Carville: Yeah, we’re obviously going to see entitlement cuts in this deal

posted at 8:01 am on November 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

What a difference three weeks makes! Before the election, Republicans said they wouldn’t consider tax hikes, and Democrats insisted that they wouldn’t touch entitlement programs.  Suddenly both sides are hedging their bets, to the point where the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate said Sunday, “Bring entitlement reform to the table” in the fiscal-cliff standoff:

Sen. Dick Durbin said today that his Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate should be willing to address entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid in deficit reduction negotiations.

“From my side of the table, bring entitlement reform into the conversation,” Durbin said on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “Social Security — set aside … doesn’t add to the deficit.  But when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid, protect the integrity of the program, but give it solvency for more and more years.”

James Carville went even farther last night, telling CNN’s Erin Burnett that entitlement cuts would inevitably take place in a fiscal cliff deal:

On CNN’s “Starting Point” Monday night, CNN contributor James Carville said Democrats will have to concede some significant cuts to Medicare to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

“They have to negotiate something on Medicare,” Carville said. “There’s no doubt about that. Remember, the person doesn’t get the Medicare payment. The hospital or doctor, the pharmaceutical, whoever it is, gets that. … It’s obvious that there are going to be some kind of entitlement cuts that come out of this.”

Both parties seem a little shocked that neither gained or lost serious ground in the last election, and that might be making them at least temporarily willing to make a quick deal with some serious concessions in order to get this off the table.  Medicare is really the biggest driver of future debt; a serious reform that resolves the unfunded-liability avalanche to a significant degree is worth some concessions to achieve, assuming (a) those reforms are real, and (b) they can’t be undone — like the bipartisan welfare reform work requirements Obama mooted a few months ago.

National Journal thinks that a revived Medicare Advantage competition plan from the liberal group Center for American Progress might be a good starting point:

The future of Medicare was a potent issue during the campaign, with Democrats and Republicans offering sharply different views. Romney and other Republicans pushed to have Medicare compete with private plans in an open marketplace, betting that consumers’ power of the purse would drive down the ever-growing costs of the programe. Democrats strongly opposed that plan, saying it would not actually reduce spending and would instead end up costs seniors thousands more than the traditional Medicare coverage they have today.

But just a few weeks after the election, the liberal Center for American Progress issued a report proposing $385 billion in health care savings over 10 years. Finding money in the mammoth federal health program is important in the “fiscal cliff” talks, as Republicans are demanding cuts to entitlement programs in exchange for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans in working out a deal to put off $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to government spending.

One of the center’s proposals? Adding competition into Medicare. Specifically, the group wants companies that make Medicare equipment to offer bids on prices, as opposed to the current practice of paying those companies a formulaic rate. The Affordable Care Act established a bidding system for “durable medical equipment”—things like hospital beds and oxygen tanks. The program has wrung savings of $200 million from Medicare so far.

But beyond bidding on goods, CAP also proposed having private Medicare plans, known as Medicare Advantage, offer bids for covering seniors. The federal government would then pay plans an average amount of the bids. That method would differ the current Medicare Advantage system. Now, the feds pay plans at a rate based on the expected cost of Medicare in their region of the country. It ends up costing the federal government on average 112 percent of traditional Medicare.

Republicans have cautiously applauded the effort, NJ’s Meghan McCarthy reports, but not without some reservations:

“On the face of it, the idea sounds reasonable enough – encourage plans to lower premiums by offering a variety of choices. But the catch here – as in the rest of the CAP proposals – is that ‘competition’ is government-defined, government-mandated, and government-prescribed,” wrote Chris Jacobs, a senior policy analyst for the Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., on the Joint Economic Committee.

Perhaps it is too early in the process of avoiding the fiscal cliff and finding a grand bargain to reach common ground. But Medicare Advantage may just be the place where Democrats and Republicans find it possible to inch closer toward compromise.

Perhaps in this case, the third time running up to the fiscal cliff will be the charm.


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Carville: Yeah, we’re obviously going to see entitlement cuts in this deal

I will believe it when ObamaPhone woman flips the bird at Obama.

Electrongod on November 27, 2012 at 8:03 AM

No deal unless entitlement reform is written in such way the Chicago sewer rat can’t executive order his way around the provisions of the law.

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2012 at 8:03 AM

What a difference three weeks makes! Before the election, Republicans said they wouldn’t consider tax hikes, and Democrats insisted that they wouldn’t touch entitlement programs.
=========================================================

Terrific,the GOP are dealing with back-stabbing snakes!
(sarc).

canopfor on November 27, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Tip : I’ll get right on those spending cuts for you, Mr. Reagan.

