Obamacare

Sen. Scott Brown Doesn't Think Paul Ryan's Budget Plan Is Hot Stuff

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No need to lose your shirt over this, Senator.

Remember when GOP Sen. Scott Brown nearly killed ObamaCare? In early 2010, he swooped in unexpectedly to win a special election in Massachusetts and nearly took down the president's big health care overhaul with him. Too bad he didn't!  Worse, Brown is now set to make things tougher for a plan that is in many ways the antidote to ObamaCare: Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan.

Although Brown's successful candidacy was arguably partially the product of the ObamaCare backlash—and in the state that gave us ObamaCare's model, RomneyCare, no less—it was never actually clear what sort of health policy Sen. Brown actually supported. When pressed on the issue around the time of his election, Brown's answer was confused enough that he had to blame a lack of sleep—not exactly comforting for anyone hoping for a substantive policy voice.

Now, a year and a half later, it's still not entirely clear what sort of health policy Brown favors. But we know more about what kind he doesn't: In Politico, Brown has announced his opposition to the budget and entitlement overhaul proposed by the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan. The primary reason why? Medicare.

Brown writes that Medicare's "increasing cost must be addressed" and that attempts to do so are "long overdue" as part of any "serious" effort to do something about the long-term national debt. But Ryan's plan is just too stingy, apparently: "As health inflation rises," Brown writes, "the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support—and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays." So Brown agrees that the problem with the current Medicare system is that it puts the public on the hook for ever-rising health care expenses, which are growing faster than we can afford to pay for them. Yet his first complaint about Ryan's plan is that it backs away from that commitment, altering the system in such a way that the federal government doesn't continue to spend on Medicare at a rate that's rising at a dangerous and unsustainable rate. Like many Democrats, Brown seems to be upset that Ryan's plan solves the problem Rep. Ryan intended it to solve.

Somehow, though, the former Cosmo pin-up model managed to support last year's financial regulation bill, despite the fact that it didn't solve the problems it was intended to solve.

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  1. Brown is a Republican, but he represents Massachussetts, this is hardly shocking. Hopefully the conservatives will attack him for breaking the faith and run yet another moderate GOPer out of town. I’m guessing Deval Patrick will replace him, then they’ll be happy!

    1. This. Does anyone really think a politician from California or Massachusetts can get elected on a small government platform? Here in Cali most of the plebes believe at our present spending levels that we are already experiencing an austerity budget. The disconnect is strong with these tards.

    2. Agreed

    3. This is a state that had a chance to get rid of the personal income tax struck down by a landslide vote. Of course those against it went with the old standby “Think of the teachers/firemen/policemen/doctors!!!!” And people kept arguing that if we got rid of the PIT all property taxes would be raised to make up for it. When the vote failed miserably the government went ahead and raised property taxes.

      Most people in this state think Barney Frank is a voice of reason. A Massachusetts Republican is really just a Democrat Lite.

  2. Voting in Brown didn’t keep the health insurance bill from passing. It also didn’t stop Queen Elizabeth Warren from founding a massive new unaccountable bureaucracy. Now he’s ready to let medicare die instead of fixing it? Well, one out three ain’t bad.

  3. From what I hear, Paul’s plan pretty much leaves existing old people on the existing medicare plan, cost overruns and all. It only phases in newly old people on to a much more cost effective system according to how far away they are from being old. Its a compromise of sorts and not very radical. The radical changes happen to people in the future (hence why the budget still stays in deficit forever). That people are attacking it as killing old people is just how retarded our political class has become. The assumption is no change is possible and not costs can be reduced. Then they ask you to prove them wrong based on their assumptions. Its retarded.

    1. I favor a phase-out, simply because we collectively made commitments to people who no longer have the option of doing something else. We’re collectively idiots to have done that, but that’s another matter.

      1. I favor a phase-out, simply because we collectively made commitments

        Who’s this “we” to which you refer? This is my answer.

      2. “We” are collectively no such idiots (without resorting to my one true Scotsman arguments for your use of the collective we). They sure as shit are. They, of course, being those same stupid fucking old people currently collecting who didn’t have the brains and foresight to recognize that, “hey, all this money being paid in Medicare/SS taxes is really just being used to fund general spending and not being set aside for us… maybe we ought to make these congressional folks keep that money for us when we needz it.” No, they happily acquised to the Ponzi schemes, relying on their dwindling posterity to fund their $800 of pills a day efforts at virtual immortality. Shit meets fan, my generation will hopefully rise up at the ballot box and say we ain’t gonna take it anymore, and the old folks can pay their own way.

        1. I don’t feel at all guilty about telling the slavers to fuck off. Old folks who expect transfer payments now basically voted decades ago to print money to pay for their retirements. They may not have thought of it that way at the time, but by implementing these programs without controls to keep it from being spent by spendthrift politicians trolling for votes, giving them more money now is equivalent to their having their cake and eating it too: government already spent their retirement “savings”.

