Posts tagged: Medicare

The Futility of Attempting to Reap What You Failed to Sow

By , October 31, 2013 9:52 am

In a previous post, I told the following story about the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s advice to the Clintons:

Twenty years ago, when he was trying to persuade Bill and Hillary Clinton that universal health care was a politically unrealistic goal, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan repeated one insistent warning: Sweeping, historic laws don’t pass barely.’They pass 70-to-30,’ he said, ‘or they fail.’ [Rahm Emanuel gave President Obama similar advice.]

Later I began to wonder, what was the vote on the original Social Security bill? Medicare and Medicaid?

Social Security:

The Ways & Means Committee Report on the Social Security Act was introduced in the House on April 4, 1935 and debate began on April 11th. After several days of debate, the bill was passed in the House on April 19, 1935 by a vote of 372 yeas [including 81 of 102 Republicans], 33 nays, 2 present, and 25 not voting. . . .

The bill was reported out by the Senate Finance Committee on May 13, 1935 and introduced in the Senate on June 12th. The debate lasted until June 19th, when the Social Security Act was passed by a vote of 77 yeas [including 16 of 25 Republicans], 6 nays, and 12 not voting. (Emphasis added)

Medicare and Medicaid:

H.R. 6675, The Social Security Admendments of 1965, began life in the House Ways & Means Committee where it passed the Committee on March 23, 1965 (President Johnson issued a statement in support of the bill after the favorable Committee vote) and a Final Report was sent to the House on March 29, 1965. The House took up consideration of the bill on April 7th, and passed the bill the next day by a vote of 313-115 [including 70 out of 140 Republicans] (with 5 not voting).

The Senate Finance Committee reported the bill out on June 30th and debate began on the Senate floor that same day, concluding with passage on July 9, 1965 by a vote of 68-21 [including 13 out of 32 Republicans] (with 11 not voting). (Emphasis added)

For those without a calculator, Social Security passed with 86% of the vote in the House and 81% in the Senate. Medicare passed with 71% of the vote in the House and 70% in the Senate. Both bills had strong, bi-partisan support. In contrast, the Affordable Care Act garnered just 50.57% of the vote in the House and 60% in the Senate–without a single Republican vote.

I repeat, it was hubris that killed the beast.

Who Are You Going to Believe?

By , May 25, 2011 10:58 am

The weasely, lying fear mongers?

Or the person who actually takes the time to lay out the facts?

He’s Baaaaack! And So Is His Cheer Squad!

By , April 17, 2011 6:07 pm

Barack Obama is back, and the press–in the person of Jonathan Alter–is carrying his water, again. In a column titled Republican Horror Movie Sequel Hits Theaters Alter breathlessly warns Republicans to

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

And why? Because of that speech BO gave last this week at George Washington University. You know, the one universally panned as not serious, awful, presidential politicking at its worst? Yeah, that one.

So why is Alter experiencing that special tingle? Well, for one, BO’ s a great story teller. I agree, but then I’m thinking of story in the sense that the man says whatever is to hand, whether it’s true or not. When his lips move, well, my antennae go up. I don’t think that’s what Alter meant.

The other think that’s ginned up the good columnist is that idea that

Most important, the president stressed the fundamental American values of fairness and compassion.

In other words, we’re back to Joe the Plumber talk–redistribution.

A highlight of Alter’s piece for me was his admission that Democrats are given to demagoguery. In taking his swipes at Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, Alter writes,

Older, independent voters that Republicans won in 2010 will despise the Ryan plan once it filters down to them. A Democratic war cry of “They’re killing Medicare!” isn’t demagoguery this time. It’s true.

No, in fact it’s not true and Democratic talk like this continues to be demagoguery, especially given the fact that they refuse to offer a plan of their own with any specifics in it. Exactly how would they deal with Medicaid and Medicare, plans that Alter in one breathe says are “wildly popular” yet “must be reformed”?

As he admits, we’ll get no help from the Annointed One.

The president offered few specifics about how to save $4 trillion over 12 years beyond letting the tax cuts for wealthy expire in late 2012. That won’t be enough. But teeing up tax cuts for the rich as a campaign issue will clearly help the Democrats, as it did in 2008.

Yeah, that should scare Republicans. Drag out the hoary ghost of campaigns past, the “tax cuts for the wealthy” meme. If this is BO’s game, it brings to mind this game:

He’ll not win this time, not throwing like that. I’m not sure our fawning press will manage to carry that ball over the plate.

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