The Battle Over Medicare; My Take
By now everyone in the country knows that there’s an assault on Medicare as we know it. Just the words I used above probably tells my opinion on all of this. But a little background is necessary.
Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the same state that just emasculated unions in an illegal fashion, has come up with a financial plan that he says will stabilize the government’s finances and lead the country towards prosperity. I will give him credit for this; at least he’s come up with a plan, sometimes Republicans have been loathe to do for so long.
However, one of the biggest caveats to me is what he wants to do with Medicare. For those unfamiliar with it even now Medicare is a program that takes care of the medical bills, for the most part, for the elderly and disabled. It’s not a 100% solution, as there are copays and deductibles, depending on which plans a person opts in for, but it’s a major help for anyone on the plan.
Ryan basically wants to change it over. In essence, he wants to give vouchers to people that reach Medicare age starting in 2022 instead of their immediately having access to health care. He wants us to use those vouchers to shop for our own insurance and offset any extra costs the rest of us might have to pony up for the coverage.
The year, 2022 is significant, at least to someone like me. Since Medicare doesn’t kick in until one turns 65, it pretty much grandfathers everyone else that reaches Medicare age before that into the current program. However, for someone like me, it means that I’ll have contributed to the current Medicare plan for more than 40 years and just barely miss out. Frankly I’m trying to figure out how that’s fair and economical. It’s like saying to me “yeah, I know you paid the mortgage on your house for 28 years, but we’re taking it from you now and we’ll give you a check for $5,000 so you can go find an apartment to live in.”
Frankly that stinks, and there’s no way I’d ever support anyone that came up with a plan like that. Of course, Ryan is young and rich, and it’s another plan that favors the rich, many of whom opt out of the entire Medicare program and thus don’t have to worry about the effects of a program that might not be funded properly. Under the guise of saying it’s a financial plan for the country, the way I see it is that it’s just another plan to hurt the middle class.
And, at least at this juncture, 56% of the population seems to agree with me, even those people who will make it into Medicare under this plan. They’re saying the same thing I am, how fair is it to their kids when they reach 65? At least someone’s thinking about someone other than themselves.