A Bit Of An Obama Ooops

President Obama recently told the compelling story of a woman facing the loss of her home because of health care costs.

Certainly there are many problems with out health care system, but it looks like this isn’t one.

         

Author: PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

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49 Comments

  1. It's more than a bit of a oops. Obama and Gibbs have held this woman up as a symbol of how the current system fails, when she actually is eligible for Medicaid under the current system. You'd think the White House would have checked out her story before making her their poster child.

  2. What's worse is that this seems to be the case with virtually every anecdote that politicians use these days. If our problems are as serious as they say they are, then why can't they ever find a single real world example of a person who actually faces that problem and would have reprieve from the problem with the policies they're proposing? I guess it's just sloppiness, because I'm sure those examples are out there but it's odd.

    The use of personalizing anecdotes has been common through my adult life on both sides of the aisle (Reagan seemed to have ushered in the practice.) When it first started becoming apparent that people were vetting these stories and finding the discrepancies between what they were supposed to represent and what the reality was, I'd have thought the politicians would have realized that they should be more selective in finding their 'poster' cases. That doesn't seem to be happening at all though, and the only reason I can think of is that even as we've started putting more scrutiny, we've also become so partisan that the believers on each side really don't care if the details of the story add up- they still find the cases compelling because they're 'truth-y' even if the narrative's not technically true. Here's a good example right on this site of the anecdotes being presented in a positive light because they prove that 'Obama's trying'.

  3. Consider the target audience.

  4. I love how the conservatives who hate the idea of government health care are using the fact that this woman did wind up qualifying for government health care to criticize Obama's citing of her case. Let's look at part of the article.

    But despite the grim reality of Canfield's fight against cancer, hospital officials say it's not the case that she can have either a home or her health.
    Obama is not wrong in saying that a patient in Canfield's situation might have to choose between her home and health care, said Eileen Sheil, a spokeswoman for Cleveland Clinic.
    “But this patient is probably not the best example of someone in that situation, although we've have patients in that situation who haven't yet qualified for Medicaid, or didn't have the resources” to pay for care, Sheil said.

    Of course I added the emphasis. While the clinic's spokesperson is saying that they managed to get help for this woman there have been cases where they can't. And let's not forget that there are significant parts of the modern conservative movement that consistently say that the way to fix the system is to get the government out of health care completely. This would mean that Medicare and Medicaid go away completely. Somehow I don't think I'd be hearing the defense of these programs as making the system work from conservatives in other circumstances.

  5. Jim – you confuse opposition to the government running all of health care with support for helping the needy.

    You also confuse the fact that a majority of people, including myself, support health care reform, but do not support the current HCR bill and the total BS that is being attempted to force it through.

  6. These days, the Dems don't even know how to appeal to their dim faithful.

    The latest news in California (land of the Anthem fireworks recently) is food for thought — maybe it'll even get “discovered” and become a thread here on this site some days from now. (Maybe Obama can even mention it when he goes on Fox News as part of his desperation “outreach.” Better than personalized BS.)

    This is also an example why, despite some wailing, a failure of health “reform” now won't postpone reform for another generation.

    About 1 in 4 in California lack health insurance, a UCLA study finds

    The state's uninsured population jumped to 8.2 million in 2009, up from 6.4 million in 2007

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/16/busines

  7. The clause that you didn't highlight says it best, Jim:
    But this patient is probably not the best example of someone in that situation

    We hear that these other patients exist, and Obama wants to personalize it by giving a name and/or face to that problem. So, find an actual person in that situation. How hard could that be?

    Of course part of the problem is that there would still be legitimate arguments about the appropriate way to fix the situation. Expanding Medicaid coverage to the working poor might be one solution (albeit with the necessity of doing reform within the existing system and implementing other cost reduction measures in the healthcare system as a whole-or cutting spending in some other program- in order to make that affordable.) Or it might be about disallowing a practice that hospitals are using which most people would feel is punishing the wrong people (putting liens on homes, perhaps disallowing that unless we're talking about a person with huge assets and their primary home is worth well over the regional market average.) Or if it's about some hospitals not providing adequate counseling to guide people to the currently available resources, then mandate improvements in that. Or if its about the waiting period to see if the patient qualifies, then work at reducing the processing time (sometimes those evil 'admin costs' actually provide something useful) and/or regulate the hospitals so that they have to provide a longer period of time before turning accounts over to collections.

