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Hullabaloo


Monday, April 04, 2011

 
Suicidal Tendencies

by digby


If it is true that Paul Ryan's plan includes privatizing Medicare in ten years, then I think he's just lost the House in 2012 and they might as well run the Trump-Bachman ticket just for the entertainment value. They are dead if they do this, particularly with this big splash --- and a week after they declared war on AARP.

I'm not sure who these people think are supposed to vote for them, but the young, wealthy racist vote just isn't going to get the job done.

I have little doubt that the Democrats are stupid enough to mess with Social Security in the years after 2030. That's a long way off and will only affect people who don't realize how badly they are going to need it. But they would be suicidal to even talk about Medicare after what the Republicans just did to them in 2010 with it. Remember this?



Honestly, if the Dems even allow Medicare to be brought up in 2012 after that they deserve to lose.

I am most surprised that they are going with a voucher system and having it kick in in 10 years. Maybe they think all the current seniors will be dead by then, but that's taking a big chance. (And, in any case, most of them don't want to be.) You see, the only way this allegedly "saves money" is if the seniors are "smarter shoppers" for their own health care. The idea that sick old people should be forced to "shop around" for their insurance and navigate the intricacies of the insurance system is just appalling --- and insane.

And I can guarantee that the entire baby boom is going to defect from the GOP in massive numbers if they try this. Huge numbers of us are having to count the days until we are old enough to get Medicare because our coverage is so damned expensive. (And Health Care Reform isn't going to help those of us 50 somethings who are middle class all that much.) I have to assume they think they can get Obama to sign on to some sort of compromise on this out of fear of being seen as fiscally irresponsible --- it's not the sort of thing you'd risk doing as a feint. But they misunderstand him, I think. He will compromise on anything but health care. And if the Democrats even have a pulse, once this is out there, every Republican is going to own it.

Paul Ryan is a Randian extremist. But I didn't think he was stupid. Apparently he is.

Update: And having Alice Rivlin with him means nothing. Nobody knows or cares who Alice Rivlin is outside elite Village circles.

Update II: I may have misunderstood the 10 year kick-in. I thought they were going to do a total transition, but I'm hearing on CNN that it's no biggie, no problem, that all of today's seniors will be taken care of, only the people under 55 will have to die younger. Until it's officially unveiled we probably won't know.

Also Josh Marshall lays it out here: this is not "reform", it is the eradication of Medicare, nothing less. Old people have a very serious health issue (impending death) and throwing them into an insurance pool destroys the pool and virtually insures that anyone without big bucks in the bank will not be able to afford decent care. You can't put old, sick, dying people into "the market." The market will "rationally" kill them.


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