Archive for Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins talks budget with Rotarians

June 28, 2011

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Cottonwood honors U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins for helping to improve lives of people with disabilities. Read more.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, right, gives Cottonwood employee Diana Gates a hug after receiving an award Monday for her advocacy and work on behalf of people with disabilities.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, right, gives Cottonwood employee Diana Gates a hug after receiving an award Monday for her advocacy and work on behalf of people with disabilities.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins received an AbilityOne Champion award Monday at Cottonwood Inc., 2801 W. 31st St. The award is given to lawmakers who have shown a commitment to improving the lives of Americans who have disabilities.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins received an AbilityOne Champion award Monday at Cottonwood Inc., 2801 W. 31st St. The award is given to lawmakers who have shown a commitment to improving the lives of Americans who have disabilities.

U.S. Lynn Jenkins shares a laugh with employees Monday at Cottonwood Inc., 2801 W. 31st St. She received the AbilityOne Champion award from Cottonwood for her commitment to improving the lives of Americans who have significant disabilities.

U.S. Lynn Jenkins shares a laugh with employees Monday at Cottonwood Inc., 2801 W. 31st St. She received the AbilityOne Champion award from Cottonwood for her commitment to improving the lives of Americans who have significant disabilities.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., voiced support Monday in Lawrence for a GOP House budget plan that includes Medicare reform and said Democrats had failed to present an alternative.

“We’ve got the do-nothing plan, and we’ve got the House Republican plan,” said Jenkins, who spoke to the Lawrence Noon Rotary Club at Holiday Inn Lawrence, 200 McDonald Drive. “I will be the first to admit it’s not perfect, but it is a plan. And at the end of the day it solves a problem.”

Jenkins, a former state treasurer from Topeka, has supported a plan crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Democrats have criticized the plan, alleging it would end Medicare.

But Jenkins, who is serving her second term representing the state’s 2nd Congressional District, including western Lawrence, told Rotarians that Medicare would remain the same for people 55 and older.

“We made promises to our retirees, and, I think, should not be breaking promises to those folks who are in retirement or near retirement because they’ve been making plans,” Jenkins said.

But she said the Congressional Budget Office estimated with no current changes that Medicare could go bankrupt in nine years and touted a plan to try to balance the budget mostly through an adjustment to provide aid based on income for anyone 54 or younger.

Once people turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, they would receive a fixed payment to purchase private insurance.

“Those who don’t need any help don’t get any help, with most of us being anywhere in between,” Jenkins said.

Although she did criticize President Obama and Democrats on Medicare, Jenkins spent most of her appearance at Rotary talking about the government debt. Party leaders are negotiating ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

Republicans have argued for deep spending cuts with no tax increases, while the White House insists on some higher taxes as part of any compromise.

Jenkins said she didn’t want the government to surpass its debt ceiling but that spending cuts need to be part of the deal.

“I’m not sure we want to walk the plank,” she said. “I don’t think it’s just wise to just raise it without fixing the problem either.”

Comments

overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

Fixed payment....sounds kinda like a voucher?

Perhaps Rep Jenkins missed that bit of legislation called the Affordable Care Act and its plan for Medicare? But she only speaks in approved talking point lingo and never has a candid comment ...or an original idea. Like the rest of her colleagues on the Fox Party side of the aisle, Jenkins is incapable of looking at issues with broad, problem vision manner that don't fit the marching orders they get from Grover Norquist or other unelected power mongers. There have been many many critiques of Ryan's 'plan' that show it to be short sighted and ineffectual as a deficit or debt reducing tool. And many, many exhortations from conservative and liberal economists and finance experts to quit focusing on short term cuts that will cripple the economy even further. But then again, that's exactly what it seems the Fox Party wants to do.

beatrice 3 years, 9 months ago

Rotarians are most often good people who try to do good things for their communities. I wouldn't be surprised if plenty in attendance actually disagreed with Jenkins's views.

