In his convention speech in Charlotte, President Obama vowed to block the Republican Medicare reform plan because “no American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.”What's also stunning is that this came from the radical leftists at National Journal. As can be seen in the highlighted portion of the quote, there is much more to this story.
But back in Washington, his Health and Human Services Department is launching a pilot program that would shift up to 2 million of the poorest and most-vulnerable seniors out of the federal Medicare program and into private health insurance plans overseen by the states.
National Journal provides additional details:
The administration has accepted applications from 18 states to participate in the program, which would give states money to purchase managed-care plans for people who are either disabled or poor enough to qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.Also reported by this story is Paul Ryan's plan:
The Medicare reform plan championed by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, would encourage more seniors to move into managed-care plans by giving them vouchers to purchase insurance.While there may be subtle, technical differences between the two approaches (Ryan's plan would provide federal vouchers directly to seniors to be used to buy a health insurance policy, the Obama HHS plan would give states the money to buy the health insurance policies), in the end the Ryan plan and the Obama regime plan want to do the same thing, have seniors taken off of Medicare and have their health insured by polices offered in the private sector. But there are two differences that aren't so subtle. Ryan's plan is entirely voluntary, while the Obama plan will be mandatory in those states whose application to participate in the pilot program is accepted and seniors would need to know to opt out of the program. The hypocrisy has to do with the other major difference: the Ryan approach would be available to any senior on Medicare; the Obama regime's plan is targeting poor seniors, those who could qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. In other words, Obama is throwing the poorest seniors under the bus, forcing them, in Obama's own words, "to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.”
Ever since Obama has been President, he's been whining like a spoiled brat about how Republicans keep blocking those policies Obama knows will save the country (even though just about all of them have failed miserably). When the Obamacare shenanigans were still going on in Congress, Obama wanted to make it look like he would listen to Republican concerns, including those mentioned by Paul Ryan, then promptly ignored them. And yet, here is the regime stealing Ryan's plan and looking to dump around 2 million seniors off of an insurance plan (Medicare) they paid into for all or most of their working lives.
There is opposition to the plan from one of the most powerful Democrats who wrote the parts of Obamacare that created the HHS agency running the pilot program, Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia:
“I urge you to take immediate steps to halt this initiative as currently structured and to take the time necessary to develop a well-designed and thoroughly evaluated care coordination model for dual eligibles that meets the standards outlined in the law,” Rockefeller wrote in a letter to HHS.What isn't said is that Democrats like Rockefeller can also predict the Romney campaign will jump all over Obama for 1) hijacking not only a Republican's idea, but the idea from the running mate of Obama's opponent, and 2) Obama and Democrats being shown as casting aside the poor, using the unpopular law Democrats slammed down the throats of all Americans.
One might want to believe Obama could have actually kept one of his promises "to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics." But that isn't a method practiced by Chicago Democrat thug politicians like Obama. As has been seen with both of his Presidential campaigns, Obama and his surrogates are out to personally destroy the opposition. And in Romney's case, as reported by others in the Democrat media, Obama personally hates his opponent and probably Paul Ryan as well since the hated Romney picked Ryan.
Romney has been extremely smart with his campaign. The irony and hypocrisy of the theft of Ryan's Medicare plan by Obama and his regime is not something the Republican will likely miss, nor making sure people know it is Obama who is abandoning the poor to something Obama hates, the private sector.
(Hat tip: Ed Morrissey)
Cross-posted at RedState.