For the fourth year in a row, president defies law that demands action on Medicare

posted at 4:50 pm on March 1, 2012 by Tina Korbe

The president must not be aware of the so-called “Medicare trigger” because, for the fourth year in a row, he’s ignored it. By law, if the trustees of Medicare issue a warning that the program faces insolvency, the president must submit a legislative proposal to reform the entitlement program no later than 15 days after he submits his budget.

Specifically, the law mandates that the Medicare Trustees issue the warning when, for two consecutive years, they determine that general revenues will account for more than 45 percent of Medicare’s outlays for the current fiscal year or any of the next six fiscal years. In other words, when the Medicare trust fund will cover no more than 55 percent of the program in an upcoming fiscal year, the Trustees are bound by law to warn the president and the president is bound by law to respond to the warning with a plan for reform.

The Trustees issued just such a warning in their last report (the fifth consecutive year they’ve attempted to trigger reform), but the president has not responded to the warning (the fourth consecutive year he’s ignored it). The deadline was Tuesday at midnight.

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions aren’t happy about the president’s negligence and sent a letter to him to demand his proposal. Given that he’s willing to ignore the law, it’s doubtful a letter will compel the president to act — but, at the very least, it should help to call attention to the president’s lack of seriousness on this issue.

Why won’t Barack Obama put forth a Medicare proposal? Simple. If he does, Democrats lose the opportunity to demagogue the issue in the run-up to the 2012 election. Paul Ryan’s premium support plan to reform Medicare would actually save and strengthen Medicare — yet, in at least one special election, Democrats managed to convince seniors that Ryan is the pol who wants to push granny off a cliff. They’re hoping to convince seniors of the same in the 2012 presidential election.

In reality, the president’s decision to do nothing to reform Medicare is a default decision to destroy Medicare — or, rather, to allow it to destroy itself. At least one Democrat — that would be Sen. Ron Wyden — has realized this and has partnered with Ryan to promote a premium support plan alongside traditional Medicare. The Ryan-Wyden plan is a less palatable compromise than Ryan’s original plan, but it’s better than nothing. Predictably, Wyden took heat for his willingness to team with Ryan.

Still, Ryan’s not giving up on the issue; he convinced all the GOP contenders to stand by his plan (even Newt Gingrich reversed his controversial comment that the Ryan plan is “right-wing social engineering”) and he’s slowly building a bipartisan coalition to promote it, too. A handful of Democrats have anonymously admitted they like it — but are afraid to openly support  it until after the election.

Those of us who know that entitlement programs are the key drivers of our debt have a responsibility to spread the facts — and to back up politicians who stick their necks out for bold solutions. They’ve got to know we support them — and the president needs to learn we see through him. We won’t believe he cares about seniors or the social safety net until he proves that he cares about seniors and the social safety net — by putting forward a plan to save Medicare.


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The guy is a first rate imbecile. And somehow, if the GOP does not get their act together, he will be re-elected

ConservativePartyNow on March 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM

By law, if the trustees of Medicare issue a warning that the program faces insolvency, the president must submit a legislative proposal to reform the entitlement program no later than 15 days after he submits his budget.

I think I found the loophole he’s been abusing.

MadisonConservative on March 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM

The law means nothing to this A$$hat. More infuriating though, is that he has not been taken to task over it by the gutless wonders in congress (they don’t deserve a capital “C”)

HomeoftheBrave on March 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Slightly OT, but is HotAir going to have a post about the Sheriff Arpaio investigation Drudge is fronting? I watched all of the videos from the Drudge link. Pretty damn compelling stuff. The Selective Service registration, at least, is definitely a forgery — can’t lie about the kind of stamp the US Postal Service was using in 1980. I suppose this will go nowhere, and I’ve been one in the past to say “let the ‘birther’ stuff go,” but holy hell, there is definitely some there there. Can’t Congress at least demand to send a bipartisan group to Hawaii to see the ORIGINAL birth certificate, not the photocopied one? Has anyone besides a Hawaiian democrat politician ever said they saw the original?

