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Remember when Roy Blunt  let his hair down with conservative talk show host Mike Ferguson, and admitted that he wished the government had never created the Medicare or Medicaid programs?  Or when he declared that:

We’ve had Medicare since 1965, and Medicare has never done anything to make people more healthy.

Of course even the clueless Blunt soon realized that this kind of talk wasn’t going to wash, since most of his natural constituency simultaneously opposes government run programs while demanding that the government keep its hands off their Medicare.  Consequently, he now rarely misses an opportunity to cast himself as a defender of Medicare or to pretend that it is under Democratic attack.

Blunt’s most recent tweets, coming in the wake of the CBO’s evaluation of the Senate Finance Committee’s health care proposal,  attest to his newfound diligence on behalf of Medicare; for example:

Sad day when $829 billion of Medicare cuts & tax increases is a good day for Democrats. I’ll continue opposing these cuts & tax hikes.

and this gem:

If we can find $500 billion in Medicare savings that won’t impact care for seniors, reinvest it in Medicare. It’s on the verge of insolvency

What Blunt is talking about is the fact that savings realized from cutting waste and inefficiency from Medicare spending will be used to help offset the $829 billion that the CBO  estimates to be the cost of Senate Finance committee’s health care reform proposal.  Instead of reforming Medicare (which I thought Republicans wanted to do), expanding health care coverage, and controlling spiraling health care costs, his tweets indicate that he wants to throw more money at Medicare with no concern for reform.  

What is sad about Blunt’s self-righteous piety on behalf of Medicare is that it is completely misplaced.  First of all, according to Factcheck.org’s analysis, contrary to conservative claims, Medicare is not going bankrupt.  Secondly, not only will health care reform not harm Medicare, it  is essential to its on-going well-being, since Medicare’s problems stem from the out-of-control growth of health care costs that reform seeks to address.

Nor are the savings that will be realized from Medicare to be taken from the funds used for senior’s benefits. Everybody has been really clear about this fact, starting with President Obama who has explicitly addressed this claim.  The White House fact sheet on Medicare details the sources of the Medicare savings quite clearly, so there need be no confusion.  

On the other hand, what do Roy Blunt’s claims have going for them?  Nothing more than the fact that they are the utterances of the person who was charged, months ago, with developing the Republican alternative health care reform plan — and who has to my knowledge produced absolutely nothing at all that might fit under that rubric.