Thursday, March 07, 2013

President Obama-Brüning is in full-tilt push again to cut benefits on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

The PBS Newshour has the full video of Social Security opponent Barack Obama's press conference of 03/01/2013, President Obama Calls Spending Cuts "Dumb, Arbitrary", in which he was in Heinrich Brüning mode:

That news conference today is a great example of the disparity between the parties right now. The Republicans are proud of causing havoc because that's what their base wants. Our Democratic President, though, brags about fighting for destructive things that his own Party's voters oppose. So do big majorities of the public when it comes to cutting benefits on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which seems to be Obama's only real goal in this sequester fight. From the WH transcript: "And what I've said very specifically, very detailed is that I'm prepared to take on the problem where it exists -- on entitlements -- and do some things that my own party really doesn't like. ... I am prepared to do hard things and to push my Democratic friends to do hard things."

In the video, you can see that he has to catch himself not to say FOX-style "my Democrat friends" there.

Also: "There are members of my party who violently disagree with the notion that we should do anything on Medicare. And I'm willing to say to them, I disagree with you, because I want to preserve Medicare for the long haul." As I mentioned in a post yesterday, the latter isn't true. Cutting benefits on Medicare is something every Democrat including the Democratic President should be fighting against. But Medicare supporters are stressing that the problem of health-care costs in Medicare is part of the larger growth of health-care costs. There have also been some recent indications that the longer-term trend of rising health-care expense is not so drastic as virtually everyone has been assuming for years.

In any case, Medicare does a better job of controlling health care costs than private insurance or the Great God Free Market does, because of Medicare's lower administrative costs, its bargaining power with suppliers, its evaluations of the effectiveness of treatments, and its coverage of preventive care.

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