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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:07 PM

Democrats Willing to Consider Medicare Cuts, Van Hollen Says

Source: Bloomberg

Democrats Willing to Consider Medicare Cuts, Van Hollen Says
By Brian Faler - Feb 15, 2013 12:35 PM CT.

Representative Chris Van Hollen scoffed at House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s recent bid to remake the Republican Party as little more than public relations while expressing a willingness to consider one Republican proposal to restructure Medicare.

“I saw some new words and sort of a softer image, saying things like ‘we’ve got to smile more,’” yet “you’ve got to change the product, not just the salesmanship,” Van Hollen said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt,” airing this weekend.

Still, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee said he’s willing to consider combining Medicare’s Part A and B, which pay for hospital and doctors’ services, to wring inefficiencies out of the health-care program for the aged. “I would not say ‘no’ off the cuff to that kind of idea,” Van Hollen said.

The Maryland congressman expressed disappointment with President Barack Obama’s new advocacy group Organizing for Action’s reported unwillingness to publish a comprehensive list of its financial donations.


Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-15/democrats-willing-to-consider-medicare-cuts-van-hollen-says.html

61 replies, 5693 views

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Arrow 61 replies Author Time Post
Reply Democrats Willing to Consider Medicare Cuts, Van Hollen Says (Original post)
Judi Lynn Feb 2013 OP
PDJane Feb 2013 #1
elleng Feb 2013 #10
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #47
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 #2
Auggie Feb 2013 #4
Liberal_Stalwart71 Feb 2013 #36
ReRe Feb 2013 #49
undergroundpanther Feb 2013 #52
ReRe Feb 2013 #54
Liberal_Stalwart71 Feb 2013 #55
ReRe Feb 2013 #56
CTyankee Feb 2013 #60
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #42
Chan790 Feb 2013 #53
Richardo Feb 2013 #3
elleng Feb 2013 #7
bluestateguy Feb 2013 #12
hay rick Feb 2013 #27
Wellstone ruled Feb 2013 #5
PassingFair Feb 2013 #6
elleng Feb 2013 #8
bluestateguy Feb 2013 #9
JoePhilly Feb 2013 #11
elleng Feb 2013 #16
demwing Feb 2013 #13
forestpath Feb 2013 #14
elleng Feb 2013 #15
klook Feb 2013 #18
elleng Feb 2013 #21
forestpath Feb 2013 #20
another_liberal Feb 2013 #17
klook Feb 2013 #19
elleng Feb 2013 #23
Richardo Feb 2013 #25
elleng Feb 2013 #31
another_liberal Feb 2013 #24
klook Feb 2013 #58
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #28
klook Feb 2013 #30
elleng Feb 2013 #35
klook Feb 2013 #37
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #29
Javaman Feb 2013 #22
Coolest Ranger Feb 2013 #26
elleng Feb 2013 #33
Coolest Ranger Feb 2013 #40
elleng Feb 2013 #41
Coolest Ranger Feb 2013 #43
elleng Feb 2013 #44
Telly Savalas Feb 2013 #51
Coolest Ranger Feb 2013 #57
Nika Feb 2013 #32
amandabeech Feb 2013 #61
elleng Feb 2013 #34
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #38
Cleita Feb 2013 #39
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #59
NYtoBush-Drop Dead Feb 2013 #45
24601 Feb 2013 #46
---------- Feb 2013 #48
blkmusclmachine Feb 2013 #50

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:09 PM

1. Cutting Medicare and Medicaid is among the most short sighted ways to do this.

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Response to PDJane (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:38 PM

10. And what's he 'willing to consider???

'combining Medicare’s Part A and B, which pay for hospital and doctors’ services, to wring inefficiencies out of the health-care program.'

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Response to PDJane (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:39 PM

47. But is it really a "cut" in actual services? Thats what really matters.

Or I was under the impression that as long as the majority of services atleast remain the same or are improved thats really all that mattered *shrug*

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:10 PM

2. So a single Rep., Van Hollen, is now the entire Democratic Party?

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:11 PM

4. +1

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:48 PM

36. He is my congressman who represents a very progressive district! He has to know

that his constituents are politically active and will fight him with whatever we got! We will mount a counter attack on him so fierce that he will NEVER even think about cuts in Medicare or Medicaid again!!!!!!

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #36)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:29 PM

49. Well..

...call your friends and get busy. You need to remind Mr Van Hollen that he is a Democrat and that he can STFU about cutting Medicare in any way. I guess all you need to do to figure out why he has crossed the line is look at his campaign donations. I will never trust anything that comes out of his pretty mouth again. I am NOT impressed with Mr Van Hollen. Shame on him.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #49)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:41 PM

52. Van Hollen

seems like an ass to me.another intimidated dem ,who will betray prinipals for bullshit or if the right says...boo.

