This October, when the pResident is wondering why none of his Republipals want him to help with their campaigns, maybe he’ll look back on this and wonder if he shouldn’t have been such a jackass (via The Hill, h/t Carpetbagger Report):
President Bush will stand by his longstanding threat to veto Medicare legislation passed by the Senate Wednesday, the White House confirmed.
The veto will set up override votes in the House and Senate, where the legislation passed with more than the two-thirds majority needed to overcome the president’s rejection.
Mr. pResident has his panties in a bunch over the bill because it cuts funds from Medicare Advantage, which, thanks to bAdmin., has shoveled a shit ton of public cash into private coffers.
And pissed off a lot of doctors.
And the people who were encouraged to sign up for one, two and even three different plans by sales people who were almost as honest as anything you’ll find at 1600 Penn. Ave right now.
“Taking choices away from seniors in order to pay for the reimbursement for physicians is the wrong way to pass this bill and to extend the reimbursements that we want to see physicians get,” [White House spokesschmuck Tony] Fratto said.
What Tony doesn’t tell you is, well, two very important things:
1. Every insurance provider bases its rates on Medicare’s rates. If Medicare payments drop, every carrier will drop its rates. As a result, even if you aren’t on Medicare, your doctor might very well retire early because he can’t afford to keep practicing. You are then left with (pay attention Tony) fewer choices because there are fewer doctors. You have to wait longer to get an appointment and the care you get might not be the best because your new doctor can only spend 2.5 seconds on your particular case.
2. Lots and lots. And lots and lots and lots, of doctors have said that if the cut went through, they’d have to stop seeing Medicare patients. In 2006 there were roughly 44 million people getting traditional Medicare. In 2007 there were roughly 8 million people on one (or more if they were bamboozled by a sales rep) Medicare Advantage plan.
So, if we weigh the total impact of a big Medicare cut on physicians and patients, we see that Tony is full of shit as usual and the White House SpinTronic 3000™ is busted.
But Bush’s toadies in Congress are finding out that they don’t mean as much to him as his industry pals. He’ll stick to them no matter what, even if vetoing this bill is the political equivalent of sitting in a tub full of rubbing alcohol and lighting an aromatherapy candle.
Anyone in the vicinity will be toast too, so stay tuned for a sudden outbreak of disloyalty among the ReThugs.
Maybe they’ll make it up to him by voting for an attack on Iran.
Well at least it wasn’t a man. Or a dog.