Good 'ol Teddy sure knows how to spend money... Nominated Porker of the Month

Discussion in 'Politics' started by lilcountriegal, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. lilcountriegal

    lilcountriegal Senior Member

    Oct 24, 2003
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    There has been a lot of recent squealing over the costs of the Medicare drug benefit package President Bush signed into law late last year—now estimated to be $534 billion over ten years—an increase of 33 percent from the $400 billion projected last fall. One of the loudest critics has been Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). He is seeking to blame President Bush for the faulty cost estimates, implying the White House deliberately misled lawmakers. Sen. Kennedy asked, “What did the president know; when did he know it?”

    Ironically, what Sen. Kennedy doesn’t want taxpayers to know is how much the Democratic plan for providing a drug benefit to seniors would cost—between $800 billion and $1 trillion. For his hypocrisy and duplicity on this issue, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) names Sen. Ted Kennedy as its “Porker of the Month” for March 2004.

    When the Medicare bill was first passed in the Senate, Sen. Kennedy said that it “only provided about $400 billion” toward prescription drug coverage and was a “down payment” toward a more comprehensive government-run package. At the end of last year, Sen. Kennedy introduced legislation to eliminate the cost-saving measures in the new law, such as repealing the premium support demonstration project and phasing in a complete removal of the coverage gap, better known as the “doughnut hole.” These actions would drive costs up, not down.

    Sen. Kennedy has long been opposed to any consumer-based system in Medicare that uses market forces to control costs. Instead, he has called for expanding Medicare, such as providing coverage to uninsured Americans between the ages of 55-64, that would further quicken its bankruptcy. But his expensive meddling doesn’t stop with Medicare. In January of this year, he called for the “Health Security and Affordability Act” to be passed that would require all employers to provide health insurance to their workers—a real job killer estimated to cost $100 billion a year to implement. In April, he called for Congress to pass universal health care legislation by October 2005. To see Sen. Kennedy wring his hands and cry crocodile tears over the higher cost estimates for the new Medicare plan is laughable.

    Despite Sen. Kennedy’s efforts to blame the President for underestimating the cost, the form of the legislation for the new Medicare drug benefit was constantly changing throughout last year. The actual cost estimates changed as well, from $500 billion to $600 billion. Although the Congressional Budget Office continues to stick by its original estimates of $395 billion over 10 years, the Medicare Trustees have recently estimated that Medicare will be insolvent in 2019, seven years sooner then originally predicted, partially due to the new drug benefit.

    While Congress needs to change the prescription drug plan to reduce its scope and cost, legislators also need to reject any budget-busting plans drawn up by Sen. Kennedy that attempt to transform the entire American health care to a completely government-run system, where health decisions and costs are controlled by politicians and bureaucrats. For his fiscal unfitness on the Medicare program, and health care in general, CAGW names Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) the March Porker of the Month.

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