Southwest Virginia representatives will vote to end Medicare as we know it

All three congressional representatives from Southwest Virginia say they plan to vote for Rep. Paul Ryan’s ruinous, radical and immoral budget plan today. Are Virginians paying attention to what this budget would actually do? When voters turned out Reps. Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello in November, did they really want to replace them with good Republican soldiers who would vote with their leadership however reprehensible the idea?

And, let’s face it, shoving health care costs onto the elderly and the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich is pretty reprehensible. That’s exactly what the Ryan plan would do. Medicare would no longer be a guarantee of health care for the elderly. Instead, older Americans would get vouchers to buy private insurance. Those vouchers wouldn’t even be enough to cover the projected cost of their care, much less cover the overhead and profits for private insurance companies – who, by the way, aren’t very likely to embrace the segment of the health care marketplace that is practically guaranteed to need lots of expensive health care. Medicaid would shift to block grants to states. States would have much more flexibility with their programs – which could lead to some savings, but most likely those savings would come from denying care to the children, indigent, long-term disabled and nursing home residents who now depend upon it.

In exchange, all of the Bush tax cuts – including those on the top 2 percent of earners – would continue. In addition, Ryan wants to drop the top tax rate to 25 percent – with unspecified reforms to the tax code aimed, he says, at making the drop revenue neutral. Does any rational political observer believe those reforms will go through, and stick?

This is what Bob Goodlatte, Robert Hurt and Morgan Griffith are so anxious to vote for.

“It’s nice to be able to move from talking about billions to cutting trillions,” Hurt said in The Times. “Those are the serious numbers my constituents want to see.”

One small problem: The Republican budget proposal actually leads to higher deficits than are currently projected (because it extends the Bush tax cuts).

Is this really what Virginians wanted when they went to the polls in November?

One Response to Southwest Virginia representatives will vote to end Medicare as we know it

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