Medicare cuts are "on the radar" in the second phase of Congress' new debt deal. The agreement reached this week already includes the possibility of a two percent cut to Medicare reimbursements, but the "super-committee" that will convene to come up with $1.5 trillion in more cuts will probably be looking at least partially toward medical spending. This is in addition to the cuts that are set to befall Medicare reimbursement starting in a couple months. Many op-ed columnists are calling these attacks on entitlement spending a victory for Tea Partiers, whose beef with big government has shaped politics for several years now. What those columns fail to consider, however, is how many Tea Partiers rely on the very programs they've forced to the chopping block.
Of the welfare state, the conservative philosopher and author Ayn Rand once wrote, "Morally and economically, the welfare state creates an ever accelerating downward pull." As it turns out, however, toward the end of her life, Rand ended up relying quite heavily on its help.
According to the new book An Oral History of Ayn Rand, faced with lung cancer after a life spent smoking, and without the wealth needed to combat that cancer, Rand adopted an assumed name to seek government funds for her treatment.