Medicare would be replaced, but with what? The budget plan would dump Medicare for a voucher system where seniors would get an annual subsidy to buy health insurance in the private market. But today, it is not possible for most seniors, who likely have pre-existing conditions, to buy insurance as individuals. For many, premiums would simply be unaffordable even with a government voucher. They could purchase under the 2010 health law that creates insurance exchanges and requires carriers to sell coverage to all comers no matter their health. But the Republicans want to repeal that law and won’t say how they’d replace it.
What will happen to health and long-term care services care for the poor? The GOP plan would turn Medicaid into a kind of voucher as well, except a limited annual subsidy would go to states, and not to individuals. In that environment, states would get increased flexibility, but they’d also have far less money to work with–hundreds of billions of dollars less. The probable result: significant cuts in a program that is already insuffficient in many states. What would happen to the sickest and poorest in that environment?
Medicynical Note: This is not a health care plan but dismantling of health care provided our most infirm, sick and poor citizens. Meanwhile the 50 million currently without insurance will still be without coverage.
Check out every other industrialized country’s solution–everyone covered, no bankruptcies at half of our costs.
The plan is an attractive fiction that is doomed to fail. The question is how many Americans will die before we find a better more reasonable solution?