Steele rediscovers his opposition to Medicare

STEELE REDISCOVERS HIS OPPOSITION TO MEDICARE…. I really don’t understand how Michael Steele is in a position to head a major political party.

Yesterday, the confused RNC chairman wrote an op-ed insisting that Democrats are trying to undermine Medicare. The piece was a disaster for Steele — not only was every claim in the piece both false and craven, but it offered his detractors a chance to remind folks that Steele personally endorsed Medicare cuts as a statewide candidate in 2006.

It wasn’t necessarily surprising — Steele has already conceded he doesn’t know anything about health care policy — but it was humiliating.

Not quite sharp enough to know how to quit while he’s behind, Steele went back to the well today. On Tuesday, the RNC chairman said policymakers must ensure that “we are not cutting the Medicare program.” On Wednesday, the same RNC chairman said policymakers must realize that Medicare is “bankrupt” and an example of what not to do with health care.

“The reality of it is, this single-payer program known as Medicare is a very good example of what we should not have happen with all of our health care,” said Steele. “The reality of it is, how many times have we been at the trough of bankruptcy and no money for the Medicare program, where Congress is running around like chickens with their head cut off, trying to figure out how to fix a program that they’ve already mismanaged?

“So now you want to do that, congressman, on a larger scale? You want to include all of us. You’re talking about taking our senior population, and expanding it to all of the population? Government cannot run a health care system. they’ve already shown that. Trust the private markets to do it the right way.”

The lights are on, but nobody’s home. The same clown who attacked Democrats yesterday for trying to improve Medicare financing just told a national television audience that he disapproves of Medicare and would prefer to “trust the private markets” — the same private markets that left seniors without coverage, and which made Medicare necessary in the first place.

The GOP’s record on Medicare is clearly embarrassing to the party. In the 1960s, Republicans fought against Medicare’s existence. In the 1990s, Republicans shut down the federal government because a Democratic president wouldn’t tolerate proposed GOP cuts to Medicare. In 2008, the Republican presidential ticket ran on a platform of cutting Medicare.

And in 2009, the chairman of the Republican National Committee has decided, over the course of 24 hours, he’s both for and against the Medicare program, for and against Medicare cuts, and for and against privatization.

From there, Steele talked up the ridiculous “death book” lie, either unaware of or unconcerned with reality.

The mind reels.