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Mon Dec 26, 2011, 11:50 AM

Wendell Potter: When Medicare Isn't Medicare


Published on Monday, December 26, 2011 by [font color="red"]CommonDreams.org[/font]
When Medicare Isn't Medicare

by Wendell Potter


Let's say you have a Ford and decide to replace everything under the hood with Hyundai parts, including the engine and transmission. Could you still honestly market your car as a Ford?

That question gets at the heart of the controversy over who is being more forthright about GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to "save" Medicare, Republicans or Democrats.

If you overhaul the Medicare system like you did your Ford and tell the public it's still Medicare, are you doing so honestly?

As I noted last week, PolitiFact, the St. Petersburg Time's fact checker, decided that the Democrats' claim that Ryan's plan would mean the end of Medicare was so blatantly untrue it merited designation as the 2011 "Lie of the Year." Republicans, whose erroneous claims about health care reform garnered "Lie of the Year" prizes in 2009 and 2010, cheered. Democrats, as you might imagine, jeered -- as did some journalists and pundits. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/12/26-2



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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Wendell Potter: When Medicare Isn't Medicare (Original post)
marmar Dec 2011 OP
pnwmom Dec 2011 #1
MedicalAdmin Dec 2011 #2
subterranean Dec 2011 #3
SunSeeker Dec 2011 #9
customerserviceguy Dec 2011 #4
spooky3 Dec 2011 #5
customerserviceguy Dec 2011 #12
CarmanK Dec 2011 #8
customerserviceguy Dec 2011 #13
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #11
BlueMTexpat Dec 2011 #16
Faygo Kid Dec 2011 #6
CarmanK Dec 2011 #7
SunSeeker Dec 2011 #10
Historic NY Dec 2011 #14
freshwest Dec 2011 #15
housewolf Dec 2011 #17

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 12:37 PM

1. Except I don't think this would be like replacing a Ford with a Hyundai.

It would be like replacing a Ford with a go-kart.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 02:02 PM

2. Ii see it as putting a cage with a squirrel in it under the hood

And hammering a Mercedes emblem onthe hood.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 02:07 PM

3. Good point. A go-kart that costs you twice as much as the Ford.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 04:54 PM

9. I'd say it's like replacing the engine with a bus ticket.

A bus ticket that takes you only so far, then you're on your own--and doesn't guarantee to get you where you need to go. Oh yeah, and you paid about $10,000 for that bus ticket.

Now that's "reform"!

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 02:22 PM

4. It wasn't clear from the article

Is this talking about the old Paul Ryan plan of many months ago, which has been fully abandoned by even the most ardent reichwingers of the GOP? Or is it the Ryan-Wyden plan that has surfaced lately, and deserves to be called that, if indeed that is what is being discussed?

Medicare is going to have to change in the next few years no matter what we do, it's hitting the wall that Social Security is about a decade away from.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 03:50 PM

5. Huh? It is crystal clear which plan is being discussed.

The Ryan-Wyden plan is only 1-2 weeks old, and this article referred to the Ryan plan and to the Dem. comments about it when it was being discussed, that Politifact is unfairly characterizing as "lies."

Even Politifact did not claim it was referring to comments about a recent proposal. When the Dems.' statements were made about the plan that existed at the time, they were hardly dishonest (whether you agree or not). Calling them dishonest is what the critics of this "award", including Potter and Krugman, are concerned about.

Politifact's own site makes this perfectly clear. It refers to Dem. comments regarding the vote that was taken, and all of them were dated over the course of the year. Why not check this, rather than speculate here? It would have taken you only the minute or two it took me to find it.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2011/dec/20/lie-year-democrats-claims-republicans-voted-end-me/

Further, it says:

"Just last week, Ryan agreed to a new framework with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. Their proposal uses Ryan’s idea for private insurers and exchanges, but it leaves traditional Medicare as an option."

Further, the "lie of the year" award and criticism of it, has nothing to do with your comment re: whether "Medicare is going to change in the next few years no matter what we do." The latter is a separate issue that reasonable people can debate.

