Obama's Scary Medicare Plan Explained in Plain, Straight-Shooting English

stethoscopeRonald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’” Dude was right. Just look at the success of No Child Left Behind (education fail), Social Security (bankrupt), and the DMV (do I need to say more?) to see in plain sight that government "help" does little to advance society.

As if the government didn’t have its sticky fingers in the health care industry enough with Medicare and Medicaid, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, which mandates that everyone buy health insurance whether they want it or not. Here’s a not so well kept secret: The greater a government program sounds, the more afraid you should be of it. Beware the Unicorn in Every Backyard Act -- you’ll pay for it, but it’s doubtful you’ll ever get that unicorn.

So anyway, let’s talk about this Obamacare thing. It’s set up in a way that makes it incredibly difficult for your employer to offer you private insurance. More likely than not, your employer will drop your plan and opt to pay the (much smaller) fee. Meanwhile, you have to have insurance, because John Roberts says so, or pay a fee tax yourself.

Welcome to government-run health care, where money is scarce and service is scarcer. Here’s how this type of care works: The government says health care providers may only charge a fraction of what their services are worth to people on government plans. Because practitioners have their own bills to pay, they then have to charge their private customers more to make up the lost cost. Due to higher costs, more people have to drop private insurance and go on the government plan, and the whole thing spirals downward.

Of course, because this is the government we’re talking about, it is not self-funding. So how are we going to pay for all of these new patients on the dole? By robbing Medicare of $716 billion over the next 10 years. Yet somehow, when the CBO scored the bill, they were forced use some tricky math to count that money twice. Now all of a sudden something that seemed affordable is no longer. Think of it this way: If you move five dollars from your left hand to your right, you still only have five dollars. But if someone saw each of your hands with the money, they might logically conclude that you have ten.

Obamacare robs Medicare of nearly a trillion dollars, and the Obama campaign has the gall to come out and attack Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for "gutting" Medicare by offering an optional voucher-based system to future seniors. Not to be implemented until 2023, this plan will not affect any current seniors, or any seniors entering the traditional system in the next decade.

What these vouchers do is offer an option to future seniors to have more control over their health care. By giving people the option to spend their Medicare money as they see fit, rather than how the government dictates, we’ll once again put the focus of health care back where it belongs -- in the exam room between the doctor and the patient.

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other writers have to say, see Should Medicare Be Replaced by Subsidies?


Image via rosmary/Flickr

2012 election, barack obama, economy, health care, human rights, in the news, law, media, mitt romney, politics, taxes


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nonmember avatar Zuri

Jenny, WTH are you talking about? Obamacare robs Medicare of nearly a trillion dollars. The Romney/ Ryan plan cuts Medicare too. It depends on where that money is going. Let's look at it like this: Spending ten dollars on defense instead of spending ten dollars on healthcare is still spending ten dollars. I'd rather have my grandma's Medicare money get cut and go into another healthcare plan that is supposed to benefit her than for the money to go into turning her Medicare into a $5000 supermarket. So you say my grandma won't get hurt by the Romney/Ryan plan because it doesn't come into effect until 2023? Okay, so who gets hurt by it then? Future seniors. I don't know about you, but I don't want to have to go shopping for my Medicare which I can't afford when I'm 75 and retired either. Either way, you're hurting somebody.

Flori... Floridamom96

Grandma's medicare is not touched under the Romney/Ryan plan. The accusation is a total lie (which you readily acknowledge in your post right after making that accusation). I would much rather take care of myself than have the government decide what's best for me.

Newle... Newleaf32

Gives me a total stomachache. I really hate to see where this country is headed.

Ameri... AmericanVenus

You realize, Jenny, that the $716 billion you refer to as being "robbed" from Medicare has been debunked several times over. Quit spouting the Republican party line and educate yourself. You prove again and again that you're an idiot.

And yes, I DO believe that single payer health care is the way to go. Health care is a human right.

slink... slinkerwink

Wow. This entire blog post is a total lie. 

right... rightside

You realize, Jenny, that the $716 billion you refer to as being "robbed" from Medicare has been debunked several times over.

Really?  Can you source that - and not from Huff-Po or Media Matters?  No?  How (not) odd and completely (not) surprising.

What I'm noticing about this whole Mediscare tactic is how quickly the Obamabots have decided that choice, when it comes to seniors and their health care, is bad.  But choice when it comes to their own bodies?  How dare you even imply that they should not have choices!  Who are you to make decisions for someone else, about what is best for them? 

What I would love is for one O-bot to explain to me how the Ryan plan, which keeps Medicare in it's current form AND offers an option to someone who would prefer a private plan, is bad?  I have to assume it's because "Obama say, so we say".  Do any of them (besides American Venus) understand that his goal is a single payor system, where the federal government tells you what healthcare you may and may not have?  Yes, that's right - his end-game is having the entire country on a Federal Medicaid Plan.

Flori... Floridamom96

It is absoutely true, AmericanVenus. Are all liberals this uninformed? Robert Gibbs flat out admitted they were cutting that amount from Medicare to Chris Wallace on FoxNews Sunday. 

AniAngel AniAngel

Oh well if it's on Fox news or huff po it must be true!

Get a grip on the fact that very few people have any real understanding of either option and all your politicians like it that way.

AniAngel AniAngel

1. United States

> Total expenditure on health per capita: $7,960

> Expenditure as % of GDP: 17.4% (the most)

> Annual growth of total health expenditure: +2.2% (14th least)

> Life expectancy: 78.2 years (27th highest)

The U.S. has, by far, the highest total expenditure on health care per capita. America spends approximately $2,600 more per person annually than Norway, the second-highest spender. Only 47.7% of this amount is public expenditure — the third-smallest percentage among developed countries. However, the actual amount of public spending, $3,795, is among the highest. The U.S. also spends the largest amount on pharmaceuticals and other medical nondurables. The country has fairly low rates of doctors and hospital beds relative to its population. It also has the eighth-lowest life expectancy, at 78.2 years.

Seems like we must be doing something wrong. Maybe if our politicians had this countries best interests at heart they could stop fighting and start working. Extreme partisan politics (like this article and most of the other political pieces you read on this site) are destroying this country.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2012/03/29/countries-that-spend-most-on-health-care/#ixzz24Jt8Vhrl

Annie Squidface

How come no one ever brings up Romneycare during these Obama bashing articles? Or the fact that everyone paying a premium will make that premium drop? Or, banish the thought, lacking a willingness to cut down on frivolities if it means that by you having less, people with nothing can have something.

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