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Republicans Wobbling on Cutting Medicare

category_bug_politics.gif According to Lori Montgomery, writing in the Washington Post, Republicans began backtracking Wednesday on the draconian changes to Medicare contained in Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan's Pathway to Prosperity budget proposal:

”On the eve of debt-reduction talks led by Vice President Biden,” wrote Montgomery, “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) said Republicans remain convinced that reining in federal retirement programs is the key to stabilizing the nation’s finances over the long term.

“But he said Republicans recognize they may need to look elsewhere to achieve consensus after President Obama 'excoriated us' for a proposal to privatize Medicare.”

Ryan appeared to echo Cantor's conclusion:

“'We’re not going to get a grand-slam agreement [Ryan said]...because of just the political parameters' set by Obama. But Ryan said his budget offers a “menu of options...that I think we could get that are not necessarily the global agreement on, say, Medicare or Social Security.'”

That was on Wednesday. By Thursday, there appeared to be some disagreement among the Republicans. Although Paul Ryan stood by his statement from the day before, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that “entitlements” are still at issue:

“'Let me make this clear: When it comes to increasing the debt limit and the need to have reductions in spending, nothing is off the table except for raising taxes,' Boehner said.”

Cracks in the Republican facade are good news for those of us who oppose turning Medicare into a voucher program. It is times just like this when it is crucial to write your Congress people. Here is one place you can do that. Enter your Zip Code in the right sidebar and email links to your representatives will appear.

For those who think it's no use to write because your representatives are tea party members, if they get enough mail and phone calls rejecting their stands, they will change their votes. All House members are up for re-election next year along with one-third of the Senate.

Wouldn't it be a terrible shame if tea party representatives refused to budge because they didn't hear from enough constituents who disagree with them.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mary B Summerlin: The Stone Connection



Thank you for continuously reminding us just how important it is to let our Representatives in Congress know exactly how we feel about their actions.

In my case,two members of Congress from my State are Democrats and two are republicans (Notice I refuse to capitalize republicans until they stop saying things like "It's a Democrat idea" instead of a "Democratic" idea.)

I will write to ALL of them. The two Democrats will get a letter of approval of their actions and the two republicans will be reminded that the budget should be balanced by taxing the 2% at the top and NOT by cutting Social Security or Medicare benefits.

I will further remind the ones who are up for reelection next year that I am watching the way they are voting now so I can determine how I will be voting then!

Just want to second what Nancy said above. Even our friends in Congress need to hear from us, if only with thanks.

My Rep is Nancy Pelosi who is one of the few I actually usually like: she's an elder herself and stayed around to be a punching bag to protect our interests. She's to the right of her constituents, but still a force for good in Congress.

We need to be aware that even if these Republican thugs give up on Medicare, they'll try to gut Medicaid -- and Medicaid, administered through the states, is the program that gives poor elders end of life care. We can't abandon folks who have to spend down to have a place to die.

Thanks for the link on how to contact your representatives. Too many never write because they don't know how to address the e-mail, letter or phone call.

I also contact all my elected officials, those I agree with and those I don't, on issues. I don't want to be considered part of the "silent majority" for either side. And for those whose stance I agree with on an issue, it certainly helps them to know that voters support that stance when they talk with other members of their house or senate.

My representatives probably get tired of hearing from me, especially my House representative who is a Republican. Although he hasn't always walked the party line on energy and environmental issues, he's a staunch pro-lifer and low tax/budget cutter, so he'll be hearing from me again. My Senators are two solid Democrats (female) who deserve my support and will get it.

I wrote to my senators and congresswoman -- all republicans. Don't know that it will accomplish anything. Whenever I have written in the past, I wind up getting a newsletter from each one, telling me that they are voting exactly the opposite of what I want...

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