Paul Ryan thinks you can cut Medicare with a magic asterisk
He also thinks you fly by stretching out your arms. (Jason Reed/Reuters)
No exaggeration here: On Tuesday, the GOP will officially propose eliminating the current Medicare system by 2021, replacing it with a system of subsidized private insurance in which Medicare beneficiaries would get the equivalent of vouchers to cover a portion of their premiums.
At least on paper, the proposal would save money, but only because it increases voucher funding more slowly than the cost of health care, guaranteeing that at some point, seniors wouldn't be able to afford to get insurance—assuming that they could even find an insurer interested in covering the elderly.
Republicans say that the plan won't impact the cost or quality of medical care, nor will it leave any seniors with inadequate coverage. But they are also careful to say that their plan would not take effect until 2021, so it would only impact people who are 55 and under.
But if they really believe their plan would be so great for seniors, why wait until 2021? Why not just do it now? I could see needing two or three years for implementation, but 10 years? C'mon, guys. It's obvious that the only reason you're exempting people who are 55 and older from your proposal is because you know that anybody who actually spends any time thinking about it (like, for example, people who are close to Medicare eligibility) will quickly understand that this proposal is a complete joke.
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