Thursday, April 07, 2011

Because they're not "death panels" if they work for Blue Cross

You can read a lot about the GOP's plan to get rid of Medicare, and perhaps you already have, but the bottom-line takeaway from Krugman is pretty good:
Privatizing and voucherizing Medicare does nothing whatsoever to control costs. We’ve seen that from the sorry history of Medicare Advantage. I’m sure that the Republicans will claim savings — but those savings will come entirely from limiting the vouchers to below the rate of rise in health care costs; in effect, they will come from denying medical care to those who can’t afford to top up their premiums.

Oh, and for all those older Americans who voted GOP last year because those nasty Democrats were going to cut Medicare, I have just one word: suckers!
Cost control is important, but much of the rise in Medicare costs is not because of rising healthcare costs -- it's just that there are going to be more old people in America as the baby-boomers retire. That is not a waste of money, and we need to quit treating it like a waste of money.

Kevin Drum and the TNR bloggers are all over this, if you are looking for more details, but Krugman's skinny is correct. This "reform" simply requires the elderly to pay more for healthcare, so that the rich can pay less in taxes.

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