Tip : Yes, we’ll secure that border now, Mr. Reagan.

Yeah, I’ve seen this show before.

LoganSix on November 27, 2012 at 8:08 AM

For some reason I have this strange feeling that there are going to be thousands of veterans without pensions in the years to come, maybe that is me being just a bit too cynical that they would use our pensions to fund other liabilities.

MarshFox on November 27, 2012 at 8:10 AM

I don’t want another promise from the dems…i want action…..all their promises come with expiration dates

cmsinaz on November 27, 2012 at 8:11 AM

No deal unless entitlement reform is written in such way the Chicago sewer rat can’t executive order his way around the provisions of the law.

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2012 at 8:03 AM

Happy Nomad:Speaking of Executive Orders:)
===========================================

Video: Obama Has Signed 923 Executive Orders In 40 Months

http://www.pakalertpress.com/2012/06/07/video-obama-has-signed-923-executive-orders-in-40-months/

canopfor on November 27, 2012 at 8:11 AM

yes, nice long post. should have said: carville and durbin and the dmes continue to lie. done.

t8stlikchkn on November 27, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Well that’s it – Viper-Face has hissed out the truth according to Democrats.

There will be no significant entitlement reform to speak of. A fig leaf will do and both sides will declare victory and meet in the bar to celebrate with more absinthe.

CorporatePiggy on November 27, 2012 at 8:17 AM

We go back to Boehners infamous tweet!

Boehners Tweet
**************

It’s become sadly evident to me that the White House and Senate Democrats are just not serious yet about enacting real spending cuts
April 5 2011
**************

http://twitter.com/#!/johnboehner/status/55289849791524864

So,back in April,Team GOP knew the game-playing,and dishonset
tactics by the Hopey Regime,and yet,now its September,and the
gameing,er,screwing over,continues!!!!!!!

canopfor on September 12, 2011 at 7:09 PM

canopfor on November 27, 2012 at 8:19 AM

I bet we don’t see cuts to any entitlement program. With the Republicans abandoning ship before any negotiations can be made, we’ll surrender. Then we’ll lose in more ways than just the budget debate.

Snake307 on November 27, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Politico has a story up now with durbin indicating fiscal cliff now. Entitlements later

Which means his quote on Sunday has already expired

Unable to send link now

cmsinaz on November 27, 2012 at 8:31 AM

The Progressives are more likely to destroy the filibuster and go over the so-called ‘cliff’ than do any real compromise on entitlements.

These people are determined to consolidate their power and that is all that matters. Old timers like Carville don’t seem to get it.

forest on November 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM

The “cut” to Medicare will be means-testing those who receive benefits. So, once again, the “payers” will be penalized.

So, cut the productive members of society, who are actually paying into the Medicare beast, and then tax them on top of that. Sounds like a winning deal to me.

stenwin77 on November 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I say, “OVER THE CLIFF – FORWARD !”

stenwin77 on November 27, 2012 at 8:34 AM

More of this BS about how Social Security doesn’t add to the deficit because it’s off-budget.

This from the same people who were wringing their hands over off-budget expenditures in the Iraq war.

In any event, even if one were to accept that Social Security has its own revenue/outlay stream, the fact of the matter is that they are required by federal law to effectively loan any surplus to the government, which they then use to offset general budget deficits. This is why total national debt went up even during the “Clinton surpluses”. They hide their deficit spending behind intra-governmental debt, which has to be repaid with interest anyway, which means that, yes, Social Security does contribute to the deficit, and that’s not even counting the fact that it won’t be solvent forever.

The Schaef on November 27, 2012 at 8:36 AM

“Remember, the person doesn’t get the Medicare payment. The hospital or doctor, the pharmaceutical, whoever it is, gets that. … It’s obvious that there are going to be some kind of entitlement cuts that come out of this.”

See, and in Carville’s mind, that makes these cuts okay. Social Security cuts aren’t okay, because the people get those payments directly. But Medicare isn’t money people see. It’s money that’s paid to eeeeeeeevil entities like doctors and hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. And if we have to cut their payments, well, so be it. That certainly won’t impact on the availability or quality of care patients receive.

And that said thing is, people will believe that. They already have no clue about the costs involved in health care because they are completely removed from the payment process. And they’ve been conditioned to believe that the government can manage to provide “free stuff” without it being a cost to anyone. So, sure, why shouldn’t we just take some money from those evil drug companies in order to help cut Medicare costs? I mean, they have too much money as it is anyway.

