Letter to the Editor - June 16

June 16, 2011

Changes to Medicare funding might be a good thing

To the editor:
There is something that has always troubled me regarding funding the states get from the federal government — be it funding for education, roads, airport expansion or Medicare. Didn’t they get this money from us to begin with?

I read with interest Sen. Cardin’s letter regarding the defeat of Rep. Ryan’s proposed overhaul of Medicare. I can’t say I know enough about Ryan’s proposal to say yea or nay, but I suspect it is not as bad as the Democrats claim or as good as the Republicans claim. Both sides of the aisle quote the Congressional Budget Office whenever the CBO’s figures agree with their point of view. It seems to me that whatever figures a member of Congress needs, the CBO can come up with something they can use to support their argument.

Quoting the CBO, Sen. Cardin states the proposed cuts would cost the states and force them to cut services or raise taxes. But this is what the Affordable Health Care Act does, too. It pushes funding for a large portion of Medicare to the states.

Sen. Cardin sees this as a negative. I saw it as a big positive. It brings to light the actual cost of these programs, forcing them to be paid for now.

Forty-nine of the 50 states require their budget to be balanced. If we want these programs, then we need to know their cost and we need to pay the bill now. Do we need a middle man to take a dollar out of our pocket, send 50 cents back and tell us how to spend it?

I am not proposing the demise of Medicare, just how and when it is paid for.

Cliff Lane
Black Rock

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