Montana Politics Steve Daines US Politics

Steve Daines Votes to Gut Medicare

Montana Street Fighter is reporting that Representative Steve Daines voted today for the reactionary Paul Ryan budget which would gut Medicare, turning the program into an unsustainable voucher program.  Ryan’s plan poses such a threat to Medicare that even Dennis Rehberg voted against and ran ads touting his opposition to it.

Senator Barbara Boxer described the “nightmare” of the Ryan budget for Medicare:

“Let me know tell you about the Republican budget, if you are 55 instead of getting the same Medicare your parents got … it’s over, you will get a voucher,” Boxer said. “They say take that voucher and go find your own insurance. … Studies show you will be spending $6,000 more out of pocket for your insurance.”
Boxer said that because younger people would be taken out of the Medicare system, the remaining seniors would receive worse care because lawmakers would stop working to improve a “dying program.”

“This is a giant nightmare,” Boxer said. “These are suppose the be the golden years. The people who will lose this will have lost the golden Medicare guarantee.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops blasted the proposal for its immoral attack on the poor and vulnerable:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) heaped criticism Wednesday on Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for the cuts that his budget makes to programs for the poor and warned Senate Democrats not to follow the same path.

In twin letters sent to the House and Senate, the bishops said they “support the goal of reducing future unsustainable deficits, but insist that this worthy goal be pursued in ways that protect poor and vulnerable people at home and abroad.”

The bishops blasted the Ryan budget as failing to meet certain “moral criteria” by disproportionately cutting programs like food stamps that “serve poor and vulnerable people.”

Representative Daines is already turning out to be what many of us feared when he won election: a dangerously unprincipled reactionary more interested in the Republican agenda than in preserving programs vital to the economic security of working and retired Montanans.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • Ryan’s proposal cuts $4.8 trillion, including cuts already legislated. The Democrats plan calls for $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction, which assumes as a budget baseline the sequestration cuts. Sequestration equals additional permanent cuts in social programs, which neither party is working to restore.

    An overwhelming majority opposes any cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Democrats and Republicans are united in demanding cuts in so-called “entitlement” programs as part of budget-deal negotiations with the Republicans. Democrats still are proposing changes that will significantly cut Social Security benefits by lowering cost-of-living adjustments.

    Lesser of evils? Tell that to those feeling the brunt of the cuts.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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