Saturday, April 03, 2010

Womack Distinguishes Himself According to ArkTimes

There is more news on the Republican race for Congress. The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum. The Godfather of liberal journalists in this state, Max Brantley, thinks one Republican candidate in the field has scored a point. That would be Rogers Mayor Steve Womack. And how did Womack distinguish himself from the other seven candidates in the race? By refusing to rule out a tax increase to prop up Medicare. The other seven candidates all ruled out a tax increase to shore up the program.

There is no doubt Medicare is in financial difficulty. The payroll deductions for Medicare pay for only about half of the program. The rest of it is paid for by other sources, including general tax revenues. Current projections indicate that by 2050 Medicare alone will consume one of every two dollars of incoming federal revenues. It already consumes one in six dollars of federal revenue.

Woamck is clearly going for, one could even say pandering to, the senior vote. He previously touted the gym that Rogers built for seniors and suggested that the Federal government should help cities across the nation build one as well. Seniors who want the government to build them a gym might like it, but seniors with grandchildren might be a little more concerned about the massive government debt that a generation of overspending is leaving to those grandchildren.

Generally, only Democrats can get away with cutting Medicare. The recent health care legislation actually cut $400 million from the program. It did it by reducing funding for home health care and Medicare Advantage plans. In my view, those are exactly the wrong things to cut, because they offer seniors more choice while not necessarily driving up expenses. Those are two programs where there is actually an incentive for someone to monitor costs. In my view, the only way in which we are going to control expenses is to give the patient an incentive to help look for the best price. In other words, give them a cut of the savings.

The Democrats did not cut Medicare in order to preserve the solvency of the system. They cut it in order to spend more money elsewhere- Obamacare. We will see how that flies with older voters in November.

I like a couple of the candidates in this race, a couple I am leery of but could still feel good about, and a couple I have scratched off of my personal list. Of the two I feel best about, one has the same last name as I do, and the other has paid me to do occasional consulting for him. Reason for bias yes, but I hope I am using policy to decide my vote. The two I like are Boone County Judge Mike Moore and businessman (and Gravette City Councilman) Kurt Maddox. They share the same constitutional philosophy and are relative "outsiders" in the race.

At the event, Maddox related a story about how a friend of his questioned some Medicare billing on equipment rental. The supplier told her not to worry, Medicare was paying for it. She dug around and found out what they were charging to rent the stuff, then went out and bought it for a fraction of what they were going to charge Medicare to rent it to her. She did it because she is a patriot, but we need to change Medicare so that the patient can benefit if they find a way to save the system money. Right now there is no incentive for the patient to even ask for the cost.


Blogger Dale Morfey said...

There is an aspect to Gunner DeLay's character... that needs to be made known so voters can properly decide whether or not to support him. His claim of being a constitutionalist... is exposed at:

8:46 PM, April 03, 2010  

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