A new Romney ad tells older voters to think of it this way: “The money you paid for your guaranteed health care is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you.”
— Gail Collins, Middle-Age Blues, New York Times, this evening
What? If current Medicare recipients, and those who will begin receiving it within the next 10 years, have already paid for Medicare for themselves, then—um—why does Medicare have to be saved by these two Republican saviors who will convert the system into a partial-premium-voucher system?
Oh. Wait. That very same budget plan that includes that Medicare proposal also includes a proposal to end income taxes on capital gains and on stock dividends and to reduce corporate income taxes—leaving a budget deficit of trillions of dollars. And, well, the money for that defense-budget increase that these folks also propose has to come from somewhere, doesn’t it? Other than just from the elimination of Medicaid expenditures for nursing home care for the elderly who’ve run out of savings during their nursing home stay, that is, since that alone won’t cover that huge revenue reduction, and anyway it’s good policy to force those nursing home residents to become self-reliant again. I understand that we’re making progress in finding drugs to cure Alzheimer’s disease, but, still. And anyway, unless a cure is found before the fiscal 2013 budget kicks in, there will be no federal money to fund continued research on it.
So that leaves as the only option saving Medicare by destroying it. No matter that the money that those under-55 youngsters paid for theirguaranteed healthcare will be going to a massive new program that’s not for them. Well, okay, a program that’s for a few of them. The ones who are living mainly off of capital gains and stock dividends. A very few, I suspect.
The entire Gail Collins column is absolutely priceless—a definite must-read.