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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ho, ho, ho, happy holidays

Our compassionate conservatives offered a holiday gift to a broad cross-section of Americans yesterday -- enough lumps of coals in their stockings to regenerate the coal industry.

Vice had to slither out into the daylight from his undisclosed location to cast the tie-breaking vote on an appropriations bill that offers the first significant cost-cutting from a GOP-dominated government that has handed out billions in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans over the past five years.

Guess who's taking it in the chin this holiday season: the poor, the elderly and students who might oppose what these folks are doing if they could afford the education. Check out this holiday cheer:

States would have sweeping new authority to impose premiums and co-payments on millions of low-income people covered by Medicaid. States can also scale back benefits for many recipients.

For the elderly, it would be more difficult to qualify for Medicaid coverage for nursing home care if they transfer assets to their children or other relatives for less than fair market value.

Medicare would freeze payments for home health services and reduce payments for medical imaging.

Welfare recipients would be subject to stricter work requirements. States would be subject to new financial penalties unless they put more people to work or further reduce the number of families receiving assistance.

Aid that helps states collect child support from absent parents would be reduced.

Some kudos those, to the Republicans who found the backbone to force the Cheney tiebreaker and to kill, for now, Ted Stevens' naked ANWR drilling grab.

With apologies to William Brink and the New York Daily News, GOP to America: Drop Dead (from the cold, poor health, old age or because you do not live in Iraq or Afghanistan).


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