Look, don’t be distracted by the shell game. Obama the Kenyan Socialist still intends to cut Medicare and Medicaid in order to make Wall Street happy, and the best possible outcome would be for the super committee to be deadlocked — thus making the military cutbacks kick in. It would be a good idea to call your congress critters and tell them that:
But President Obama was still compromising with the Tea Party right when he delivered his remarks on Monday. Indeed, he proposed $580 billion in cuts to health and welfare programs, with $248 billion coming from Medicare and $72 billion from Medicaid.
The president would have us believe that the cuts can be made by addressing “waste, fraud and abuse.” The reality is that cutting a quarter-trillion dollars from Medicare will undermine the quality of care for seniors and the disabled. The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care estimates that Obama’s approach would lead to $42 billion in cuts for post-acute care providers “placing patients, our workforce and local facilities at risk.”
The proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will put new stress on the economy by making it harder to maintain hiring levels at the skilled nursing facilities that have been some of the real job creators in a period of layoffs and rising unemployment rates.
The proposed Medicare and Medicaid cuts place new stresses on working families, many of which are already struggling to care for elderly and disabled relatives.
And the proposed Medicare and Medicaid cuts will cause aging workers to think twice about retiring, thus reducing the number of openings for young workers.
Medicare and Medicaid are efficient programs. They are not perfect, but they have been pressured on “waste, fraud and abuse” issues for years; meaning that there is no chance that the cuts Obama proposes will be painless.
They will, in fact, be painful, for retired people and the disabled, for families, for workers and their unions, for communities and for the broader economy.
It is for this reason that FamiliesUSA, the progressive health policy group, is warning that proposed changes to Medicaid “shifts the burden to states and ultimately onto the shoulders of seniors, people with disabilities and low-income families who depend on the program as their lifeline.”