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Yes, Ryan’s Medicare Plan Would Hurt Seniors Already on Medicare

August 16th, 2012

A reader at Sullivan’s blog put it very succinctly:

The Ryan Medicare plan absolutely will effect people currently on Medicare. If you establish that in 10 years the Medicare risk pool will stop growing and start shrinking, you do damage to how the program works. First, you increase the risk in the pool and drive up cost by stopping younger healthier seniors from entering the plan. Second, as the pool shrinks Medicare looses [sic] power to dictate reimbursement rates. Doctors will begin not to accept Medicare patients because not only will the volume of patients no longer justify the low reimbursement rates, but those left in the pool will be older, sicker and more expensive to treat. The program that they say will be in place will not only become much more expensive to maintain then projected, but it will collapse on itself.

Let there be no doubt: that is their ultimate goal. Republicans have made it agonizingly clear over the years: they want to get rid of Social Security and Medicare. Not reform, not preserve, not save. They want to fully eliminate these programs, preferably phasing them out by transitioning to private “programs” which will essentially be equal to people buying private-market pension and health care plans by themselves, with private industry skimming a 10 ~ 30% profit (which currently goes to benefits for the payer) right off the top, whilst being mostly unregulated and therefore much more easily able to raid the remaining investments.

The result will be that in the short run, seniors slowly notice their benefits collapsing, costing more and giving less. In the end, we’ll be back where we were 80 years ago: if you’re not wealthy, you’re going to get inferior health care–and even if you were able somehow to save money your entire life after well-paying jobs got shipped overseas and the conservatives lowered your salary to below-poverty levels by abolishing or neglecting the minimum wage, you are liable to lose whatever retirement savings you do have to financial skullduggery of one form or another by rich bankers.

Welcome to the 19th century, folks. Didn’t you know that conservatism is all about driving us backwards? It is right there on the label, after all.

  1. Troy
    August 16th, 2012 at 16:39 | #1

    yeah, that was my earlier point about closing Medicare behind current beneficiaries.

    When you think of it, the modern conservative movement is structured around creating the conditions portrayed in the movie Soylent Green.

    If you haven’t seen it in a while, check it out. Chillingly predictive.

    But what is odd is that the Republicans are not going away.

    There’s just too much right-wing bullshit, and enough idiots that the can fool all of the time with it I guess.

    They might even still take the Senate, and their control of the House isn’t in doubt.

    I can link to http://costofwar.com

    and see it’s displaying an incurred cost of $1,363,014,536,487, but that is just a string of numbers with no meaning.

    But it was a gamble we’ve bet and lost on (have nothing to show for) but have yet to pay. Not sure we can face the truth of how colossally bad the previous decade was to the US’s prospect as a going concern. That and the $600B/yr that is just bleeding out of our economy via the trade deficits, and the rising Gini distribution of wealth divide.


    but yet the Republicans are still around. Something’s really crazy about this place.

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