Louisiana Congressman, John Fleming, M.D. and T.P. Republican, today stated for the umpteenth time that the Ryan Path to Prosperity is indeed the Path that America needs to adopt in order to reduce the deficit. He was being questioned on MSNBC regarding the debt ceiling debate and invoked Ryan's "Highway to Hell" proposal that virtually every single GOP member of Congress voted to adopt.
Fleming's claim to fame, besides being a member of the T.P. caucus, came when it was reported in 2010 that during a T.P. Town Hall meeting, Dr. Fleming supported a physician's right to refuse medical care to anyone who had voted for Obama. Fleming said of a Florida doctor who posted a sign refusing to treat Obama supporters, "I applaud what he said and did." He added that it is a "First Amendment" right to deny medical care based on political affiliation.
Just in case you think that the right has abandoned their love for the Ryan Path, guess again! In spite of negative polling and outrage from the American people, they cling to their hopes and dreams of killing grandma and drowning the government in Grover Norquist's bathtub.
There are approximately 83 members of Congress that openly pledge allegiance to the Tea Party. The T.P. 83 have hijacked anything that might smack of being bi-partisan since the 2010 elections. Now, they have hijacked the debt ceiling talks. Beyond that, they have latched on to Paul Ryan's budget proposal and will not let go! Their dream will not die and they will not hesitate to destroy this country because of their need to say, "No!" Their hatred of government continues to reign supreme...
Do the GOP and the T.P. 83 have an issue with old people? The evidence says yes, and the issue is outlined in Ryan's version of "Weaning Grandma From Social Security and Medicare And On To Cat Food!", AKA "The Path To Prosperity". John Boehner, the Weeper of the House, still calls the plan a transformation of Medicare. Transformation or Destruction, remember that the Ryan Path will alter Medicare so much so, that it will not only bankrupt average seniors, it will ultimately kill them.
According to to the ssa.gov website, the average monthly Social Security benefit is $1177, as of January of 2011. According to the Path, seniors will be given a 'premium support allowance' (coupon or voucher in real talk) to help them purchase insurance from private health insurers(some of Ryan's biggest donors). But the additional cost to each senior is estimated at $6000 per year. If the average senior receives a benefit of $14,124 per year, it will require that seniors spend almost half (42%) of their benefit just to buy their Transformed Health Insurance. That will leave them with roughly $8124 to live on. That is $677 per month. Just like Congressmen!
How much of that $677 will be spent on copays for doctors or medications? Can you stretch $677 per month and even be able to afford cat food? The average 3 ounce can of cat food typically costs anywhere from 38 to 73 cents, depending on the brand. Cat food for grandma? Grandma might find it cheaper to stick to a diet of beans, lentils and carrots. Yummy! How long will grandma be able to live like this? The Path does not provide statistics for survival.
Before reminding you of some the the key elements of the Path, let's just summarize the next ten years under Ryan's folly!
Ryan cuts taxes to the wealhtiest of corporations and individuals by $4.2 Trillion dollars.
Ryan pays for the tax cuts by cutting programs for the poor and middle class by $4.5 Trillion dollars.
Ryan's Balancing Act would increase the debt by $6 TRILLION DOLLARS, but the T.P. 83 still support it vigorously. The plan would require raising the debt ceiling again, but ignore that part of it! Not important!
Paul Ryan, the GOP and the T.P. 83 do NOT believe in killing current grandmas as long as they are 55 and older. Why not? Because they are a huge voting bloc! Notice that when defending Ryan's Path, every member of the GOP points out that it will not affect current seniors or those that are within 10 years of qualifying for Medicare. They know that current seniors would drum them out of office if the Path attempted to destroy current Medicare benefits.
The destruction of Medicare has been a goal of the Republican party since Medicare was passed into law. Mother Jones Magazine has an issue written in 1996 that devotes most of the issue to discussing Newt Gingrich's Plan to Kill Medicare. Written 15 years ago, it could have been written today. Substitute the name Ryan for Gingrich, and you have the same old song...
The difference lies with the names of the donors that support the revised plan. Golden Rule was the contributor to Gingrich, while Ryan has contributors from many, many health insurance companies in addition to the Koch Brothers Fake T.P. organization, Americans For Prosperity .
Just a few years ago, Ryan wanted to eliminate CHIPS, which is a program administered by the Department of Health and Human services that provides matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children. The program was designed with the intent to cover uninsured children in families with incomes that are modest, but too high to qualify for Medicaid. Talk about compassion! Ryan, the GOP and the T.P 83 seem to care about no one but themselves and their own.
Remember that AARP has come out against the plan, and the CBO says it goes even further to cripple programs than the scoundrel Ryan originally stated. AARP's headline opposing the plan said the following: