Friday, April 15, 2011

Vote To End Medicare

235 Republicans just voted to end Medicare.

The vote was to approve the budget plan put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan (R - Silver Spoons). As part of that budget Medicare would cease to exist (pdf) in the future for anyone currently under the age of 55.  When people currently under the age of 55 retire in the future Medicare would not be available.  Instead they will be given coupon to spend on private health insurance.

I've shopped around for insurance.  Some of the best rates I can find is in excess of $400 per month.  I'm in my 30s (at least for a few more months), I don't smoke, am healthy, and have no preexisting conditions.  I don't remember the exact numbers but the elderly, by the very virtue of being old and nearer the end of like, need far more health care and use the majority of the health care services in this country.  They aren't going to find insurance for $400 a month.  Hell, 10 years from now someone like me won't be able to find insurance at that rate.  Assuming a 8% increase in insurance rates per year the same policy will be more than double.

What's more, Rep. Ryan's budget not only eliminates Medicare but the government savings are turned around and used to pay for tax cuts for the rich and for corporations.  Despite all the protestations to the contrary, despite what all the talking heads on the teevee are saying, the Ryan Plan has absolutely nothing to do with deficit reduction - something that is inappropriately fetishized to begin with.  No.  No, the Ryan Plan is about taking from the poor, the middle class, and even the upper middle class and giving to the people that were born on 3rd base.

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