Posted by: coastcontact | April 6, 2014

Republican Party Stands Opposed to Social Welfare

Social Welfare is the various social services provided by a state for the benefit of its citizens.

In the United States the range of services includes Social Security (a program that guarantees a stipend to all senior citizens), Medicare (a program that provides health care to all senior citizens), minimal support for those unable to earn a living (usually referred to as welfare), and unemployment benefits (for those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own). Those are the primary programs that American residents are entitled to when there is a need.

In every instance those programs have been opposed by the G.O.P. In every instance those programs were instituted when a Democrat held the office of President of the United States.

The current chairman of the House Budget Committee, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan has sustained the Republican view on social welfare programs with the following words copied from his web site.

The current Medicare program attempts to do two things to make sure that all seniors have secure, affordable health insurance that works. First, recognizing that seniors need extra protection when it comes to health coverage, it pools risk among all seniors to ensure that they enjoy secure access to care.

Second, Medicare subsidizes coverage for seniors to ensure that coverage is affordable. Affordability is a critical goal, but the subsidy structure of Medicare is fundamentally broken and drives costs in the wrong direction. The open-ended, blank-check nature of the Medicare subsidy drives health-care inflation at an astonishing pace, threatens the solvency of this critical program, and creates inexcusable levels of waste in the system.

Ryan’s solution:
Beginning in 2024, for those workers born in 1959 or later, Medicare would offer them a choice of private plans competing alongside the traditional fee-for-service option on a new Medicare Exchange. Medicare would provide a premium-support payment either to pay for or to offset the premium of the plan chosen by the senior.

The Medicare Exchange would provide seniors a competitive marketplace in which they could choose a plan the same way members of Congress and federal employees do. Every plan, including the traditional fee-for-service option, would participate in an annual bidding process to determine the federal contribution seniors would receive to purchase coverage. Health-care plans would compete for the right to serve Medicare beneficiaries.

What Ryan calls “the president’s partisan health-care law” is an appointed government board like the FCC, the FDA, the FAA, and dozens of other appointed boards. He favors the unelected bureaucrats in privately owned insurance companies that answer to private enterprise. His view is those government bureaucrats aren’t as reliable to private company bureaucrats.

Ryan goes on to say The President’s partisan health-care law creates an unaccountable board of 15 unelected bureaucrats—the Independent Payment Advisory Board—empowered to cut Medicare in ways that will result in denied care and restricted access for seniors. The bureaucrat imposed cuts threaten critical care for current seniors and fail to strengthen Medicare for future generations.

So is it the blank-check nature of Medicare or 15 unelected bureaucrats that will be threatening current seniors? Ryan has covered both possibilities in his contradictory analysis.

The point is that Republicans are trying their very best to end Medicare, Social Security, and all other social welfare programs. They offer no substitutes. Their obsession with free market principles is the view of the rich who say they have no responsibility for the less well off.

There are many other reasons to oppose Republicans but that will be addressed on another day.

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