Entries Tagged as 'Medicare'

$1.2 Trillion in Cuts is Not Enough

November 7th, 2011 at 4:07 pm 23 Comments

Everyone has an opinion on what the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSC) will produce by its Nov. 23rd deadline.

Except the members and staff of the JSC itself.

Click here to read more

The Road to Treadmill Serfdom

David Frum September 20th, 2011 at 10:09 am 132 Comments

It’s a little hard to tell this story from Chicago without a lot of sarcasm, but I’ll try my best.

Like a lot of American cities, Chicago faces severe budget problems. One obvious place to look for savings: the health benefits of city employees. Health care for city workers costs Chicago $500 million a year and are rising at 10% per year.

Newly elected mayor Rahm Emanuel hopes to reduce those costs by encouraging city employees to take better care of their health. He has called upon city employees to enroll in a new wellness plan.Those who do not enroll will pay an extra $50 per month in healthcare premiums.

This experiment may or may not yield results. But whatever else it is, it hardly sounds like the thunk of the fascist jackboot on the pavement – or so you’d think.

Click here to read more

NY-09 Winner Ran From Ryan Plan

September 14th, 2011 at 5:39 pm 16 Comments

The victory of Bob Turner in heavily Democratic NY-09 is clearly not good news for Democrats. When the media hasn’t picked up is that Turner benefited by not embracing the Paul Ryan budget.

Click here to read more

Romney’s Task: Show Perry isn’t Electable

David Frum September 12th, 2011 at 9:44 am 67 Comments

Republicans watched Rick Perry’s stumbling, unprepared performance in last week’s debate – and decided they were watching a president in action.

The latest CNN/Opinion Research poll has Perry at 32% among Republicans nationwide, Romney tumbled deep into second place at 21%. (If Palin entered the race, Perry would still lead Romney 30-18, with Palin drawing 15%.)

Click here to read more

Memo to GOP: Don’t Run on What Voters Don’t Want

September 1st, 2011 at 1:08 am 56 Comments

With the national debt skyrocketing, a faction on the right is hoping to turn the 2012 election into a debate on entitlement reform. No doubt, many Democrats are hoping the very same thing.

Democrats would view that development as a chance to gain politically, while some Republicans would see it as a chance to demonstrate their purity.

Click here to read more

What Sort of Democrat Was Rick Perry?

August 25th, 2011 at 12:43 pm 24 Comments

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been under criticism for comments he made in his book Fed Up! and in an interview regarding Social Security and Medicare. In these comments, he stated that such programs were bad public policy and were possibly unconstitutional. His campaign has backpedaled a bit from these comments, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that:

But since jumping into the 2012 GOP nomination race on Saturday, Mr. Perry has tempered his Social Security views. His communications director, Ray Sullivan, said Thursday that he had “never heard” the governor suggest the program was unconstitutional. Not only that, Mr. Sullivan said, but “Fed Up!” is not meant to reflect the governor’s current views on how to fix the program…The book, Mr. Sullivan said, “is a look back, not a path forward.” It was written “as a review and critique of 50 years of federal excesses, not in any way as a 2012 campaign blueprint or manifesto,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Click here to read more

Medicare’s Flawed Bidding Plan Moves Forward

August 23rd, 2011 at 1:02 am 15 Comments

On Friday, August 19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced what may be the worst perversion of a good idea to come out of the government in quite some time: something called Round Two of “The Competitive Bidding Program for certain Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies.”

Click here to read more

Medicare’s Disastrous Bidding Process

August 8th, 2011 at 1:33 pm 5 Comments

In the Weekly Standard, sale Eli Lehrer discusses a little understood but deeply flawed process that Medicare is using to bid on certain medical equipment. The consequences of the flawed system may lead to higher healthcare costs and lower life expectancies:

In the trial areas, cheap problems have already emerged. Diabetics have run into difficulty getting supplies that work with their testing meters and CMS has had to rejigger delivery quantities for almost every major item it has put out for bids. While these short-term fixes have prevented calamity, check the fragile, nearly arbitrary process that now exists could show real strains as soon as the “round two” process expands current practices to a total of 91 metropolitan areas that collectively contain almost the entire population.

Click here to read more

Obama’s New Talking Point

David Frum August 3rd, 2011 at 8:38 am 20 Comments

The debt deal raises additional hurdles for Republican presidential candidates, argues Ed Kilgore in The New Republic.

The big debt limit vote in Congress, it is increasingly obvious, is just an appetizer for the divisive, voter-alienating struggles it has built into the schedule at key points during the 2012 presidential campaign, making an eventual GOP presidential nominee’s efforts to “pivot to the center” an athletic feat, at best. And as Tea Party activists and other conservatives have made clear in their reactions to the deal just signed, their efforts to force everyone in the GOP to join in future hostage-taking exercises aimed at middle-class entitlements and other targets beloved of voters have just begun.

Kilgore may overstate the case here. Click here to read more

WSJ on Debt Crisis: Reject Reality

David Frum July 28th, 2011 at 10:37 am 115 Comments

I used to write editorials for the Wall Street Journal myself, 20 years ago now.

So I’m well aware of the challenge faced by those assigned to compose these documents. The strict demands of the paper’s ideology do not always lie smoothly over the rocky outcroppings of reality. It can take considerable skill to match the two together.

In that regard, this morning’s lead editorial about the debt-ceiling crisis is a true masterpiece.

Click here to read more