Rational Thought on March 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

The FoodStamp President is trying to throw granny off the cliff.

Electrongod on March 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Is there any law he’s FOLLOWED?

pambi on March 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions aren’t happy about the president’s negligence and sent a letter to him to demand his proposal.

Stop it with the letters already, do something about it!

squint on March 1, 2012 at 4:57 PM

“Laws? What are those?”

-King PBHO

Bishop on March 1, 2012 at 4:57 PM

My laws trump your laws.

- Barack Obamuh.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 1, 2012 at 4:58 PM

You people can’t expect a bunch of laws to get in the way of Utopia.

I thought I’d seen it all.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 1, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Is there any law he’s FOLLOWED?

pambi on March 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Commerce Clause?

Chip on March 1, 2012 at 4:59 PM

OT, but still on medicene. I had to quite reading this before I threw up.

ConservativePartyNow on March 1, 2012 at 4:59 PM

In reality, the president’s decision to do nothing to reform Medicare is a default decision to destroy Medicare — or, rather, to allow it to destroy itself

That’s his purpose.

Destroy the country, destroy private people.

JPeterman on March 1, 2012 at 4:59 PM

“Laws…pffft. Have you never heard of the ‘Divine Right’ of Kings?” – ‘Bamy

catmman on March 1, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Why won’t Barack Obama put forth a Medicare proposal? Simple.

He’s a coward. He’s a pu$$y. He’s a (insert favorite term here.) All of leftism is.

Why are questions such as the above even being asked, anymore?

MNHawk on March 1, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Better than you.

hillbillyjim on March 1, 2012 at 5:05 PM

The guy is a first rate imbecile. And somehow, if the GOP does not get their act together, he will be re-elected

ConservativePartyNow on March 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I have to respectfully disagree.
The man’s not an imbecile; he’s a scoundrel.
He not too stupid to know what he’s doing, he just doesn’t care.

billy on March 1, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Let’s face it sports fans . . . he IS the law, and apparently no one in this timid government has the courage to challenge him.

rplat on March 1, 2012 at 5:06 PM

OT, but still on medicene. I had to quite reading this before I threw up.

ConservativePartyNow on March 1, 2012 at 4:59 PM

one of the most in your face trial balloons ever launched

DanMan on March 1, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Has anyone besides a Hawaiian democrat politician ever said they saw the original?

Not that I’m aware of. Apparently only the nominating party gets to make the call.

DanMan on March 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM

It all depends on what your definition of ‘law’ is.

/Obama sycophant

Left Coast Right Mind on March 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Slightly OT, but is HotAir going to have a post about the Sheriff Arpaio investigation Drudge is fronting? I watched all of the videos from the Drudge link. Pretty damn compelling stuff. The Selective Service registration, at least, is definitely a forgery — can’t lie about the kind of stamp the US Postal Service was using in 1980. I suppose this will go nowhere, and I’ve been one in the past to say “let the ‘birther’ stuff go,” but holy hell, there is definitely some there there. Can’t Congress at least demand to send a bipartisan group to Hawaii to see the ORIGINAL birth certificate, not the photocopied one? Has anyone besides a Hawaiian democrat politician ever said they saw the original?

Rational Thought on March 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

I was wondering the same thing. This is the first investigation by law enforcement and they have a person of interest. But I guess we are supposed to go to another website to get the info, a real shame.

tinkerthinker on March 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Where’s your plan, Mr. President?

Mr President doesn’t have a plan,
but he certainly doesn’t like your plan

burrata on March 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM

If Congress had any cojones, this turd would have floated on out of D.C. long ago.

I M P E A C H

T H E

L A W B R E A K I N G

C O N S T I T U T I O N A L

S C H O L A R.

hillbillyjim on March 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM

“For the fourth year in a row, president defies law that demands action on Medicare”

with 1000 fund-raisers so far this year, countless golf outings, taxpayer-funded luxury vacations and WH parties, OBOZO simply doesn’t have the time to deal with such trivia.

