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2013 Republican Response: A Healthcare Review

Earlier this week, I posted on the President’s State of the Union address.  Now its time to discuss the Republican Response.

The main critic offered by Senator Marco Rubio is how Obamacare is increasing health care costs, shifting these costs to employers, and slowing down employment growth and the growth of employer-provided insurance.

And because many government programs that claim to help the middle class, often end up hurting them instead.  For example, Obamacare was supposed to help middle class Americans afford health insurance. But now, some people are losing the health insurance they were happy with. And because Obamacare created expensive requirements for companies with more than 50 employees, now many of these businesses aren’t hiring. Not only that; they’re being forced to lay people off and switch from full-time employees to part-time workers.

Rubio claims that he supports Medicare with one hand but his support is based on cutting benefits.  This is justified based on the (not at all unreasonable) logic that for Medicare to continue, it must do so in a more fiscally responsible form.

The biggest obstacles to balancing the budget are programs where spending is already locked in. One of these programs, Medicare, is especially important to me. It provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately die with dignity. And it pays for the care my mother receives now.

I would never support any changes to Medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. But anyone who is in favor of leaving Medicare exactly the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it.

Republicans have offered a detailed and credible plan that helps save Medicare without hurting today’s retirees. Instead of playing politics with Medicare, when is the President going to offer his plan to save it? Tonight would have been a good time for him to do it.

Senator Rubio is likely referring to Paul Ryan’s plan to make Medicare a voucher system starting with individuals 55 and over.

Senator Rand Paul also delivered a Republican Response. Although he did not target healthcare directly, he did call for significant across the board spending cuts, including the sequester. His Penny Plan would slash government spending by 1 percent over the next 6 to 7 years to balance the budget. Sen. Paul does descirbe the effect of government spending on elderly savings (implicitly through added inflation).

Contrary to what the President claims, big government and debt are not a friend to the poor and the elderly. Big-government debt keeps the poor poor and saps the savings of the elderly. This massive expansion of the debt destroys savings and steals the value of your wages.

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