Jeb Bush now says he wouldn’t ‘phase out’ Medicare. [View all]
Jeb has repeated difficulty saying what he means. Because family syntax.
And besides that, his BHAGS ("big hairy audacious goals" are colossal failures.
We heard with profound displeasure, the latest Jeb Bush utterings this past week, that he thinks that Medicare should be "phased out".
Now, he's being forced to walk it back, as the sheer nonsense that it is.
Hey, I was taken out of context! I just want to reform the system!
This is what he's saying now, and it's basically a repackaged version of his original opinion.
The people that are receiving these benefits, I dont think that we should touch that; but your children and grandchildren are not going to get the benefit of this that they believe theyre going to get, or that you think theyre going to get, because the amount of money put in compared to the amount of money the system costs is wrong.
Bush hasnt yet released his plan to phase out/reform Medicare, but given these comments it seems likely hell embrace something like what Paul Ryan has been advocating for years. It involves changing Medicare from a guaranteed single-payer government insurance plan into a voucher plan, in which the government gives senior citizens a set amount of money with which they can go out and get private health insurance. It saves money by limiting the value of that voucher, so if its less than what coverage actually costs, well, tough luck. In that way, it eliminates the central promise of Medicare, which is that every American senior citizen will have health coverage.
Bush's argument is:
Ten years ago, Medicare was a runaway freight train. Spending was projected to increase indefinitely, rising to 13 percent of GDP by 2080. This year, spending is projected to slow down around 2040, and reaches only 6 percent of GDP by 2090. Six percent! Thats half what we thought a mere decade ago. If that isnt spectacular, I dont know what is.
Those are projections for whats going to happen decades from now, so things are doubtless going to change. But the presumption of the Republican argument is that Medicare is eventually going to eat the entire federal budget, and so we have no choice but to fundamentally alter it. And thats just not true.
And, it's funny, how Republicans' rejection of any effort at cost control for Medicare would play into the story of how a close former associate of Jeb Bush was able to pull off the biggest theft of Medicare funds in the history of the program, and remain on the run as a fugitive today. Yes, Miguel Ricarey, and he now lives in Spain. Gotta keep those federal spigots flowing to Bush's associates and friends; cost overspending in Medicare is a GOOD thing for them, because it's easier to steal from it. Now, we can see why Republicans run for the hills when someone asks about cost containment for the Medicare program. Uh-uh, no way. Wouldn't be prudent.
It's also notable that Jeb's chosen home of Miami is perhaps the top hotspot in the country for Medicare fraud. Just noticing.
But Republicans not only want to repeal the ACA, which means repealing all those kinds of payment provisions, they have nothing much to say about how, specifically, we might save money in Medicare. Their only answer is that if we privatize it, the magic of the market will produce savings. Of course, if that were true America would have the cheapest health care system in the advanced world, since ours is already more private than in any other similar country. And yet we dont ours is far and away the most expensive, and thats precisely because the market has failed.
So to sum up, this is the Republican argument on Medicare: We absolutely cant do anything in particular that would bring down the cost of Medicare, but the cost of Medicare is so outrageous that we have no choice but to privatize it.
Or, in other words, we have to destroy Medicare in order to strengthen it. This is classic Bushspeak.
All this reminds me of the 1994 Florida Governor's race, between Governor Lawton Chiles and a 41-year old Jeb Bush. After losing to Chiles, Jeb and Poppy whined about "dirty tricks" by the Chiles campaign, in making calls to Democratic voters prior to the election, to warn them that Jeb Bush wanted to dismantle Medicare. 'Not true, not true!', Jeb! sniveled.
Some of the calls labeled Bush a tax cheat and said he profited at taxpayer expense from business deals involving failed savings and loans.
Before a Tampa debate in November 1994, Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush shake hands. (Times Photo (1994) | Jim Stem)
WELL. Governor Chiles (RIP) knew Jeb Bush then. And we know him now.
A Savings and Loan Bailout, and Bush's Son Jeb, NYT, October 14, 1990
The savings institution became insolvent, and the Government paid more than $4 million to make good the loan as part of the bailout of the savings industry. Mr. Bush and his partner negotiated a settlement with regulators in which they repaid $505,000 and retained control of the building. While they still have a $7 million mortgage to pay on that property, the settlement with the Government lifted from their backs a $4.565 million second mortgage.
There is no evidence that Mr. Bush or his partner improperly influenced the settlement process. Mr. Bush, in an interview, said he was a ''victim of circumstance'' and had no involvement in the settlement talks.
Jeb Bush's dealings in Miami are not related to those of his brother Neil, who was a director of the Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan Association in Denver. Neil Bush, who is 35, defended himself last month in Denver on civil charges by the Government that he acted improperly in his role as a director of Silverado, which failed in 1988 after making questionable loans, including some to Neil Bush's business associates.
It is now 21 years after Governor Chiles pulled the curtain back on Jeb Bush, and Jeb Bush is, indeed, determined to dismantle Medicare, bulldoze Social Security (just like his brother tried and failed to do), and to keep his cronies in the money.
For the candidate who wants us to forget his last name; his brother's spectacular failure in the White House; his father's and brother's long history of nasty political campaigns; his own role in stopping the votes from being counted for Al Gore in Florida in 2000...
well, we can assure Mr. Jeb Bush that many of us have long memories.
And all of this leads to one inescapable conclusion. Barney was the smart one.