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Response to undergroundpanther (Reply #52)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:28 PM

54. He's just too

..."slick", if you catch my drift. He's too middle-of-the-road. I've heard him sound like a Republican, I've heard sound like a Democrat. And you know what Jim Hightower says about
"the middle of the road: It's for yellow lines or dead armadillos."

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Response to ReRe (Reply #49)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:53 PM

55. I confronted on his support for the Iraq invasion even when most of his district

was against it. He turned bright red and could only say that he made a mistake. We are very politically astute in this district, so I'm sure pitchforks are at the ready.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #55)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:13 AM

56. Well, that's good news...

... I'll try to relax. You guys give him HELL. I know what you said about your district, but it's like he's a Democrat from a red state. Maybe the next time he is on TV, he'll be a Democrat again.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #49)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:51 AM

60. "wring inefficiencies" is not necessarily a bad thing, tho! Remember that Obama already did

some of that by cutting out Medicare Advantage (for profit health care) to benefit the public program of Medicare. That's fine with me. That was a giveaway to the for profit industry anyway.

One thing that would save a lot of $$$ is allowing Medicare to bargain with pharmaceutical companies on drugs, the way the VA does. It will cut profits to Big Pharma while benefitting seniors. That is an "ineffciency" that can be wrung out of Medicare, as far as I am concerned!

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:19 PM

42. I just took a long look at his web page and I have come to the conclusion that he is

not a democrat. eom

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #42)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:58 PM

53. I live in his district and came to that conclusion years ago.

You should have seen the ration of shit I got on DU for supporting his primary opponent; for some here opposing any member of the Democratic party leadership in a primary election is apostasy. But yeah, living in Maryland has opened my eyes to the reality that between the two of them, you couldn't assemble even half a useful idiot out of Van Hollen and Steny Hoyer; a pair of useless twits there.

Somehow MD is a liberal state represented in the US House by a solid cadre of centrist Democrats. Our governor is awesomely liberal. Our Senators are both liberal Democrats. The MD Assembly and Senate are liberal Democratic. So are most of the county commissioners. The House delegation...not so much.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:10 PM

3. Pretty provocative and misleading headline on the source article...

Implies benefits cuts, yet that's not what he said at all.

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Response to Richardo (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:36 PM

7. Right, and no surprise, unfortunately. *

He SAID 'willing to consider combining Medicare’s Part A and B, which pay for hospital and doctors’ services, to wring inefficiencies out of the health-care program.'

EDIT: My point is that its unfortunate that what he SAID is NOT reflected in the headline, at all, and DUers and other Dems will run with the misleading headline.

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Response to elleng (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:43 PM

12. Like 90% of recipients get Part B anyway

The rest are either wealthy or get their insurance through a private company.

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Response to Richardo (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:11 PM

27. There's no there there.

Skietchy article.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:27 PM

5. What Van Holland says is

generally where the Dems go. I've said this before,you have to watch Van Holland,Daschle and Gephardt. This is the steering mechanism of our party. Nothing more than carry over of the DLCers,same old sell out just a new day.

Mark this,XL pipeline is a done deal. Daschle has a Refinery deal going down south of Souix Falls. This has been in the works for years. John Thune is not going to be a VP candidate as a result of the fall out. It's all about the money!!!!

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:33 PM

6. Sad, but true. nt

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:37 PM

8. And VanHollen SAID:

'willing to consider combining Medicare’s Part A and B, which pay for hospital and doctors’ services, to wring inefficiencies out of the health-care program.'

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:37 PM

9. Misleading and inflammatory headline

And that is not conducive to adult conversation about issues.

Similar to when Romney et al. said that Obamacare "cut" Medicare.

The important thing is that raising the retirement age is off the table.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:40 PM

11. +1

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:49 PM

16. Right, and thanks.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:44 PM

13. Voters willing to consider incumbent cuts, Demwing says

fuck 'em if its true.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:44 PM

14. I have seen this guy with a fake smile plastered on his face refusing to give a straight answer

 

when Ed Schulz was questioning him about Social Security cuts.

I do not trust a word out of his mouth about our social safety net.

When he says "change," he means cuts. No doubt in my mind.

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Response to forestpath (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:47 PM

15. Understand 'combining' and 'wring inefficiencies out?'

'willing to consider combining Medicare’s Part A and B, which pay for hospital and doctors’ services, to wring inefficiencies out of the health-care program'

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Response to elleng (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:54 PM

18. Fourth time's the charm -- Maybe

The urge to shout "The sky is falling!" is sometimes so strong that folks don't want to consider what's actually being proposed.

