Monday, November 14, 2016
So, Paul Ryan says his first priority in 2017 is to phase out Medicare. He'll give people vouchers that will cover part of the cost of private insurance instead, but obviously the whole point is that they won't be sufficient. Medicare is much more cost-efficient than private insurance, because it doesn't have to pay for marketing, multi-million dollar executive salaries, or profits. And insurance companies have all kinds of ways of avoiding the most costly customers and screwing people out of benefits. Read the linked post if you want more details, but . . .
What is most strange about this is that it has almost no constituency, apart from a few extremist ideologues and plutocrats who don't want to pay taxes. Retired people and people who will retire depend on the program (as do people with disabilities). Doctors and hospitals get most of their revenue from it. The only way Republicans can advance their agenda is to lie to people, which is what Ryan is doing.
It seems to me that now that Republicans have total control over the federal government, and it actually comes time for them to do everything they have promised to do, it's suddenly going to get difficult. The first thing George W. Bush said after he was reelected was that he wanted to privatize Social Security. Funny thing about that, it didn't happen.
We need to resist everything, everywhere, with maximum energy. There is still plenty of life in the American republic and the progressive vision. We will win in the end.