Shump on November 27, 2012 at 8:40 AM

personally i was sickened by all the spending on black friday. looks like our fellow citizens have tapped into obamas stash.

renalin on November 27, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……………..

US orders for core capital goods up 1.7 percent
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
— Nov. 27 8:44 AM EST
**********************

Many businesses had been holding back

because they are worried about tax increases and federal spending cuts

— known as the “fiscal cliff” —

that will take effect in January unless Congress reaches a budget deal before then. Most economists predict the economy will suffer a recession in the first half of 2013 if lawmakers and President Barack Obama can’t avoid the fiscal cliff.
(More…)
==========

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-orders-core-capital-goods-17-percent

canopfor on November 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

THE PAPPY PLAN

1. Seal the border.

2. 10% across the board spending CUTS every year.

Saves entitlements, state budgets, fiscal discipline and on and on.

And it’s “FAIR”.

PappyD61 on November 27, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Wow I can’t wait for all those MSM stories about how the Democrats are the devil now for talking about entitlements cuts…

Aplombed on November 27, 2012 at 9:16 AM

See, and in Carville’s mind, that makes these cuts okay. Social Security cuts aren’t okay, because the people get those payments directly. But Medicare isn’t money people see. It’s money that’s paid to eeeeeeeevil entities like doctors and hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. And if we have to cut their payments, well, so be it. That certainly won’t impact on the availability or quality of care patients receive.

And that said thing is, people will believe that. They already have no clue about the costs involved in health care because they are completely removed from the payment process. And they’ve been conditioned to believe that the government can manage to provide “free stuff” without it being a cost to anyone. So, sure, why shouldn’t we just take some money from those evil drug companies in order to help cut Medicare costs? I mean, they have too much money as it is anyway.

Shump

What will happen is so obvious ….

Quality & Price are connected. How we address “price” will affect the quality of care we receive. To be a success, whatever we do has to take human nature into account & use it productively.

If all we do is reduce what the providers receive for providing care, then we’re going to wind up with fewer providers. Which will mean lower quality care – fewer doctors leads to longer waits & cheaper treatments, which lead to poorer results.

At which time the types who think they ‘know best’ will tell us the answer is to put them more fully in charge (“single payor”).

BD57 on November 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Carville gives me the creeps, seriously. Mean to say, I suppose, but man…the guy looks like a cobra.

Bishop on November 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM

My neighbor is on Medicaid. Nice gal actually. She has great insurance, cell phone, a job, free head start, free daycare, and of course food stamps. Last year she garnered almost 10 grand in a tax return.

Here is a novel idea, leave medicare alone. Start allowing medicaid recipients to pay some of their “fair share”. If you have medicaid insurance, you should pay about 75 bucks a year. Not too steep and you can return bottles to get that.

shar61 on November 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM

My neighbor is on Medicaid. Nice gal actually. She has great insurance, cell phone, a job, free head start, free daycare, and of course food stamps. Last year she garnered almost 10 grand in a tax return.

shar61 on November 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM

One quibble. Your moocher of a neighbor (there are lots of nice moochers) did not get 10K as a tax return. She essentially got a refund on what she paid into the system (and then some most likely) so her net contribution to all that “free stuff” she gets is either nothing or nothing plus a few dollars of somebody elses hard work because she has children. She is the epitome of the parasitic mentality that is destroying this nation.

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Here is a novel idea, leave medicare alone. Start allowing medicaid recipients to pay some of their “fair share”. If you have medicaid insurance, you should pay about 75 bucks a year. Not too steep and you can return bottles to get that.

shar61 on November 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM

This! Medicaid is actually the biggest problem.
For those who aren’t aware, and I get the impression that many aren’t, Seniors on Medicare pay for part of it each month. An amount is taken directly out of your Social Security check. Say for example you get $900.00 a month in Social Security, don’t forget that $1100.00 a month they talk about is an average. You would have $100.00 a month taken out as your Medicare payment. You also have a yearly deductible you pay plus Medicare only pays a percentage of costs. That being true most people have to buy a supplemental policy, Medigap, to cover the rest. That can be anywhere from $60 to $100 a month. So this concept that seniors on Medicare are getting a free ride is a myth.
People on Medicaid pay zero. There are some Seniors who do qualify for Medicaid because their income is low. But the majority of people on Medicaid, which they get for free remember, are people on TANF or low income, not seniors.

Deanna on November 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM

It’s a trap! Do what the Democrats would do, i.e. nothing. Like no budgets voted on, no proposals, nothing. Carville just wants Republicans to open their mouth and take the blame. If the Democrats need to make cuts or raise taxes, let them do it, they’re in charge, they have the mandate.

