Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Budget’
District 2 voters need to realize that Republican candidate John Archer is every bit as extreme as Todd Akin and the rest of his party. This is evident by his support of the Ryan-Romney plan to voucherize Medicare and their plan to limit the rights of women to make choices about their own reproductive health care. Out-of-state money is rolling in from Texas Republicans and elsewhere to try and put Archer and his GOP cronies in power in Iowa because they have more cash than they know what to do with. [According to the Burlington Hawkeye, U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas donated $700,000 to Archer's campaign, with a promise of more on the way].
The Republican candidates say they want small government, but not when it comes to intruding into the personal medical choices of women. The GOP wants to deny women abortions in all instances even in the case of rape or incest. They want the government to dictate to women what their futures will be. And because these ideas are decidedly unpopular, and they are worried that women won’t vote for them and they could lose, Ryan and Romney are now making false claims that they would make exceptions but their record clearly shows this to be an outright lie. And it’s not just adult women these Republican candidates don’t care about. They would cut nutritional programs that benefit children. We must not let them anywhere near the reins of power in Iowa, that much is clear.
So we were delighted and inspired to receive this note from our awesome first lady of District 2, Terry Loebsack on these issues so vital to women and children’s health and well being:
I’m sure you’re as outraged as I am about Republican Congressman Todd Akin’s reprehensible comments this weekend. Unfortunately, Congressman Akin and Dave’s opponent John Archer have more in common than just support for the Ryan Budget that threatens to end nutrition services for 1.8 million mothers, infants, and children.
Both Congressman Akin and John Archer think they know more about women’s health than women do. They both believe that a woman who has been the victim of rape should have no option if she becomes pregnant. Even Mitt Romney doesn’t agree with that extreme position.
You don’t have to take my word for it – here’s John Archer explaining it in his own words:
Dave will always fight for a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health care. I hope you’ll continue to stand with him.
So just for the record, Howard Dean was a six-term governor of Vermont and ran a grassroots and internet-based campaign for president in 2004 on a platform of opposition to the war in Iraq, health care for everyone, fiscal responsibility and media reform. After John Kerry won the Democratic nomination, Dean was then the overwhelming choice of state Democratic party chairs around the country to be the chair of the DNC. Dean is also a physician who successfully implemented universal health care coverage for children in the state of Vermont. This is why the media allows him to come out when the conversation is about Medicare, Medicaid and health care reform. Howard Dean is not a darling of the media because he tends to tell the truth which TV abhors.
Yesterday, Governor Dean was a Roundtable guest on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. As soon as Dean began to speak he was interrupted by the host, attempting to correct Dean when he called the Ryan-Romney plan for Medicare a “voucher” program, and inserting Romney’s preferred talking point! (Then Peggy Noonan was allowed to loftily pontificate on and on. But that’s why it will be good when Up! With Chris Hayes is back on Sundays).
I’ve recently been thinking that “privatize” is not the best Democratic talking point to communicate what the GOP wants to do with Medicare. “Privatize” makes it sound sort of benign, like oh, it’s going to be the same program, just administered by insurance companies, kind of like insurance is now, that doesn’t sound too terrible, nothing to get upset about, nothing to see here folks, just move along…” The word “privatize” doesn’t really cause your internal alarm system to go off like “voucherize” does. With the word “voucher” the brain automatically conjers up images of layers of frustrating bureaucratic red tape with little certainty that it’s going to work out. The word “voucherize” correctly reveals that the complete gutting of the Medicare program is Ryan and Romney’s true intent. In a single word, you get it, you understand that this would be an end to the Medicare program. Period.
And think about this. If the Medicare program were ever to be God forbid reduced to a system of vouchers to help buy private insurance with, how hard would it be after that for them to chip away at it, or in the words of that great GOP thinker Grover Norquist, “drown it in the bathtub?”
Take note, progressives. The word is “voucherize” not “privatize.” Here’s Governor Dean.
