Medicare spending rose an OUTRAGEOUS 5% !eleventy!!one!!!

That is according to the CBO:

Adjusted for timing shifts, Medicare spending rose by $7 billion (or 5 percent).

course this is reason to be outraged at all that government spending
coming out of our pockets, right? Right? Thankfully those fiscally responsible Republicans have come up with the great idea of privatizing Medicare.

Rep. Paul Ryan self-destructively wants to destroy Medicare and Social Security:

He's shilling for Wall Street yet again as he usually
does. He wants to privatize medicare and social security although he
uses words like "vouchers" to mask what he's saying.

While I understand that pointing out a fact like that is called "attacking" their favoritest Republicans evah - and their ideas - by some defenders of the magic free market faerie dust.
And as a moderate liberal I have grown used to the reality of their
victim card being pulled out every time they are so wrong it is almost
embarrassing to enjoin them in debate... But for now, let
us look at how Medicare compares to St. Ronny's vaunted "free market",
the free market that Rep. Ryan wants you to turn to solve all of our

The AFL-CIO calls out Anthem Blue Cross and Blue
Shield, which has requested a rate hike of up to 30 percent in
Connecticut, for example, while spending more than $9.5 million on
lobbying activities.
Similarly, UnitedHealthcare recently proposed
a premium increase for its Medicare supplemental insurance while
spending more than $2.6 million on lobbying activities in the first
half of 2009 alone.

Golly... You mean under the
Republican healthcare plan people could get off of Medicare's
outrageous 5% increases in costs and have the privilege of joining the
Free Market's 30% increases? And double their pleasure by giving
Corporate Welfare "vouchers" to the very people that cause 99% of the problems in American healthcare?

Negotiate with AHIP vs. Best We Can Get 51 Senators For?

Originally posted here at 2009-03-09 16:20:07 -0500; all crossposts of items by Dr. SteveB are done with the good doctor's permission. Even the hijacked ones. :) Many thanks to CTMan for bringing this one over. -- GH

Hijacked in its entirety from DrSteveB at dkos.

Since we all want to get health some (any?) kind of health reform" we are being told by Washington insiders to set aside our advocacy for single payer and join in with the kumbaya negotiations with enemy (AHIP) to get 'er done. Sure, as a matter of policy and economics, single payer is the best way to reduce and control costs, and also get to universal comprehensive coverage. However, as a matter of realistic power politics, I am told by the powers that be that we can't do it this year, so we should settle for what is doable.

Okay. I'll bite. Let’s get the best plan we can get with 50% plus one in each house of Congress. And as usual, that means 51 Senators, since we have a larger and more probably liberal majority there.

But can we please please stop pretending that we can or should "negotiate" with AHIP? This idea that the private insurance companies are compromising is nonsense!