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To Reduce Deficit, Destroy Medicare – or Expand It?

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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:00 AM
Original message
To Reduce Deficit, Destroy Medicare – or Expand It?
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 09:01 AM by NorthCarolina
By: Jon Walker

There are two very simple, straight forward things you can do with Medicare if you want to make a big reduction in the deficit: you can either destroy Medicare, or vastly expand it.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has stepped forward for the Republican Party to endorse the “destroy Medicare” solution as the best way to reduce the deficit. After all, treating the medical needs of the elderly is very expensive. If we just let old people die when they can’t afford to pay the doctors anymore, we eliminate one of the government’s biggest expenses.

This is the unspoken principle behind Ryan’s plan to reduce the deficit, though it executes it in a slow and subtle way. The GOP’s “Path to Prosperity” would privatize Medicare and give older Americans vouchers to buy private insurance, but these vouchers wouldn’t increase in value at the same rate as the cost of insurance. If the voucher isn’t big enough to cover the cost of care, American seniors are out of luck or out of pocket, and the government saves the money it would have “wasted” on having Medicare pay to treat them.

Progressives have a real plan to reduce the deficit: expand Medicare

Alternately, since Medicare is dramatically more cost effective than private health insurance, government could significantly reduce the deficit by expanding this proven program. Just allowing people in the new health care reform exchanges to buy into a Medicare-run insurance plan would save over a $100 billion. In addition, given that health insurance is such a big expense for businesses, allowing the private sector to buy Medicare instead of private insurance would result in higher wages, more employees hired, and/or larger profits. All of which would generate substantial tax revenue for the government.

<snip>

Link: http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2011/04/05/to-reduce-d... /

I'm sure Obama will be before the public any day now to inform the public of this simple truth about Medicare. Any day now...I'm sure of it.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. between Paul Ryan and Obama, only one is actually a fierce advocate. Medicare for all needs a
fierce advocate but Paul Ryan is not it lol
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Obama is a "fierce advocate" for Medicare for all?
Must be one of the best kept secrets out there.
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pmorlan1 Donating Member (763 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. Excellent Post
It really spells it out, doesn't it.
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I believe so. There doesn't seem to be much interest here on DU though.
Too controversial? :shrug:
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. K&R nt
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. K&R
The health care debate ripped my guts out. Before that I was still convinced we had a White House on our side.
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. It's a shame that we cater to big moneyed interests at the expense of the people. nt
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NothingRight Donating Member (100 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. Elimination of Medicare will cripple seniors
This is a simple argument. If you eliminate Medicare and convert people to any system that relies on the private insurance system for care, the cost to seniors will drive the poverty level up,increase the health problems seniors have as they return to weighing the choice between care and meals or rent, and increase the burden on emergency providers.

T.R. Reid said "You can measure the morality of a nation by its health care system."

The system we have now is inadequate at best. It costs too much to both the individual and to the taxpayers because the system is driven by profit and dividends for shareholders.

If I were working on the system, I would propose that all health care organizations become non profit organizations. Even making them tax exempt, you would offset the revenue losses with a cost containment system that would benefit all.

I wish I could be optimistic enough to believe it is possible.
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. It will cripple seniors, and the health care system we have
but if you're a teabagger, the important thing is that there will be no impacts to government revenue or expenditure involved once its off the books, and their small-government ideology may remain pure and above the fray.
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Chef Eric Donating Member (576 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks for posting this. nt
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