cowboy 3 years, 9 months ago

Just say it in normal language Lynn , you voted to kill off health care for old folks plain and simple. Any one who thinks a voucher program will work is drinking the Koolaid. Keep in mind that those proposing this for us have lifetime federal health care of the likes that you and I can not afford. Have you opted out of the federal health care Lynn ? I thought not

mloburgio 3 years, 9 months ago

Rep. Lynn Jenkins and the republicans lied about medicare cuts. The Republican proposal would have adverse impacts on seniors and disabled individuals in the district who are currently enrolled in Medicare. It would: • Increase prescription drug costs for 9,300 Medicare beneficiaries in the district who enter the Part D donut hole, forcing them to pay an extra $92 million for drugs over the next decade. • Eliminate new preventive care benefits for 111,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the district. The Republican proposal would have even greater impacts on individuals in the district age 54 and younger who are not currently enrolled in Medicare. It would:

http://docs.house.gov/energycommerce/medicare_2011/KS2.Jenkins.pdf

Maybe we need to start invading countries with cooler climates: The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

Jenkins is either an idiot, a liar, or both. The Ryan/Republican plan is to kill Medicare, plain and simple. And Social Security would be next on the chopping block.

overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

she's just another good little apparatchik for the big plan. not one single independently thought out action, she's just there filling space.

nativeson 3 years, 9 months ago

The is not one politician that is close to having an answer on healthcare costs. Modifications to Medicare and Medicaid are only a band aid. Eliminating all discretionary spending from the federal budget still leaves us in a deficit position. Entitlements and interest cost more than what the government in now collecting. All these discussions are simply pandering. There is no courage to really start to bend the government cost curve.

Peter Macfarlane 3 years, 9 months ago

Baloney! The average tax burden on individuals and married couples in the US is one lowest in the world. We simply have not figured out what the rest of the world has: Government services (the safety net) cost money and if we expect them to be there when we need them, we need to pay up. If we were taxed appropriately in comparison to the cost of these services, we would not be in our current mess.

Also, I seem to remember that the social security trust fund started being raided back during the Reagan era. Of course, the actions of Cowboy George (aka loss-cannon George) have also contributed to the current mess.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 9 months ago

I believe it was the Johnson Administration that transferred social security funds from the trust fund to the general fund so that congress could spend it. At least, that is my understanding. I believe some of it might have helped to build low cost projects around the country that became great crime havens. All this was a part of the war on poverty. Remember that politicians love to declare war on things. It is much more dramatic and theatrical.

notanota 3 years, 9 months ago

Well, we do have Reagan to thank for bumping the retirement age to 67, but we also have Obama to thank for a temporary payroll tax cut that will reduce SS payments.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

More same-old same-old posts in tandem from blind, ignorant, moonbat libs, none of whom even appears to know that Democrats removed $500 billion from Medicare to try to pay for their debacle known as Obamacare. Under the Republicans' Medicare proposal, many Americans who can well afford to pay for their health care will be expected to do so without government assistance, a plan that one would think wealth-hating liberals would embrace. Of course, in order to do that they would first have to be able to think, which many of them find challenging.

Phillbert 3 years, 9 months ago

Ah, the old "$500 million Medicare cut" lie that got Republicans into power ...so they can truly end Medicare.

Have fun taking your voucher and negotiating with an insurance company when you're 65 and need health insurance. And don't forget about the loss of buying power when you're negotiating 1-on-1 with a corporation instead of having Medicare get coverage for millions of people. I'm sure there are plenty of companies just lining up to give affordable coverage to the elderly, especially those in poor health.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Phillbert: For starters, let's have you explain how the fact that Democrats cut $500 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare is a "lie." Begin with Sebelius' own testimony. Good luck.

Secondly, people who are 65 buy health insurance from evil corporations every day. There's a substantial market for it. You see, Phillbert, those who are not brainwashed into thinking that they have the right to rely on government for their every need generally tend to look out for themselves. The current Republican proposal is designed to require those who can afford to pay for their health care to do so. That didn't used to be a novel idea in this country, but since the time of LBJ's failed "Great Society" experiment has apparently become one.

funkdog1 3 years, 9 months ago

My father in law, who was a lifelong republican, saved for retirement and had insurance. When he became ill and bedridden the last few years of his life and his medical bills were $6,000 per month, his savings were wiped out relatively quickly. (This doesn't include his wife's medical bills, and she was fighting cancer.) The last 3 months or so of his life he was forced to let the government pay for his care. He wasn't thrilled about it, but he was glad it was there.

