I wanted to check in on libertarian small government conservative Rand Paul now that he’s running in the general, and it’s time to drop the Tea Party nonsense and get down to the serious business of running as a garden variety hard-Right Republican.
Which is, of course, what he is:
A well-funded national business group making noise across the country has muscled its way into the Kentucky U.S. Senate race, backing tea party favorite Rand Paul with a scare-tactic ad slamming Jack Conway
In a 30-second TV commercial that began airing statewide Wednesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce accused the Democrat of supporting Medicare cuts that would take 113,000 Kentucky seniors off the rolls by backing President Obama’s health care overhaul. It never mentions Paul’s name.
Paul announced the chamber’s endorsement during a news conference in his south-central Kentucky hometown of Bowling Green, where he lives and maintains his eye surgery practice.
The Medicare cuts Rand Paul’s backers are referring to are cuts to Medicare Advantage.
Senate Democrats somehow mustered up the courage to tell the truth about this huge taxpayer rip-off, and actually slow growth in a program that is a massive failure for taxpayers.
Essentially, it works like this: Congress allowed private HMOs to compete for Medicare patients under the rationale that they could offer better service at lower cost than the government. They couldn’t. So Republicans in Congress began boosting their payments, to the point that Medicare Advantage gets paid 114 percent what Medicare gets paid to care for a patient. That leads to some fun perks, like free gym memberships and complimentary aspirin and band-aids, which in turn leads seniors to defend the program because they like their perks. But it also means a lot of unnecessary expense for taxpayers.
Rather, economists have estimated that for every extra dollar we pay the program, 14 percent is passed on to seniors and 86 percent goes to profits or other costs. In other words, we’re getting only 14 cents of obvious value for every dollar of overpayment.
Republicans can change the label, and keep the Tea Party candidate’s names off the advertising, but it’s the same old product.