That's what Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will say of President Obama's health care reform initiative in tomorrow's Republican radio address: that's its basically the worst of two worlds, in which Democrats spend a trillion dollars to expand government involvement in health care, while at the same time cutting Medicare:
Especially at a time when spending and debt are multiplying with such alarming speed, like an almost $2 trillion national deficit this year alone, $200 billion in state deficits, a Medicare program on the edge of bankruptcy and a national debt that will triple within the next decade...
Medicare offers an important lesson. With $38 trillion in future costs, it is facing bankruptcy within the next decade, threatening access to care for millions of Americans. So what is the Democratic approach to fix Medicare for our seniors? Hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts which will be used to expand a financially-strapped Medicaid program and create another government-run plan.
It's a message that's geared heavily toward seniors (who are probably more likely to be listening to the Saturday radio address). Since there's no final plan, it's hard to say whether any of this is true or not. Obama has said that the goal for Medicare will be to reduce unnecessary costs in Medicare, lowering Medicare's pricetag while maintaining the same services and coverage.
"Nobody is talking about trying to change Medicare benefits," Obama said on a town hall teleconference organized by AARP in late July. "What we want to do is to eliminate some of the waste that is being paid for out of the Medicare trust fund."
Well, that's what Republicans are talking about. Without a fully reified plan, the health care debate has come to a stalemate of talking points. Tomorrow, Hatch's will pose reform to seniors as a move to take away Medicare services to fund a government-run insurance plan that will drive the country deeper into debt.