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Response to klook (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:56 PM

21. Which is at times too much for me to take.

I'm here at DU much of the time for information and rational discussion, and Sky Falling and its DEM's fault really bugs me.

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Response to elleng (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:54 PM

20. Understand " billions of dollars in Medicare cuts under the right circumstances" when the

 

"right circumstances" are "Any reductions would have to be paired with tax increases on the wealthy, he said."

Maybe you don't, but I do.

It's crystal clear. They always "pair" cuts with tax increases to try to make it look like they aren't screwing Medicare recipients.

Trust him if you want. I do not and your scolding has zero effect on my opinion when I've seen him in action.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:50 PM

17. Once Democrats start . . .

Once Democrats start agreeing to Medicare cuts, they will never be able to stop. The Republicans and their stinking rich, tax avoiding masters will have won.

It is simply obscene to try and balance the national budget by refusing health care to the poorest among us. In a competent, responsible nation good health care is a right, not a privilege only to be enjoyed by the few.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:54 PM

19. Considering the combining of Medicare Parts A and B is not a benefits cut. (n/t)

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Response to klook (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:58 PM

23. THANKS, klook.

Think I'll take a break.

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Response to elleng (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:06 PM

25. Does your head hurt?

<---DU



ellen~!

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Response to Richardo (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:04 PM

31. Yes, it did, Ricardo.



EDIT: klook's post #30 helps A LOT!!!

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Response to klook (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:06 PM

24. I sincerely hope . . .

I sincerely hope you are right, klook.


BTW: I'm also a fan of krazy kat and Ignatz Mouse. Did you know their Centennial is at the end of June? The, "Li'l dollinks."

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #24)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:55 PM

58. Hey, cool

No, I was not aware that this year is the centennial for the residents of Coconino County! Very cool.

George Herriman's life story, as you probably know, is quite interesting. Fantagraphics Books is publishing very nice editions of his work -- I have only one volume and plan to get more.

God, what an amazing genius! How he spun so many stories from variations on the same simple scenario -- and with such weird, quirky, singular humor and surreal language and artwork -- is just mind boggling. His work from so long ago still seems ahead of its time.

Thanks for the howdy. I'm a heppy, heppy, "ket."

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Response to klook (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:14 PM

28. What would it mean for Medicare recipients if they combined

Parts A and B?

Can you please explain that to me? I don't understand how that might work?

I have Kaiser insurance. I think maybe combining A and B would amount to having Kaiser insurance. Am I wrong?

Because if that is what it is, that works in large communities but I can't see it working in smaller communities.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #28)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:39 PM

30. I'm no expert, but

Here's what I found on the Medicare.gov site:

In general, Part A covers:
  • Hospital care

  • Skilled nursing facility care

  • Nursing home care (as long as custodial care isn't the only care you need)

  • Hospice

  • Home health services


Part B covers things like:
  • Clinical research

  • Ambulance services

  • Durable medical equipment

  • Mental health
    - Inpatient
    - Outpatient
    - Partial hospitalization

  • Getting a second opinion before surgery

  • Limited outpatient prescription drugs


So, to me (Noted Regular Schmoe and Non-Expert), it seems that what Van Hollen alluded to would be having every Medicare recipient qualified for (and paying premiums for) all these services. IF there are efficiencies or economies of scale that can be achieved this way -- thus reducing costs without reducing benefits -- that approach may be worth considering. I think that's rational.

Van Hollen said "I would not say ‘no’ off the cuff to that kind of idea." I interpret this as "Let's take a look at it, but I'm not making any promises." I do not see it as "cutting Medicare" benefits to recipients.

If we find that any Democrat truly is talking about cutting benefits, then it's time to scream bloody murder. Despite the misleading and alarmist headline on the article quoted in this OP, it doesn't seem that Van Hollen is going down that road.

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Response to klook (Reply #30)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:44 PM

35. Thanks and good work, klook.

I gave up and went to the grocery store!

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Response to elleng (Reply #35)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 05:05 PM

37. Thanks, elleng

I'm perfectly willing to push the panic button when it's warranted -- and we know the Republicans want to gut Medicare -- but that's not what's going on here, as you know.

Thanks for your voice of sanity on this thread.

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Response to klook (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:24 PM

29. What would it mean for Medicare recipients if they combined

Parts A and B?

Can you please explain that to me? I don't understand how that might work?

I have Kaiser insurance. I think maybe combining A and B would amount to having Kaiser insurance. Am I wrong?

