Well it looks like its official the House GOP Leadership wants to end Medicare and Medicaid. Not just reform them but end them, they believe they can balance the Federal Budget on the backs of the people who need these Social Insurance programs. I’ll give them credit for one thing, at first they were only concentrating on 13% of the Federal Budget. Or 481B$ in a 3.7T$ Federal Budget, with a Budget Deficit of 1.6T$ and a National Debt of roughly 14T$. But then they would only offer Budget Cuts of around 50-60B$ a year. It would be at least twenty years before they could balance the budget at that pace. But they stepped up their game with Medicare and Medicaid, two Health Insurance programs that together are over 700B$ a year. They represent 20% of the Federal Budget, I don’t like what they are doing here. But at least they are talking about real money now. And at least put something on the table. But they have two problems, one on substance and the other political. Turning Medicare into a Voucher System and forcing people off of Medicare. Cuts back choice in Medicare, Senior Citizens wouldn’t be able to choose Medicare for their Health Insurance. That cuts back on choice, which is both a policy as well a political problem for the House GOP Leadership.
From a political perspective I want Congressional Democrats as well as the White House. To treat the GOP Medicare plan for what it is and go after it. Try to make it as unpopular as the Affordable Care Act was in 2010. House GOP fundraising totals are down and their members are feeling the heat from their Medicare vote of a few weeks ago. While at the same time the White House and the Democratic Senate led by the Democratic Leadership. Should be offering their own proposals to reform Medicare and Medicaid. As well a broader approach to cutting the deficit and debt. What the White House offered a couple of weeks ago is not serious. Its mainly goals and objectives, not a serious Policy Document. President Obama hasn’t been serious in this debate yet. Even though he is the President. He’s been waiting for the House GOP to go first, so he can use this issue against him. And his Approval Rating has fallen.
Both Medicare and Medicaid need to be reformed, but not to the extent where they are no longer familiar. Or no longer in operation but where they are both Cost Effective and provide a better service. We can’t balance our budget without addressing these two programs that represent over 20% of the Federal Budget. Just like we can’t balance the budget without addressing the Defense Department. Another 20% of the Federal Budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would have more credibility on Fiscal Responsibility, if he addressed National Defense and the waste in that as well. Like defending Developed Nations that can afford to defend themselves. But he hasn’t done that and has instead taken an ideological route to Deficit Reduction. And offering a plan that he knows is DOA in the Senate. Meaning the President would never get a chance to veto it.
The way I would reform both Medicare and Medicaid, is to get them off of the State and Federal Governments hands. And turn them into Independent Non Profit Health Insurance services. That would still be owned by the Federal Government but operated independently. Financed by their patients and employers. With vouchers for the patients that can’t afford to pay for their Health Insurance. This would save over 700B$ a year that could be used to pay down the deficit and debt. Both Insurance Services would still be in tack but a lot more Cost Effective.
If your in this debate to take on Deficit Reduction, great but offer a serious proposal that can solve the problem without hurting the most vulnerable. Instead of offering an Ideological Blueprint that has no shot of passing and doesn’t solve the problem.