It’s All About the Dough

From The Seattle Times:

Seniors and people with disabilities would pay much more for health care under a new Republican plan aimed at curbing the nation’s growing debt, a Congressional Budget Office analysis shows.

For example, by 2030, typical 65-year-olds would pay 68 percent of the cost of premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs, according to the CBO. They would pay 25 percent under the current Medicare system, the CBO said.

The GOP budget proposal, introduced Tuesday by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, also would raise the eligibility age for subsidized health care and repeal big chunks of the health-care law that Congress approved last year.

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Besides eventually eliminating traditional Medicare, the 10-year budget proposal would transform Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor. Ryan would give states block grants and end federal rules specifying who receives what benefits, leaving those determinations to the states. The plan would cut the amount that states receive by hundreds of billions of dollars over a decade.

Americans also wouldn’t be required to buy health insurance, and employers wouldn’t have to offer it. States wouldn’t be on the hook to set up insurance marketplaces as they are under the 2010 health-care law, which Ryan would scrap.

The proposed changes have drawn criticism from Democrats and advocates for the elderly and the poor. Many zeroed in on the impact on Medicare.

Under the Ryan proposal, the program would remain largely unchanged for people now 55 and older, but beneficiaries would be shifted into private insurance plans in 2022 with federal subsidies under a model called “premium support.”

Those future enrollees would receive a set amount from the government to buy private plans.


Ryan’s proposal, dubbed “The Path to Prosperity,” also would scrap the health-care law’s Medicaid expansion, repeal a voluntary long-term-care insurance program and cancel an advisory board that the law created to recommend changes to Medicare spending.

Ryan appears to retain the health law’s Medicare payment cuts to hospitals and Medicare Advantage plans.

Chip Kahn, president and chief executive officer of the Federation of American Hospitals, which represents for-profit hospital and health-care systems, said Ryan’s plan to repeal the law’s coverage expansions but keep provider cuts “will severely impact access to essential medical care for seniors, as well as the lowest-income Americans.”

Republicans campaigned last year by criticizing Democrats for the Medicare provider cuts, saying they would jeopardize seniors’ access to care.


The CBO highlighted key features of Ryan’s proposal, based on its analysis and information from the congressman’s staff, including:

• Starting in 2022, the eligibility age for government-subsidized health care would increase by two months a year until it hit 67 in 2033.

• The “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription-drug benefit — a period in which beneficiaries pay 100 percent of drug costs — would continue under the Ryan plan. The health law passed last year calls for the coverage gap to end by 2020.


The CBO report said the average government payment for a 65-year-old in 2022 would be $8,000. In each successive year, it would increase to reflect inflation and the enrollee’s age. Patients’ share would increase sharply, because health-care costs are expected to continue to increase faster than the inflation rate.

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69 responses to “It’s All About the Dough

  1. whatever you do, kids, don’t ask for sprinkles!! 😯 you never know what you’ll be sprinkled with, but chances are, it’ll be wet and yellow.

  2. “The Path to Prosperity.”

    The name makes me sick.

    Make no mistake, it’s not a path for everyone … but it protects the haves from having to bother with the have-nots.

    • (asking for you to forgive my language in advance, wken)

      the rethugs always hand us a shit sandwich, call it a blt, and think that we won’t notice that we didn’t get what we ordered.

      the path to prosperity will be walked only by those who are already prosperous. for the rest of us, it’s the path to poverty.

      • By the way … PLU # 666?

        That’s brilliant. I missed it the first time around. The whole disclaimer is brilliant, but that 666 is excellent.

        And, yes, there’s something wrong with Republican tuna salad. No question about that.

      • You know, I just remembered the first time that I heard the phrase “shit sandwich.” I was working at Staples as a copy center lead, and we had a staff meeting for the front end (service desk, cashiers, copy center, cash office). The subject came up about one particular customer, who came in roughly twice each week and stood at a register while he made someone else go shop for him. Not disabled, mind you, just rich. If anyone said that we couldn’t spare people to do that, but we’d be happy to help him find things, he would claim to know Tom Stemberg (Staples’ CEO) and be a real important guy that we should help.