You can prepare and prepare, but the bottom line is that sometimes people need extra help. Sure, there will always be people who take advantage of the system, but for the people who choose to do that their whole lives, they don't life the good life. Being a lifelong welfare recipient is stressfull and really crappy.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Getting back to the point, the Republicans' Medicare plan provides assistance to those who need it and no assistance to those who don't, which is consistent with your response.

overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

You are mistaken in calling your claim to be a fact. It is wrong. Period.

Cost of health insurance has grown at double or beyond the costs of health care. If your taxes went up like that you'd be going ballistic...

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Are you denying that thousands of 65-year old people buy health insurance every day?

overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

Please stop with the $500 B oversimplification. Its not true and to state it as you have is just spreading more Fox Party misinformation.

From Politifact:

The national health care reform law, though, made several changes to Medicare, which makes up 12 percent of the federal budget.

In a few cases, the law actually increased Medicare spending to provide more benefits and coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a trusted independent source that analyzes the health care system. For instance, the health care law added money to cover prevention services and to fill a gap for enrollees who purchase prescription drugs through the Medicare Part D program. (That coverage gap is sometimes called the doughnut hole).

Other provisions are designed to reduce future growth in Medicare spending, to encourage the program to operate more efficiently and to improve the delivery and quality of care, in ways including reducing hospital re-admissions. The bill doesn't take money out of the current Medicare budget but, rather, attempts to slow the program's future growth, curtailing just over $500 billion in anticipated spending increases over the next 10 years. Medicare spending will still increase, however. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects Medicare spending will reach $929 billion in 2020, up from $499 billion in actual spending in 2009. (you can read the rest at politifact)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

This is demagoguery, and even flat out lying, at its highest degree-- about the only thing at which Republicans have demonstrated any competency over the last few decades (aside from corruption.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/fact-checking-the-gop-debate-500-billion-in-cuts-to-medicare/2011/06/14/AGsnGAVH_blog.html

overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

Yep, that guy just keeps spewing facts and talking about reality. No one listens.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

Obamacare actually pays for itself, it reduces the deficit. By that way, that is not my opinion. That's a fact.

overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

Cap'n, facts don't matter anymore. Show a Fox Party apparatchik a fact and their eyes glaze over and they simple don't see or hear anything that isn't on their morning memo from Frank Luntz.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Take a course on remedial reading. You need it.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Not me, pal. You have no idea what my age is, and the vigorous hours I've already worked today would never allow me to nap.

Of course, you nap whenever you speak.

Getaroom 3 years, 9 months ago

To keep it simple, Jenkins is an outright lier and does so over and over again without compunction. Her rhetoric is little more than canned, if not stolen, right from the Republican play book. Despicable at best. Smile Lynn(Sarah Palin wanna be), you are on camera now. A bad actress, receiving an undue award.

Nonracist: must be looking in the mirror and talking to a reflection.

notanota 3 years, 9 months ago

Sigh I really hope she's called to task for her medicare-killing stance.

somedude20 3 years, 9 months ago

Being a person who is a few years under 40 I know that I am paying for others and odds are I will not get mine. Guess this is just another example of life not being fair so if it is unfair for me, let it be unfair to them! Face it dudes and dudettes, most of us will have to work until the day we become worm food. Anyone up for a drink?

tomatogrower 3 years, 9 months ago

I thought that when I was 40 too, but it's still here.

