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July 10, 2009

Did Blunt say the feds should never have created Medicare?

Beware, Roy Blunt, of the ghosts of summers past.

In this case, a remark that the Republican frontrunner in Missouri’s 2010 Senate contest made today about Medicare and Medicaid. Was he saying that the federal government should never have created them? One is a health care program for seniors. The other provides coverage for the poor.

But if the congressman from southwest Missouri becomes his party’s nominee, chances are good that his comments from a radio interview today will come back to haunt him.

Here's what he told 93.9 FM in Columbia, Mo.:

“You could certainly argue that government should have never gotten into the health care business, and that might have been the best argument of all to figure out how people could have had more access to the competitive marketplace.

"The government did get into the health care business in a big way in 1965 with Medicare and later with Medicaid. And government already distorts the marketplace. A government competitor would drive all of the other competitors away. What we should be doing it creating more competition.”

For Democrats, this was a high fastball over the middle of the plate. Lots of elderly and low income people vote.

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, the Democratic frontrunner in the Senate race, is likely to give the comment more airplay than all the Michael Jackson songs heard over the radio in the last week.

Blunt spokesman Rich Chrismer said Blunt wasn’t saying that Washington should have never created those programs. He called that “a stretch, even for the Democrats.”

“Roy Blunt did not say those programs were a mistake," Chrismer said. "He was discussing the current health care debate and discussing his belief that government would be better off organizing health care, as we did with the Medicare prescription drug program, rather than operating health care systems like the Obama-Carnahan health care plan.”


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Chrismer: "...organizing health care, as we did with the Medicare prescription drug program"

Does that mean that the Republicans want to talk about how they "organized" negotiations and competitive bidding right out of the Medicare/VA drug purchase process?

Or does it mean that they want to talk about how the Republican that lead that effort, W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, then hastily left Congress to become the CEO of PhRMA, the powerful drug industry lobby?

Letting a Republican have anything to do with saving the nation money is like putting shipworms in charge of keeping your boat afloat.


Poverty kills.

To the extent that government is "saving" lives at insane expense (the vast vast vast vast bulk of gvmt medical expendatures are NOT for life threatening conditions), driving this entire nation into unsustainable economic ruin, is the extent to which Medicare and Medicade are killing us.

Because poverty kills. We spend more on medicine, less on food inspections? People die of food related ilnesses. Get the picture?

We are merely redistributing the misery, and yes, death.


My son & his girlfriend can't get married yet, and haven't been able to for 3 years. Because my future (4-yr-old) step-granddaughter (from a previous marriage) was diagnosed with leukemia at that time and my son's insurance wouldn't cover her "preexisting condition". She has received grueling chemo for 3 years & has finally finished & had her port removed. She nearly died several times. And now, we all wait & continue to pray and are HUGELY grateful for a Medicaid experimental program. Without it, she would have surely died. Tell Blunt (R-sphincter) that the "other competitors" weren't interested in saving a little girl's life. My government was.

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