        I once suggested that he take a catalog and order from the convenience of his office … which didn’t go over well.

        Anyway, the discussion wandered and the store manager finally said, “Look, it’s a shit sandwich, but we have no choice but to eat it.”

        I swore even less then than I do now … and I bust out laughing. I couldn’t stop. Here I was, part of the leadership for the meeting, with an uncontrollable laugh attack. I just found the phrase so hilarious and out of the blue. I finally had to walk away to recover.

        So, I think it’s really fitting that you use it in reference to giving the rich and connected more privileges over those of us in the servant class.

        • wken, you said shit! 😯 that’s the first time i ever heard you curse, and i feel like i pushed you into it. i’m hanging my head in shame.

          • No, you didn’t push me … although I did ponder whether to post that story, and considered censoring myself.

            Then I decided that we were all grown-ups and could stand if I used the word.

            I wasn’t really swearing, just quoting, right?

            • i’m glad you told the story. i enjoyed reading it. and, yes, you are correct, you were just quoting me and your ex-manager. that’s the story we’ll go with.

            • I got a good one for you Wken. The Postmistress at the little post office in the shopping center I worked in told me this tale: She was working years earlier at the big Sanger-Harris store at Six Flags Mall in Arlington, Texas. Store security had apprehended an older woman who had been shoplifting. On further investigation, she turns out to be none other than the wife of Trammel Crow, one of the biggest developers and richest people in Dallas. And here’s the kicker: she is released and the matter settled with the caveat that in the future the store just keep a running tab on the items she comes in to steal once a week and send the old man the bill for the goods! America, what a country.

  3. No, no, Nonnie – it’ll be rainbows, and starbursts, and unicorns


    • i saw that yesterday, darkblack (i visit you all the time, because i think you’re amazing!), and all i could think of is that i wanted to attach that clamp to a car battery.

  4. jean-philippe

    Here’s the latest poll showing what elders think of Republicans:

    • i don’t know what it is about a controlled implosion, but i can never look away. that only goes for buildings though, not people’s lives.

  5. Snoring Dog Studio

    And they refuse to allow assisted suicide, which is where I’m heading when I enter my 60’s – cuz who wants to be around to see the hell hole left for us by the Republicans?

    • sds! 😀 i was just over at your place!

      don’t let these shitheads get you down, hon. they piss me off, but i’ll stay angry, not depressed. if i get depressed, they’ve won, and i won’t let them win.

      p.s. i can deal with hell holes. donut holes, not so much. 😉

      • Snoring Dog Studio

        Oh, they got me this week, nonnie. I’ve been angry, depressed, outraged and disgusted. It built throughout the entire legislative session in my state. And then the legislators finally snuck out of town, patting themselves on the back for the destruction they left in their wake. They had a party before they left even. Gawd, what a miserable bunch of politicians they are.

        • i’m sorry, sds. i know that it’s totally frustrating. i live in floriduhhh, and i can’t believe how bad things have gotten here. it’s like the state is one huge teabag steeping in the atlantic and gulf of mexico.

  6. John Erickson

    It really depresses me to think that I’ll be impacted by this ’cause I’ll be there in less than 7 years. Scary.
    I think I have to work on my Canadian and British buddies, see if I can get adopted. I keep trying to convince them I’m a veteran, but for some silly reason, they don’t count World War 2 re-enactors….