–Micah Stone–

TeaPartyNation on March 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Under this joke of a president, I’ve realized that it takes more than simple laws to hold together our great nation. It also requires that men of honor hold the political offices.

The Soviet Union had a very nice constitution, which was a joke because the rulers of the country ignored it. Little Bammie ignores US law with impunity, almost like he is daring us to do something about it. We can’t fix the problem that little Bammie has illuminated, another law won’t do it because he would just ignore that too.

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2012 at 5:11 PM

So can Paul Ryan file for a Writ of Mandamus?

Greg Q on March 1, 2012 at 5:12 PM

****************** FAILURE-IN-CHIEF ***************************

canopfor on March 1, 2012 at 5:15 PM

The president must not be aware of the so-called “Medicare trigger” because, for the fourth year in a row, he’s ignored it. By law, if the trustees of Medicare issue a warning that the program faces insolvency, the president must submit a legislative proposal to reform the entitlement program no later than 15 days after he submits his budget.

It’s too bad that there isn’t an opposition party, that say, controlled the House of Representatives and every penny spent by the federal government, then we would have the power to fight and stop Obama’s irresponsible actions and inactions.

Oh, wait, the Republican Party absolutely controls the House and every penny spent by the federal government, once more proving that the Republican Party is largely useless.

RJL on March 1, 2012 at 5:20 PM

I M P E A C H

T H E

L A W B R E A K I N G

C O N S T I T U T I O N A L

S C H O L A R.

hillbillyjim on March 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I second that motion! Get rid of the scofflaw!

stukinIL4now on March 1, 2012 at 5:23 PM

So why can’t we have ads with an Obama impersonator pushing granny off a cliff? Oh yeah, that would be racist.

Wagthatdog on March 1, 2012 at 5:25 PM

OT:Breaking******TX Primary moved to May 29th******

ConservativePartyNow on March 1, 2012 at 5:26 PM

But Georgetown Law Students can’t afford birth control…

THAT’S the real issue here!

/

Seven Percent Solution on March 1, 2012 at 5:29 PM

OT:Breaking******TX Primary moved to May 29th******

ConservativePartyNow on March 1, 2012 at 5:26 PM

ConservativePartyNow:Interesting,did a quick Intel hunt!
========================================================

Texas will move primary date to May 29
03/01/12 04:45 PM ET
********************

A Texas court has ordered the state’s primaries to be moved from April 25 to May 29, making it less likely its Republican presidential contest will impact who the GOP nominee is.

This is the second time Texas has had to move its primaries back: It was initially slotted for March 6, Super Tuesday, and would have played a major role in the Republican nomination process.
(More….)
===========

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/213717-texas-will-move-primary-date-back-to-may-29

canopfor on March 1, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Rational Thought on March 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

This. Plus the subject of this thread, closing 4 electric plants in PA, 2 more soliders killed in Afghanistan, and to me, the “mysterious” death of Andrew Breitbart. Time for impeachment. If not, then he has to be defeated in November. If that doesn’t happen, then what?

Mirimichi on March 1, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Contempt.

HopeHeFails on March 1, 2012 at 5:34 PM

But Georgetown Law Students can’t afford birth control…

… THAT’S the real issue here!

/

Seven Percent Solution on March 1, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Seven Percent Solution:No kidding,they want a ‘Bioking Bail out’!

I think its totally Scrotched!!(sarc):)

canopfor on March 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM

RJL on March 1, 2012 at 5:20 PM

If the situation was reversed…

… The caterwauling, screeching, and gnashing of teeth by the Democrats would be unending.

There would be protests and marches with outrageous claims aimed at the opposition…

… The news conferences would be unending, along with the constant parade of the aged and ailing on the floor of the House and in front of the Cameras.

They wouldn’t stop until their message drove the political winds of the day and the public demanded action for such lawlessness…

… The Republicans?

Not so much…

Seven Percent Solution on March 1, 2012 at 5:38 PM

canopfor on March 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM

:)

Seven Percent Solution on March 1, 2012 at 5:38 PM

These letters are just worthless BS.

If the House files a writ of mandamus in DC district to demand that Obama follow the law, then Republicans are serious – and not until.

