“WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate has already reignited the debate over the future of Medicare. Ryan has proposed ending the guaranteed benefit and instead giving individuals vouchers to pay for private insurance, which Ryan refers to as "premium support." By reducing the amount of money that Medicare would pay out over time, the plan reduces its long-term costs in an effort to become solvent without raising taxes or lowering health care costs. But it leaves seniors on the hook should costs rise faster than the value of the vouchers.
“It's a proposal strikingly similar to his suggested Social Security reform in 2005, which also relied on shifting risk from society at large to the individual.”
The battle lines are drawn. The campaigns will pit the right of center Obama/Biden incumbents against the Romney/Ryan duo. The new Robber Baron, in thrall to the far right GOP will team up with the ultra-right teavangelist, Ryan, in another attempt to destroy Medicare and Social Security by privatizing them.
Wall street bankers and financiers are salivating like hunting hounds at the possibility that they will be given another chance to bleed the middle class penniless while incurring no personal risk.
Ryan plans to replace Medicare with a voucher system that will leave seniors holding worthless promises that the voucher will purchase two aspirin and a band-aid before the insurance companies claim that the vouchers are no longer sufficient to pay for any health insurance. Seniors will be encouraged to beggar their selves and then contract a lethal disease.
Social Security accounts will be sold to the highest bidders. Seniors will no longer have insurance; they will have apologies from the investment firms that emptied their accounts to provide bonuses for the new robber barons.
This campaign will be the decision point for the continued existence of our social safety nets, for the continued existence of the ragged remnants of the middle and working classes, and for avoiding the transformation of our republic into a theocracy such as we find unacceptable in Iran, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia. The effort to sell the country and its assets began in earnest during the Reagan administration as he and his handlers sold legislative power to the Christian right in exchange for votes. With the exception of increased unemployment and increased religious interference in government by the Christian right, nothing has trickled downward yet. We must turn out every voter we can to re-elect Obama in November. He was the default choice in 2008. He is now the only hope for our seniors, our working class, and our poor.