Republican Plan Will End Medicare

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Medicare is the nation’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. The government acts as the insurer with premiums paid through payroll taxes by both employee and employer. The law was signed in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and former President Harry S. Truman was the first Medicare enrollee and his wife Bess was the second.

There is a very good reason Medicare exists, private insurers only want to insure (take in premiums) from the young and healthy, those least likely to require payments. Those are the same private insurers who, under the Republican plan, would receive tax payer funds via vouchers from those elderly who can afford the remainder of the “old and sick” premiums. The current guarantee of coverage for all seniors would be a coverage of only those seniors wealthy enough to afford the “old and sick” rate. The Republican plan would effectively end Medicare, but keep the name.

This is a political hot potato for Republicans. Many analysts are citing the Republicans’ plan to end Medicare as a key factor in the GOP’s recent defeat in New York’s 26th Congressional district. In one of the reddest districts in the country, Republican candidate Jane Corwin supported Ryan’s Medicare plan, and lost.

What do Republicans do when they find themselves in a political hole? They keep digging. The Democratic strategy is based on the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” To that end, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy Now have started to air the following ad on TV stations in New Hampshire:

What is the Republican response in the marketplace of ideas? The National Republican Congressional Committee has sent a sharply worded letter to Comcast Boston demanding that the ad be pulled. Comcast Boston has rebuffed the NRCC. Chris Ellis, a spokesman for Comcast’s ad sales division, says that Comcast will continue to air the ad.

As Matt Yglesias puts it:

If a political movement committed to having that program “wither on the vine” and die puts forward a bill to abolish that program and replace it with a system of private vouchers, then it doesn’t matter whether or not the voucher program is still called Medicare. That’s what House Republicans voted to do, and there’s nothing even slightly misleading about calling this an effort to end Medicare. What’s misleading is the effort to use nomenclature to obscure the nature of the change.

H/T: Paul Krugman, Greg Sargent.

24 thoughts on “Republican Plan Will End Medicare”

  1. Enough of the theocracy.
    Enough of the poorly educated.
    Enough of those only capable of regurgitating propaganda.
    Enough of people claiming to defend a document they clearly don’t understand.

  2. HA HA HA

    And you guys just discovered the purpose was to end Medicare? So bright. So bright. You could be lawyers some day.

    Thing is that everyone over 55 is protected by Ryans plan. Every last one of them. On the other hand Obama and the crooks in congress plan to rob half a trillion from Medicare through Obamacare and give it to dirt-bag illegals, people who are strong and healthy, and those who have a lifetime to make other arrangements.

    Too much of the money is going to old white people, by-the-way.

    THAT WON’T DO. They need to be bumped off quick. Those old folks vote too much.

    How can Democrats bribe po folks if they get rid of Medicare? It worked so well with old folks.

    And Social Security? It needs the same form of retirement plan. Secure the benefits for those too old to make other arrangements and abolish that system of bribery and theft.

    Enough of the communism. Enough of the government theft. Enough of Democrat thugs and bullies bribing the vulnerable for votes and power. Enough of destroying the Constitution.

    Enough of the mob running a criminal enterprise through congress.

  3. Frank: “But it looks like the folks that showed up last summer with the “KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY MEDICARE” signs did not get any better informed about this stunt and old folks are against it too.”

    First, they’re not all ruthless, heartless “I got mine so F*Yu” coots.

    Second, even old folks know a slippery slope when they see one, today it’s Medicare and Medicaid, tomorrow it’s Social Security.

  4. V.O. Little Girl: “I don’t mind about the war, that’s one of the things I like to watch, if it’s a war going on, ’cause then I know if — when our side’s winning, if our side’s losing…”

    “Hey bartender over here.. Two more shots and two more beers. Sir turn up the TV sound. The war has started on the ground. Just love those laser guided bombs. They’re really great for righting wrongs. You hit the target and win the game, from bars 3,000 miles away, 3,000 miles away. We play the game with the bravery of being out of range…” -Roger Waters

  5. Debt is a tool. Like all tools, it’s only damaging when you misuse it. For example, incurring great debt to invade a country that didn’t attack us for certain individual’s personal profit motives, a prolonged war in a region we should have smashed and left quickly, and the installation of a security theater police state at great expense both to coffers and civil liberties. Worried? You bet I’m worried. Just not about debt incurred for requisite services required for the general welfare of society. I’m more concerned with the useless debt The Culture of Perpetual War Against Anyone Not A Politician Or A Large Corporation has incurred. We the People are footing the bill for the destruction of this country from within by our own traitorous pols and by funding literally useless perpetual wars abroad.