They can send sternly written letters all day long and nothing happens. Formal demands in court that Obama stop breaking the law would force Obama to at least send the Department of Justice to explain failure to do what the law requires.

WhatNot on March 1, 2012 at 5:38 PM

The Food Stamp King is immune to silly laws.

darwin on March 1, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Laws are for thee…not for me!

KOOLAID2 on March 1, 2012 at 5:39 PM

By law, if the trustees of Medicare issue a warning that the program faces insolvency, the president must submit a legislative proposal to reform the entitlement program no later than 15 days after he submits his budget.

I think I found the loophole he’s been abusing.

MadisonConservative on March 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM

+1

kunegetikos on March 1, 2012 at 5:47 PM

“Laws, shmaws…”
- BHO

Dopenstrange on March 1, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Where did the information on the soon to be former president come from? I don’t see a link.

tomas on March 1, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Congress is absolutely useless, wait a minute, in it’s present condition. There are over eleven thousand staff members that do the work our Congress takes credit for and if that many people can get together and solve a complicated problem there is no need for a Saint or his Boss. Here you go to check me out but remember the info is ten years old so give me a break.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_staff

mixplix on March 1, 2012 at 5:51 PM

The House should just shut down until the President meets his responsibility on this. And (I hate to say it) there needs to be a sound-bite sized sentence written and no one in the party is to go off script. Period. The alphabets will always bait one of them into saying something that they can spin, otherwise. It might be possible to compel the alphabets to report the sentence. In that case, more than a few people on the internet might learn of the issue.

kunegetikos on March 1, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Heck, this regime ignores the Constitution.

rbj on March 1, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Breaking the law is an impeachable offense and a violation of the president’s oath of office. Boehner? Cantor? McConnell? Reid??? *crickets*

Nutstuyu on March 1, 2012 at 6:15 PM

canopfor on March 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM
:)

Seven Percent Solution on March 1, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Seven Percent Solution:–:)

canopfor on March 1, 2012 at 6:26 PM

The House should just shut down until the President meets his responsibility on this. And (I hate to say it) there needs to be a sound-bite sized sentence written and no one in the party is to go off script. Period. The alphabets will always bait one of them into saying something that they can spin, otherwise. It might be possible to compel the alphabets to report the sentence. In that case, more than a few people on the internet might learn of the issue.

kunegetikos on March 1, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Never; we just don’t have that party discipline. There will always be those camera whores like Johnny Mac who cannot resist the invitation to expound on the issues and even go against their party’s leadership in exchange for the pat on the head they will receive from the media.

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Given that he’s willing to ignore the law

Barry has shown that he believes that he is well above the law.

GarandFan on March 1, 2012 at 6:38 PM

The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the present Monthly Fee of

$96.40, rising to:

$104.20 in 2012

$120.20 in 2013

And

$247.00 in 2014
.”

J_Crater on March 1, 2012 at 6:38 PM

As little Timmy Geithner would say, “We don’t have a plan, we just don’t like yours!”

GarandFan on March 1, 2012 at 6:42 PM

You could have read the Green Room for further background :-)

BTW, the corresponding 55% trigger is not that the Medicare “Trust Funds” cover 55% of Medicare’s liabilities; it’s that the dedicated revenues to Medicare (i.e. its cut of FICA/SECA and the premiums/co-pays) don’t cover 55% of Medicare’s liabilities. Interest earned and used off of the “Trust Funds” is general revenue.

Steve Eggleston on March 1, 2012 at 6:58 PM

By law, if the trustees of Medicare issue a warning that the program faces insolvency, the president must submit a legislative proposal to reform the entitlement program no later than 15 days after he submits his budget.

I think I found the loophole he’s been abusing.

MadisonConservative on March 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Actually, Obama has been submitting budgets, so that’s not an excuse. It’s that the ‘Rats don’t want to acknowledge reality.

Steve Eggleston on March 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM

As little Timmy Geithner would say, “We don’t have a plan, we just don’t like yours!”

