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Hullabaloo


Monday, November 21, 2016

 

Granny's headed for the cliff again

by Tom Sullivan

There are a lot of fights ahead. Josh Marshall lays out just why the fight to save (and expand) Medicare may be the key to all our futures:

There are numerous fronts where Democrats will need to resist Trump and the Republican Congress. But to be really effective anywhere they will need to chalk up wins somewhere because all political power is unitary. A president can't suffer a deflating defeat in one area without it eroding his power in others. Victories operate in the same way. Power gained or lost in one sphere translates into every other.

Stopping Republicans on Medicare Phaseout will reduce their ability to push their damaging agenda on other fronts.

The final point should be the most obvious. Donald Trump won the presidency promising to defend the economic interests of ordinary people from the 'crooked' elite on Wall Street and in Washington. Whether or not he believes or believed that he has rapidly allied himself with the Paul Ryan privatizers who want to eviscerate the federal programs which are the bedrock of the American middle class. Social Security and Medicare are at the top of that list. If you look at the faces in the crowds at Trump's most poisonous speeches I guarantee that you that very few of those people thought they were voting to lose their Medicare.

Getting rid of or gutting Medicare is incredibly unpopular. It can only be accomplished by a mixture of bamboozlement, scare tactics and unified party government which will allow the GOP to push the change through regardless of public opinion. Saving Medicare or giving everything in the effort to do so is a tailor-made way for Democrats to cut across the Trump-Clinton divide and undermine the idea that Trump or the GOP have the interests of the middle class or really anyone but libertarians and the extremely wealthy at heart.
Medicare saved my parents' home and life savings when my mother fell ill and needed emergency surgery and many weeks in the hospital. Randian Rep. Paul Ryan would have left them to the tender mercies of insurance actuaries. Like a healthcare Terminator, he's back.

This country just voted for a presidential version of Brexit. The harsh reality of that will sink in as soon as Ryan dismantles Medicare and replaces it with subsidized private insurance, and he aims to do it as soon as Trump takes over and before any opposition can build.

Trump voters better wise up. They don't know it yet, but granny is THEM.