Because if that is what it is, that works in large communities but I can't see it working in smaller communities.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:56 PM

22. So will the be cutting to people that make over x amount of dollars

and don't really need it anyway? like the top 1%?

Okay, I can dream.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:10 PM

26. Is Van Hollen willing to face a primary challenge if he considers that

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Response to Coolest Ranger (Reply #26)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:26 PM

33. You running against him,

in this liberal district in Maryland?

He's well-liked, and well-understood,

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Response to elleng (Reply #33)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 05:59 PM

40. hahaha I wish I live in North Carolina but I think we need to start playing

hardball with our elected officials when they go against us.

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Response to Coolest Ranger (Reply #40)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:01 PM

41. Of course, when they go against us,

but reading what VanHollen said leads to the conclusion that he is NOT going against us. Does require a small amount of research and reading.

'He’s willing to consider combining Medicare’s Part A and B, which pay for hospital and doctors’ services, to wring inefficiencies out of the health-care program for the aged. “I would not say ‘no’ off the cuff to that kind of idea,” Van Hollen said. . .

Democrats have opposed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal to revamp the $600 billion Medicare program by giving future seniors vouchers with which to buy private insurance, Van Hollen said he’s willing to consider different changes.

In a speech last week at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, Cantor, a Virginia Republican, called the division between Medicare’s Part A and B “arbitrary.” He said lawmakers could “modernize Medicare so it isn’t so complicated for seniors or health-care providers and make it easier for them to get the care they need in a cost-effective manner.”

Van Hollen agreed “there may be ways to do it and make the program, overall, more efficient” though “the devil is entirely in the details.” Lawmakers considered the idea last year as part of the deficit negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden, he said.

Van Hollen also said he’s willing to consider clamping down on “Medigap” supplemental policies that experts blame for increasing Medicare costs because, by covering some of the program’s cost-sharing requirements, they give beneficiaries less reason to consider the price of their care. Democrats also want to require pharmaceutical companies to offer bigger rebates on drugs sold through the government, said Van Hollen.'

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Response to elleng (Reply #41)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:38 PM

43. So is he saying this just to get his name in the headlines

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Response to Coolest Ranger (Reply #43)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:44 PM

44. No, this is an interview probably requested by, and reported in Bloomberg.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-15/democrats-willing-to-consider-medicare-cuts-van-hollen-says.html

'Representative Chris Van Hollen scoffed at House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s recent bid to remake the Republican Party as little more than public relations while expressing a willingness to consider one Republican proposal to restructure Medicare.

“I saw some new words and sort of a softer image, saying things like ‘we’ve got to smile more,’” yet “you’ve got to change the product, not just the salesmanship,” Van Hollen said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt,” airing this weekend.'

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Response to Coolest Ranger (Reply #40)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:39 PM

51. It's never going to happen though

The folks who are crying that we need to primary somebody almost never bother to organize to nominate an alternative.

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Response to Telly Savalas (Reply #51)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:02 AM

57. Oh really tell that to the tea party

they seem to have no problem finding someone to primary people they don't like. why can't we

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:18 PM

32. I doubt this idea will fly in Democratic party circles.

Cutting either Social Security or Medicare is an extremely bad idea.

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Response to Nika (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:21 PM

61. Cutting down on Medigap policies will really enrage middle-class (or formerly middle class) retirees

Medigap policies take care of items for which Medicare parts A and B do not provide sufficient payments.

For example, my Mom has an NEA medigap policy from her years of teaching third graders.

When her husband (my Dad) had to have a quad bypass surgery, his Medicare paid little to the anesthesiologist and it would have been a struggle for my parents to come up with the money. I'd have paid, but they never let me help them.

But my Mom's medigap policy paid enough for the anestheiology that what my parents were asked to pay was within their means.

That quad by-pass gave my Dad ten more years of life, and many of those years were the best part of his retirement. He eventually died two months short of his 80th birthday, which was a good-long life for a WWII vet who didn't give up smoking until he was 55, a few years after the warnings came out.

Van Hollen is my congressperson. If medigap plans are curtailed, and he hasn't fought like h-e-double- hockey-sticks against it, I expect that he will face primary challenge.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:40 PM

34. To be clear about what he said, for those who want information:

'Democrats have opposed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal to revamp the $600 billion Medicare program by giving future seniors vouchers with which to buy private insurance, Van Hollen said he’s willing to consider different changes.

In a speech last week at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, Cantor, a Virginia Republican, called the division between Medicare’s Part A and B “arbitrary.” He said lawmakers could “modernize Medicare so it isn’t so complicated for seniors or health-care providers and make it easier for them to get the care they need in a cost-effective manner.”

