Woodward: Obama Demagogues Medicare Publicly While Agreeing That It’s Necessary To Reform It Privately

The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward Says That On Medicare, Obama Is “Now Campaigning On ‘We’re Not Going To Cut Medicare.’ And There Are Documents Where Last Year He Was Saying Oh, Yeah, We Have To Cut It $250 Billion Over Ten Years.” WOODWARD: “Obviously, you don’t know, but he is tuned into his own ambivalences. And in the reporting on this, it’s very clear he realizes we face a problem that is not going to go away, that he’s got to address. And there are documents that are floating around that I got and notes of meetings, and you see, for instance, on Medicare. He’s now campaigning on we’re not going to cut Medicare. And there are documents where last year he was saying oh, yeah, we have to cut it $250 billion over ten years.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 10/3/12)

WHEN HE’S NOT CAMPAIGNING, OBAMA AGREES THAT POLITICIZING OUR UNSUSTAINABLE ENTITLEMENT SYSTEM ONLY EXACERBATES THE PROBLEM

Obama Told Woodward That The Democrat Position On Medicare Was “Untenable”: “But I Also Told Them It’s An Untenable Position To Say, We’re Not Going To Do Anything On Medicare And Medicaid When That’s One Of The Biggest Drivers Of Our Budget Deficit.” “He agreed that Pelosi worried that cuts to Medicare beneficiaries could remove an important distinction between Democrats and Republicans. ‘Well, I think generally speaking, all the Democrats felt that for Democrats to join with Republicans in anything that could be painted as a Medicare cut when there was a huge difference between Democratic and Republican positions on Medicare generally was bad politics. And I think Nancy felt that. And in fairness, I think substantively, they also felt – legitimately so- that these are very vulnerable populations.’ ‘Now, what I told them is I had talked to my Medicare and Medicaid experts. And I was not willing to do anything that I thought was going to actually affect the care of vulnerable populations, and I felt confident that the package we had come up with would preserve and protect Medicare and Medicaid as the social safety net that we all care so deeply about. But I also told them it’s an untenable position to say, we’re not going to do anything on Medicare and Medicaid when that’s one of the biggest drivers of our budget deficit.’ ‘She was always open – all the Democrats were open to Medicare changes that affected providers,’ such as doctors and hospitals, he said, laughing.” (Bob Woodward, The Price Of Politics, 2012, p. 286)

July 23, 2011: At A White House Meeting, When Pelosi Spoke “To Insist That Entitlements Be Protected,” Obama Interrupted To Tell Her She Was Not Being Constructive. “Pelosi, who had not played a significant role in the discussions among the congressional leaders on their own plan, spoke up several times to insist that entitlements be protected. You’re not being constructive, Nancy, the president said, interrupting her.” (Bob Woodward, The Price Of Politics, 2012, pp. 305-306)

Obama Admitted That The Democrats’ Do-Nothing Plan On Medicare Will Result In Medicare’s Bankruptcy. OBAMA: “What I’ve tried to explain to them is, number one, if you look at the numbers, Medicare in particular will run out of money, and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up. I mean, it’s not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing. And if you’re a progressive who cares about the integrity of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and believes that it is part of what makes our country great, that we look after our seniors and look after the most vulnerable, then we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes that are required to make it sustainable over the long term.”  (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Press Conference, Washington, D.C., 7/11/11)

 

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