• Reform will affect them, not you!

    There’s a piece in the WSJ today on how some Republican legislators are having difficulty explaining the benefits of Rep. Ryan’s proposal to seniors.  Evidently, some are upset by things they’ve heard. But the defense being mounted seems odd to me (emphasis mine):

    Now Republican lawmakers fanning out across the country during their Easter break to explain the plan to constituents are finding their biggest challenge is convincing seniors already receiving Medicare benefits that those benefits won’t be affected, and that the changes would apply only to people who become eligible for Medicare in 2021 and beyond.

    If you believe that the reforms that are proposed won’t slash benefits, that’s a reasonable defense. If you believe that the benefits may be reduced, but will be done in a way that doesn’t affect health outcomes, that’s a reasonable defense. Even if you believe that benefits will be reduced, but that’s necessary as we just can’t afford it as a country – that’s a reasonable defense.

    But saying – none of the terrible things that you hear will affect you, just people younger than you and in the future – that’s an unreasonable defense. First of all, you’re going to continue asking those younger people to pay the same, if not more, for the continued benefits of those you’re pandering to. You’re also admitting that those terrible things people have been hearing are true, just not for the people you’re pandering to. Finally, what makes you think that in 10 years, when those younger people start qualifying for Medicare, they won’t be screaming just as loudly, meaning you’ll have to start pandering to them?

    If you believe that Medicare reform is necessary and reasonable, then it should apply to everyone and now. That goes for all proposals, made by people from both sides of the aisle.

    • I totally agree. It’s sad to me (I’m under 30) that the “defense” they’re offering, though, will probably assuage the Seniors who are upset because they care more about themselves than the future generations.

    • The particulars in Ryan’s plan make it appear to be less brave and courageous than advertised. It is just a plan that might be favored by his own constituency, heavily concentrated among wealthier and older Americans.


    • Mixed emotions on this one. If the solution to Medicare reforms will, say, require increased out-of-pocket expenditures, then we must have some lucidity to recognize that folks on fixed incomes (which I assume is much of the population for those relying on Medicare today) will have some tough decisions to make. For those that can easily make the decisions to pay more, I hope they aren’t the ones in the front row arguing the loudest.

      Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for figuring out a system-wide, holistic solution to the problem. Shared sacrifice model.


    • Jeremy,

      I’ve lived a childfree life dedicated to neglect of “future generations.” If I cared for them I might have produced some!

      Now, after having supported the kids of the breeders all my working years, I should sacrifice my retirement funds for them. Have another think, Jeremy.

      At 67, I would prefer Ryan’s plan. As it is, Medicare, which I’ve paid into since its inception in 1965, does me no good at my retirement home in Rio de Janeiro. Nor does it do any good for the 5,000,000 other expatriate Amerikans either on Medicare or that Obama plans to either penalize or enroll in equally useless Obamacare.

      With the Ryan plan, I imagine I could buy some useful insurance with my $8000 voucher.

      • Jimbino,

        I agree with you that Seniors shouldn’t have to support Juniors if they don’t want to, obviously you don’t. And I would prefer a program more like Ryan’s than Obama’s. What my problem is, is that Seniors today are getting much more in benefits than they put into the system, some of it’s being paid for by my generation, and some of it will be paid back in the future through debt. I just want Seniors to take out what they put in, Many of them are being selfish, and pretty much stealing from other generations.

        • Jeremy,

          You and I no doubt agree. I will agree to subsidize the breeders when they agree to subsidize my Mercedez. That won’t happen.

          I know that I’ve paid a fee of 2% or so of my income for Medicare all these 45 years of my working life since 1965. Where I live in Brazil, I will not see a dime of Medicare, Medicaid or Obamacare, whereas you say, “Seniors today are getting much more in benefits than they put into the system.” You, along with Obama, need to get an education here.

          Now you want me to feel bad about the brood of the breeders?

          You say say that you “just want Seniors to take out what they put in,” a sentiment to which I will not object. If I took out now what I put in, with interest, it would come to more than $2,000,000 in SS benefits and, god knows, some $200,000 in Medicare benefits.

          I did not vote for this socialist bullshit, and I hope your generation sees the light to eliminate it, if not for me, for the sake of your beloved “future generations.”

    • you have a curious statement in the last line of your post: “If you believe that Medicare reform is necessary and reasonable, then it should apply to everyone and now.”

      Why is that?