    So, come to think of it, there may be very good reasons that these stories aren't really meant to stand up to scrutiny. They're clearly meant to motivate the people who already agree with the policy proposal, not to change any minds since fence sitters will tend to analyze and realize that the anecdotes come up short in proving the worth of the policy proposals.

  8. While the clinic's spokesperson is saying that they managed to get help for this woman there have been cases where they can't.

    Maybe Obama should have used one of those cases then.

  9. It's insulting, to the American people, that Obama heedlessly and repeatedly highlights Americans who are illegitimate examples of whatever problem Obama is purporting to solve. It's typical that major media neither research nor highlight Obama's duplicity: media will protect him as long as they believe they can get away with it. Am reminded, also, of our oh-so-smart President's ignorance of the difference between comprehensive auto insurance and liability auto insurance – another illegitimate Presidentially highlighted example which was neither researched nor reported on by media. Obama is a golden child who is protected by Palace Guards.

  10. And let's not forget that there are significant parts of the modern conservative movement that consistently say that the way to fix the system is to get the government out of health care completely. This would mean that Medicare and Medicaid go away completely.

    Then perhaps you'll have more luck locating one of *those* people? I haven't heard anyone call to abolish medicare and medicaid.

    IMHO, this slip is a big deal because helping people with no financial options is the entire rationale for the Democrats' bill. They aren't fixing the fundamental structural problems in the system. Cost control is literally an afterthought, to be enacted–we hope–by some future congress. All they're doing is helping people like Natoma Canfield and the tens of millions like her who have no options.

    So when we look at Ms. Canfield's actual situation and discover she actually has options, it confirms our impression the whole effort has been sloppily done. Given the trillions of dollars and the number of livelihoods involved, that's just not excusable.

  11. No, I don't. There is a significant segment of the existing conservative movement that wants all government support programs eliminated. You know they exist. They want it all privatized since the government is always wrong and the private sector is supposedly self correcting because of market forces. And anyone who uses the line “government running all of our health care” and accuses the other side of BS has some hypocrisy issues.

  12. Let's get this straight. You support Paul Ryan's plans to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid as we know them in order to send more money straight to private insurance companies even as you say here that expanding Medicaid coverage might provide a solution to some problems?

    Then you say “We hear that these other patients exist, and Obama wants to personalize it by giving a name and/or face to that problem. So, find an actual person in that situation. How hard could that be?”, implying that there are no patients like that. If you think they don't exist your rose tinted glasses with the GOP logo on them are doing an amazing job.

  13. Google the phrase “abolish medicare”. There's a lot of stuff there to wade through but it's not hard to find conservatives calling for it to be done. Ron Paul says in one breath that he wouldn't do it, however, he does support the idea philosophically. Paul Ryan's plan might as well do it. The proposals he makes will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for seniors using his proposed vouchers to get decent insurance in the long run.

  14. I have referred favorably to Ryan and his proposal because I think it's a genuine act of political courage. However, I haven't studied the proposal in enough detail to know if I support it, either fully or with qualifications/reservations. I think he's hitting the right broad themes, that we have to get serious about entitlement reform (anyone who is honest knows this) and to some extent, his plan is a wake up call to try to get people to see how big the spending problems really are.

    But beyond that, expanding the threshhold for Medicaid and reforming the way the program is funded and managed are not mutually exclusive. It certainly makes the target harder to hit, because if the entitlements are expanded to a larger group of people then we'd have to find greater cost efficiencies to cover that above and beyond what is needed to make the current obligations sustainable. Still not impossible to do.

    Expanding Medicaid eligibility IMO makes a lot more sense than the other idea that's been floated, expanding Medicare. I think the latter opens up lots of cans of worms, by affecting people's decision about retirement age. Lots of room for unintended consequences there.

    implying that there are no patients like that.
    I didn't imply that. What I asked is why Obama's team was so careless that they couldn't have interviewed someone like that hospital administrator themselves in order to find a person who was actually falling through the cracks of the current system.

  15. Whoa, hang on here. We're saying this woman is a *bad* example of how the system is broken because her medical bills have now made her so impoverished that she now qualifies for Medicaid? Really??

