Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Paul Krugman: “Vouchercare Is Not Medicare”

In their latest bout of Orwellian doublespeak, the Republicans are attempting to claim that destroying Medicare is saving Medicare. Once again, Paul Krugman will have none of it. The plan proposed by Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) is not only not Medicare, but it will also have dire consequences for seniors. From “Vouchercare Is Not Medicare”:

…Republicans are indeed seeking to dismantle Medicare as we know it, replacing it with a much worse program.

I’m seeing many attempts to shout down anyone making this obvious point, and not just from Republican politicians. For some reason, many commentators seem to believe that accurately describing what the G.O.P. is actually proposing amounts to demagoguery. But there’s nothing demagogic about telling the truth.

…Medicare is a government-run insurance system that directly pays health-care providers. Vouchercare would cut checks to insurance companies instead. Specifically, the program would pay a fixed amount toward private health insurance — higher for the poor, lower for the rich, but not varying at all with the actual level of premiums. If you couldn’t afford a policy adequate for your needs, even with the voucher, that would be your problem.

And most seniors wouldn’t be able to afford adequate coverage. A Congressional Budget Office analysis found that to get coverage equivalent to what they have now, older Americans would have to pay vastly more out of pocket under the Paul Ryan plan than they would if Medicare as we know it was preserved. Based on the budget office estimates, the typical senior would end up paying around $6,000 more out of pocket in the plan’s first year of operation. 

...So in voting for the House budget plan, Republicans voted to end Medicare. Saying that isn’t demagoguery, it’s just pointing out the truth.

No comments: