Earth to G.O.P. regarding Medicare's "failure".
by Tom Rinaldo, Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 08:17:57 AM EDT
This isn't the first time I've seen them try to slam Medicare as a failed program because it's "going bankrupt". From "The Hill", October 20th:
"Republicans mocked the idea of re-branding a plan they still consider a government takeover of healthcare.
It didn't matter what they called Crystal Pepsi; no one wanted to drink it," said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). "No matter how the Democrats `re-brand' their government takeover of healthcare, the American people oppose it."
Republicans also note that Medicare is already $37 trillion in the hole and is projected to go bankrupt by 2018. "Has anyone noticed that Medicare is completely broke?" said Andrew Biggs, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who worked in the White House on President George W. Bush's plan to overhaul Social Security."
Without even bothering to challenge their numbers, I wonder if Republicans can grasp this simple truth: If the income stream that supports Medicare was allowed to rise annually at the same rate that private insurance premiums have been rising in America for a decade, Medicare would be awash in cash. Medicare's funding has not been allowed to rise the way private insurance premiums have because Seniors and others who depend on Medicare simply can't afford it, and unlike those who don't qualify for Medicare, they are not held hostage to the greed and inefficiency of this nation's private insurance industry for whom demanding a 30% annual hike in premium costs in order to remain insured remains business as usual.