    • i know what you mean. i thought i had my retirement all worked out. i was going to move to a nice ice floe and wave wistfully as i slowly drifted out to sea. however, because of global warming, ice floes are few and far between, so i have to come up with a whole new plan. 😡

      • John Erickson

        See, this is something I don’t understand. If the ice is disappearing, why don’t we make more? We can just set up big refrigeration units, freeze up large chunks of ice in bays and harbours, then tow them out to sea. They’d cool the ocean really nicely! And they could double as atmospheric air conditioners, doing away with global warming! 😀
        (I have actually had to explain to some people why a huge A/C unit would NOT cure global warming. At least not until we build that space elevator to release the heat into space. Some people are just totally clueless!)

  7. The path to prosperity. Only for the Koch Brothers.

    • hello don in mass,

      welcome to the raisin! 😀

      you are correct. this is just another way to funnel all the money to the richest of the rich. i wish someone would ask eddie munst…i mean, paul ryan exactly what sacrifices the rich are making and not let him bullshit his way out of answering.

  8. jeb

    It’s a “Path to Prosperity” for big insurance. I’ll just tell my kids to park me in a corner and throw me some bread and water so I’m not too much of a nuisance.

    • be fair, jeb. it’s not just a path to prosperity for big insurance. i’m sure eddie munst…i mean, paul ryan will be richly rewarded for his efforts.

  9. Path to Prosperity makes me think..whose prosperity? Not the old people they’re praying will die before they have to use any of their crappy benefits.

    “You’ll expire sooner than you have to” cracked me up, but it’s one of those “ooooh I shouldn’t be laughing” kinds

  10. It’s amazing that Republicans get away with forgetting they destroyed the economy and pretend like the stimulus money pumped into the economy was a huge waste.

    Crisis postponed.

    • they act like they have short-term memory loss, or rather, that we do. batshit bachmann tweeted that they should allow the bill to pass tonight, and then she goes on faux news and squawks that they should have fought the bill tooth and nail. they’re very lucky that their base is made up of imbeciles who know nothing, like knowing nothing, and like politicians who appear to know as little as they do.

  11. Ha! You had waaaay too much fun with the donut ad.
    Love the closing line.

    You’ll expire sooner than you have to.

  12. What is one to do? On the Maher interview tonight, Sully talked about his 40% pay cut as a captian (#2 got a 60% reduction) and the airline screwed them all out of their pension. And those are high qualification professional jobs. You can’t count on anything anymore. But I’m not going to lose a minute of sleep over it. When things get intolerable, I’m going to load my backpack, grab my rockhammer and small spade, shoulder that hunting rifle uncle Raymond left me, walk down to the end of the driveway and cross the road into the treeline and hills and start walking west into the Sierra. I’ll find or make a cave to live in and hunt for gold nuggets in the streams and washes. Once a month, go into town and see if the world has ended yet (as we know it) If not, sell the gold, get supplies and hike back. When the end seems near, I’m going to the mountaintop to wait for my soul to be released and go see Jesus. I’ll leave the carcas and just let it turn into bearshit.

    • i missed bill maher last night, because i was watching the budget drama on msnbc. i meant to watch the replay at 2:00, but i was rewatching something else, and i completely forgot about real time. i didn’t know sully was on. i wonder if he’ll run for office one day.

      can the raisinettes join you in the cave? we can have our very own little commune! 🙂

      • Out here at the Raisin Ranch we always leave the box open. And all the land that ain’t hills or cowland is vineyards, very raisiny in late summer. The only catch is you have to dress up like the peasant girl on the raisin box. Guys will be required to do the 60s musician look. Come one, come all. There IS gold in them thar hills!

        • John Erickson

          One problem, Tex. I can’t do the long-hair look. The only long hair I have is …. well, let’s just say I’m bald (50% nature, 50% choice) and leave it at that. I DO play guitar and keyboards, and I’d be happy to be your phone company, since I have about a dozen WW2 field phones and the switchboard and pedal generator to go with them. Any room for a REALLY bad Telly Savalas impression? 😀