Fenris on November 27, 2012 at 10:20 AM

If I remember correctly, Obama signed the end of the Bush tax cuts this year, the sequester bill, and Obamacare with it’s additional taxes.

Maybe let it go off the cliff.

Tater Salad on November 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Sen. Dick Durbin said today that his Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate should be willing to address entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid in deficit reduction negotiations.

So the Democrats finally realize they get no ‘revenue increase’ without cutting entitlement programs.

GarandFan on November 27, 2012 at 10:42 AM

What will happen is so obvious ….

Quality & Price are connected. How we address “price” will affect the quality of care we receive. To be a success, whatever we do has to take human nature into account & use it productively.

If all we do is reduce what the providers receive for providing care, then we’re going to wind up with fewer providers. Which will mean lower quality care – fewer doctors leads to longer waits & cheaper treatments, which lead to poorer results.

At which time the types who think they ‘know best’ will tell us the answer is to put them more fully in charge (“single payor”).

BD57 on November 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Which is exactly what Democrats want, and what Obamacare was designed to achieve. Everyone knows Obamacare is unworkable. It was designed to fail. It’s a stepping stone to single payer. It gives them the cover of, “see, we tried a solution that incorporated insurance companies and free market principles, and it failed, so we have to go single payer.” Getting to cut Medicare payment under the guise of “deficit reduction” only accelerates the collapse of the system and the march toward single payer, and that’s so much the better for folks like Carville.

Shump on November 27, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Yeah, Durbin says bring entitlements to the table because we’re going to put a fork in it and call it done. Remember Bush’s “Read my Lips”? Then “No Cuts” from the Dems lips?

Herb on November 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

So for $2 trillion they can’t figure out how to run a government.

Now, imagine, that the ‘entitlements’ will have to be cut. You have $1 trillion plus deficit per year.

You have, on your platter: SSA, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and then the rats nest of unemployment insurance, food stamps, and all sorts of freebies and handouts.

Where do you think these people will actually start?

The freebies? The Obamaphone lady and those types, including the food stamp families? Meanies! Not giving free stuff to the needy!

SSA? Raise the retirement age? Means test it? But… but… people paid into it for those things!!! You can’t take that away from them even though you have ALREADY SPENT THE MONEY. Meanies!

The M&M’s and Ocare? Cut the State portions to sick, poor and elderly with Medicare? Meanies, wanting these people to die! Cut Medicare? But… but… we’ve they’ve already paid into that… although you have ALREADY SPENT THE MONEY. Meanies! Obamacare? Hmmmmm…. the new entitlement that we like less of the more we see of it.

Exchange Obamacare for a tax deal? Oooooooo… wouldn’t that be interesting? Will Democrats give away the insane thing they put in to stop the meltdown of the economy? Nah! Its ‘progress’!!

Sorry, the Republicans will get painted as meanies for any suggestion they make and Democrats do not want to touch their voting bloc.

So why not just say: remember that last deal for the one year extension of the tax cuts for a one time debt ceiling raise? You got the debt ceiling, now you can take your tax increases, try to figure out how to run the government on $2.44 trillion and not go over the debt ceiling.

You can cut out all the junk not listed in the constitution (EPA, DoJ, Agriculture, Energy, all that junk), pay for the mandatory stuff (Debt Maintenance, DoD, and the cats&dogs of the Constitution), and pay for SSA fully… and still have just a bit left over to portion out as block grants to the States for subsidized medical care for the sick, poor, elderly, etc. Balanced budget by no increase of debt ceiling. Oh, and for the Lefties, you could take out all of DoD and still not pay for the M&Ms and Obamacare… you would still be in block grant territory as the best way to do it and deliver the most cash in the most accountable way to those who need it…. which, really, would be a great help in the ‘entitlements’, you know?

Too bad no one ever tries to do that. Removes graft and government overhead. Can’t have that!

ajacksonian on November 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Google……list of government agencies…… Not a one of these produce a thing that’s taxable and I call them all federal entitlement programs stuffed with the friends and relatives of politicians.

mixplix on November 27, 2012 at 10:56 AM

And Lucy gently places the football on the ground and holds it temptingly for Charlie Brown.

We have seen this before.

Gunlock Bill on November 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM

possible entitlement cuts the carrot in front of the elephant, they fell for it before and they will again, they will give up their values for something that will never happen, don’t be too surprised if entitlements go up after the tax increase goes through

RonK on November 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Finding money in the mammoth federal health program is important in the “fiscal cliff” talks, as Republicans are demanding cuts to entitlement programs in exchange for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans in working out a deal to put off $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to government spending.

