Friday, April 29, 2011 - Medicare As We've Known It Isn't an Option

I agree with the analysis in this article, but I think it misses the larger fact that the average senior gets about 3 times more benefits from Medicare than they contributed.  This fact alone should show that Medicare is unsustainable and must be fixed.  We can help the poor without bankrupting this country, but that requires ending the notion that health care is something we all are “entitled” to from the government. - Opinion: Medicare As We've Known It Isn't an Option


The Democratic Party is urging Americans to choose Medicare as we've always known it rather than a new plan by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) that would enroll seniors in private health insurance beginning in 2022. This choice is a hoax: Medicare as we've always known it is already gone. It was eviscerated by President Obama's health law. The 2012 election could turn on this falsehood.

The truth is that the Obama health law reduces future funding for Medicare by $575 billion over the next 10 years and spends the money on other programs, including a vast expansion of Medicaid.

The fact is that Mr. Obama's law raids Medicare. Mr. Ryan's plan, on the other hand, stops the Medicare heist and puts the funds "saved" in this decade toward health care for another generation of retirees.

So what can retiring Americans count on in 2022 and after? The Obama health law leaves that up to an unelected board of presidential appointees called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a cost-cutting panel.

The board is a radical departure from Medicare as we've known it. Congress cedes nearly all control of Medicare spending to the board on the rationale that budgeting decisions should be shielded from outraged seniors and political pressures. On April 13, the president reiterated that the board would decide what care is "unnecessary" for seniors. Even the CBO cautioned that as the nation's debt crisis worsens, benefits will be put on the board's chopping block.




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