|Beautiful speech, then more concessions on health care, taxes.|
Following the Pres. Obama's beautiful speech in Newton, he went and met with Boehner and offered the Republicans a deal sweetener on the mythical "fiscal cliff" that would cut $400 billion from federal health care programs, including those for mental health. Obama also agreed to cut $122 billion more in cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefits by using a different formula for measuring inflation. Obama is reportedly also retreating on the level of a tax increase for the wealthy, permanently extending Bush-era tax cuts for those making below $400,000 (rather than $200,000) meaning that only the top tax bracket, 35 percent, would increase to 39.6 percent.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is urging renewed attention to the issue. “Medicaid is the largest payer of mental health services in the U.S.,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately, as both state and federal budget cuts have mounted nationwide, both inpatient and community services for children and adults living with serious mental illness have been downsized or eliminated. We must fix that.
Maybe Republicans won the election after all.