The Democrat-Gazette today gave Tim Griffin some op-ed space to defend the Republican proposal to end Medicare as single-payer universal coverage for the elderly. Again, he trotted out the justification: "Clinton didi it." It is, again, a lie. He wrote:
The House passed a plan based on a Democrat idea proposed by the co-chair of Clinton’s Medicare commission. It saves Medicare by giving future beneficiaries, those currently 54 and younger, the option to pick plans like those federal employees and members of Congress have. If you’re 55 and over, there would be no changes to your Medicare-none.
Noted: The sneering Republican party use of "Democrat" for Democratic Party. It's wrong in any case. It was not a Democratic Party plan.
Back to the archives. Pharmaceutical lobbyist John Breaux, who was a Democrat when elected to Senate from Louisiana, indeed recommended the kill-Medicare plan that Griffin now embraces. Clinton was horrified. He wouldn't let his appointees on the commission vote for the idea.
Instead, Clinton released his own set of recommendation on June 29, 1999. The central feature in Clinton's plan was a transfer of $794 billion in surplus general tax revenues to the Medicare program from 2000 through 2014, extending the program's insolvency date. Clinton's plan would have also created a new prescription drug benefit and eliminated copayments and deductibles for preventive care.
The truth isn't in Tim Griffin. For later, we'll discuss how millions won't be able to afford the new private insurance plan Griffin envisions.