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View Diary: Conrad Working to Cut Social Security/Medicare and Could End up Torpedoing HCR (327 comments)

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  •  Actually, independent commission could be good. (0+ / 0-)

    Depends on how much authority it's given.

    If it's ONLY authorized to consider entitlements, then of course it's a bad idea. But if it's given authority to consider all federal spending (or even all non-defense federal spending) and all tax rates, then it might be an improvement.

    Consider the military base closing commission -- it works pretty well. Consider the Federal Reserve -- remember (some of you are too young) Reagan pounding on Paul Volcker to lower interest rates, and Volcker totally ignoring him? That was great. (Paul Volcker, The Man Who Killed Stagflation -- Carter appointee.) And it was possible because of the Federal Reserve's independence.

    Any independent expert will see that Social Security will be just fine with only some modest tweaks -- no need for major reform. The bigger danger to Social Security is a fake crisis trumped up for ideological reasons.

    Any independent expert will see that welfare and Food Stamps are just drops in the bucket, and that the key to fixing the deficit lies elsewhere.

    Medicare and Medicaid are, in truth, the biggest non-defense threat to our future solvency. Maybe HCR will impose enough cost controls, but I doubt it. It would be a real improvement if M'are and M'aid only paid for treatments that are shown, in solid studies, to be better than the alternatives. I can see that coming out of an independent commission -- if it's granted the authority.

    The scope of the commission's authority is the key issue.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 02:22:18 PM PST

    •  It's only a good idea if it addresses Medicare (0+ / 0-)

      Think about why there is no public option set to Medicare +5%.  Doctors make more money based on negoiated rates AND to do it the bill had to cost an extra $80 billion.

      That sheer lack of political will to spend more and save less because of political pressure from hospitals, doctors, and the insurance industry demonstrates that
      Congress does not have the political will to make the necessary changes in Medicare spending to really put it back on a path of solvency.  

      BRAC is a good example of how a commission on medicare would be a good long term AND it would cement the Democratic Party's credentials on fiscal matters.

    •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

      Taxes and social benefits are very much political issues. They shouldn't be decided by people who are not accountable to the voters.

      "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

      by denise b on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 08:36:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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