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View Diary: Senate/House Negotiators Give Up On Grand Bargain (185 comments)

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  •  Attention all who blog here! If any of you have (31+ / 0-)

    the ears of Congressional or West Wing staffers, or even Congresspeople, ask them this:

    WHY are the cost-saving proposals with relation to Medicare solely focused on the payer side--that is the government/citizens?  Why not do a complete overhaul of price controls and regulations of the entire medical/pharmaceutical industry to bring ALL medical costs down?

    Doesn't that make more sense first?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:58:37 AM PDT

    •  Excellent point. (13+ / 0-)

      Bending the medical cost curve is essential.  

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:59:44 AM PDT

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    •  I suspect the answer you might get is (15+ / 0-)

      "There's a LOT in the ACA designed to do just that".

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:16:01 AM PDT

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    •  For starters (10+ / 0-)

      how about negotiating on prescription drugs.

      Funny how we NEVER hear about that.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:40:58 AM PDT

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    •  That's what's actually being discussed. (8+ / 0-)

      Obama's preferred changes include negotiating drug prices for Medicare, reducing ridiculous profit margins for medical device manufacturers, outcome ranking for hospitals, and like that there.  On the SS side it's fiddling with caps to bring in more money, raising base benefits for low income workers.  Chained CPI is attached to benefits received by people who are already comfortable or even wealthy.  If they lose their retirement cushion they also lose chained CPI.  The point is to save a chunk of money to improve things for those already in poverty by not automatically giving more to those who use their SS check for Mercedes payments or a pied-a-terre in Paris.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:08:09 AM PDT

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      •  links? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon, 3goldens

        for a chained CPI proposal that only applies to the benefits of the comfortable/wealthy?

        I thought both supporters and naysayers of Obama accepted that he had proposed chained CPI to apply to determining all SS inflation-related benefit increases. I'd be happy to be proved wrong.

        Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com and check out New World Orders

        by eparrot on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:31:19 AM PDT

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        •  Oh man. I spend a lot of time on the Internet (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          msdrown, kefauver

          or listening to NPR.  I couldn't begin to tell you where I read things.  I know the chained-CPI was from an interview or speech, so Obama said it didn't affect low-income retirees and that his preference was to chain CPI for people not dependent on SS for survival, and only if the base benefit were raised to keep seniors out of poverty.  The Medicare changes are from his speeches too.  He included outcome-based hospital ratings into ACA changes to Medicare and hospitals are already changing policies to tighten up re-admissions numbers and infection numbers.  The FICA cap changes came from Senate Dems doing some back room negotiating about how to deal with the budget once Republicans were forced into negotiating that instead of the endless CR's, and I've heard Obama talk about doing something there when he talks about income inequality and paying a fair share.  

          It's prolly all on the WH website.  I read transcripts of most of his speeches because I'm going to be in deep shit if SS is cut in any way.  I'm writing to various Senators whenever they support raising base benefits.  You don't want to be around me on grocery shopping days, or the week before my deposit hits the bank.  Fear is not attractive.  

          My bottom line with earned benefits is I trust the guy who strengthens the safety net every time out.  And I'm really getting pissed at the fear-mongering that goes on here.  It 's cruel to claim horrible things are happening with no data to back it up, especially after 5 years of being dead-ass wrong.  

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:06:58 AM PDT

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          •  Hmm (0+ / 0-)

            Although I vaguely remember something about Obama saying we would raise the base benefits, I haven't ever seen anything where he was as specific as you say. I think he was purposefully vague.

            I generally find myself in between the fear-mongerers and the people calling them fear-mongerers. IMO Obama blew both the healthcare debate and the stimulus by pre-emptively starting with what his supposed final position was. Now, maybe with the stimulus, he actually believed Larry Summers and didn't think the stimulus should be bigger, but with Obamacare, the whole debate happened far right of where it needed to. I'm convinced we would have a public option if he hadn't. I think he did poorly tactically in the last debt ceiling fight as well.

            However, I would agree that in addition to the unnecessary shrillness, the fear-mongerers sound as if more were possible than actually was.  Plus, it seems like Obama has learned from those mistakes I mentioned.

            It's possible to make impassioned defenses for strengthening social security, including not supporting any sorts of cuts, without having to call Obama --insert your expletive here--. That's the approach I prefer to take.

            Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com and check out New World Orders

            by eparrot on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 02:03:55 PM PDT

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            •  I think we'd have a Public Option (0+ / 0-)

              if the Supreme Court hadn't allowed states to bail out of the Medicaid expansion .  In typical Obama fashion he chose not to fight the propagandists head-on, just create the same thing with a different name.  He spoke about that numerous times, no one listened.  

              It's odd to me that Progressives, people who ought to be the savvy ones, miss so much of what he's saying and doing.  If he was being Bush-macho he'd be believable I guess, even though we mocked Bush's brashness.  

              His intimations that he's "concerned" about entitlement spending have emboldened the Republicans enough to actually say out loud and in writing that SS and Medicare should be privatized, or even ended altogether.  That's pretty sneaky given that Bush was utterly rejected a mere 8 years ago for trying that shit.  He suckers them into doing what he wants people to see them doing, and we wail and gnash our teeth instead of laughing at them.  

              If Obama wanted the safety net gutted he's had several opportunities to do it, most recently this month.  The fact that he hasn't harmed SS and has greatly enhanced Medicare should be a clue.  The Medicaid expansion should be a giant wakeup call.  Why it isn't baffles me.  It seems to me that there's a faction of Progressives who revel in potential betrayal and victimization and they get way too much attention.  What counts isn't some diarist's interpretation of his left eyebrow's twist when he uses the word entitlements, what counts is what he's actually done: strengthened the entire safety net more than anyone since FDR.  

              I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

              by I love OCD on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 10:26:40 AM PDT

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        •  The only exception to that were means tested (0+ / 0-)

          benefits.  That means SSI would not use the chained CPI, however SSDI would.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:36:19 AM PDT

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      •  That's not quite true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens

        CCPI goes directly at the meager savings of the middle class.  Only the very poorest of all get a benefit adjustment and they didn't even think of that until they got so much push back on the draconian impacts of CCPI as the elderly grow very old.  

        CCPI is NOT directed at the wealthy or even the upper middle class.  

        It takes from the middle of the middle class and redistributes their benefits to the poor WITHOUT even raising the cap for those who are wealthy.  

        This is what makes me so furious.  You have fat cats like Mark Warner (sorry I keep picking on him but he is such a pompous plutocrat I can't help myself) who play Robin Hood not by taking from the wealthy but by taking from the just getting by if I am frugal middle middle, the very people who did work all their lives and did save small amounts and need every penny to live a DIGNIFED retirement - you take from them, you make them poor in order to help someone poorer than they are.  

        This is the kind of strategy that builds the Tea Party because people do figure it out and if they don't the Tea Party will explain what you just did -- you cut their hard earned benefit that they totally earned and deserved in order to give it to someone else.

    •  They refuse to allow Medicaid to negotiate (4+ / 0-)

      prices for prescription drugs.  It's a part of the budget that holds huge cost savings, yet they never, ever discuss it.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:58:02 AM PDT

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