That $1.2 trillion in cuts happens over 10 years. That comes to $120 billion a year. Obama’s budget deficit is over $1 trillion dollars per year. Yet, despite that, $120 billion is too much to cut, so they will eventually cut even less, lol.

xblade on November 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Let the tax cuts expire.

Let sequestration happen.

Let the debt hit its statutory ceiling, and don’t raise it.

Instant recipe for balanced budget.

Then, you can begin negotiations…

JohnGalt23 on November 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Remember the budget deal of 1983 and 1991 that sunk Bush.

I have no faith in Democrats cutting entitlements.

My guess they will shake hands for the camera and next year we’ll be talking about our trillion dollar deficits.

itsspideyman on November 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Quality & Price are connected. How we address “price” will affect the quality of care we receive. To be a success, whatever we do has to take human nature into account & use it productively.

If all we do is reduce what the providers receive for providing care, then we’re going to wind up with fewer providers. Which will mean lower quality care – fewer doctors leads to longer waits & cheaper treatments, which lead to poorer results.

At which time the types who think they ‘know best’ will tell us the answer is to put them more fully in charge (“single payor”).

BD57 on November 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Bingo. Quality and Price are connected….in a competitive market. The price of a good under more competition will bring greater value when there are multiple entities deliving goods.

A single payor system will kill this, drive up prices, not down, and decrease quality.

If you need a reminder, visit your local DMV.

itsspideyman on November 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Pigs fly?

Decoski on November 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM

A great many people are going to be very disappointed in the near future. I saw today that consumer confidence is high, and people are expecting big improvements to the economy.

I’m not sure why a lot of people are riding this emotional high. I live in California, where voters passed Prop 30, essentially giving the government in Sacramento the right to plunder without limit, and I am moving to protect my family as much as is possible. I am not expecting boom times. I expect my utility rates to “skyrocket,” to quote a famous community organizer, and I expect my property taxes to shoot way up. It’s even possible that I will lose my property, as many senior citizens did the last time Governor Moonbeam was in office. As far as I can see, Barack Obama is going to bring the joys of California’s government to the rest of the states. This is not cause for celebration.

Mark it in whatever book that you keep for prophesies. This excitement about the coming wonderful economy will be short-lived, and there will be a lot of very disappointed people.

hachiban on November 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM

What will happen is so obvious ….

Quality & Price are connected. How we address “price” will affect the quality of care we receive. To be a success, whatever we do has to take human nature into account & use it productively.

If all we do is reduce what the providers receive for providing care, then we’re going to wind up with fewer providers. Which will mean lower quality care – fewer doctors leads to longer waits & cheaper treatments, which lead to poorer results.

At which time the types who think they ‘know best’ will tell us the answer is to put them more fully in charge (“single payor”).

BD57 on November 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Actually this is what is happening, and will continue to happen…

Medicare payments are reduced to providers, prompting more and more of them to stop taking new Medicare patients (currently going on). More and more Medicare recipients can’t find providers who will treat them, unless they wait weeks for routine checkups or months for procedures.

As a result, the ever-wise Feds will use the student loan cudgel to bludgeon new doctors into submission to force them to treat Medicare recipients. (This will be done using a combination of poison-coated carrot and spike-encrusted cudgel.)

When potential doctors see what is going on, fewer and fewer will opt for medical training, or seek to circumvent the Fed enforcement and go for cash-only services (many turning into a form of black-market to avoid the oversight and underpayment).

Even single-payer will suffer from these results. So “progress” will not end with single-payer.

Throughout this time, you will see immigration/visa restrictions eased for medical professionals and those who go to American medical schools.

Inevitably, we will see a healthcare system rife with corruption (bribery to get earlier scheduled treatments), mediocrity (as people are payed less, so why invest the effort) and despondency (after all, suicide IS a state-sponsored way to end an elderly parasite)…

How far we will have fallen…

dominigan on November 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM

You know the libs are demanding massive tax increases and defense cuts as the baseline for any negotiations, I don’t see why Republicans aren’t demanding the repeal of Obamacare, permanent reform of medicare and social security, and overhauls of the tax code and regulatory nightmares we’re facing as their minimums.
This concept of caving for nothing has got to stop.

Iblis on November 27, 2012 at 1:38 PM

…promises are made to be broken!

KOOLAID2 on November 27, 2012 at 10:08 PM