Van Hollen agreed “there may be ways to do it and make the program, overall, more efficient” though “the devil is entirely in the details.” Lawmakers considered the idea last year as part of the deficit negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden, he said.

Van Hollen also said he’s willing to consider clamping down on “Medigap” supplemental policies that experts blame for increasing Medicare costs because, by covering some of the program’s cost-sharing requirements, they give beneficiaries less reason to consider the price of their care. Democrats also want to require pharmaceutical companies to offer bigger rebates on drugs sold through the government, said Van Hollen.'

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 05:22 PM

38. WHO KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT THIS and WHAT IT MEANS?

Van Hollen, Crenshaw, Casey Re-Introduce the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act
Proposal Attracts Over 70 Bi-partisan, Bi-Cameral Original Co-Sponsors

Washington, Feb 13, 2013 - Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), along with Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) today (2/13) re-introduced the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) – bipartisan legislation to create an improved quality of life for individuals with disabilities through tax-free savings accounts.

The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill, first introduced in 2006, aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. Upon introduction, the legislation has earned 59 original House co-sponsors and 16 original Senate co-sponsors and is backed by more at least 50 local, state, and national disability advocacy groups , including the National Down Syndrome Society, The Arc, and Autism Speaks.

Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) stated, “We live in a nation where everyone has the right to reach for their full potential. The ABLE Act will give people with disabilities and their families, in Maryland and across the country, the opportunity to take charge of their own lives and their futures. It’s based on the ideals that make America great, and I’m proud to be a part of this effort.”

Congressman Crenshaw stated, “We stand together - House, Senate, and advocacy groups - with hands joined in a push to provide economic peace of mind and fairness to individuals with disabilities. Other Americans enjoy financial-planning tools that allow them to save for college and retirement, yet our tax code does not provide people with disabilities with the same option. Enormous financial struggles that most of us cannot imagine face this population, and they deserve a level playing field when it comes to planning for education, housing, retirement, and more. The ABLE Act helps ease the strains by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses. No longer would individuals with disabilities have to stand by and watch others use IRS-sanctioned tools to lay the groundwork for a brighter future.”

Senator Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) stated, “Parents of children with disabilities face daily struggles that we can’t even begin to imagine. This legislation will help make it easier for those families to save for their children’s care and for their future. The ABLE Act will provide families with the financial peace of mind they need, and Congress should pass it immediately.”

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) stated, “Families of individuals with disabilities can face incredible burdens associated with the costs of healthcare, education, housing and transportation. Currently, families can save for their children's education through tax-favored 529 education savings accounts, but parents of disabled children do not have access to the same federal and state tax benefits to save for their child's future expenses. By allowing families to use 529 education accounts for disability-related expenses, this bill will make it easier for parents of disabled individuals to invest in their child’s future, opening the door to a world of opportunities that might not have been available otherwise.”

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) stated, “As the mom of a child with special needs and Co-Chair of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus, I know that federal policies can often limit those with disabilities from becoming fully independent. For example, when my son Cole was born, my husband and I were advised not to put any assets in Cole’s name because it would penalize him if he needed to qualify for a government program someday. There are millions of other parents in this same situation. They would like to help their children improve their quality of life without jeopardizing their access to benefits. That’s why we need the ABLE Act. This common-sense bill would allow parents to save for their children’s futures and give kids with disabilities a chance to live the American Dream. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill and I will continue to be a vocal leader on its behalf.”


http://vanhollen.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=320018

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 05:55 PM

39. Medicare has no reason to be even spoken of in these negotiations.

Any Democrat who feels they can use it as a bargaining chip with Tea Baggers are looking to have cuts to their time in office. There are a lot of pissed off seniors out there. It's not a good demographic to play politics with.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #39)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:07 PM

59. No, everything should be spoke of.

Including defense.
But no I wouldnt support any cuts in the level of services or care for the majority of people but I and everyone here including yourself Cleita should always remain open to discussing ways to make the varies government programs provide better care in the most cost effective way possible.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:28 PM

45. F@(k u Van Hollan

Negotiate for lower drug prices for the VA and stop undercutting the PResident.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:36 PM

46. You can't get this done with looking only at discretionary spending. You also can't get it done

with looking only at revenue increases. Everything has to be on the table and means-testing entitlements will likely be part of the solution.

About taxing the rich - note that even taking all the income (100%) of the top 8274 taxpayers would run the government for only 24 days.

http://factreal.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/irs-taxing-all-rich-people-not-enough-to-pay-u-s-deficit/

To get out of this mess, we are going to need to ensure everyone has skin in the game. Even if it's a small percentage, everyone with income should pay some income tax.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:34 PM

50. The DC tag team: Bad cop, worse cop.

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