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Response to spooky3 (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 05:15 PM

12. I guess I skimmed it pretty fast

and missed that. It seemed like the author of the piece was saying, "Ryan, Ryan, Ryan" a lot, when he should have been saying "Ryan-Wyden" in most every such reference. To pretend that it's only Repukes who want to change Medicare is not being honest with yourself or your readers.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 04:06 PM

8. That's just not true. The Republicans are deliberately and with Malice Obstructing hlt care reform

and SS adjustments that would secure both systems of delivery. SS just needs a simple, raising of the WAGES that need to be taxed in order to secure SS into the future. To say otherwise is a lie. It is a SIMPLE SOLUTION to a financial problem. As far as Medicare goes, National health care delivery can be effectively implemented had the repugs not obstructed the system. Medicare cannot negotiate with PHARMA for meds, which is rediculous and contrary to the FREE MARKET principles which the repugs advocate. COMPETITION is good for every one but BIG OIL< PHARMA< AGRI< WALL STREET hustlers and of course MURDOGS AND KOCHROACHES> Ryan's plan for medicare does not strengthen it nor does it prolong its life. It denegrates, shrinks services, shrinks subsidies and shrinks access. It is the OLD republican solution to everything, IF WE CAN SHRINK IT, WE CAN KILL IT.

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Response to CarmanK (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 05:17 PM

13. Both parties know that the system cannot survive on its own for more than a few years

It's going to take a lot of different things to fix the problem, some of your ideas will undoubtedly be part of that, but there are other things that are going to happen to repair it, as well.

Rather than give money and time to the President, I'd much rather devote those things to retention of a Democratic Senate, and a recapturing of our majority in the House. No matter who wins the Presidential election, we're gonna need it.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 05:03 PM

11. Social Security and Medicare are the canaries in the mine shaft.

If and when they hit the wall, it will mean that our entire economy, our entire country has hit the wall.

We have been headed downhill since we got involved in Viet Nam.

And since that time we have overspent on military defense, meddled in the business of every country on earth and neglected ourselves.

It's time to focus a bit on righting what is wrong in our own society.

And if you think everything is just hunky-dory, just think about this:

The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King's College London.

China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison. (That number excludes hundreds of thousands of people held in administrative detention, most of them in China's extrajudicial system of re-education through labor, which often singles out political activists who have not committed crimes.)

San Marino, with a population of about 30,000, is at the end of the long list of 218 countries compiled by the center. It has a single prisoner.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/world/americas/23iht-23prison.12253738.html?pagewanted=all

When you think about all the money we spend for cybersecurity, cameras on the corner and in every shop and even in schools, you wonder what we are doing wrong.

Maybe if people had a greater sense that they lived in a just society and would not be abandoned to their own devices in times of need, there might be less crime. There will always be a certain amount of crime, but when you think about the billions spent on surveillance and then the lack of money to care for the elderly or to fund the schools, you really wonder, "When will we decide on better priorities."

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 08:35 PM

16. Love your post! nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 03:59 PM

6. Wendell Potter is an American hero, but did great damage

In his past life. Still, I am an admirer of his courage.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 03:59 PM

7. the Paul Ryan REFORM of Medicare, is a new PRODUCT of national health care delivery.

It is not MEDICARE, and to call it a differentiation of MEDICARE "as we know it", gives it an aura of legitimacy. Paul Ryan is not reforming MEDICARE. PAUL RYAN is creating a new INSURANCE PRODUCT THAT would be based on a voucher system. THAT IS NOT MEDICARE of any form. It is new, it is different and it is limited in scope. It also, abandons medicare setting the fees to doctors etc...

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Response to CarmanK (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 05:02 PM

10. Bingo. But the Repugs sure know how to market something!

Too bad Politifact is such a cowardly piece of shyte and actually lets them get away with their lies.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 05:54 PM

14. Ford aren't really Fords any more & neither are republicans.....

its more like bait & switch.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 06:33 PM

15. GOP's last 'save' nearly bankrupted it, a pat on the back with a knife. This one's at the throat.

We have one set of forces wanting non-profit healthcare to reduce costs, save lives and create an equal playing field. Put those three ideas in reverse and the outcome is pretty clear.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 12:16 AM

17. Everybody shouls read this

and re-post it anywhere you can.

It's the clearest indictment of Ryan's Medicare plan that I've seen, and by a former Insurance insider gives it added credibility.

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