A very important article at WSWS is Kate Randall's "The Democratic Party and the assault on Medicare:"
A bipartisan proposal presented last week would replace the traditional Medicare program for seniors and the disabled with a fixed federal contribution toward the cost of coverage for each beneficiary. The plan is the latest effort to open up to privatization and destruction the most significant social program enacted in the United States after World War II.
Under the plan presented by Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, and Representative Paul Ryan, Republican from Wisconsin, Medicare recipients would be given a set amount of “premium support” to be used to purchase insurance from private companies on a federally regulated Medicare “exchange,” where traditional Medicare would also be available as an option. The plan would cap spending increases at the growth of the economy plus one percentage point and would require Congress to find ways to slash costs if this were exceeded.
The Obama administration has distanced itself from the Wyden-Ryan proposal, wary of alienating voters in the upcoming 2012 election. Tens of millions of American rely on the Medicare program, and moves towards privatizing it are broadly unpopular. However, the proposal is entirely in line with the administration’s own attack on health care.
A proposal put forward by Representative Ryan last April, which would have phased out Medicare entirely and replaced it with vouchers to purchase private insurance, was opposed at the time by congressional Democrats. But “premium support” and other proposals aimed at dismantling the Medicare program are now gaining the support of significant sections of the Democratic Party.
An article last month in the New York Times, mouthpiece of the Democratic Party liberal establishment, noted that while “most Democrats have been fiercely opposed to privatizing Medicare,” due to “concerns about the rising deficit and the long-term sustainability of Medicare, some centrist Democrats are backing the premium support idea.”
That stupid little Ani DiFranco is out whoring for Barack, by the way. My husband is tossing all of her CDs. We ignored it in 2008. But we're not ignoring it now. She's a dirty whore. We don't support War Hawks or their whores.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Tuesday: