Michael Cannon, the director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, said:
Republicans are demagoguing Democrats’ efforts to restrain Medicare spending, and their demagoguery will come back to haunt them. Of course, depending on the year, one could switch the words “Republican” and “Democrat,” and the previous sentence would be equally true. Today’s Republican demagoguery is just desserts for how President Obama demagogued John McCain’s proposed/assumed reductions in Medicare spending. Yet Republicans should be waging a more principled attack. “Yes, we must restrain Medicare spending. But Congress should use the savings to reduce the deficit, not to give private insurance companies an $800 billion bailout. Rather than restrain spending through the Democrats’ preferred tools of price controls, exchange controls, and bureaucratic rationing – which can reduce spending but increase costs – Congress should give each senior a fixed voucher and the freedom to choose a health plan that provides the coverage and medical care that they want. Medicare vouchers are the only way to protect seniors from government rationing.”
Tom McClusky, senior vice president for FRC Action, said:
"Clever politics" strikes me as a very good oxymoron. There is a big
difference to when the Republicans suggested reduced future spending on
Medicare and to what the Democrats are suggesting now, actual cuts to
existing programs under Medicare. The director of the non-partisan,
independent Congressional Budget Office himself has said that the
administration's proposed Medicare cuts would indeed lead to significant
cuts in benefits to seniors.
The Medicare program the Democrats are seeking to eliminate is the most
free market aspect of the plan, Medicare Advantage. And while Medicare
Advantage could use some revamping, by eliminating it you are affecting
greatly the 10 million seniors who enjoy its benefits. The Democrats
can expect senior revolts similar to what disgraced Chairman of the
House Ways and means, Dan Rosentowski faced in the late 1980’s when he
led eliminations to their services.
This does not mean Medicare isn’t in desperate need of revamping, but
to make the cuts that the Democrats are suggesting to help pay for the
monstrosity that is the current health care bills in Congress is the
Democrats putting their liberal agenda ahead of the constituents they
serve, and the senior citizens that raised us."
Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said:
It's obviously politics (when have the Republicans been committed to
Medicare?), it remains to be seen whether or not it is clever.