    How much you spend is only an issue if you don’t get value for what you’ve purchased.

    Washington is operating in negative value modes.

  6. people wake up and smell the coffee! The Dems have been spending more money then drunken sailors on shore leave! when it comes to jobs,and the budget your feareless leader has no plan at least that was the other day. Lord knows there is nothing worse then a man who doesn’t have a plan especially when he is head of the country! The Paul plan would be much cheaper then obama care but you see if they had not spent our social security and medicare money this would not be a conversation. ticks me off to think our money is being spent to watch shrimp on tread mills, condoms, abortions, and build schools in iraq and afganistan and we have to cut back on ours. As for raiseing the debt ceiling as allen Greenspan said the other day you don’t need to raise it when you hit the debt ceiling you have spent to much already and it must stop. He’s worried and folks when he’s worried iam really worried.

  7. I don’t think he liked the isle of Elba too much…. He did get bad advice on that front though…

  8. Excellent analysis, Nal.

    “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” has worked on several fronts during the last 3 years mainly because the leadership within the Republican Party is so ignorant.

  9. Dredd 1, June 4, 2011 at 9:00 am

    “The military writers in the “defense” rags have said in print that their greatest enemy is health care.

    This gives us a clue about where the tactics within a grand strategy are really coming from.”

    I didn’t understand your statement at all. If ya don’t mind elaborate on it a bit for at least this dummy.

  10. Not to give the republicans to many ideas, but they could solve medicare, social security, the deficit, and lower taxes by implemented a ‘logans run’ policy. All the people on the right would be happy, that is until they reach age 60 or 65. We’ll let them pick the appropraite age.

  11. “how would you tell the difference between todays Republican party ant the TeaBund?”

    Substantively you can’t based upon the schizophrenic actions of the whole, but there are a few (very few) traditional Republicans left in the party who know they are about to collectively drive off a political cliff. Whether or not they realize they are going to cause massive harm in the process is another story as denial is a valid psychological defense mechanism and pols tend to be a self-aggrandizing lot by their natural tendencies toward narcissism in the first place. If they were smart, they’d start driving internal reform before it’s too late although I will stipulate it is already too late. Organization psychology is a lot like piloting a large ship – the larger the ship the harder it is to turn or stop as an object in motion tends to stay in motion and the force of motion is compounded by mass.

  12. how would you tell the difference between todays Republican party ant the TeaBund?

    The corporatists got behind Hitler as well, many wealthy industrialists saw the Nazi’s as an antidote to the Communist threat. It would be ‘funny’ if we follow the same path long after the threat of communism has been dismissed.

  13. frank,

    The problem with creating a void versus creating reform is that in politics, like in nature, a void is abhorred and will be filled by the next most capable organism. Unfortunately, with the backing of the Koch Brothers and other fascists like Dick Armey, the Tea Bagger Party of Ignorance looks like the intermediate contender to fill the void should the GOP totally collapse instead of reform. And I say “intermediate” because a Tea Bagger dominated government would have about the same life and outcome expectancy of the Nazi Party: short and brutally destructive. The bottom line is simply this: both major parties need to start doing their job as described by the Constitution and start looking out for the interest of all their citizen constituents instead of bending over for their corporate funding masters and the K Street graft machine. Corporatism does not work. And the GOP and DNC both should ask Mussolini about that as soon as they cut his corpse down from the lamp post where the Italian citizens left him.

  14. BIL – they thought they had the silver bullet. They were going to exempt people over 55 from the first assault. But it looks like the folks that showed up last summer with the “KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY MEDICARE” signs did not get any better informed about this stunt and old folks are against it too.

    We can hope it will be the death of this version of the Republican party. The sooner this batshit insane movement dies the sooner we can start hoping for better Democrats & actual adult Republicans. There is 30+ years of damage to undo but it is not too late, yet.

  15. He may have been short and he may have been French, but never underestimate the strategic and tactical advice of Napoleon Bonaparte. Given that the voting public as a whole skews older as a general rule, attempting to do away with or actually killing Medicare is political seppuku for the GOP. Good job, Nal.

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