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Goodbye Medicare, Medicaid

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Author Topic: Goodbye Medicare, Medicaid  (Read 214 times)

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« on: November 15, 2016, 04:07:56 pm »

As predicted by me...


For about two decades now, Republicans have been talking about radically changing the government’s two largest health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare.

The goal with Medicaid is to turn the program almost entirely over to the states, but with less money to run it. The goal with Medicare is to convert it from a government-run insurance program into a voucher system ― while, once again, reducing the money that goes into the program.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has championed these ideas for years. Trump has not. In fact, in a 2015 interview his campaign website highlighted, he vowed that “I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” But the health care agenda on Trump’s transition website, which went live Thursday, vows to “modernize Medicare” and allow more “flexibility” for Medicaid.

In Washington, those are euphemisms for precisely the kind of Medicare and Medicaid plans Ryan has long envisioned. And while it’s never clear what Trump really thinks or how he’ll act, it sure looks like both he and congressional Republicans are out to undo Lyndon Johnson’s health care legacy, not just Barack Obama’s.

Of course, whenever Trump or Republicans talk about dismantling existing government programs, they insist they will replace them with something better ― implying that the people who depend on those programs now won’t be worse off.

But Republicans are not trying to replicate what Medicaid, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act do now. Nor are they trying to maintain the current, historically high level of health coverage nationwide that these programs have produced. Their goal is to slash government spending on health care and to peel back regulations on parts of the health care industry, particularly insurers.

Whereas the non-profit health care industry and the VA are consistently ranked higher than private insurance, the republican party just doesn't give a shit.
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