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Welcome news that PBO told Labor and leaders of progressive groups that social security was off the table which I diaried about earlier today.

'The Raiders of Your Lost Retirement' #4: Labor Leaders Say Assured By PBO, Still Taking Action
brooklynbadboy  had a good diary up today as well in which he said that SS should be kept off the table but that we might as well get ready for cuts to Medicare because we had re-elected a President who was surely going to do some cutting, doctors are rich, might as well go for the providers since they are mostly providers. (My apologies in advance if I got this wrong bbb.)
Take Social Security off the table+*

by brooklynbadboy

Although I agreed with him about SS I think his willingness to let docs and other providers take cuts is misguided.

Now its clear to most that Medicare fraud detection and prevention should get more attention, but as far as I can tell many are already having trouble finding providers who take Medicare.  Saddle it with more cuts, and you have  de facto cut benefits to seniors when they need them the most.

Kaiser Health News just came out with this piece on what is possibly being proposed as far as Medicare cuts, and to me it throws up a big red flag re increasing costs to Seniors.

35 minutes ago....

Avoiding The 'Fiscal Cliff' Likely Means Changes In Medicare

"Definitely the term 'entitlement reform,' as I always say, rolls off the tongue so easily," said G. William Hoagland, senior vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee and a top budget aide to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. "It's hard to get any savings in [Medicare and Medicaid] unless we’re talking about areduction in benefits or a reduction in reimbursement rates."

"When you get beyond the rhetoric, it’s going to be very difficult," he said.

Lawmakers are wrestling with finding a balance between asking beneficiaries to pay more for Medicare services and reducing payments to Medicare providers, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Those providers, who are already expecting their Medicare payments to grow at a slower rate over the next decade as part of the 2010 health law, likely would fight additional cuts.  And beneficiaries, many who are on fixed incomes, will not want to pay more for Medicare services.

Either decision could have sweeping effects on the program. "You don’t just get to turn a dial and have it not resonate, We need to think about our risk pool, we need to think about how the program works," said a Democratic staffer on the Senate Finance Committee.

Experts maintain that changes in entitlements are bound to be part of any "grand bargain" to reduce the deficit. "It is hard to imagine a deal without Medicare savings," said Tricia Neuman, director of the Kaiser Family Foundation's Program on Medicare Policy (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

Senator Bernie Sanders has been arguing for months against any 'grand bargain' balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and seniors.

No Grand Bargain

 We don't need to do Grand Bargain at all. Check out this  article hosted on Bernie Sanders website :

Hey, Obama, Hands Off Their Medicare
Source: Common Dreams

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By Robert Kuttner

November 9, 2012

For once, the markets are right. But the news from Europe entirely contradicts conventional assumptions about the fiscal cliff.

Greece, which has dutifully cut its budget as demanded by the leaders of the European Union and the European Central bank, is deeper in depression than ever. The latest reports show its economy has shrunk by more than 20 percent over four years, and that the more that it cuts its deficit, the more its national debt grows.

How can that be? Budget cutting in a depression just deepens the depression. The deeper the depression, the less revenue the government takes in.

So if the United States does not want to "become like Greece," cutting the deficit in a still-depressed economy is the wrong way to go.

Lets do whatever it takes to say no to Social Security OR Medicare OR Medicaid being on the table.


Originally posted to divineorder on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:58 PM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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