To say that many disagree with respect to the merits of Medicare would be an enormous understatement. Domestically, the issue of Medicare is without a doubt a top three point of interest, and the political rhetoric of the day certainly bears that out. The Senate rejected a plan–passed by the House–to overhaul Medicare, largely on the backs of Democrats, naturally, but also with the help of some Republicans like Scott Brown, Lisa Murkowski, Rand Paul, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins who realized the backlash that would come from senior citizens if Medicare were to be significantly slashed. This comes as no surprised, as the plan, proposed by Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, would eliminate direct federal assistance of senior assistance starting in 2022. Whereas some Republicans called Ryan’s proposal “courageous” in its general philosophy of limiting exorbitant spending practices at the federal level.
Naturally, Democrats reacted otherwise. In fairly blunt terms, the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that: “The Republican plan would kill Medicare.” To further demonstrate the divisiveness of the issue, the victory of a Democrat in a special election for a New York House seat this Tuesday was a microcosm of the issue as a whole: the seat was owned by the GOP for years, and the election largely revolved around the issue of Medicare. The list of disagreements about Medicare amongst Republicans and Democrats goes on and on.
What both parties can agree on is that Obama’s 2012 budget needs some retooling. In fact, the Senate voted unanimously against it in a 97-0 vote in a rare display of unity across party lines. Either way, this issue is far from over, and if the Republicans want to push their reforms through, they’ll have to convince senior citizens that their plans won’t eliminate their access to health care while also providing cuts that Americans need (but do not always want).
Contains information from CNN.