          • that’s why they make bandannas, john! 😉

          • John Erickson

            Oh Lawdie, no way! I got enough people that think I’m some kinda cancer survivor, what with my bum hip and bald head. Then again, most think I’m some disabled First Gulf War vet, one step short of going postal! (The US Army desert camo hat I got from a recruiter helps.) I suppose I could try the Gallagher look – a beret with its’ own hair. I wonder if I could get some hair from my buddy BlackJack the goat…… 😀

            • the bandanna will be fine, john, as long as you wear it with some kick-ass sunglasses and an appropriate raisin t-shirt. 🙂

            • John Erickson

              Well….I’d rather stick with my desert camo bush-hat. Either that, or my German camo ballcap-style hat. That’d work well with the mid-calf black boots and my black axe (electric guitar). I have a black leather jacket and black jeans that would complete the look – NOT GOTH! 😀 White T-shirt, definitely. I could probably find my handcuffs and chains, too – they go great with the chainmail gloves! (Yes, you now have my permission to be shocked, bewildered, or disgusted – your choice! 😉 )

              • the desert camo bush-hat would be good in the california desert, but i’d have to see pictures of the rest.

              • John Erickson

                About the closest I can come to that is, picture Homer Simpson as a Harley-style biker. Add glasses, drop a little of the mid-section pooch. 😉 I actually wore the whole set-up (sans the hat) to work for Halloween one year – and everybody had trouble figuring out what I was! Sigh. That’s why I love the Net – I’m no longer the strangest guy in the room! 😀 (Or maybe it was just the white-bread staff I always ended up with….)

                • home simpson? oh my, do you have jaundice, or are you related to bronzo the clown boehner?

                • John Erickson

                  Your TV shows COLOURS? What witchcraft is this? I must find one of these TVs with this strange thing you call …. Colour! :p
                  No, I’m not yellow. I have been grey, brown, dark blue, light blue, black, silver, …. it depends on the colour of the car I’m spray-painting. My skin? More of a pale white – think old NYC man in Florida on the first day. Yep, it IS that horrific! 😉

        • i can totally rock the raisin girl outfit. it will be nice and cool under the california sun.

          • I can just imagine you all gussied up in your outfit and walking into the room, Bette Davis style, of course. Have actually considered sponsering a Raisin Retreat out here at the ranch. You think anyone would be interesed?

            • i’ll have to start smoking again for the sake of high drama. a raisin retreat would be lovely. maybe we can pull it off one of these days.

            • John Erickson

              So where is this mystical (or mythical, whichever fits) Raisin Retreat? And what century? (Just wondering if I need the survival gear, cordless tools, or stone axes.) 😉

              • Deep in gold rush country, right where Twain wrote about frog jumping. An hour drive from Yosemite NP. If we ever pull it off, you could outfit us in a commando platoon, go up in the Sierra, and pull a “gold raid” on one of those Mexican plantations up there. They are all over the place, they say. Bring a bunch of extra duffel bags and we would never have to work again! Just think of the made-for-TV movie.

              • John Erickson

                Dude, it is a DATE! Trust me, I can bring enough carrying gear for a squad of 8-10, I got blades for at least a dozen, and (if need be) a half dozen firearms. I have hand-powered tools galore, I already mentioned the commo gear, I’ve got DOZENS of barn lanterns, several 12-volt packs, and various other miscellany. I can wire you for phones and power, help you with the water system, and build just about anything you need from wood. Find me a nice cave to set up temporary shop, I’ll even see if I can find my set of plans for a still. For … um … power generation fuel, of course. 😉
                And I’ll happily run any and all “gold” raids, right down to gear and training. All I’ll ask is a “cut off the top”. 😀

  13. I was on the path to prosperity, once. But the Govnernutz of Wixonson privatized it. I did find a different path, though,… it lead to peace, tranquility and a cold six pack. Wish there would have been some cheese, too.

    • and crackers! or maybe some apples. cheese with apples is delish!

      p.s. i fixed your link in this comment. click on your name, and you’ll see that it goes to your site, as opposed to the last one, which i didn’t fix so you could see what i’m talking about.