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Friday, April 15, 2011

Cantor's Callous Comments

Kate Blocher

Staff Writer

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) made his views on the recently released House budget resolution clear on Fox News Sunday when he said, “We are in a situation where we have a safety net in place in this country for people who frankly don’t need one.”

Not only does he support the proposed draconian cuts to both Medicaid and Medicare, but he makes it clear the Americans who rely on these programs for vital health services are taking advantage of the system and should be fine if cut loose, because after all, they didn’t need it in the first place.

He went on to say,

           We believe if you put in place the mechanism that allow for personal choice as far as Medicare is concerned, as well as the programs in Medicaid, that we can actually get to a better resolve and do what most Americans are learning how to do, which is to do more with less.

Sadly, Rep. Cantor’s callous attitude could not be farther from the truth. If the proposed changes to Medicaid and Medicare—block-granting Medicaid and voucherizing Medicare—go through, government spending will not in fact be reduced, it will be shifted to the states and the consumer. If states must rely on block-grants for their Medicaid funding, they will inevitably be forced to work with less money, which may result in cash-strapped states limiting enrollment and reducing benefits. Medicare beneficiaries will be forced to pay more for the same amount of care and will no longer be guaranteed health care coverage, but will instead be left to the mercy of the private market.

It is obvious from Rep. Cantor’s comments that his views on reforming our safety-net system are not only heartless, but highly irresponsible. Despite what he says, millions of Americans rely on these programs to receive crucial health care services. Forcing them to “do more with less,” will not in fact create savings, but it will place an unnecessary financial burden on an already overburdened population.