  16. We could also Google “Marxism”, “Socialism”, or “Communism” and find that there are people who argue passionately for those political ideas, but I have a feeling you'd resent it and call us out on the strawman arguments if we responded to your comments as though you were one of those people.

  17. There is a significant segment of the existing conservative movement that wants all government support programs eliminated.

    You know, others have already said it here today, but it bears repeating.

    Liberals love to throw that meme around, but I personally have not met one conservative, nor heard one conservative politician give a policy speech, advocating what you are falsely claiming.

    It is just a wishing-thinking straw-man for the Left to attack, because attacking that which does not exist is easier than true debate on merits.

  18. “I personally have not met one conservative, nor heard one conservative politician give a policy speech, advocating what you are falsely claiming.”

    Perhaps you've not been listening? The right tried to privatize these systems just a few years ago, Schadenfreude, in order to get the government out of our entitlement programs, and to allow Wall Street to get it's hands on all that money. If privatized, it would no longer be a government support program, would it? Meme or not, it was something that flesh-and-blood, non-straw Republicans very much did try to do. And if I had a dime for every time a Republican talked about how terrible or socialist our entitlement programs are, I'd never need Social Security or health care.

  19. Oh, I see. Privatization and/or elimination of SOME government programs = privatization and/or elimination of ALL government programs.

    Another useful insight into the minds of Liberals. All government, all the time, over all people.

  20. “All government, all the time, over all people.”

    Who's setting up straw opponents now, S_l?

  21. A) That's not what happened according to what I'm reading. She was a self employed cleaning woman with reported income of $6000. She qualified for Medicaid a long time ago but never signed up for it.

    B) Assuming you're upset that people do in fact sometimes go from a level of comfortable income to one which is insufficient to pay for large medical bills as well as other living expenses, I don't get how you design a system that doesn't include a trigger level. If you deem such a system as 'broken', then you'd have to have an alternative non-broken model in mind. I guess the only thing I can concieve would be a completely centralized govt controlled healthcare system where the default position is 'free' medical care for everyone ('free' being in quotes because of course someone still pays, but the idea being no cost at the point of service and the costs covered completely by taxation.) Is that the only system you'd endorse?

  22. “The right tried to privatize [Social Security] just a few years ago, Schadenfreude, in order to get the government out of our entitlement programs, and to allow Wall Street to get it's hands on all that money.”

    As I've correctly noted, the real story here is that the Dems then had the perfect opportunity, ten years or more before the program would begin to fail (run deficits starting in 2016), to change this program, which is “theirs” politically and psychologically, to rescue it, but they instead refused, and denied there was anything wrong (Hinchey even said it would be “more valuable later” if we left it alone) and chose to be the most mindless true example of obstructionism we ever have seen.

    Now that program is starting to run deficits early! And what if our economy remains poor or gets worse, and the hoped-for very-brief return of surpluses doesn't happen?

    (CBO, not Trustees)

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc10871/Appen

    Meanwhile — plenty of us non-lefties or righties opposed the Bush-years privatization attempt. It was still a federal program and would have made Washington into the world's biggest institutional investor, ready for Democratic years and insistence on stupidity like “social responsibility” and political interference of all kinds that would have made the likes of Ralph Nader as well as CalPERS drool with delight imagining it.

    And, that was a number of years ago. After this past year, nobody smart trusts the Dems any more, as they have gone on to be even worse. (I wonder if any of them are going to read the legislation this time that they are going to not really vote on, just “vote” on. They've put themselves in such desperate shape!)

  23. “Perhaps you've not been listening?”

    Some of us haven't stopped listening since Norquist made his “bathtub” remark (not shared by many of us) so many years ago.

    I guess if some of you aren't still stuck in 1968, and in the Detroit bubble, that's an improvement, though.

  24. roro -

    What is good for the goose…

    :-)

  25. gcotharn wrote “Speaking truth to power, indeed. Bowing before Urkel is more like it.”

    what is urkel?

  26. CStanley — The article doesn't give what her earlier income was. It says that her premiums doubled to $8500/year, so she used to be able to afford house payments and somewhere in the neighborhood of $4000/year. The math doesn't add up unless we assume she now is making $6K/year, but had been making significantly more than that. She is signing up for Medicaid now because she qualifies now. Doesn't that make more sense, from the details of the article?

