Daily Kos has become something of a sink for campaign ideas that one or another of us has discovered in a dream or elsewhere that we think will decide the election.
Can I play too?
Please explain to me why an ad or a debate confrontation presenting the argument below would not be the game-changer that wraps this election up by October 4.
Follow me if you dare ...
You propose a new system of senior health care financing to apply to people currently aged 54 and below, a system that you have Marco Rubio acknowledging in one of your ads will be inferior to the current Medicare program. Under this new system, which will apparently be activated in 2023, seniors will receive a voucher and will have to assign that voucher to one of a number of insurance companies vying for their custom. By its very nature, as it relies on competition to apportion health care, your program makes it possible for a recipient to make a better or worse choice of providers, and someone who makes a really bad choice may end up losing all his or her retirement savings unnecessarily. Hey, that's how markets work, isn't it?
You also promise - as in that Rubio ad - that people currently 55 and above will continue to enroll in 'Medicare as we know it', because 'we owe it to them'. Those millions of people shouldn't concern themselves with your proposal in deciding how to vote because you promise them they will see no change. (I'll add that, at any time you might be President, there will be no change anyway; you hope to enact your 'reform' to be implemented entirely by Presidents who come after you.)
Let me present you with a couple, Harold and Maude, who are now 64 years old. In the next few months, they will be enrolling in Medicare and they are expecting to enjoy its coverage for the rest of their lives - just as you promise, just as Democrats promise.
My question is:
Can you look Harold and Maude in the eye and solemnly guarantee them from the depths of your heart that in 2033, when they are 85, they won't receive a letter from a President (who may now in 2012 just be getting out of college) that reads something like this
Dear friends and fellow-citizens,And I'll expand my question a little bit and ask you if you can then look Harold in the eye and tell him
As you know, the U.S. Government is administering two distinct systems for senior health care, one for people under 75 and one for people like you. As of this year, more people are enrolled in Vouchercare than in the obsolete 'Medicare' program. Frankly, my friends, maintaining two systems is proving very expensive. I don't recall clearly what promises the candidates back in 2012 may or may not have made, but I am the President now and those are not my promises.
This is to inform you that we are terminating Medicare. You will still be covered by Vouchercare and herein enclosed you will find a list of insurance corporations that may be interested in doing business with you. You have 30 days to contact these companies and make your choice among the many many policies they offer. If you study them carefully, I'm sure you will be able to identify the one that is most likely best to meet your needs.
Good luck and good health!
"Harold, as things happen there's some chance that in 2033 you will be gone - because in these times our wives tend to out-live us by several years - so I promise you especially that after you've passed on your widow Maude will not receive the letter described above. Harold, I solemnly pledge to you that I sure hope that never happens, I really do."
That's a yes-or-no question, or two yes-or-no questions, I guess, and I am very curious to hear the response.