Those are the facts. Here are more. For the last 20 years Congressional Republicans have tried to limit Medicare spending on doctors’ services. However, the proposed limits have always proved to be so unrealistic, like their current demands, that each time new limits have been proposed, Congress has had to intervene to increase them. Republicans inaccurately call it uncontrolled spending when they lose.
Only half of American's 65 and older had any health insurance at the time LBJ signed the bill that created Medicare. Medicaid, established by Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1965, is administered by the states. The public health insurance program covers over 60 million people, including one in three children, eight million people with disabilities and nearly six million low-income seniors. Each state administers its own Medicaid program. In addition to Medicare, LBJ’s “Great Society” legislation included laws to uphold Civil Rights, to create Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, and to establish a host other social legislation programs to improve the American way of life. It seems as if Republicans are determined to repeal the Great Society.
Bear in mind that there is no Constitutional requirement for a balanced budget. The United States federal government has pretty much always been in debt since its inception. Article I, Section 8, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants to the United States Congress the power “To borrow money on the credit of the United States.” As you may also know from recent accounts, Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”
Congressional Republicans seem to be thinking about something other than fiscal responsibility, business, or the social fabric of the country. Advocacy of its position to negotiate the budget with default puts its representatives in the position of breaching their oath of office which could subject them to recall if not impeachment. The GOP position seeks to repeal the Great Society. They are doing a good job of that, so far.
Article first published as Repealing the Great Society on Technorati.