Obama’s Budget Proposal – Means Or Income Testsing For Medicare Drug Benefits

Well so much for universal health care – take from one group to give to another? How is that “Universal”?

From the Washington Post;

“Obama’s proposal for Medicare means testing has received surprisingly little attention so far. The debate over an income scale was especially heated when Congress created the Medicare drug benefit, known as Part D, during President George W. Bush’s first term. As a senator, Obama voted against a Medicare means-testing proposal in March 2007.

But times have changed, said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who also voted no two years ago. The growing consensus among Democrats that health-care costs must be contained, and that coverage must be expanded to everyone, has redrawn the battle lines. “In the past, we’ve dealt with Part D on its own, and that tends to be polarizing. So the thought here is, that’s much less likely if people think we’re all in this together,” Baucus said. “

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29609567

College Loans – Obama Proposals Reduce Money Avaialble To Middle Class Students

The Obama proposal to end “private funding” for college loans will limit or eliminate funding for students from middle class families, those students who earn or whose families earn incomes in excess of the PELL limitations.

This proposal, which was discovered in the Omnibus Budget Bill by Democratic Senator Ben Nelson, Neb.

Senator Nelson also opposes Obama’s suggested changes in the family farm subsidy program which calls to reduce subsidies to the majority of American farms.

“One proposal would overhaul the federal student loan program to guarantee yearly increases in the Pell Grant program. That idea enjoys broad Democratic support. But to pay for the Pell Grant expansion, Obama would end federal support for private lending. And one of the major corporate providers of student loans is NelNet, a company based in Lincoln, Neb., the home state of Sen. Ben Nelson, a moderate Democrat who balked at the stimulus package and teamed up with three moderate Republicans to cut $100 billion from the final bill. Cutting off support for NelNet would cost Nebraska about 1,000 jobs, according to Nelson’s office. Nelson said the move could hurt middle-class students who do not qualify for Pell Grants. “I don’t support anything that could reduce those benefits,” Nelson said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29609567

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