Dems Question GOP Lawmakers Who Changed Tune on Health CareHang on a second.
Democrats are troubled by the inconsistency of Republican lawmakers who approved a major Medicare expansion six years ago that has added tens of billions of dollars to federal deficits, but oppose current health overhaul plans.
All current GOP senators, including the 24 who voted for the 2003 Medicare expansion, oppose the health care bill that's backed by President Barack Obama and most congressional Democrats.
The Democrats claim that their plan moving through Congress now will pay for itself with higher taxes and spending cuts and they cite the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office for support.
By contrast, when Republicans controlled the House, Senate and White House in 2003, they overcame Democratic opposition to add a deficit-financed prescription drug benefit to Medicare. The program will cost a half-trillion dollars over 10 years, or more by some estimates.
With no new taxes or spending offsets accompanying the Medicare drug program, the cost has been added to the federal debt. [link]
It's laughable to read that the Democrats are "troubled" by the Republicans' about-face on the expansion of the role of government in our health care system. Troubled? How about "gleeful"?
And the Democrats can "claim" their proposal to be "paying for itself" till the cows come home. It's going to cost us trillions in additional taxes and health care costs. No sane, reputable person can argue otherwise. (The CBO can't change that; it scored the initiative as it was presented; it can't deal with the fact that the data provided was manipulated so as to force the CBO to give a favorable response).
But the point is well taken. Republicans in Congress - to go along with the head of their party - threw away any semblance of limited government credibility when they signed on - en masse - to Bush's reckless Medicare expansion. For their actions, they deserve all the criticism and mockery that is now being heaped upon them.
Alas. They knew better. They could have done what was right. Instead they did what was politic. They became - briefly? - Democrats to a man. And they reaped the whirlwind.
Have they seen the error of their ways? I have my doubts. There's always that uncontrollable need for praise from Katie Couric that skews their thinking. Alas indeed.
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So you know, I wrote the following on February 9, 2005, after passage of
If you are a Republican, you need to hang your head in shame this morning. You were forewarned that the Medicare supplemental drug benefit - that was the new entitlement for the elderly that liberal Republicans and President Bush thought was a neat idea - was going to cost a lot more than was being estimated at the time the legislation was being fashioned.You deserve this, oh party of Reagan. What were you thinking?
Even those who predicted a much higher cost had no idea that it was going to be this bad ... (article cited).
This is, in a word, staggering.
And it was accomplished on your watch.
The people in this country put you Republicans in power in 1994 to put a stop to this sort of thing. Instead, it was your Republican majority that gave birth to this monster.
Another entitlement that we are unable to afford.
Of course, now you're going to hear your leadership fret about rising costs and about the need to do something. As they are already.
You deserve this, oh party of Reagan. Shame on all of you.