Saturday, November 16, 2013

Want Republican Healthcare? You Have It.

So, how is that Obamacare working out? Problems? And why are Republicans against it? It is, after all, in almost every respect, a Republican plan. There is essentially nothing socialist or progressive about it. It is a fee-based, means-tested, privatized and state-based healthcare insurance system. Instead of being a simple, universal program, it is overly complex. It requires far more information from enrollees, and uses subsidies and means-testing to vary those subsidies. It tries to match individuals with a myriad of private insurance companies with dozens of insurance plans each. It does not even have a public option.

And how about the levels of coverage offered. Do you want bronze, silver, gold or platinum coverage? Do you think you can avoid bankruptcy with a healthcare insurance plan covering only 60% of expenses should you have a devastating illness or accident? The less you can afford for coverage, the more you end up paying in healthcare expenses. Romneycare in Massachusetts has not eliminated bankruptcies due to medical expenses.

Contrast it with Social Security, which is a universal, federal, tax-based retirement and disability insurance program which has been proven to be the most successful program ever to come out of Washington, D.C. And this is in spite of Congress chipping away at benefits over the last 30 years. Congress has delayed cost-of-living increases, with those increases being less than the real inflation rate. The age at which full retirement benefits start has increased. Incomes above $113,700 have no payroll taxes applied, and the salary cap itself has not risen in step with inflation. All income from capital gains and dividends are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes.

And what are politicians proposing in order to fix deficits caused by unfunded wars, massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and an economy which tanked less than 10 years after massive deregulation of the banks and the financial industry? More cuts to Social Security.  

Do you like Obamacare? Then you will love the radical conservative plans to privatize Social Security and eliminate Medicare in favor of lifelong Obamacare.

The only thing worse than Obamacare is no plan at all. So until it is replaced by universal, single-payer, Medicare-for-all, the Republican healthcare plan for America will have to do.

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