    In addition, she had a choice to give up her home or give up her insurance before she was sick; in this case, she chose to keep the home. If she had made the other choice, would she have either now? My guess, from her circumstances, is that she'd be in the same position — having lost her income and therefore needing to go on Medicaid, but without her home. In an ideal system, is either of these situations how things might play out? Would *not* maintaining insurance actually be the better choice (like in this case) in a system that works well? She basically did the health-care equivalent of declaring bankruptcy.

  27. roro-
    The point is: Obama/Gibbs made a false claim. They represented Natoma Canfield as a person whose home was at risk; who had to choose between her home and her health care; who, in Gibbs words, made “a gamble that she's lost”. None of that is true. She qualified for Medicaid. Cleveland Clinic was never going to put a lien on her home. She was never at risk of losing her home. Obama/Gibbs made a false claim. That is the point of Edaburn's post, i.e. “Obama oops”.

    Could Obama/Gibbs find a person who is truly at risk of losing her home? Certainly some middle and upper income persons have lost their homes due to health care costs. Obama/Gibbs failed to feature any of them, and instead featured a woman who was able to keep her home.

  28. “They represented Natoma Canfield as a person whose home was at risk; who had to choose between her home and her health care; who, in Gibbs words, made “a gamble that she's lost”.”

    None of that is false. Her home was at risk if she continued to pay for her health insurance — she couldn't afford both. She did choose between her home and her health insurance. She chose her home. Now, she is going through treatment with no insurance. *Now* she qualifies for Medicaid because she makes almost nothing. According to her letter to Obama, none of that was false, and it seems to continue to be true. About the clinic putting a lein on her home, it didn't happen, but read the article on that point — lots of hospitals will do that, and it's something that people who are uninsured worry about when they get treatment. I know personally one person who had ER care, couldn't pay, and the hospital garnered their wages. This is not some crazy person having a crazy worry.

  29. Natoma Canfield's home was only at risk if she made a foolish choice – a choice she might possibly have made, according to the article, out of lack of comprehension of the choices/options available to her, yet a foolish choice nonetheless.

    I don't understand your assertion “*Now* she qualifies for Medicaid.” According to the article, she originally wrote Obama to be counted as a person who could not afford health insurance. At the time she wrote Obama, she was not sick. Later, when she collapsed and was taken to Cleveland Clinic:

    “Like any patient who walks through the Clinic's doors without medical coverage, Canfield was immediately assigned an adviser to help assess whether she was eligible for financial aid, hospital officials said.”

    And she was available for financial aid.

    The point, in this specific post and comment thread, is not about the pluses or minuses of Obamacare, is not about the existence vs. nonexistence of persons who have or have not had hospitals put liens on their homes (Side note: I'm still waiting to see these persons. The article does not say they exist. It says hospitals have the right to do this. I would be surprised if any hospitals put liens on the modest homes of any indigent Americans.) or garnish their wages (thanks for sharing about your friend). The point is about Obama/Gibbs' deceit in the specific instance of Natoma Canfield. Natoma Canfield's home was not at risk. Obama/Gibbs deceived the American public.

  30. One more thing. I don't necessarily think you are making an argument that foolish action equates to Natoma Canfield's home being legitimately characterized as “at risk”. However, on the chance that you are making that argument, I want to address it.

    We are all at risk if we take foolish action. If I foolishly jump off a building, I am “at risk” in the same way Natoma Canfield's home is “at risk” if she takes foolish action. That doesn't mean it is correct for Obama/Gibbs to characterize me as being “at risk” of jumping off a building, and to hold me up as an “at risk” example for Americans to look at.

    Begin “I wish you would jump off a building” jokes … now.

  31. I think the jokes will more likely focus on why Obama continues to use the same background vetting people that cleared all of Obama's non tax-compliant appointees.

  32. A “foolish choice”? What would have been the “foolish choice”? She had been paying for a home and health insurance. Health insurance rates went way, way up. She could no longer afford both. Are you saying that staying on health insurance would have been “foolish”? In what sense? What was her “lack of comprehension”? All indications show that she would not have been eligible for Medicaid at the time she made this choice. Now, she is sick and hasn't been making nearly as much money, so, as I said before, *now* she qualifies for Medicaid.

    I really don't think there was any deceipt by Gibbs or Obama.

