President Obama did not take $700 billion from Medicare, he reduced future Medicare costs by $700 billion- costs that would have come from higher taxes or more debt. Medicare is a welfare system
where current taxpayers fund the health care expenses of retired people. Each generation funds the health care of those who came before them - that's how the system works. There is a Medicare trust fund, but it never has contained more than a couple of years of costs
. We pay into the system because it is the right thing to do, but there are apparently a large number of selfish and ignorant older Americans out there now who believe that they have funded their own Medicare costs and want to break the chain - break the commitment to have the next generation get the same benefits. What the President's health reform bill did, what Obamacare did, was to reduce medicare subsidy to insurance companies that Paul Ryan and other Republicans added to Medicare on the public's credit card. Obamacare also increased the ability of the government to stop Medicare fraud
. One of the provisions of Obamacare that the Republicans want to repeal allows the government to stop payments to Medicare/Medicaid providers who are being prosecuted for fraud. How about that - GOP administration of Medicare did not permit the government to suspend payments when fraud was suspected! In any case, Seniors who are tempted to voted Republican need to know two simple facts:
- Your Medicare taxes you paid while working have paid for healthcare for your parents. That money was spent. There is no magical trust fund that can pay your medical expenses filled with money you put in. You are depending 100% on the willingness of your children's generation to keep paying taxes to fund your health care.
- Once the Republicans have broken the chain, so that the current generation of taxpayers is not going to get any benefit from Medicare when they get older, the Republicans will do what they have always wanted to do and destroy the program. Bet on it.
And just for the record, although Social Security does have a trust
fund from which benefits are drawn it's also welfare- no private company
can provide the assurance that the Federal government does or could it require
employers to pay taxes into the retirement fund.
Welfare is not bad - it's how we meet our moral obligations to people who need help or people we owe something to - like veterans or the last generation of workers. Medicare allows us to live in a society where old people are not treated like trash. But selfishness is
bad - at least for those of us who believe the Bible or some other bleeding heart liberal doctrine and who do not follow Ayn Rand. And selfishness is self-destructive: the deluded "conservative" Medicare recipients who think only of themselves may discover the consequences of their hard heartedness when the next generation turns them out onto the street.