Howard Dean: “Ryan is going to give a real choice. That’s exactly what Romney was trying to avoid before, he was trying to move toward the middle and Ryan makes it impossible for him to do that. Ryan wants a voucher program for Medicare – well, that’s anathema to some of the independents and seniors…”
George Stephanopoulos: “No he [Romney] doesn’t like that word, he calls it premium support…”
Howard Dean: “Yeah, it’s a voucher program. That’s what it is. You get a piece of paper from the government you can use, to spend it on buying health insurance and if you have to pay more too bad for you. It’s a voucher program.
You can go to ABCNews.com to watch the Roundtable portion of the show.
The Republican plan to eliminate Medicare is known, but Iowans have no idea what’s in store for them. It is a scheme to transfer health care protections for aging Americans to private companies over time.
Their plan would end Medicare as we know it for all Americans born after 1956, in ten years. This is an aggressive political calculation that pits young against old in an attempt to gain unwitting support for the plan among voters whose current Medicare benefits would not be the first to go.
Medicare would increase the eligibility to age 67 over ten years, an idea they have tried to lead us to believe is necessary because of longer life expectancies and better health outcomes.
The trouble with the Republican plan is that it replaces the current system with vouchers that they think they can sell the public as something better and cheaper than nothing. Do the math.
The proposed annual voucher payment is about $8,000, which is the per capita dollar amount projected for 65-year-olds in traditional Medicare in 2022. After that, the voucher values would change over time based on indexing to the consumer price index. Sound reasonable? Not really.
I pay my own health insurance premium and it is $9,120 per year. We expect an annual increase of at least 11 percent. Project that rate of increase for ten years and the amount would be $23,655 per year for health insurance. People born after 1956 would have to make up the gap between the voucher and actual cost. Who could afford that at age 67?
So what’s a person to do to preserve Medicare? Two words: Vote Democratic.
Congressman Steve King has a long and consistent record of voting for issues that are not in the best interests of Iowans. During his 10 years in Congress, he has repeatedly voted against legislation that would promote job growth and economic prosperity here in Iowa, make college more affordable for students, and ensure Iowa’s seniors can get the health care and services they need.
He claims that he would like to focus on the issues, but a closer look at his voting record indicates that he’s not interested in solving those issues. Instead, his votes make the issues worse.
Examples of this include:
– Voting against considering the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act this year, arguing that it interferes “in the relationship of marriage.”
– Supporting the Ryan Budget for two years in a row. When questioned at town halls across the state, he has falsely said that it doesn’t cut Medicare or Pell Grants, both of which it does cut, and drastically so.
– Steadfastly supporting the Fair Tax, a plan that would burden the middle class and seniors, while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.
–Masquerading as a supporter of wind energy, a vital industry in Iowa. But he has spent years voting against it. He even opposed a bill that the American Wind Energy Association praised as “essential” to growing the industry.
–Claiming to be a fiscal conservative, but voting for two unfunded wars, an unfunded Medicare Part D, and unfunded tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans – all of which have directly contributed to our nation’s debt and deficit crisis.
And the list goes on. Congressman King’s 10-year record should leave a lot of questions in the minds of voters.
How can he represent a district with a large senior population while voting to end Medicare as we know it? How can he expect students graduating high school this month to afford an education when he’s taking away Pell Grants? How can he be trusted to support wind and renewable fuels, important growing industries in his district? Will he finally put his constituents ahead of special interests? Why is he more interested in building a national profile than proposing solutions for his district?
If he wants to talk about the issues, he should start by addressing his hypocrisy and inconsistency during his ten years in Congress, years which have had wasteful spending, partisan extremism, and gridlock as their hallmarks.
As he introduces himself to a district that’s over 50 percent new to him, voters will demand answers to these questions and take a hard look at how his positions on the issues benefit them. The truth is, unless they’re a special interest, his policies don’t help them and they don’t create opportunities for middle class families, seniors, and students.