Bunions Might Not Be Covered

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Congress has yet to settle its first budget fight of the year but is already about to move on to an even more consequential fiscal clash.

Even as the two parties struggled over the weekend to reach a deal on federal spending for the next six months and avert a government shutdown at the end of the week, House Republicans were completing a budget proposal for next year and beyond. It is likely to spur an ideological showdown over the size of government and the role of entitlement programs like Medicaid and Medicare.

The plan, which is scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday, will be the most ambitious Republican effort since the November elections to put a conservative stamp on economic and domestic policy.

paulbunyan-1Original comic book cover

The longer-term budget proposal has been led by Representative Paul D. Ryan [chairman of the Budget Committee], a Wisconsin Republican who is the party’s leading voice on budget matters, and will go beyond numbers to provide policy prescriptions.

It will call for deep spending cuts again in 2012, chart a path to reducing the deficit and slowing the growth of the accumulating national debt, and grapple with the politically volatile issue of reining in the cost of entitlement programs, starting with Medicaid, which provides health coverage for the poor.


The efforts of Mr. Ryan, backed by [John] Boehner and other Republican leaders, are certain to meet serious resistance from the Democratic-led Senate and from [President] Obama.


House Democrats, who are preparing an alternative budget, say the Republican approach would cut off aid to some of the neediest Americans and shortchange education programs vital to staying economically competitive.

“It seems to be the same old, same old,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the Budget Committee. “It is going to be continued big tax breaks for millionaires and big corporate special interests like oil companies and deep cuts in education for kids and health care for seniors.”


Republicans have been urging Mr. Obama to seize the opportunity provided by a divided government and lead a legislative push to rein in spending on programs like Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Emboldened by their election wins and a sense that the public is ready for a new approach, House Republicans say they will push forward on their own and try to draw the president and Senate Democrats into a broader discussion about long-term deficit reduction and the soaring costs of the entitlement programs.


“You are going to see major reforms in Medicare and Medicaid; you are going to see a change in the deficit trajectory that is pretty dramatic,” said Representative Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican who is on the Budget Committee.

“Ryan isn’t touching the third rail,” Mr. Cole said, employing the expression used to suggest that messing with Social Security and Medicare can be politically fatal. “He is wrapping both hands around it.”


Any deal for the current fiscal year is likely to fall short of what the Tea Party movement and some other fiscal conservatives are demanding, but Republican leaders are already signaling that the big prize is a deep spending cut for next year and a start on reining in the entitlement programs — steps that could involve trillions of dollars over coming decades, as opposed to the tens of billions of dollars on the table in the budget battle for this year.

While Mr. Ryan and top Republican aides would not discuss specifics, there are strong indications that the proposal will draw on deficit reduction plans that Mr. Ryan laid out in his 2010 “roadmap plan” and a second proposal he wrote with Alice M. Rivlin, a director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton administration.

In that plan, Ms. Rivlin and Mr. Ryan proposed that Medicaid financing be converted into a block grant program, with states given a set allotment of money and new discretion to shape health coverage programs for the poor. Their Medicare proposal would allow those nearing eligibility to remain with the current system, and it would create a program that would provide payments to Medicare enrollees to buy private health insurance.


Democrats said they intended to draw sharp distinctions between their approach and that of Republicans.

“The idea of block-granting and flexibility kind of sounds good, but it is actually code for cutting,” said Representative John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat on the Budget Committee. “It is a license to cut.”


Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Congress, Democrats, humor, John Boehner, Medicaid, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

22 responses to “Bunions Might Not Be Covered

  1. jeb

    Bondher, John Bondher. License to cut!

  2. jean-philippe

    Interesting. Rather than the Scott Walker’s way of waiting to get elected to put their secret evil agenda in action, they announce it and hope to get elected for it…

  3. They aren’t happy unless they’re fucking things up.

  4. Bastards- wielding the budget axe @ medicare & medicaid.
    $600 million spent in 6 days in military ops in LIbya.

    We sure seem to have money when it comes to guns n all things military.

  5. Blue Elephants? I thought weirdly colored elephants were supposed to be pink!

    • i fretted over the color of the elephant. i was going to make him red, as in red states. however, i decided in the end not to stray too far from the original and made him blue just like babe the blue ox. at least bronzo the clown is the correct color. 😉

  6. Serfs up! We all anxiously await the new release from the Screech Boys “Cuttin’ USA” album to add to our record collection with “Bad Vibrations”-“Endless Bummer”-and highly anticipate the release soon of the much talked about “Proletatian Sounds”. Paul Ryan knocks ’em out with his rendition of Little HMO and the lively Cut-Cut-Cut while getting down and mellow with The Lonely Loophole and Warmth of the Tax Rebate. Special appearance of Ronnie and the TaxShelter People doing their hit song In My Moneybin. Watch for concert dates nationwide! A Teabagger West Production.

  7. Earlier this morning I saw a graphic editorial about putting everything on the table versus cutting the table.

  8. Cue the oxymoron fairy, replete with such pearls to demonstrate for us as ‘conservative wisdom’, ‘Republican respect for law’, and ‘Right-wing competence’.


  9. So they want to take Medicare and give all the funds to the insurers and then expect them to pay those funds out to the elderly? HA yea right, they’re going to give all this money to the insurers and then because there’s no oversight those companies will just deny every claim = PROFIT.

    • it appears that the rethugs think the insurance companies aren’t making enough money now. they should have all of it. the good thing is that the insurance companies won’t have to deny every claim, because they’ll refuse to insure any sick people in the first place.