Melting Steele's Health Care Claims

The RNC chairman gets hit as a Big Government Republican, liar, and hypocrite after he pushes for a "Senior's Health Care Bill of Rights"

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Sell-out, liar, and flip-flopper. Those are some of the ways that the chairman of the Republican National Committee is being described after he wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post today promoting a "Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights." Michael Steele said the bill has five points: no cuts to Medicare; no government rules between patients and doctors; no age-based rationing of medical services; no government dictates on end-of-life care; preserving government-provided care for senior military veterans.

  • Big Government Defender  Cato @ Liberty's Chris Edwards blasted Steele from the right, noting that he leads a conservative party that should want to cut government spending yet Steele is advocating a hands-off approach to half-trillion-dollar program.
Fiscal conservatives, who have come out in droves to tea party protests and health care meetings this year, are angry at both parties for the government’s massive spending and debt binge in recent years. Mr. Steele has now informed these folks loud and clear that the Republican Party is not interested in restraining government; it is not interested in cutting the program that creates the single biggest threat to taxpayers in coming years. For apparently crass political reasons, Steele defends “our seniors,” but at the expense of massive tax hikes on “our children” if entitlement programs are not cut.
  • Liar  Time's Joe Klein hit Steele for saying President Obama has a plan for a government-run care system even though Obama hasn't issued a plan of his own. "What makes Steele's column especially hilarious is that it's about health care for senior citizens...but it never mentions that Medicare is 'a government-run health-care system.' " Klein goes on to knock the Post's editors for not fact-checking the article and says Obama has been dishonest to say Medicare can continue without "drastic reform."
  • Hypocrite  Politico's Ben Smith published an excerpt of an interview Steele had on "Meet The Press" as a 2006 Senate candidate where he said "everything has to be on the table" when it comes to cutting entitlements, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.