Medicare Is Dead—Long Live Medicare: Steele

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2009 2:30 PM CDT
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – RNC Chairman Michael Steele continued his simultaneous defense of and onslaught on Medicare today, writes Eric Kleefeld of Talking Points Memo. Dems are “proposing up to $550 billion in cuts or shifting of funds out of Medicare, and I don't know what that means,” Steele said on Fox News. In other words, it must be protected. But when it comes to systemic reform, “Medicare is a very good example of what we should not have happen with all of our health care.” Private markets, not the government, must run health care, he says.

When Steele was asked how he could be so disdainful and supportive of the program for seniors at the same time, he took the middle road. “This is the system that over 40 years we have bought into,” he said. “So let's get it right, let's fix it. But we do not have to replicate this system.” Steele also bought in to the “Death Book” story: apparently, there’s “a manual out there telling our veterans stuff like, 'are you really of value to your community,' you know, encouraging them to commit suicide. I mean, this is crazy coming from the government.”