William Weissbeck 3 years, 9 months ago

Why should the Democrats bother to propose a plan? They are negotiating with crazed, single agenda Republicans whose sole goals are to sink the middle class and protect the rich in pursuit of a Grover Norquist fueled "philosophy" that government of any size is bad. It is little different than trying to negotiate with Hamas who won't first accept the right of Israel to exist. The GOP does not accept even the basic tenets of the New Deal/Great Society modern, mixed economy, capitalist democracy, nor the proposition that the affluent can be taxed at a higher progressive rate than others. The Democrats would have more luck debating with someone who believed in a feudal society ordained by God. And while I'm on it, I challenge the GOP to explain the fairness of this: Bush had two tax cuts, an unfunded prescription plan and then proceeded to engage in two wars and sink us into recession. The affluent were never asked to pay for anything in the '00's. They surely weren't asked to give their blood to the wars. So now that we are in the '10's and are faced with cutting government programs - how is it fair that the affluent aren't being asked to pay more? Otherwise, it would appear that the GOP is saying that the middle class and poor have to pay for these wars, and that any benefits they had been receiving or expected to receive in the future were and are undeserved. By any statistical measure, the affluent are better off today than they were in 2000. The middle class and poor are basically no better off. And please don't throw any Puritan garbage about how the affluent "earned" it, deserved it, and entitled to keep it.

overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

You left out the S E V E N (or eight?) debt ceiling increases Bush got with support from the majority of Republicans. Slam dunk, no 'pay for this with cuts' games.

Jimo 3 years, 9 months ago

“We’ve got the do-nothing plan, and we’ve got the House Republican plan,” said Jenkins.

Apparently this is another False Fox talking point - no one else has any proposals for (or even appreciation of) entitlement reform other than the GOP and the destroying Medicare is the only way to save Medicare.

Republicans know that they get only one chance to kill Medicare before the voters strike back and that time is now. This is why you see the fierce urgency of now applied to a long-term problem while excruciating problems of today(!) get ignored entirely. What answers does the GOP have for the unemployed mother of two or the soldier on his third tour overseas? None. What does the GOP obsession with cutting spending to fund more tax cuts for the wealthy have to do with solving these immediate problems? Nothing.

Jimo 3 years, 9 months ago

No, that's a lie. But if I were desperate to distract voters from the the fact that the GOP wants to dismantle Medicare, I'd be throwing around garbage like that too.

Saying that the reforms do two things at once--which they do--is not "counting" the savings twice. The bottom line is that the CBO does not double-count savings. There's a column of numbers that reaches a sum. The components of the $500B appear in that column only once, despite the fact that it both saves the gov't money and extends the financial health of Medicare simultaneously. Sebelius has said nothing different. (Good Lord, only wingnuts could take a headline like "Obama Announces Troop Withdrawal" and report it as "Obama Refuses to Thank Petreus"!)

Either you've read too many breathless wingnut propaganda sites and were taken for a fool or you're trying to pull one over on readers here, hoping that the matter is too complicated for them to follow and hoping I don't come along and pin the tail on your lying backside. There is only one Party determined to destroy Medicare. That would be the one that wants to use the "savings" to fund more tax cuts for the wealthy.

somedude20 3 years, 9 months ago

Yeah and it was given to the "Death Panels," how are you feeling these days?

tomatogrower 3 years, 9 months ago

It's been estimated that many seniors who reached the doughnut hole of the drug prescription of Medicare created by the Bush administration had to stop taking their meds, because they couldn't afford them. That gap will be closed in the next few years by that nasty old "Obamacare".

Of course that really gripes the conservatives. They were hoping to get rid of grandma and grandpa, because they are such a fiscal burden. This Republican voucher plan will do just that, and make the campaign contributing insurance companies a lot of money. Win-win for the conservatives.

http://medicare.healthinsurance.org/blog/2011/03/24/obamacare-puts-1-billion-back-in-seniors-pockets-with-even-more-relief-coming/

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/139273-hhs-3-million-doughnut-hole-seniors-already-benefiting-from-reform

Godot 3 years, 9 months ago

If Granny and Papa cannot afford the less than $3000 they would have to spend to get to the other side of the donut hole, after which all their medicine would be free for the rest of the year, then they would not have been able to buy medicine at all without Bush's Plan D.

