Friday, March 29, 2013

Proposed Medicare Changes: Getting Some Seniors' Skin In The Game Grave

Digby at Hullabaloo explains the underlying arguments for three or four different ways that Medicare costs can be shifted onto seniors themselves. The proposal seems to have emerged from Sen. Bob Corker (R‑Tenn., and you thought Bill Frist was bad) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R‑Va., now there's a man to make your skin crawl), and is based on the notion that Medicare recipients premeditatedly consume more medical care than is really necessary because they are insulated from the costs by Medicare.

Holy (bleep)! Only a Republican... nah. Obama seems to believe that, too: Force seniors to have some "skin in the game" and they'll use less medical care.
Taxpayers' worst enemy? Really?
Republicans... and of course Obama and some Democrats... want to make seniors pay more of their medical care costs.

Right. Seniors will have more skin in the game; they'll also die sooner, unless they are independently wealthy. Remind me... what demographic does the Republican Party represent? And what party is Obama a member of? Really? Are you sure?

But it's all OK because it wouldn't kick in until 2016... by which time Obama is (presumably) leaving office and newly minted seniors won't know what hit them.

Read Digby's entire post; it examines several aspects of the bipartisan "kill Medicare" movement in detail, and reminds me why I am no longer a money-giving, card-carrying member of the Democratic Party. Would Rmoney have been worse on this issue than Obama is turning out to be? Maybe, but not by much. Digby's conclusion:
Basically, if this is part of some big budget deal (Grand Bargain) it means they're making Medicare recipients pay down the deficit. They don't anticipate any blowback from the Democrats since it's a Democratic president who's proposing it and they figure that since it will go into affect in 2016, after the president is out of office, the dumbshits who enter Medicare after that won't know the difference and he won't get blamed. It's all good.
Seniors are old and decrepit; I speak from personal experience. There's no way seniors could go on a rampage nationwide, starting riots in every major city, holding members of Congress hostage until they cease this utter bullshit and treat the cohort that paid most of the nation's bills over the past 40 years or so like they were human beings. Oh, no, they could never do that... [/snark]


  1. I went along with the doubling of the FICA tax under Ronnie Raygun to stop this kind of crap from happening, and if they try to change the deal, they are going to join the unemployed, and unemployable until they scrap off the tar and feathers.

    They want to raid the Trust Fund. That's what this is all about. They want to steal the money that finances the benefits, so they aren't forced to pay their own bills.

    The premium for Medicare Part B went up 5% this year, while the cost of living increase was 1.7%. Medicare isn't a free ride, it is an insurance policy. People don't go to the doctor because it's free, they go because they're sick. Because of the number of people who have no medical coverage until they start getting Medicare, many of those who enter the plan are a lot sicker than they should be.

    If these morons think hell won't be raised by current recipients and senior organizations, they haven't been paying attention.

    1. Bryan, I confess to feeling an almost overwhelming irony that this is happening just as I am on the verge of Medicare age. I try not to take the ups and downs of governance personally, but if the system I funded for over 45 years with my tax money is robbed just as I reach an age to derive some personal benefit from the program, I'm damned surely going to take it personally.

      I shall do my best to see that no sitting Democratic or Republican member of Congress or occupant of the White House retains his/her office after voting for or signing the evisceration of Medicare. This, like Social Security, was a contract across generations; if my generation is the first to be cut out of receiving the promised benefits, I'll do my damnedest to remove the bastards from office who brought about that bait-and-switch. If possible, I'll vote them out. If that's not possible... well, let's just say it had better be possible if they know what's good for them.

  2. In three years I turn 70. I can barely walk to the mailbox and back. To think that 'they' will kill me off by 2014 pisses me off enough to live longer. We know Obama is a smooth talking sociopath. Now he can add genocide at a distance to his resume.

    1. "[G]enocide at a distance" ... is genocide ever committed up close, karmanot? The thing that astonishes me is that Obama is just over 50 years old... 51, perhaps?... and yet apparently he doesn't feel the cold hand of approaching old age and death on his shoulder, as I certainly have felt since that age at least. De facto belief in his own immortality is about the only thing that could bring him to project such awful policies on the lives of senior citizens. It's deplorable, but it's also incomprehensible: to quote the old Enron commercial, "Why? why? why? why? ..."

    2. Why? I suspect that it is because evil is its own pleasure.

    3. That's where we differ, karmanot. You believe Obama is malevolent; I believe he is seriously deluded, possibly irreversibly so. Now Boehner and McConnell, and certainly Rmoney... I believe they are malevolent, fully aware of what they are perpetrating. Do I believe that only because they are Republican? No, quite the reverse: I believe they are Republican because they are malevolent.

  3. This ploy to destroy Social Security and Medicare all seems to be predicated on the notion that Junior and Juniorette are going to be willing to vote to throw Grandma and Grandpa under the bus. Have we really raised a generation so callow and shallow that they're willing to do that? I guess we'll find out...

    As for Obama even going near the third rail of Social Security and Medicare rather than giving such a notion a flat "No", he's either an idiot or a Republican. Or both. Ain't no other choices there, y'all.

    - Badtux the Third Rail Penguin

    1. BadTux, whatever Junior[ette] may think, we are smarter than their entire generation, and apparently better educated, too. If they decide to throw me under the bus, I vow I shall drag them with me. None for me? fine; none for them either, the little bastards!

    2. Well, Steve, today's young people appear to believe that our generation has left none for them anyhow -- just polluted air, declining economy based on a non-renewable resource that's running out, no jobs, no hope, no future -- so why not throw granny under the bus? Not saying that I agree with them, just that this is the kind of thinking that's out there with young people today. When we were growing up we were pretty much sure that if the idiots at the Pentagon and Kremlin kept their hands off the red button and avoided nuking us, our future would be brighter than our parents' was. Today's young people are the first generation who are less well-off than their parents were at their age and who have no hope of ever being as affluent as their parents... does that mean they're willing to throw Daddy and Grandma under the bus once Daddy and Grandma leave the workforce? We'll see.

    3. 'tux, today's young people have good reason to be disillusioned... and so does every other generation today. The divide is not along age lines so much as class lines. But even membership in the upper-crust may not save you.

      If you're well-off today, chances are you don't give a good damn about anyone who's not. This has not always been the case. Yes, there have always been rich people indifferent to the fate of the lower classes. But think of FDR and later JFK, both upper-crust, both wealthy as kings... and both with a sense of noblesse oblige. Is Mitt Rmoney the new norm for the upper class? If so, then we who are not wealthy are going down, and (as the rich seem not to realize) they are going down with us, whatever we do or don't do.

      For better or worse, America has been structured as a society such that the wealthy cannot thrive in isolation. Perhaps it's always been true in all societies, but has gone unrecognized. But I've never seen a virus that recognizes a gated community as off-limits, or a climate change that refuses to affect country clubs and golf courses. It's all of us or none of us... and right now, I wouldn't place a bet on which way it will go.



• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes