First, it’s baffling that advocating for reform of a broken system is anathema to liberals. I’ve never met anyone who is against efficiency. Second, who cares if the right tried to ‘end medicare as we know it.’ Emancipation from wasteful government entitlement programs is inherently moral and enhances the freedom of the American people. However, those are the hypotheticals. These are the facts.
As Jim Geraghty of NRO reported today, it’s “shocking” the health care costs have gone up under Obama:
Health insurance costs for families are up considerably: “Kaiser’s survey found that annual insurance premiums to cover people through their employers average $5,429 for single people and $15,073 for a family of four in 2011. Those rates rose 8 percent for single people and 9 percent for families. In 2010, premiums rose just 3 percent for families from the previous year.”
Then there’s the price hikes in the current year: “The cost to cover the typical family of four under an employer plan is expected to top $20,000 on health care this year, up more than 7 percent from last year, according to early projections by independent actuarial and health care consulting firm Milliman Inc.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute projects medical costs will increase 7.5 percent for 2013, a rate they characterize as “relatively flat growth.” The National Business Group on Health projects a similar figure: “With the cost of employer-provided health care benefits at large U.S. employers expected to rise another 7 percent next year, employers are eyeing a variety of cost-control measures including asking workers to pay a greater portion of premiums but also sharply boosting financial rewards to engage workers in healthy lifestyles, according to a new survey by the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of 342 large employers.”
How could this have happened? Didn’t we spend nearly a trillion dollars to make sure these hikes in costs didn’t occur? Oh wait–now I remember. The Obama administration ignored the demands of the people to control costs and decided to increase coverage instead and mandated that those who don’t buy insurance will be taxed. I guess Obama’s policy wonks, a term I use loosely, missed the Cato study showing that all states have created nearly 1900 mandates on benefits coverages. The result was an incremental increase in health care costs. It didn’t work at the state level. It won’t work with a federal mandate steroids.
Medicare and other costs in health care are certainly the focal point when it comes to getting our fiscal house in order. We must also understand that when these programs were instituted competent medicine was never factored into the equation. The average length of time between retirement and death was two years. That has now increased by two decades. For the next two decades–10,000 baby boomers will become eligible receive Medicare and Social Security benefits in their respective states. In addition, the very elderly, people who are 85 or older, as a percentage, is the fastest growing demographic in the United States. A lot of these people are living with chronic illnesses that would have wiped them out ten to fifteen years ago. With the dismal statistics eventually showing a paltry 2.1 workers supporting each retiree, it’s time for liberals to recognize that reform is needed.
Instead, they demonize Republicans for trying to get Medicare and health care costs under control via free market reforms. I think the depraved reality is that liberals would rather see grandma go off the cliff than sacrifice the last bastion of liberal social achievement. An achievement that was temporary– which is the case with most socialist initiatives. However, in light of the data showing the ‘graying’ of America, the left has resorted to misinforming the public. Otherwise known as MediSCARING– which was demonstrated by the president when he addressed a crowd in Iowa this week.
As Carol E. Lee of the Wall Street Journal reported today, the president reiterated his Davy Crockett stance on the issue. ”I have strengthened Medicare, Mr. Obama told a crowd of 3,000 people on the last of his three days in Iowa on a campaign swing. He said Mr. Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, would turn Medicare into a voucher program that could cost seniors $6,400 more a year…their plan ends Medicare as we know it, Mr. Obama said.”
However, Phil Kerpin wrote today that:
Obama has already cut $716 billion from Medicare to fund his new health care entitlement, and would cap Medicare growth going forward at the rate of GDP growth plus 0.5 percent. Those cuts will run into the trillions of dollars in the second decade under Obama’s program, and will be implemented principally by turning over control of health care decisions to bureaucrats who will be empowered to deny people the care they need.
The Ryan plan implements the same cap on overall Medicare spending, but achieves it by injecting individual choice and competition into the program, allowing patients to choose between traditional fee-for-service Medicare and competing private plans.
However, according to Andres Ramirez, Vice-Chair of the DNC Hispanic Caucus, those cuts are “not necessary or essential in the Medicare budget.”
Whatever happened to the president’s call for a serious conversation about this subject? Well, when you re-election bid is marred by a failed health care reform , increased debt, and unemployment remaining above 8% for over 40 straight months, you have to misinform your way back into office–even if it means your policies push grandma off the cliff. It’s all relative. That’s liberal thinking 101. In all, I find it sickening that liberals would sacrifice an entire demographic for political points and plunge this nation into fiscal ruin. Some say the Tea Party did that with the debt ceiling crisis last summer, but that’s a frivolous assessment. We never would have reached that point if liberal Democrats and squishy Republicans didn’t engage in their orgy of spending. The Tea Party was trying to save the nation, which Obama is certainly not interested in doing in the slightest.
P.S. Democrats should note that seniors were Romney’s biggest supporters in Florida. However, we’ll have to see how they respond to Paul Ryan. Nevertheless, it points to the fact that even seniors understand the perils our entitlement system is facing.
A. Quinnipiac (July) ALL VOTERS: Obama 51% Romney 45%
Seniors: Romney 56% Obama 41%
B. Survey USA (July) ALL VOTERS: Obama 48% Romney 43%
Seniors: Romney 53% Obama 43%
C. Mason-Dixon (July) ALL VOTERS: Obama 46% Romney 45%
Seniors: Romney 47% Obama 42%
D. Quinnipiac (May) ALL VOTERS: Romney 44% Obama 43%
Seniors: Romney 49% Obama 37%
E. Fox News (April) ALL VOTERS: Obama 45% Romney 43%
Seniors: Romney 52% Obama 40%