Despite the fact that Senate Democrats have not offered a single plan to save Medicare and thus endorsed its bankruptcy, today Senate Democrats doubled down by calling for Medicare reform to be taken “off the table” in the debt limit negotiations. Even President Obama has said that Medicare needs to be addressed, but Senate Democrats apparently would prefer to stick to their do-nothing ways. The House Republicans’ plan remains the only solution to save and strengthen Medicare for future generations.
Today, Senate Democrats Demanded That Medicare Reform Be Taken “Off The Table.” The attempt by Republicans to tie Medicare reforms to negotiations on raising the debt ceiling is "absolutely irresponsible," Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said Friday. Reed and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the HELP committee, took their strongest stance yet on the issue during a conference call with reporters. ... Reed said the high-stakes game of brinksmanship over the debt ceiling is not the right venue to reform a complicated program that's vital to millions of Americans. "Our message," Harkin said, "is simply: Take Medicare off the table.” (The Hill, 6/3/11)
- Sen. Tom Harkin Even Declared That Medicare Isn’t Part Of The Deficit Problem. “Do I believe that Medicare should be off the table? You bet I do, because it has nothing to do with the default crisis right now.” (Roll Call, 6/3/11)
In April, President Obama Clearly Indicated That Medicare Reform Must Happen. But I guarantee that if we don’t make any changes at all, we won’t be able to keep our commitment to a retiring generation that will live longer and will face higher health care costs than those who came before. ... let me be absolutely clear: I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society. (President Obama, 4/13/11)
- Flashback: President Obama: “If We Want To Get Serious About Fiscal Discipline … We Will Also Have To Get Serious About Entitlement Reform.” “Along with defense and interest on the national debt, the biggest cost drivers in our budget are entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security -- all of which get more and more expensive every year. So if we want to get serious about fiscal discipline, and I do, then we're going to not only have to trim waste out of our discretionary budget -- which we've already begun -- we will also have to get serious about entitlement reform.” (President Obama, 4/14/09)
- Flashback: Shortly After President Obama Was Elected, He Said We Couldn’t Kick The Entitlement Can Down The Road Any Longer and Declared Medicare To Be “The Big Problem” and “Unsustainable.” President-elect Barack Obama pledged yesterday to shape a new Social Security and Medicare "bargain" with the American people, saying that the nation's long-term economic recovery cannot be attained unless the government finally gets control over its most costly entitlement programs. ... "What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further," he said. "We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else's." ... "The big problem is Medicare, which is unsustainable.” (The Washington Post, 1/16/09)