's just never going to happen.Happy sailing on the ice flow.

Posted by: georgewhetstine | December 5, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

People are living longer than ever in america.80,90,100 yrs old is common now.But...there is no quality of lifa at theses ages.Do you call being almost blind,wearing Depend diapers and having to rely on someone else to bath you a life??Sure, the medical establishment and the doctors get rich and others suffer.

And what part of Obamacare and the Dems'
Bill will give you a better quality of life? The truth is that quality life of will diminish along with the funding for elderly care if these idiots in congress get their way. You cut funding you cut benefits no matter how rose colored your glasses are.

Posted by: jhnjdy | December 5, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

ALL DEMOCRATS!!!
Where's CLIMATE GATE???

Posted by: jpalm32 | December 6, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

RIGHT NOW OBAMA IS HAVING A NO CAMERAS NO REPUBLICANS SECRET MEETING WITH SENATE DEMOCRATS!!!!!!

CAN WE ALL SING!

MMM, MMM, MMM,
BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
TRANSPARENCY YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!!!


MMM, MMM, MMM,


Posted by: jjcrocket2 | December 6, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I am very confused by the Republican position on Medicare - are Republicans for or against government administered health care? For all their scare tactics, they seem to be adamant about preserving Medicare. However, they seem bitterly opposed to Medicare for all (or any government administered health care). Huh?!! Is the program good or not? What do Republicans stand for besides mindless populism?

They also seem to be bitterly opposed to any efforts to restrain spending - yet imagine if Obama proposed a Medicare Part D - type program (unfunded - imagine the horror!!). If Americans cannot see the efforts Obama appears to be making in trying to address the many problems he inherited, they will end up with the leaders they deserve (and so we enter the century of the decline of the American empire and rise of Chinese/Indian/ dominance, etc.)

Posted by: jakster1 | December 6, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

hyroller56:
From your comments I suppose you wish an
"early" death for you and yours so as not to encumber society.

Posted by: njtou | December 7, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Be interesting to find out how many seniors are dropping AARP as they feel betrayed by an organization that was supposed to represent them.

Medicare recipients have contributed to the program all their lives through payroll deductions and should be able to count on it now in their old age. To change the rules and say that Medicare funds will now be spread over a larger body of all Americans is politically risky and unfair. If the funds being cut were going to protect the long-range viability of the program it would be one thing, but there is not even a pretense that seniors won't be expendable in this health reform charade that people think will benefit them soon, not 5-7 years from now.

Think of the anger when the reality of that sets in with those who think they will have affordable health insurance soon.

Posted by: annetta3 | December 7, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

You can now have national socialism from the Democrats. Wait, that was what Hitler called his party --- the Republicans already have a solid hold on fascism. How can this be? Easy when you sell out the people, and play the game according to the Oligarchs.

Another reason to send 435 members of the House and 33 Senators home in 2010, and encourage the other 67 Senators to resign immediately!

Posted by: Tawodi | December 7, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

kwoods2 wrote

"Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, once said:
"We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten that idea out if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

Margaret Sanger also stated:
"Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.""

These quotes are not, repeat, not attributable to Margaret Sanger. They turn up on radical anti-women's rights websites. Once again, nutjobs, cynically catered to by Republicans who have almost no one else left to support them, try to control the argument. Additionally, many of these upright Americans also seem to have racist tendencies, so the irony of this quote is not lost upon those of us who do not get our "truth" from Glenn Beck and Phyllis Schlafly.
Abortion is a legal medical procedure. Most Americans, certainly the vast majority of women prefer it that way, although all of us, contrary to the nonsense folks like kwoods spout, would like to see abortion stay safe, legal, and unnecessary. And of course another irony is that by fighting organizations like Planned Parenthood, they endeavor to make it more difficult for women to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Make no mistake about it folks, kwoods and the rest are nothing less than "moral" fascists. Their definition of "religious freedom" is to push their backwards (or should I say "backwoods") values on all of us.

Posted by: babsnjer | December 7, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

So Republicans are against Universal Health care and at the same time say we are taking away benefits for elders. Come on are republicans a bunch of idiots. Especially kwoods2. Look up the definition of UNIVERSAL i though you had to pass grammar school to make a comment on this website.

Posted by: GDTRFB2 | December 7, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

So Republicans are against Universal Health care and at the same time say we are taking away benefits for elders. Come on are republicans a bunch of idiots. Especially kwoods2. Look up the definition of UNIVERSAL i thought you had to pass grammar school to make a comment on this website.

Posted by: GDTRFB2 | December 7, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The Medicare finance problem should have been fixed years ago, but it was too hard to fix then. The easy fix? Just slash benefits.

Posted by: maldelus | December 8, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

For those who have expressed their displeasure with the AARP it is a revelation for you to discover that they are simply a sales, marketing and self interested lobbying organization, who profit handsomely from the insurance services which they endorse. I figured out years ago that they were interested only in how much profit they could extract from our mature population and actually did destroy my membership card and mail it to them. They also received stimulus money in 2009. Their entreaties to resume membership arrive monthly and are promptly shredded. My fellow mature citizens awaken. Shed the carnival barkers who claim to have your best interests at heart and personally petition your representatives in Congress and exercise your vote henceforth according to the results that benefit what is best for you now and in the future. AARP is an enemy of mature retired and working Americans.

Posted by: bryanbarrett194 | December 8, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I am a Senior and have Medicare. I am appalled at the coverage of Medicare now. I belong to an HMO Senior care and suddenly a few years ago, the plan discontinued our co-pays. It has always bugged me and I find it preposterous that all this expense is targeted to end of life times when what we need to do to cut future health care costs is to get adequate medical care to the young. As a single mom in the depression, my mom worked full time but still lacked enough money for medical care for her 5 children. As a result, my rheumatic fever was not treated and as a result, when I grew up and became insured, my heart problems have cost nearly a quarter million dollars besides down working time. Granted, as an RN I always had health insurance but how silly for want of a few dollars of antibiotics, my health has always been marginal.

Posted by: mJJ2 | December 8, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Holy mother of Moses.

This article talks about how the Senate voted to retain drastic cuts in Medicare.

Now, not one day later, the same bunch of yahoos have reached a deal that would include expanding Medicare by tens of millions of people?? (by lowering eligibility age to 55)

Are these people just totally fcking stupid, or what?

More like CLUELESS I guess.

Posted by: drunk_bunny | December 9, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

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