        2. I’m not sure which generation you’re in, maybe the same one as I am. I’m not holding my breath that the majority of Americans will suddenly become able to think that far ahead. It’s a nice dream that one day people will be able to take care of themselves and plan for the future but I think the chains will only get tighter.

    2. Exactly. Obama’s plan cuts far more from Medicare from now to 2022 than Ryan’s plan does (which is none for Ryan’s).

      Ryan’s plan is DOA.

      Of course, the rational justification for Ryan is “but we need the old folks vote in 2012/16”. You can’t argue with that.

      The only solution is $100 co-pays for doc visits (but I repeat myself).

      1. Except for that they passed the doc fix essentially repealing the lowered reimbursement rates for fear that doctors would refuse to take medicare patients. Moreover, cutting $250 bn from one place only to add $800 bn to another is not what I would call a “cut”

        I do agree with you on co-pays for doctor visits. That is a start, although Ryan’s larger vision is closer to the necessary direction.

      2. The only solution is $100 co-pays for doc visits.

        I’ll be damned. Shrike and I agree on something.

  4. the gop is quietly backing away fm the ryan plan due to angry constituents. townhall temper tamtrums are a bitch

      1. hi old Mix

  5. Can you please make that image of Brown MUCH MUCH smaller? It’s taking up way to much real estate on my work monitor.

    1. there is only so much real estate.

    2. Can you please make that image of Brown MUCH MUCH smaller?

      Size envy?

      1. I’d like to see more of him, and yes size does matter

        1. especially when you have a gaping pisshole like i do!

          1. hmm, I wonder how much I need to donate to get your IP address?

            Name the price

  6. What we need ’round these parts is a good “Circumcise – Yes or No” thread.

    1. Are we referring to “cutting” the budget?

    2. I vote for circumcising Almanian.

      Oh, wait, you meant something else?

      1. EPI HAVE NICE SHARP TEETH FOR CUTTING PREPUCE

  7. How about a John Stossel article analyzing Ron Paul’s views on circumcision?

  8. I get a statement every year from the Social Security Administration that tells me what I can expect to receive in benefits from my wage slaving FICA contributions. It may be a bit inaccurate, but it tells me something about how to budget myself when I’m old. If you put more into FICA, you get more out.

    I get no such information regarding Medicare. I pay into that also, but it’s a black hole. Maybe a little information would help.

    1. I really hope you’re not counting on anything close to what they project. I’m sure by the time I retire I’ll get a big fat 0 after decades of being forced to make contributions.

    2. Your mistake is trusting an assertion from the federal government, and making plans banking on them not reneging.

      Unless you’re, like, 64, the wiser thing would be to assume you will get nothing at all from Social Security or Medicare when planning how much money you need to retire.

  9. A Republican Senator from New England is a statist-lite RINO. Who could have seen that coming?

    P.S. Still not as bad as any of the full-on-statist New England Democratic Senators.

  10. Isn’t the media supposed to call out the ‘none of the above’ politicians? Brown campaigned and was elected to weigh in on the issues of the day. The survival of medicare is one of the major issues of the day. So what’s your plan, Scott Brown? Waste, Fraud and Abuse isn’t a plan. The seniors don’t get cut isn’t a plan. Everybody is against those things. What are you for?

  11. I had to stop reading cause I hate doublespeak.

    http://www.intellectualtakeout…..s/medicare

  12. What interests me is that the Ryan plan doesn’t do jack, and yet we’re supposed to be all hot and bothered about Brown refusing to vote for it.

    Well, Brown is just another slimy politico, so don’t expect consistency from him. But I thought we were supposed to be the smart people. The problem with Medicare is the price of health care in general, not the program itself. And the Ryan plan does absolutely nothing to address that. It just throws people out into the insurance market, which will end up pricing them out simply because even the market can’t afford to keep up with rising health care costs.

    And meanwhile, what’s Ryan going to do with all that money that isn’t being spent on Medicare? Give it back to us? Don’t be naive. He’s going to give it all to the already-ultra-wealthy in the form of even more tax credits. So there will be no deficit savings or debt paydown.

    And *this* is the plan we’re supposed to be drooling over? Bah.

  13. GLibertarians are SOOOO cute when they try and pretend they are grown ups.

    Ron Paul, dude! Like Evolve away from the Feds, you dig!

  14. “Like many Democrats, Brown seems to be upset that Ryan’s plan solves the problem Rep. Ryan intended it to solve.”

    I’m confused, apparently. Because I thought that “the problem” that “needs solving” is how to provide older persons in America with health care coverage at a more affordable cost. As opposed to “the problem” of how to spend less money, which of course is solved very effectively by no longer providing sufficient health care coverage.

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