Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, August 27, 2012


Great. The Republicans want seniors to have voucher-based medical care.

Paul Krugman:

So there it is: the draft Republican platform says of Medicare and Medicaid,
The first step is to move the two programs away from their current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model.
That means that instead of Medicare as we know it, which pays your medical bills, you’d get a lump sum which you can apply to private insurance — they’ll yell when we call it a voucher, but that’s what it is....

Bear in mind that health expenses will still have to be mainly paid for by some kind of insurance; that’s in the nature of medical care, with its high but unpredictable cost. So what we’re doing here is replacing government insurance with a program that gives people money to buy private insurance — that is, adding an extra layer of middlemen. Why would this save money? I guess the answer is supposed to be the magic of the marketplace — but we have the experience of Medicare Advantage, plus studies of Medicaid versus private insurance, plus the raw fact that America relies more on private insurance than any other nation and also has by far the highest costs. Nothing, absolutely nothing, in the record suggests that this will do anything other than make health care less efficient.
We are assured that any seniors who vote for Richie Rich/Ayn Rand this time won't lose his or her Medicare, just the rest of us. Of course some seniors have wives young enough to lose out on this deal, but they must be poor if they need Medicare so they don't count.


BillCinSD said...

The only money it saves is payments from the government. the total cost to the people is not of concern.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

You know what's fiscally sound?

Single payer.

Downpuppy said...

Who in the world is going to believe a for-profit insurer would take a cancerous 85 year old?

They've been lying so long they've forgotten how to be remotely plausible.

Kathy said...

Medicare IS TOO sustainable: all they (gov) need to do is raise the Medicare "tax", especially on people making millions per year. And ditto the SS tax while they're at it.

Also, gov needs to (dare I say it?) strictly REGULATE the medical "industry". And the Banks and Wall Street. HaHa. Yeah, like THAT will happen any time soon.

Susan of Texas said...

Downpuppy, they all say nothing about the fact that seniors are usually the most expensive users of health care. Therefore the premiums would probably be huge and, like the education vouchers the right is dying to hand out to the looters and moochers, totally inadequate.

Substance McGravitas said...

Who in the world is going to believe a for-profit insurer would take a cancerous 85 year old?

I dunno, there are lots of people out there who like to have old people sign things.

Downpuppy said...

Oh, lordy....

Yes, we're already forgetting the world of rampant recission & junk insurance that disappears when you get sick that the standards of PPACA (& some states regulations) are finally putting a dent in.

Meanwhile, the Republican's Big Idea is selling across state lines, which would bring it back double.

Lurking Canadian said...

Who in the world is going to believe a for-profit insurer would take a cancerous 85 year old?

Oh, I can guarantee that, in the unlikely event of Ryan's plan being actually enacted, every health insurance provider in the US will immediately issue a "Senior Health Plan" that costs EXACTLY one voucher.

It will also have a benefit cap that limits customers to two aspirins and one package of Kleenex per year.