The Conversation

A sore spot from the Paul Ryan op-ed: Medicare redistribution

In response to Ryan Weak on Obamacare? Are You Serious?:

If you'll indulge me for a further moment of sour grapes, one thing from Paul Ryan's op-ed that sticks in my craw is his proposal to "ask the better off to pay higher premiums for Medicare."  This has been discussed many times in the past, and it sticks in my craw whenever it comes up, resulting in a badly perforated craw, which unfortunately is not covered under ObamaCare.

Perhaps this is a reform that we'll have to consider to keep Medicare solvent.  Maybe it doesn't make sense to extend Medicare payments to wealthy people who are barely aware of them.  Of course, there really aren't that many such people, which leads me to wonder just how much money Uncle Sam could save by hosing the "better off"... or, conversely, just how much "better off" you'll have to be, to qualify for a hosing.

But that's not how Medicare was sold.  It's transmuting from a supposedly universal entitlement that we'd all benefit from, and finance, into just another wealth-redistribution scheme.  It will be a straight-up welfare program, but nobody will call it that.

And that's our future under ObamaCare.  You can bet your bottom dollar on it.  It's already looting certain groups of people for the benefit of others, so its transition into a full-blown high-performance engine of wealth redistribution will be easier.  Some people pay full boat, while others get big subsidies.  Young people pay for "benefits" they won't use, which is just a polite way of picking their pockets to cover the losses from extending benefits to older folks.  

We all know ObamaCare is unsustainable.  Rep. Paul Ryan certainly does.  So let's peek a bit outside that ten-year Congressional Budget Office forecast window, and ask what's going to happen when O-care reaches Medicare levels of insolvency.  Remember that we'll soon be hearing pleas to increase the subsidy payments, because those poor people with pre-existing conditions can't possibly pay the huge out-of-pocket expenses built into their ObamaCare plans, and low-income folks can't handle the jacked-up premiums.  The ultimate "solution" will be single-payer socialized medicine, of course... but before that, we're going to hear the same argument about means-tested premium hikes and benefit cuts to soak the rich.  Why, if we just ask the better off to pay higher premiums for their ObamaCare, we'll have the money to help the unfortunate souls who just can't afford the Affordable Care Act!

Why should we ever unleash another thinly-disguised redistribution scheme on the American people?  Too many of us keep swooning over sugary promises the ruling class knows it cannot keep... and they don't want to keep them, because the perfectly predictable "failure" of those promises only serves their true agenda.


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