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If you were being hustled to buy an insurance policy, would you trust a salesman who said, “Let’s go to a bar, have a couple of drinks, and talk it over.”? As we say in Texas: Never sign nothing by neon.
Be careful then, because Rep. Paul Ryan is coming at you – winking, blinking, and grinning – hoping to sell you on his Medicare privatization plan. Chair of the House budget committee, Ryan and all but four of his Republican colleagues voted to replace Medicare with this deal. The clincher in his sales pitch is that folks over 65 “would be enrolled in the same kind of health care program that [we] members of Congress get.”
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Wow, you might think, congress critters always give themselves the best, so where do I sign?
Think again. Step out of the neon and check the fine print, and you’ll find that Ryan’s plan is nothing but a political hustle. In other words, he and his Republican cohorts are lying.
Note that they say we would get the same “kind” of coverage that they enjoy. That’s like saying that someone with an old clunker has the same “kind” of transportation as a rich guy driving a new Cadillac – both have cars.
Here’s the scam in Ryan’s scheme: While the plan that Congress gives itself and the plan it wants you to buy are both based on the government paying a share of each individual’s annual insurance premium – there’s a huge gap between the share that the government pays for them and the share it would pay for us. Members of Congress only pay about 25 percent of the cost of their insurance, but Ryan’s plan would require elderly Americans to shell out nearly 70 percent of the cost of their insurance. And very few elderly folks get a fat congressional salary to help them buy insurance.
The GOP’s privatization hustle would cost each of us more than twice what we now pay under Medicare. Don’t buy their lies, and don’t sign onto Rep. Ryan’s raw deal.
“Proposal for Medicare Is Unlike Federal Employee Plan,” The New York Times, May 2, 2011.
“The Push to Enact Medicare Reform,” The New York Times, May 2, 2011.