Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Budget Follies, Part 2

OK, here's the nub of the GOP plan that really starts the humour ball rolling:

In the Ryan proposal, some of the biggest changes would occur in Medicare, the health program for the elderly and disabled, and Medicaid, the health program for the poor. Medicare in 2022 would be converted into a "premium support" system, meaning beneficiaries would choose from an array of private insurance plans, with government helping pay the premium.

Remember those Teabagger rallies against healthcare reform? The ones with the signs "Keep Government Out Of My Medicare"?

Yea, there it is: Ryan's plan will quasi-privatize healthcare for seniors, while raising their premiums. In case you don't have an elderly relative, Medicare is a separate payment made by the Social Security Administration into the medicare system, separate from your Social Security check. At the end of the year, you may have to pay taxes on this amount (admittedly, pretty small).

No HMO in their right mind is going to accept the Medicare premium against a policy. This means that your premiums will go up, flat out. For someone on a fixed income that's forcing a choice between healthcare and eating.

Of course, most Republicans only know wealthy seniors who can afford this, but I digress...

Too, the aged population of Medicare almost guarantees that premiums for non-seniors will skyrocket too, as the insured pool suddenly gets much older and more important, much sicker. Remember....fixed income...choices...not every senior eats so healthy or can afford a healthclub membership.

Except the wealthy Republican seniors, but I digress...

So you're basically seeing the dismantling of Medicare, the most efficient, cheapest and most effective health insurance in the country.

And it's run by the government!