GarandFan on March 1, 2012 at 6:42 PM

In fact, that’s what the ‘Rats did the one year a Presidential administration did follow the law…because it was the Bush Administration.

Steve Eggleston on March 1, 2012 at 7:06 PM

The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the present Monthly Fee of

$96.40, rising to:

$104.20 in 2012

$120.20 in 2013

And

$247.00 in 2014.”

J_Crater on March 1, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Meanwhile, unionized federal workers will continue to pay what they pay now.

Steve Eggleston on March 1, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Is there any law he’s FOLLOWED?

pambi on March 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Commerce Clause?

Chip on March 1, 2012 at 4:59 PM

The Good and Plenty (at least for his donors).

Steve Eggleston on March 1, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Why won’t Barack Obama put forth a Medicare proposal? Simple. If he does, Democrats lose the opportunity to demagogue the issue in the run-up to the 2012 election.

It would also be an admission that PlaceboCare is a failure, as the first year the dedicated sources of Medicare funding couldn’t cover 55% of its costs was the year PlaceboCare was signed into law.

Steve Eggleston on March 1, 2012 at 7:16 PM

For the fourth year in a row, president defies law that demands action on Medicare

What a quaint notion at the root of that headline. How cute that some people still seem to think that we’re a nation of laws.

Obama’s a fascist who’s been ignoring law and the Constitution for quite awhile now; the only shocking thing is that people are still shocked by it.

Midas on March 1, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Impeachable?

jukin3 on March 1, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Impeachable?

jukin3 on March 1, 2012 at 8:19 PM

We found out 12 years ago that it only matters if it’s convictable (i.e., there’s at least 70 R Senators).

Steve Eggleston on March 1, 2012 at 8:21 PM

When has Obama ever cared what the law says? If we want the law to have teeth, there must be consequences to his actions.

Book on March 1, 2012 at 9:09 PM

You think Obama ignores and breaks the laws NOW, just wait until he is reelected.

All that stuff that just “can’t happen here” is on his agenda.

Adjoran on March 1, 2012 at 10:10 PM

First, I do not believe that a law compels the Office of the President to act. The Constitution defines the role of the Office. It is nice when they follow the intent of passed legislation, but appropriations are the province of Congress. I don’t accept the broadening of the Presidency.

Second, they have no inclination to lessen any financial burden. You have to understand the racial-redistributionist form of socialism they are attempting. Until you get that, everything just looks like individual grievences. The sum of the parts…

Congress wants less responsibility on everything, force their hand. If that helps Obama, so be it. That is what democracy American conviction looks like.

John Kettlewell on March 2, 2012 at 5:36 AM

Apparently laws do not apply to our narcissist-in-chief.

sadatoni on March 2, 2012 at 7:49 AM

In reality, the president’s decision to do nothing to reform Medicare is a default decision to destroy Medicare — or, rather, to allow it to destroy itself.

I beleive that’s the Cloward-Piven model he’s following. And now that Obamacare is in place, it’ll turn the whole stinking mess into a heaping pile of single-payer pooh

Nov ’12 is our only hope!!

JohnnyD on March 2, 2012 at 7:51 AM

This kind of thing is incredibly discouraging. The law says the Senate has to pass a budget. The law says the President has to submit a legislative proposal if Medicare faces insolvency. And on and on and on, the water drops hit the stone one by one, gradually wearing it away. One day people will look around and wonder, what happened to the stone? Too bad it will be too late.

Fafhrd on March 2, 2012 at 11:05 AM

“Inaction” is an action.

Just try to do that in your private sector non-Union jobs folks!

Just a quick question: Just how is that fiscal hawk Joe Biden doing with watching over the zillions in government funded waste and fraud coming? Yeah…. I thought so. Ho-Hum….

ActinUpinTexas on March 2, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Narcissus doesn’t need to follow the law? Then neither do we. A lawless ruler deserves noncompliance–& Congress is asking for the same. Surely we can follow the Great Zero’s example!

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.

–A. Lincoln, March 4, 1861

Olo_Burrows on March 3, 2012 at 3:19 AM