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Pelosi: Dems shouldn’t take GOP’s bait on Medicare

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:07 PM
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Pelosi: Dems shouldn’t take GOP’s bait on Medicare

Pelosi: Dems shouldn’t take GOP’s bait on Medicare

By Greg Sargent

On a conference call with bloggers, Nancy Pelosi urged Dems to fashion their response to Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposals on the Democratic Party’s successful defeat of Social Security privatization, and made a critical point: Dems succeeded in 2005 because they did not take the GOP’s bait by offering their own plan to “fix” Social Security.

Pelosi — who is widely viewed as the person most responsible for ensuring that Dems drew a hard line against Bush’s privatization proposals — said that so doing would have persuaded people that there must have been something wrong with Social Security that needed fixing. She suggested that Dems should keep that message in mind as they prepare to do battle over Ryan’s Medicare proposals.

“We got criticized for it, but it was the most important thing,” Pelosi said. “We couldn’t have our own proposal on Social Security because it would confuse the public.”

Pelosi said that so doing would have meant Dems were “conceding there must be some big problem.” She characterized the Dem message at the time as follows: “We have a proposal on the table: It’s called `Social Security.’ The President has something on the table: It’s called `privatization.’”

more

Exactly, Ryan's plan is ridiculous. It's not a plan to match, it's a plan to reject. There is nothing to debate.

Ryan and the Republicans are the fringe. The public does not support abolishing Medicaid and Medicare, and very few Americans support major reductions.



Kaiser: A Public Opinion Surprise

Medicaid is the nation’s primary health insurance program for low-income people and people with disabilities, covering more than 60 million people this year. And it's about to get a lot of attention: it's likely to be a prime target for spending reductions by "deficit hawks" in debate over the budget; governors are arguing that federal rules requiring them to maintain coverage under Medicaid tie their hands at a time when they are trying to crawl out of the recession to balance their budgets; and the health reform law expands Medicaid coverage to all of the poor starting in 2014.

If you listen to the inside debate you would think Medicaid is America’s most unpopular program. Conservatives don’t like Medicaid on ideological grounds; it's a government entitlement program. Providers complain about the program's reimbursement rates. And liberals have long complained about the program’s limitations, especially the gaps in whom Medicaid covers and the large variations in coverage among states. With its joint federal-state financing and welfare-linked heritage, Medicaid is treated as fundamentally different than the two other big entitlement programs -- Social Security and Medicare -- and thought to have dramatically less public support.

It was against this background that one of our recent polls produced a real surprise. It turns out that the insider's view of Medicaid is not the public's view at all. While not viewed as favorably as Social Security or Medicare, Medicaid is actually surprisingly popular with the American people, and they resist the idea of making big cuts to the program.

When we asked in our poll which programs the public was willing to see cut by Congress to reduce the deficit, no surprise, only 8% were willing to see "major reductions" in Social Security or Medicare. But only 13% were willing to see major reductions in Medicaid, the same percentage as for public education. Sixty-four percent supported "no reductions" at all in Social Security as a way to reduce the deficit, 56% in Medicare, and 47% in Medicaid, hardly the mark of an unpopular program. Forty-six percent of independents and a little more than a third (35%) of Republicans said they would "not support any reductions at all" in Medicaid to reduce the deficit. The findings about support for major reductions are noteworthy because policy proposals such as capping the rate of increase in spending on major health programs and some Medicaid block grant proposals made to reduce federal spending would almost certainly entail major cuts.

<...>

Minor spending reductions will be addressed by bringing down the cost of health care.



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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R.


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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. careful saying "exactly"
because Obama might reject Pelosi's strategy. He might take the bait, as Pelosi puts it.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Did you hear
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 07:05 PM by ProSense
the one about cutting Social Security?

Does anyone actually believe that baseless taunting works?

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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. it had some basis
and it still does.

Centrists, including Obama, are all capable of cutting Social Security. They sent signals before and during Bush's administration that they were considering it. It turned out that the Dems killed the plan, but that was far from a guaranteed result.

Yes, it's true that the reports Obama would propose cuts in is SOTU speech this year turned out not to come about, but the same thing happened with Bush. They said he was going to propose the cuts in his first term, but it turned out he waited until he was reelected.

Obama in his second term, or a future president, Democratic or Republican, all have to be watched.

And it's not just Obama, it's Congress. Harry Reid led the fight against Bush. Will he lead the fight if Obama is the one proposing it?
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 04:53 PM
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5. apparently Obama is ignoring Pelosi's advice n/t
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. That's what is so disturbing - he always ignores the good advice of Dems...
...from Pelosi to people like Robert Reich - but if a bunch of wackadoodle teabaggers who represent a very small part of this country want something, he's willing to serve it up.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. No, he's not
This is a speech about his budget. He's the President. He issues the budget for the country.

Did you think Pelosi was saying the President shouldn't talk about his budget, which Congress has yet to pass?

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