The Ryan budget that every Virginia Republican in Congress voted for is bad enough with its plan to voucherize Medicare. However, that Medicare plan of destruction would kick in years from now, while his plan to begin the destruction of Medicaid would start next year. That’s right, 2013. That’s when his plan to cut $1.4 trillion from the Medicaid program would begin.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that a minimum of 14 million people would be dropped from the program, perhaps as many as 20 million. Just who would those people be?
The elderly in nursing homes, people who have spent down all of their assets on nursing care and are deemed to be paupers because of that, use 24% of Medicaid money. The disabled and the blind account for another 44%. Poor children are the recipients of 17% of Medicaid funds. The final 15% goes to non-disabled poor adults.
The question arises: Just who will be kicked off Medicaid under the Ryan – now the Ryan/Romney – budget plan? Will it be old people in nursing homes? Will it be poor children who will be part of the future of our nation? Will it be blind and disabled Americans who aren’t able to work? After all, these groups use up 85% of the funds for the program. Who will pick who lives and who dies? Some sort of Ryan-inspired, bureaucratic death panel in each state trying to divide an ever-shrinking federal Medicaid pie?
This plan is so awful and immoral that it was attacked by prominent Catholic leaders and theologians who were horrified by what Paul Ryan’s budget stands for.
“If Rep. Ryan thinks a budget that takes food and healthcare away from millions of vulnerable people upholds Catholic values, then he also probably believes Jesus was a Tea Partier who lectured the poor to stop being so lazy and work harder,” said John Gehring, Catholic Outreach Coordinator at Faith in Public Life. “This budget turns centuries of Catholic social teaching on its head. These Catholic leaders and many Catholics in the pews are tired of faith being misused to bless an immoral agenda.” (Remember, Paul Ryan is Catholic.)
The other leaders wrote, “Simply put, this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good. A budget that turns its back on the hungry, the elderly and the sick while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest few can’t be justified in Christian terms.”
Here in Virginia, we should question each of the GOP representatives who voted for this immoral budget, asking how they can justify a vote something so blatantly opposed to the the charity to others that is the heart of every religion, be it Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. After all, these Republicans are forever painting themselves as members of the political party that upholds family values and the morality of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Some people will say that the budget wasn’t meant to actually be enacted into law, but was just a way to attempt to embarrass the President. The time for those radical, childish, partisan games is long past. We have serious problems in this nation, and we need serious people to try to solve them. Radicalism in the name of partisanship is no virtue. If the eight GOP members of Congress from Virginia cannot seriously address the fiscal problems that face this nation, they should be put out of office, replaced with people who will use rational thinking and compromise to get something done…for a change.
As for electing a Romney/Ryan ticket? That would be the height of folly if they both continue to swear allegiance to social Darwinism, trickle-down economics, and Grover Norquist’s tax policies.