Tina K. Russell

March 25, 2008

Ohhhh, damn

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tina Russell @ 6:25 pm

White House Offers Grim Outlook for Medicare – New York Times

The Bush administration issued a grim report on the financial outlook for Medicare and Social Security on Tuesday, but said that, by two important measures, the condition of the programs had not deteriorated since last spring.

The new reports, like those issued last April, said that Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund would be exhausted in 2019, while Social Security’s reserves would be depleted in 2041.

Now we can look forward to part 2, in which Bush unveils a wacky plan he says will somehow cut costs but will really privatize as much as possible, so as to leave citizens with no collective bargaining power. Whatever he can get done as a lame duck–which is very little–he can change the debate substantially because part 3 will involve lots of right-wing bloviating that the system is broken and won’t be there when you need it! We can then look forward to the talking point of “Medicare’s strained as it is! Think of what will happen… if we expanded it to include everyone!” This is, of course, like saying, “gosh, my coffee company’s profit margins are razor-thin here in Seattle… we couldn’t take the strain if we went national!” Expect to hear this talking point precisely because it needs no basis in reality.

The solution to an overly complicated and bloated system of healthcare in America (which I agree we have) is, of course, to make it even more bloated and complicated as a smokescreen for making it privatized, which is not the right model for our roads, our schools, our libraries, our police and fire departments, our legislatures, our military, and certainly not for our healthcare. Social mobility depends on everyone having an equal shot… and that won’t happen without universal healthcare.

Anyway, I shouldn’t make fun of the Republicans–who will no doubt be eager to march in lockstep with Bush on any issue besides immigration or the war–for things they haven’t done yet. But oh! Mark my words.

(Republicans reading this: please feel free to leave snarky comments. I try not to be so partisan, but I guess I’m in a bad mood today. Sorry.)

(In other news: what happened to the lockbox? And, for that matter, Bush’s supposed fiscal conservatism? If there were a Quaker equivalent to “oy vey,” I’d be using it right now. …Perhaps a ponderous silence is best.)

(Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go bang my wide-brimmed-hatted head against the wall.)

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