You thought Social Security wouldn’t be around by the time you were grey and grizzled? Never mind that, keep your eye on medicare. House budget honcho Paul Ryan plans to release the 2012 GOP budget proposal tomorrow, and according to Ryan it includes long-term plans to phase out Medicare in favor of a voucher system in which seniors would receive credits with which they could shop for approved health care plans.
If you thought that choosing a plan from your current health options was a headache, just wait until you’re old and stooped and have PEC (pre-existing condition) tattooed to your forehead.
Apparently, Ryan doesn’t like the associations that people are apt to make with the word voucher, however, as he insists that his plan is actually a “premium-support model.” Which differs from a voucher model how?
If you listen to the video below, you’ll see that he goes to great lengths to explain that Medicare actually suffers from being a public system, and that, as everyone knows, everything becomes more efficient when privatized and deregulated. Like the banking system (who does that nut-job Volker think he is, anyway?). And airlines (anyone remember Pan Am and Braniff?)
Naturally, Ryan offers the generalization that competition will drive down costs (so why do we spend twice the amount on health care per capital than is spent by most of the major economies on the planet?), but as far as I can see, the real boon here is to insurance companies, who are naturally salivating over a new potential revenue stream.