Medicare Advantage plans eliminated the donut hole for thousands of seniors. Obamacare eliminates Medicare Advantage (except for AARP because AARP gets a special Kathy exception since AARP gave Obama so much money and used its influence to gin up support for Obamacare among seniors. Crony capitalism, doncha love it?

beatrice 3 years, 9 months ago

How exactly was the Medicare Prescription Drug plan paid for again? Oh, that is right, it was an unfunded mandate that adds directly to the national deficit.

Since Bush signed it into law, it must be Obama's fault.

Godot 3 years, 9 months ago

Bicker and whine and dither away, Democrats. Kick the can down the road until our creditors and the IMF require our government to do what they just made Greece agree to do. This is what you get when the FSA outnumbers the producers, and socialism rules:

For Greece, These are some of the austerity measures planned

TAXATION

Taxes will increase by 2.32bn euros this year, with additional taxes of 3.38bn euros in 2012, 152m euros in 2013 and 699m euros in 2014. A solidarity levy of between 1% and 5% of income will be levied on households to raise 1.38bn euros. The tax-free threshold for income tax will be lowered from 12,000 to 8,000 euros. There will be higher property taxes VAT rates are to rise: the 19% rate will increase to 23%, 11% becomes 13%, and 5.5% will increase to 6.5%. The VAT rate for restaurants and bars will rise to 23% from 13%. Luxury levies will be introduced on yachts, pools and cars. Some tax exemptions will be scrapped Excise taxes on fuel, cigarettes and alcohol will rise by one third. Special levies on profitable firms, high-value properties and people with high incomes will be introduced.

PUBLIC SECTOR CUTS

The public sector wage bill will be cut by 770m euros in 2011, 600m euros in 2012, 448m euros in 2013, 300m euros in 2014 and 71m euros in 2015. Nominal public sector wages will be cut by 15%. Wages of employees of state-owned enterprises will be cut by 30% and there will be a cap on wages and bonuses. All temporary contracts for public sector workers will be terminated. Only one in 10 civil servants retiring this year will be replaced and only one in 5 in coming years.

(more to follow)

source: zerohedge

Godot 3 years, 9 months ago

More austerity measures from Greece:

SPENDING CUTS

Defence spending will be cut by 200m euros in 2012, and by 333m euros each year from 2013 to 2015. Health spending will be cut by 310m euros this year and a further 1.81bn euros in 2012-2015, mainly by lowering regulated prices for drugs. Public investment will be cut by 850m euros this year. Subsidies for local government will be reduced. Education spending will be cut by closing or merging 1,976 schools.

CUTTING BENEFITS

Social security will be cut by 1.09bn euros this year, 1.28bn euros in 2012, 1.03bn euros in 2013, 1.01bn euros in 2014 and 700m euros in 2015. There will be more means-testing and some benefits will be cut. The government hopes to collect more social security contributions by cracking down on evasion and undeclared work. The statutory retirement age will be raised to 65, 40 years of work will be needed for a full pension and benefits will be linked more closely to lifetime contributions.

PRIVATISATION

The government aims to raise 50bn euros from privatisations by 2015, including: Selling stakes this year in the betting monopoly OPAP, the lender Hellenic Postbank, port operators Piraeus Port and Thessaloniki Port as well as Thessaloniki Water. It has agreed to sell 10% of Hellenic Telecom to Deutsche Telekom for about 400m euros. Next year, the government plans to sell stakes in Athens Water, refiner Hellenic Petroleum, electricity utility PPC, lender ATEbank as well as ports, airports, motorway concessions, state land and mining rights. It plans further sales to raise 7bn euros in 2013, 13bn euros in 2014 and 15bn euros in 2015.

source: zerohedge

This is why the Greeks are rioting in the streets. What will you do when similar measures are forced upon us?

gccs14r 3 years, 9 months ago

The real reform would be to enroll all citizens in Medicare, then let people purchase supplemental insurance to cover things that Medicare does not cover. In addition, to come up with enough general practicioner physicians who accept Medicare, any qualifying individual who wanted to attend medical school could do so at government expense, in exchange for seeing only Medicare patients for 10-12 years in a market of the government's choosing. Med school tuition would have to be repaid if the student quit or were removed from school or otherwise did not fulfil his service obligation to the government for any reason other than death or serious disabling injury.

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