    “I would be surprised if any hospitals put liens on the modest homes of any indigent Americans.”

    Honestly, this attitude just shows that you've never had the misfortune of having to get emergency medical treatment without insurance. On the other hand, having a lein put on one's house is probably pretty rare — most hospitals would just refuse to treat her. Dead people don't care whether their homes are forclosed upon.

  33. Again, I'm having a very, very difficult time figuring out what “foolish action” she performed. It's not like she was tightrope walking and had an accident. She got blood cancer.

  34. You crack me.

    The sloppiness of the vetting bothers me. Like a restaurant with a filthy bathroom: if the bathroom is this filthy, what else in this restaurant is filthy? What else is falling through the cracks?

    Further, the decision making process lacks rigor. If Obama (or Obama Administration) says: we don't really have all the vetting information we need to make a fully informed decision on whether or not to use this person, but lets just take the risk and go with this person anyway ……. then, what other decisions (foreign policy? stimulus bill? jobs bill? tons of other decisions?) is Obama just rolling the dice on w/o having have full information available? Such is an indication of an executive officer who who might not be up to the task.

  35. Re potential liens on the modest homes of indigent Americans

    Here what I mean:
    1) these homes are often wrecks. Hospitals do not wish to own them. The hassle of selling the home or lot, and of maintaining property taxes and property care in the interim, makes hospital ownership of the houses impractical. They are in the hospital business, not the real estate business.
    2) if the hospital takes away the home of an indigent American, the hospital is exposed to potential negative publicity from a crusading local reporter. And for what? A modest net gain, after all attendant expenses, from selling the house? The risk, to the hospital's reputation, is not worth it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    re foolish choice

    Her foolish choice would have been to sell her home despite being qualified for Medicaid to cover her health care expenses.

    You are arguing this: during some time frame which occurred after she dropped her health care and before she was eligible for Medicaid, Ms. Canfield's home would have been at risk if she had become ill.

    For purposes of our discussion, I will grant your premise.

    Obama/Gibbs still deceived the American people. Obama/Gibbs did not present Ms. Canfield as someone who, during some past time frame, was at risk of losing her home. They presented her as someone who presently is at risk, as someone who “lost” her “gamble.” Obama/Gibbs did not characterize who Ms. Canfield was, but rather misrepresented who she is.

    And thats what this blogpost and commentary is about: deception. This is not an argument about Obamacare. This is an assertion of deception by the President of the United States; and an attendant assertion that the President has repeatedly deceived the American people via presenting bogus victims to a compliant and uninquisitive media.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Re the premise I granted above: I don't see evidence to confirm it.

    You say: “All indications show that she would not have been eligible for Medicaid at the time she made this choice.”

    I do not know of what indications you speak. Based on the article linked by Edaburn, Ms. Canfield dropped her health insurance coverage, remained healthy over some period of time, wrote to Pres. Obama that she could not afford health insurance, then – some time after – collapsed and went to the hospital and was immediately counseled that she qualified for Medicaid. From the article, it appears as if Ms. Canfield might just as easily have been eligible for Medicaid on the very day her health insurance coverage was no longer in force. If you know of an article with additional information, then you have more information than I do.

  36. Maybe this part confused you, b/c it is a confusing part of Edaburn's linked article:

    The idea that Canfield would have to give up her home originated first in the letter she wrote to the president, in which she explained that she feared she would have to sell it in order to pay her medical bills.

    Here's the confusing part: when Ms. Canfield wrote to Pres. Obama, she was not paying any current medical bills. Her letter to Pres. Obama referenced her fear that, if she incurred future medical bills, then she might lose her home. However, b/c Ms. Canfield was eligible for Medicaid, she had no actual reason to fear. She was only fearful b/c – at the time she wrote to Pres. Obama – she did not understand that she was eligible for Medicaid.

    So, here's what we had: a woman who did not understand + an Executive Branch staff who did not vet her story = an Executive and a Press Secretary who misled the American people …… and not for the first or even the second or even the fifth time.

    Edaburn's linked article, by Meghan Barr of the AP, was unnecessarily jumbled and confusing. As always, I suspect this was due to an agenda – either on the part of Ms. Barr and/or her editors – to promote Obamacare as best as they could. In this case, I suspect that jumbling and confusing Ms. Canfield's story allowed Ms. Barr and her editors to make implications which hold up under a quick reading, yet do not hold up under closer reading.

