Yglesias writes "Grassley Wants To Do What?
Chuck Grassley, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, is charged with pushing some kind of Social Security bill through the world's second greatest deliberative body. He's also got some sort of grand plans:" Ooops we are mixing up our great deliberative bodies here. "Chuck Grassley" should have been replaced with "Bill Thomas" or maybe "Billy Thomas" to maintain the familiar tone. Thomas in the no longer ethics free zone not Grassley at nuclear option ground zero.
Also Yglesias seems to have a tin ear for Republican euphemisms being puzzled about ""won't just be a Social Security bill," but would deal more broadly with retirement security, including new ways to encourage savings and provisions on long-term care." back to Weisman for a longer summary of Thomas's grand plans
In a news conference, Thomas stressed that any bill out of his committee would address far more issues confronting an aging nation than just Social Security and private investment accounts. The committee would probably bolster private pension plans, provide tax incentives for retirement savings and long-term health care, and clamp down on Medicaid coverage for those who are not truly indigent.
This clearly can be translated into plain English as
Thomas tried to keep it from being too clear that any bill out of his committee would address far more issues confronting an aging nation than just cutting Social Security benefits and setting up private investment accounts. The committee would probably subsidize large corporations who have been cheating on their obligations to fund private pension plans, enlarge tax loopholes for capital income in the form of more generous rules for IRAs and Health Savings Accounts (as purchased in 1995 from the ethics free zone) and cut Medicaid for rich people with family incomes of $20,000 or so.
Simple isn't it. He is advocating cuts in health care for the poor, gifts to big business and bigger tax breaks for unearned income. Hell you barely have to read either paper to guess that the Republican head of the House Ways and Means committee (Thomas not Grassely) is advocating such things.
Yglesias seems to imagine that Thomas was thinking of reducing the budget deficit or helping people who have trouble paying for health care writing "The idea of dealing with long-term care could mean two diametrically opposed things. One option is that this means long-term care is putting an intolerable strain on Medicare and Medicaid so we need to find a way to shift costs onto patients. Another option is that this means long-term care is putting an intolerable strain on families so we need to find a way to shift costs onto the government." How naive. There is little chance that Thomas would think of either of those two aims. It is especially naive to assume thtat he could only be hinting at those two things.
The rule of interpretation is simple. He is a top House Republican so he is talking about cutting rick peoples taxes and increasing profits of (in this case health financial service) firms who contribute to his re-election campaign.