Michele Bachmann Backing Away From Medicare Reforms
If outspoken conservative and Tea Party Caucus leader Michele Bachmann doesn’t have the stomach for Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare reforms, I’m afraid we may well be able to conclude that they’re not going to pass.
Washington (CNN) — A leading House conservative on Sunday qualified her support for a Republican budget proposal that would overhaul Medicare, saying she was concerned it could hurt senior citizens.
The comments by Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite from Minnesota, showed the impact of public opposition to the Medicare provision of the budget plan that also calls for deep non-military spending cuts and reforming the tax code to lower rates while eliminating loopholes. …
“One position that I’m concerned about is shifting the cost burden to senior citizens,” Bachmann said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Seniors are saying, ‘Look, I’m not in a position to be able to handle that.’ I also share that real fear. That’s why I put the asterisk out there.”
Bachmann called Ryan’s proposal one idea of how to address rising Medicare costs and said she was open to other possibilities.
“I think there is a better way than the way that the federal government is currently funding the program,” she said. “Various ideas were put out on the table. Even Paul Ryan said he was open to tweaking his position that he has staked out.”
To be sure, Medicare needs to be reform. Forget Social Security, Medicare by itself if left on its current track will eat our national budget alive in the coming decade. Everyone recognizes this problem, whether they’ll admit it publicly or not, but in the short term reforms to Medicare are politically unpopular. So the politicians would rather pander than lead.
Is it just me or does American entitlement spending bear a remarkable semblance to heroin addiction? Like a good drug dealer, the government gets us addicted to programs like Medicare and Social Security. Indeed, we have little choice. If we don’t pay into the programs we go to jail. Then, once we’re on benefits, we’re hooked. We want to get out from the programs what we paid in. The programs themselves so distort the markets that we can’t afford to be without them, in fact.
And so even though we know the programs as they stand now are unsustainable, reforms become politically unpopular.Tags: entitlements, medicare, Michele Bachmann