  37. While the clinic's spokesperson is saying that they managed to get help for this woman there have been cases where they can't.

    Plus, they might have tried a bit harder to get help for Natoma Canfield given the p.r. disaster it would have been if they hadn't.

  38. So, find an actual person in that situation. How hard could that be?

    It's not hard at all, and Obama did not even try to find Natoma Canfield. She wrote to him. Are you saying that at the time she wrote to him, her situation as she described it was not true or accurate?

  39. Maybe Obama should have used one of those cases then.

    They would have improved in the harsh spotlight of media attention just as Natoma Canfield's has. Negative media attention is a big motivator.

  40. Then perhaps you'll have more luck locating one of *those* people? I haven't heard anyone call to abolish medicare and medicaid.

    Actually, Rep. Paul Ryan has done exactly that, but even Republicans so far are distancing themselves from his proposed plan to eliminate the deficit.

  41. “Anyone who is honest” knows that “entitlement reform” should include the military budget (sometimes called the “defense” budget).

  42. Christine, get real. Austin clearly stated that no one is calling for the elimination of Medicare or Medicaid — two real, actual programs, not political theories or philosophies. He was incorrect, so naturally he was corrected.

  43. Well, Desiree Rogers is gone. She was quietly let go while there was other news that day.

    These campaign people might not even be in the news if they're quietly shown the door after the health care vote.

  44. If Jim's comment had been in response to Austin, I'd agree with you…but you seem to have missed the opening parts of the discussion.

  45. Entitlement reform and cutting the defense budget are two different things. Both types of spending are anchors weighing us down, but the entitlement part of the budget is a ticking time bomb that has to be defused. I don't disagree, as I've said here before, that the defense budget is bloated and should be cut (and I'll agree that there are right wing partisans who obstruct that just as left wing partisans obstruct the entitlement reform.) But the issues aren't correctly lumped together because they affect the budget in different ways.

    One example to show what I mean is the way that Iraq/ Afghanistan war funding was handled in the budget. The Bush administration kept those costs out of the main budget calculations which is incorrect, but wars do eventually come to an end. Obama was correct to put the costs back into the budget but there's also some opportunism there when people claim that ending the wars will save us billions. Well, of course it will, that is the point- those are finite costs, not structural deficits that will continue ad finitum (and continue to grow more quickly than the economy grows, as entitlements do under our current system.)

    You can argue, of course, that ending wars sooner rather than later will save those billions of dollars over the course of the next few years- but the point is that that's not money that we'll continue to recoup year after year. If the budget items for the wars are say, $100 billion (I don't recall what the actual number currently is, so I'm just pulling that out of the air), then ending the wars this year rather than say 2013 will give you $300 billion over the next three years. It doesn't save you $100 billion every single year for the rest of eternity because you have to compare what the cost savings are relative to what the costs would be if you don't amend the current policy.

    Contrast that with entitlement reform, which actually would project savings every single year, forever, if we decrease our obligations or implement a new funding stream to cover those obligations (well, the latter wouldn't produce savings but would reduce the amount of deficit spending needed to cover the obligations.)

    Anyway, to try to make sure I'm being clear here- I don't disagree with cutting the defense budget, just don't agree that that discussion should be lumped in with plans to reduce entitlement spending- they're too separate issues even if more budgetary discipline is needed in both areas.

  46. Entitlement reform and cutting the defense budget are two different things. Both types of spending are anchors weighing us down, but the entitlement part of the budget is a ticking time bomb that has to be defused.

    Actually, it's precisely the opposite in my view. The military budget is the ticking time bomb, because it's by far the biggest single area of spending, because it's politically untouchable, because it keeps growing every year, and because it sucks up this country's ability to address any and every other need in our society.

    Contrast that with entitlement reform, which actually would project savings every single year, forever, if we decrease our obligations or implement a new funding stream to cover those obligations (well, the latter wouldn't produce savings but would reduce the amount of deficit spending needed to cover the obligations.)

    Are you taking into consideration when you calculate that “gift that keeps on giving” that there will be expenses associated with the social and economic dysfunction that will get even worse than it already is as a consequence of the government cutting the already relatively meager amount it currently spends on what you define as “entitlements”?

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