House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) responded to an announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services that it will proceed with implementation of Obamacare policies that he claims will cause “many American seniors enrolled in the popular Medicare Advantage program to lose access to their doctors and other health benefits”. He seems rather upset about this, which is odd, because just yesterday Boehner was mad at Obama for not cutting “entitlements”.
Today, Boehner said in a statement, “Last week, I and other House leaders called on President Obama and his Cabinet to develop a plan to help American seniors who, because of his health care law, are losing access to their doctors — something he repeatedly promised would not happen. With today’s announcement, that promise has not just been broken, but shattered. If the president won’t work with us to repeal the law and replace it with better solutions, then at a minimum, he and his allies in Congress owe the American people a plan for dealing with the consequences of these destructive policies.”
But Republicans have been demanding cuts in Social Security and Medicare. In the House, Republicans demanded cuts to both if Democrats want to change the sequester.
In fact, just yesterday, a spokesman for Boehner was going on about how Obama was horrible because he wouldn’t cut the deficit by cutting “entitlements” after Obama, realizing Republicans wouldn’t negotiate with him anyway, removed chained CPI from his budget, “This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: The president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis.”
But as Michael D Shear at the New York Times pointed out:
But the Republican Party’s critique of Mr. Obama as being unwilling to trim entitlements comes as some of its own congressional candidates signaled their line of attack for the coming midterm elections: assailing the president’s health care law for reductions in entitlement spending.
So the Republican argument is that Obama is bad because he won’t cut entitlements and then bad because he did… but also, about that debt issue. Obamacare cuts the deficit. What in heaven’s name did the Republicans think Democrats have been doing all of these years if not addressing a looming national healthcare crises of rising healthcare costs that threatened to do real damage to the deficit? HELLO?
Obamacare addressed that issue. It reduces the deficit, with the CBO estimating it will save over $200 billion over 10 years and more than $1 trillion in the second decade. The Center for American Progress broke it down in October of last year, “These savings will boost the health law’s amount of deficit reduction by 174 percent and represent about 40 percent of the health care savings proposed by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform—commonly known as the Simpson-Bowles commission—in 2010.”
Republicans are so stuck on obstructing Obama and saying NO! before they even know what the terms of a deal are that they are all tangled up and tripping over their attack lines. Medicare is bad and it needs to but cut or else they are going to shut down the government again! But wait.. President Obama is also very bad because he made cuts to Medicare.
This is bad enough, but the part they aren’t telling you is that the cuts ObamaCare made to Medicare are not to the care people get, unlike the Republican plan.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.