Friday, November 2, 2012

Remember, when "Morning Joe" et. al. blame Medicare for out-of-control costs, you are listening to people spreading ignorance


Cutting Medicare and Medicaid is a sure path to INCREASING the percentage of GDP the county spends on health care.  Most of the discussion about "entitlements" burdening our economy are based on utter disinformation or near-total ignorance.  Replacing Medicare with vouchers - or even raising the eligibility age - will explode health care costs.  Not just out-of-pocket for seniors, but in aggregate.

The "cure" of cutting Medicare and Medicaid can only mean one of two things - exploding health care costs as private insurers pick up market share and hospitals are burdened with the uninsured flooding emergency rooms, or people simply going without essential health care. 

There is definitely a need to control health care inflation in relation to our overall economy, but privatization via vouchers or raising the Medicare age take us in exactly the wrong direction, as the chart shows. Medicare and Medicaid do the best job of cost-control, compared to private insurance.

The Professor takes on "The Blackmail Caucus" (& the idiocy of the De Moines Register)

Krugman @ NYT:
If President Obama is re-elected, health care coverage will expand dramatically, taxes on the wealthy will go up and Wall Street will face tougher regulation. If Mitt Romney wins instead, health coverage will shrink substantially, taxes on the wealthy will fall to levels not seen in 80 years and financial regulation will be rolled back.

Given the starkness of this difference, you might have expected to see people from both sides of the political divide urging voters to cast their ballots based on the issues. Lately, however, I’ve seen a growing number of Romney supporters making a quite different argument. Vote for Mr. Romney, they say, because if he loses, Republicans will destroy the economy. 

O.K., they don’t quite put it that way. The argument is phrased in terms of “partisan gridlock,” as if both parties were equally extreme. But they aren’t. This is, in reality, all about appeasing the hard men of the Republican Party.