The War on Old Folks

Live in the US? Don't expect Medicare health care when you get old.

Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed budget is a full-out, concerted assault on old folks. According to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), he would cut Medicaid by $1 trillion over the next decade and convert it into a block grant to the states, which would result in deep cuts to vital services for seniors.

Also, under Ryan’s plan, starting in 2022, Medicare would no longer exist. Instead, people currently in their early 50s would, when they retire, get a voucher to purchase private health insurance, thus transferring control of Medicare to the health insurance industry.

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And I can guarantee you that those vouchers would be nowhere near enough to cover basic health care, let alone the health care needed for the chronic disease that old people get, just because they are old. Those who oppose the individual mandate are the invulnerable young folk who don't believe they will ever get sick or old and need that care -- they think they should be able to buy insurance once they are already sick (which Obama's plan DOES allow for). *I* think that if they don't buy insurance while they are young and healthy, they should be out of luck, although there should be an exclusion (or an inclusion?) for those who already have chronic diseases by the time they graduate college or get their first job, like those who develop diabetes during childhood, or any one of numerous other early-onset chronic diseases. I know my employers paid premiums for me when I was young and healthy, and I expect that my current needs should be covered, because I and my employer paid my dues! Even though I don't think health care should be tied to employment at all. But that's another story.




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