Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Senators Lieberman and Coburn Learn Nothing, Know Nothing on the Politics of Medicare

Are They Really That Dense?

Senator Joe Lieberman (I, Ct) and Senator Tom Coburn (R, Ok) unveiled a Medicare Plan that appears to be identical to the one Sen. Lieberman put forth earlier.. The Dismal Political Economist commented favorably on that proposal, based on its major parts which would increase payroll taxes on high income wage earners and require higher Part B premiums for higher income retirees.  Unfortunately Mr. Lieberman also included increasing the eligibility age, which set off a firestorm of criticism that drowned out any discussion of the merits of the major parts of the plan.

Now Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Coburn seem to have learned nothing from that trial balloon, and have included the same incendiary increase in eligibility age.  Again the reaction has been highly negative largely due to that one point, and again the merits of the rest of the proposal have been lost for discussion purposes.

Good grief. Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Coburn, you are supposed to be highly skilled politicians.  Start acting like ones.  And Democrats, get in the real world, where Medicare cost increases are making the current program unsustainable for the long term. The belief on the part of Democrats that Medicare can continue as is for decades just provides ammunition to people like Paul Ryan who want to end the program.

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